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: Turkey
Turkey is one of the most popular protein sources in a raw diet and there are good reasons for it. Turkey is an affordable option for protein rotation and it is a good option for many pets that suffer from food related allergies. Pets that have developed allergies from constant exposure to the same protein source often do well with turkey as it has yet to become popular in the kibble industry.
People feel the effects of Tryptophan after a turkey dinner and the same animo acid can help to relax our pets as well. Turkey is an excellent source of Niacin, which helps to lower cholesterol. Your dog’s health will also benefit from the excellent levels of B Vitamins, including B3, B6, and B12.
Unfortunately, due to the size of the bird, edible bone options are limited. Turkey necks are best suited for larger dogs, but smaller animals can still eat the meat and gnaw on the bone.
A breakdown of each raw, meaty bone and its benefits:
Turkey necks provide a great, lean meat meal with a soft bone for optimal teeth cleaning. They average 1-1.25lbs, so they are best suited for large and giant breed dogs. Their size won’t stop your cat or small dog from enjoying a nibble of this tasty meal. Turkey is high in protein and contain a good amount Vitamin B3 and B-6. This is also a meal that can be fed frozen to slow down gulpers.
Hearts do not contain any bone, but they are an excellent meat option to compliment a raw food diet. This muscle meat can be fed as part of a meal or as a treat. Hearts are a rich meat source and should be fed in moderation to maintain normal stool. Dogs that eat too much heart may end up with loose, dark stool.
There are glandular therapies that support the idea of feeding certain glands in order to support related medical conditions. In other words, a dog with heart disease can gain essential nutrients by eating heart of another animal.
Turkey liver is an excellent organ source for pets on a raw diet. Organ meat, especially the liver, is packed with essential nutrients for your dog’s or cat’s diet. It is generally used to balance incomplete meals or to meet a specific pet’s organ requirement. While most dogs do well on about 10% organ in their diet, some dogs require less and some do better on a little more. The first sign that your pet is getting what they require will be a well-formed stool. Similar to turkey heart, turkey liver is rich and may cause loose, dark stools if your pet gets more than they require.
NEVER COOK A RAW BONE.
ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR PET WHILE THEY ARE EATING.