Well, I gave Quincy his first meal of raw tonight, a chicken leg quarter (on sale for 59 cents a pound this week)! I tried to hold onto it to teach him to CHEW his food, but was only partially successful. I am now freaking out because I just let my baby eat a chicken bone! Trying to ease myself by watching YouTube videos of raw fed dogs, but all the videos appear to be chewing more than he did. Any advice? Is he still a candidate for feeding raw?
At this point I’m planning on keeping him on honest kitchen for breakfast, and raw for dinner while I learn more and become more comfortable with balancing the diet (I know I can’t do chicken quarters forever!). But I need a little reassurance that my beloved dog isn’t going to bleed to death tonight because I let him eat bone!
I’m watching him like a hawk for any signs of discomfort (kind of difficult since he has digestive issues anyways), but so far he’s just running between me and the kitchen looking for more chicken and playing with his toys…
I’ve heard several different methods for slowing a gobbler down. One was to clamp visegrip to the middle of the leg quarter so he has to gnaw around it. Another is to use cable ties to fasten the leg quarter to a metal tube, like a vacuum hose extension. My dogs don’t get chicken due to allergies, but they eat turkey and when I give them a piece of turkey they usually crunch along the length of the bone several times then sort of inhale it. Basically, they break up the bone before they start actually eating, then they eat fast. Your dog will be fine, just keep working at the chewing thing. He will learn.
Thanks patty! I can go buy some vice grips tomorrow…he did chomp them down, I guess I was just upset he didn’t chew more, which is probably against a dogs nature! I’m calmed down some now, it’s been four hours and he’s been fine so far.
We are gonna start our other dog, LoJack (German shorthair mix) on raw as well, my boyfriend is now convinced this is the best choice for all our animals (our cat has been on a manufactured raw for almost two years to keep urinary tract infections and ear infections in check).
Thanks for your help!
There will always be a risk in feeding a dog raw meaty bones. No one can guarantee you that a bone will never cause harm to your dog. Raw feeders want to feed their dog a similar diet to what wolves eat in the wild, believing it is the most natural and species appropriate.
One thing that I think is often overlooked is that when wolves consume bones they also consume the fur of the animal they are eating. The bone usually comes out the other end of the wolf wrapped in fur. The fur protects the inside of the wolf from being damaged as the bone makes its way through its digestive system.
For the gulping you could try feeding a large piece of frozen meat. The piece should be bigger than your dog’s head. This makes it almost impossible for your dog to just gulp down. Being frozen also makes it difficult to just swallow and could encourage your dog to chew. As long as you are able to take the piece away from your dog before it becomes small enough to swallow or when your dog has eaten enough, a frozen piece of meat larger than your dog’s head is an option.
Another option is raw boneless meat. This method has no danger of your dog being injured from bones. In this method you would have to add a calcium supplement to replace the calcium in the bones.
Reading a book like See Spot Live Longer (more geared to the beginner) or Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet (a little more advanced) both by Steve Brown will help you in preparing nutritionally balanced home prepared raw or cooked meals for your dogs.
I am not a fan of using a metal vice grips or a metal tube to stop your dog from gulping. I am worried that your dog might injure himself by chomping down on them or by trying to swallow the vice grips.
Good Luck with Quincy and LoJack!!!!
I completely feel you about being scared he might get injured. My dog, Otto, was quite the gulper. When he was only about 3mo old, he got a hold of a raw chicken bone (it was a leg bone, he had found the cat’s dinner…). I saw him take it, I ran over to him and told him to leave it (yup, this was before he knew the command “leave it”), but it was too late, he had broken it into 2 pieces then swallowed them. I thought for sure he wouldn’t make it through the night, but we kept an eye on him and he was completely fine.
The above suggestions to help with gulping are great. My current gulper, Loki, will get any of his raw meat frozen. He still eats it very fast, but at least he breaks it into kibble-sized pieces, as he doesn’t like swallowing large frozen things… Brrrrr!
I’ve never done a real raw diet with my dogs, I’ve only read the books and web pages. I hope you can get a good routine going with your guy, and I’m sure he’ll remember to chew soon 😉
But this is great you’re doing raw! Like I say, I hope you can get a good routine going for your dogs. If I ever get the resources, money, and space to keep a freezer-ful of raw meat, I’m definitely switching my dogs to raw. I’ve seen incredible results from a properly balanced raw diet… I have even read of a Great Dane (lifespan is usually around 9-12yrs) who was fed raw his whole life, and lived all the way to 16y.o. and healthy to the end!
Thanks everyone! Tonight went better. I decided to let him eat it in his kennel, hoping he would take his time since he doesn’t have to worry about it being taken away. It worked! He still gulps large portions, but he crunches all the bones first so I think it’s ok. His poops looked fine today (last evening was his first raw) so we are continuing on!
Gonna have to price out some organ meat and additional muscle meat to eventually balance his diet out, but for now he’s still getting breakfast of honest kitchen so I’m not too worried yet.
When you’re looking for meat, I’d recommend trying to ask around to find a butcher, hunter, or even farmer. They’d probably give you the best deal on meat and bones. I know someone who buys her raw meat from, I think, a butcher, and is able to get it for less than 50c per pound.
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