So I started raw feeding about a month ago. Started on Chicken leg quarters for the first two weeks and then introduced turkey necks on week three. She has been doing really well. Her skin and energy have improved tremendously, and honestly I wish I would’ve started this sooner.
I started introducing some boneless a week ago because her stools were really hard, so I figured too much bone content. I also added chicken hearts gizzards, which she loves.
Now all of a sudden, she doesn’t want to eat anything with a bone in it. I put the leg quarter or turkey neck outside and she doesn’t even touch it. I know bones are an important part of raw feeding, so I’m concerned.
Any suggestions on why she may have stopped eating them? Anyone had a similar issue?
Finally, if she just simply won’t eat it, can you recommend a solution for feeding boneless with a calcium supplement?
First I am not a fan of any neck bones. Read up in hypothyroidism in dogs, which can be caused by constantly feeding neck bones.
Secondly, not a fan of feeding whole bones either. Unless I can grind them. My dog choked a few times on whole bones.
I like to rotate my calcium as I don’t believe that bones can always provide the adequate calcium levels
I recommend ground egg shells about 1/2 teaspoon per lb of food which is about 1000 milligrams of calcium or natural calcium seaweed. Natural calcium seaweed not only provides the exact amount of calcium but it also provides other minerals.
Both ground eggshells and natural calcium seaweed are easier for a dog to digest hence they can absorb the calcium better and it is a lot safer for them.
Thanks for the reply!
So do you just feed strictly boneless then? I don’t like the idea of ground meat because I know it can lead to plaque buildup. Also, the whole pieces of muscle meat resemble the prey model much better, although anything is better than the kibble she was eating a month ago.
I introduced beef today, and of course she loves it. Maybe I’ll just give her an egg every other day and she will get her calcium that way.
No I don’t strictly feed boneless. I am a strong proponent of a rotational diet. That means rotating meats, calcium sources, organs, and natural supplements to ensure that proper nutrition is met. But this comes with a caveat. As long as your dog can handle this.
So back to your question, I feed bones as long as they are finely ground. Safer for my dog and easier to digest for him.
In regards to plague. Only daily teeth brushing of your dog will prevent this. Dogs chewing on whole bones won’t always prevent plague. I brush my dog’s teeth as well as his gums and upper and lower inside of his lips. There are parts of the teeth and gums that a whole bone can’t clean. Like the teeth all the way in the back.
If I was you I would buy some calcium seaweed too so that you can rotate it with the egg shell. If you can afford a grinder..check out Amazon you or invest even in a Vitamix blender. You can than buy small ribs bones at the store and grind them up or blend them up in your Vitamix blender.
A half horse power grinder should be able to grind up chicken bones and small turkey and duck necks. Or if you can feed chicken necks or feet, they are small and would still count towards the bone requirement.
Have her teeth/gums been checked to make sure there aren’t any pieces of bone lodged anywhere in her mouth causing pain?
- This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by pugmomsandy.
Feeding neck MAY cause HYPERthyroidism. This is because some sources do not remove the thyroid gland. This is most common in beef and other red meat grinds and not usually an issue with whole turkey and chicken necks.
And yes, feeding bones can prevent plaque build up. I don’t brush any of my dogs teeth and they all have completely spotless teeth, all the way to the back. It is definitely an individual dog thing. It has to do with chewing style.
Chewing style should also be the major determinant in deciding whether or not whole bones are safe to feed.
Raw food doesn’t agree with some dogs and can cause GI distress. Bones (raw or otherwise) even when finely ground up can cause GI blockage. I no longer feed bones because this happened.
I have had excellent results with once a day dental brushing.
PS: Bones can also cause broken teeth.
Broken teeth are also a chewing style issue.
The veterinarians I have consulted offer a different opinion:
“Canine teeth (and incisors) are frequently damaged from random trauma (HBC, falls, etc.). The most commonly fractured tooth in dogs is the maxillary 4th premolar. This tooth is most often fractured due to chewing trauma. Bones (ANY actual bone), non-flexible nylon bones, antlers, hooves, and, a recent addition to the bad chew toy list, yak’s milk. These products are often advertised as long-lasting. Unfortunately, because they don’t break down, the teeth used to chew them, usually the maxillary 4th premolar, does fracture. Since these fractures occur from chewing trauma, rather than random trauma, dogs are likely to fracture both maxillary 4th premolars. A common fracture of the maxillary 4th premolar can be a “slab fracture, “fracturing a significant portion of the buccal surface of the tooth and often extending below the gum line to the root structure. (Fig. 2)”
excerpt from: https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/tooth-fractures/
about the specialist: https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/meet-the-dentistry-team/
- This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by anonymously.
Also: Give a Dog a Bone (Not!)–FDA warns of dangers of feeding bones to dogs
http://skeptvet.com/Blog/?s=bones excerpt below:
Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
2.Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
3.Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
4.Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
5.Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
6.Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
7.Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
8.Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.
9.Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
10.Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.
It’s funny that you should post that. In my 41 years of owning my own dogs, the only tooth fracture I have had to deal with was from a nylabone. In the 14 years that I worked in the veterinary field(not a vet), we had about 5 broken teeth from Nylabones, close to 15 from chewing rocks(but a few of those were all in one Lab’s mouth), and 2 from aggressive bone chewers that were not raw fed dogs. I couldn’t even begin to guess how many from car accidents.
We also had a number of blockages. One dog ate socks, credit cards, screws, chain collar, etc. Both of the 2 that had swallowed bones were not raw fed. Socks were the biggest offender.
If raw fed dogs are swallowing bones that are too big, their owners didn’t do enough research before starting to feed raw. You see, you’re supposed to make sure your dog LEARNS to chew up the bones. If they gulp their food, there are measures to take to slow them down and get them chewing.
You make a good point about teaching a dog to chew. I tried teaching my boy with a bone once about 5 months ago but it did not go well and I gave up.
So I went to ground bones. Although now he is becoming a better chewer I might try teaching him again. I noticed that on raw and or home cooked meals he is chewing his food. When I feed him his kibble meal a few times a week he goes back to gulping. This is one of the points that many raw feeders make, that dogs over time on raw begin to chew their food.
In regards to plague I have read that dogs eating raw bones does help eliminate plague.
I also must confess that I love brushing my dog’s teeth. It’s a bonding experience between my pup and I. I bring out the tooth brush and he comes running up to my lap. Plus it teaches him good mouth manners. He knows that I can stick my hands in his mouth and he won’t bite me. As a result of this I am very bias towards teeth brushing and always point people to brush their dog’s teeth.
There are no negatives to brushing except the time it takes, so I’m all for people brushing their dogs teeth, especially if they feed kibble. I don’t brush my dogs teeth because they never have plaque of any kind and I have so many animals that necessary stuff takes all my time. I do take the time to teach good mouth manners to all my puppies and real life keeps them gentle. I don’t take for granted that their teeth are clean because I feed raw. They get their teeth checked at least twice a week, as well as every other part of their body.
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