Oh Yes – Your Dog is a Carnivore
This means that back in the days before domestication – a dog’s dinner consisted of whatever animal they managed to hunt down and kill. So – dinner was made up of raw meat, raw bones, skin, organs, intestines and whatever was inside the stomach at the time.
Can I feed my Dog Bones?
Now, while our pet dogs no longer have to hunt for their food each day, it doesn’t mean their dietary needs or digestive processes have changed in any significant way.
Dogs still thrive on a meat based diet which of course does include the occasional meaty raw bone. Tearing the fresh meat off a bone bit by bit still gives your dogs enormous pleasure and can keep them happily occupied for hours.
Basic Dog feeding Guide
- Provide variety in your dog’s diet to include the staple of a good quality dry kibble, fresh (human grade) raw meats and vegetables.
- Avoid pet mince as this may contain dangerous preservatives
- Feed the occasional raw, meaty bone
The purpose of giving your dog a bone is to provide these specific benefits:
- Nutrition – i.e. fresh meat
- Dental care – it’s the action of tearing the meat from the bone which provides the dental benefits. Not the chewing on the bone itself.
Feed raw, meaty bones only and choose a size that’s appropriate for your dog. Bones should be large enough so that they’re not swallowed whole to provide their full benefits. Lamb flaps, necks, shanks, ribs, chicken wings and frames and soft beef ribs are all good choices. Avoid chop bones as they have pointy ends and can be swallowed whole.
Too many bones can lead to constipation so offer raw meaty bones to your dog only 2 – 3 times a week.
Never feed your dog cooked bones as these can splinter and cause internal damage.
Don’t buy the large beef marrow bones. A bare, hard bone provides no nutritional benefits and their hard surface can actually do more harm than good to your dog’s teeth.
Sadly many people fear giving their dogs bones of any kind in the misbelief that all bones are bad for dogs.
Instead they choose commercially produced “substitute treats” such as rawhide chews and the like. Apart from providing no nutritional value, many of these are preserved with dangerous chemicals which again do more harm than good.
And as far as the risk of bones causing problems from our point of view, we’re seen very little evidence from over 23 years in practice. Those bones which have caused problems are most often those which have been cooked – or they were fed too often thereby causing impaction.
So yes, by choosing your dog’s bones sensibly, they are a valuable and natural addition to your dog’s diet.