The Truth on Raw Meaty Bones
Raw, meaty bones are a recommended part of a balanced, species appropriate diet. Raw, meaty bones are our dog and cat’s natural toothbrushes. The action of tearing, crunching, and ripping off the meat cleans their teeth and provides mental stimulation.
The type of bones and how they are fed depends on the size of the animal and their chewing style. For example, a 5lb dog or cat would do great with a chicken neck or back, but a turkey neck would be more than 10 days worth of food. At the same time, an 80lb dog may try to swallow small food, such as chicken backs and necks, whole. This would eliminate the chewing benefit and could create a choking hazard.
Each month, we will feature a different protein source on our blog. Protein rotation is an important part of a raw diet and we will provide an overview of the benefits and drawbacks of each protein source.
Protein Feature: Beef
Beef is an excellent, nutrient dense protein source to include in your pet’s diet. This meat provides a good source for protein, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and B-complex vitamins. Beef is a rich meat option so it is best to introduce beef once the dog or cat is already transitioned onto raw chicken or turkey. Beef bones are typically too big for cats or small dogs, but they are a great chew for medium to large size dogs. The size of your dog will determine the best size and cut of beef bones to offer them. It is also important to understand the chewing behaviour of your pet. Weight bearing bones of large animals, such as cows, may not be the best option for aggressive chewers.Many raw feeders are familiar with beef tripe, not only for its smell, but also for its nutritional benefit. Green beef tripe is loaded with probiotics and digestive enzymes making it a healthy addition to any raw diet. Tripe is also low in phosphorus, high in fiber, and a good source of omega fatty acids. The smell of green tripe can clear a room, but your dog will love it! When shopping for tripe, don’t be confused with the white tripe you find in grocery stores. This form of tripe is bleached and lacks the nutritional benefits of green tripe.
A breakdown of each raw, meaty bone and its benefits:
Tripesicles (Beef tripe stuffed trachea)
Trachea is a great source of glucosamine and chondriotin and provides a great chew for dogs and cats. Green tripe is rich in probiotics and great tasting (for dogs), making tripesicles one of the most nutritious and enjoyable treats for pets. Due to the smell of green tripe, this meal is best served frozen and outside.
Beef Marrow Bones
Weight-bearing bones of large animals can be very dangerous and are not a good choice for most dogs. Weight-bearing bones are typically called marrow bones, soup bones, femur bones, and dino bones. They can also be found attached to knuckle bones or knee caps. The density of these bones is what makes them a poor choice for most aggressive chewers. Weight-bearing bones of large herbivores, such as cows, are designed to hold up 1,000lbs+ of weight for prolonged periods of time. The concern with these bones is that the bone is stronger than your dog’s teeth. These bones are known to break teeth and the large amount of marrow can cause diarrhea. Weight bearing bones are not something that we personally recommend, but we do suggest that you monitor a dog with any bone. If your dog is gnawing on the bone, it may not be the best chew for them.
Beef Neck Bones
Beef neck bones are a great recreational chew or meal for dogs of all sizes. We proudly carry Tollden Farms beef neck bones, which offer very meaty bones and a variety of sizes. The small size are suitable for most dogs, while the medium and large sizes are better suited to larger dogs. The bones are much softer than weight bearing bones, making them fully consumable. If you have a dog that will try to swallow a large chunk, it is best to feed larger pieces and take them away before your dog eats the last piece.
NEVER COOK A RAW BONE.
ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR PET WHILE THEY ARE EATING.