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Primal Canine: raw bones, how long to benefit?

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  • Primal Canine: raw bones, how long to benefit?

    So having read some about feeding my dog raw, I am gradually transitioning him off corn meal based kibble to some raw food (ground up bison and chicken which I buy from my farmer's market), chicken feet, raw egg, little bit of canned pumpkin, better quality grain-free kibble, and then some meat left over scraps that I usually save for him. I also buy some cut up bones from an Asian grocery store. I read that raw bones are good for dogs and so I have been giving him one bone after his morning meal on weekdays to chew on.

    Sometimes he likes the bone, especially if the marrow is easy to extract, othertimes, he is not so excited but will usually gnaw on it for 10 minutes at least. I have small kids, including a toddler, that crawls around on the floor so having bone remnants on the floor is not optimal. Ideally I'd just like to have my dog gnaw on the bone for 20 minutes or so in the morning before anybody else is awake in my house and then clean up whatever mess might exist.

    So my question is, how long does a dog have to gnaw on a bone to get any health benefit from it--presumably working out his mouth muscles and cleaning his teeth is the main benefit as well as extracing any marrow from the bone. Is 20 minutes enough or does the dog really need to chew on it for hours at a time?

  • #2
    What kind of bones are you giving him? Sounds like the big beef marrow bones. I don't give those to my dogs at all anymore, those are the ones that can chip their teeth, and don't do much good as far as removing build-up (IME). Letting him crunch up more manageable-sized bones whole will clean his teeth thoroughly and give him the nutrients from marrow, and calcium and phosphorus from the bones themselves. I feed my dogs and cats mostly poultry necks for teeth-cleaning. None of them have any tartar, they are 14, 10, 5 and 3.

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    • #3
      The packaging on the bones I am using is merely labeled "cut up bones". They appear to be big beef marrow bones which have been cut up into smaller pieces with smooth edges.

      I had thought of using beef short ribs, which have quite a bit of meat surrounding the bones, but those are quite expensive. I have also seen beef neck bones but those looked to be about the same size as what I am currently using.

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      • #4
        Jeff, how big is your dog? That will determine the size of bones. Weight bearing bones from cows are too dense. They could chip or crack your dog's teeth. Their nick name is "wreck bones".

        You want to give him meat covered bones he can eat.

        Depending on the size of your dog that could be chicken wing sections (what I give my Papillons), chicken thighs, 1/2 or whole chickens, lamb, or pork. Give him something the size of his head. When he's first 'learning' and until you know if he's a gulper, you should watch him eat.

        You can train him to eat in one spot.

        If you want an excellent resource, I belong to a really experienced active Yahoo Raw Feeding group.
        http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/

        These are also good resources:
        http://www.rawlearning.com
        http://www.rawmeatybones.com
        http://www.rawfed.com/myths/
        http://www.rawfeddogs.net
        "Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut
        "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
        "Moderation sucks." Suse
        "Wine is a vegetable." Meaty
        "Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that." Cmdr Chris Hadfield


        Winencandy

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        • #5
          My dog is a very large Shetland Sheepdog weighing about 45lbs. He is 10 years old with no known health problems. I researched some on the internet and agree that the bones I was using are not the best.

          I think this cite summarizes the types of bones:

          http://www.allthebestpetcare.com/han...raw_bones.html
          Raw Bones Are Not Dangerous
          We have been told so often that bones can splinter and cause internal damage that it is hard embrace the fact that bones are safe when given raw. Cooking a bone can cause it to become brittle and splinter, but raw bones are pliable and resilient, breaking off without sharp edges. Poultry bones are soft enough to be completely chewed up and digested. Harder bones, such as beef, lamb, or buffalo are considered recreational bones and are mainly for chewing, not eating. They have marrow, gristle, and connective tissue that contribute valuable nutrients and roughage.

          I have been giving my dog chicken feet which have lots of small bones that he can crush. But I guess I thought I needed to give him a harder bone to just gnaw on. But I will get some knuckle bones for that purpose, rather than the hard bones I had been using.

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          • #6
            Our dogs really don't get knuckle or marrow bones anymore, I stopped that after we had a couple cracked molars in the bunch. Stick to bones they can actually consume 100%. Chicken is the easiest, wings, backs, necks...that sort of thing. Some can handle turkey necks or beef & pork rib bones. I would skip the marrow bones and maybe even the knuckles if they have the hard femur attached. You want bones that are fully consumed, the digestive track will break them down so they get the mineral/nutrition out of them. Think of a wild dog or wolf....a large animal carcass would be mostly picked clean with bones left behind, where as a rabbit, mouse, rat, etc would be consumed whole.
            Erin
            Daily Vlogs
            Primal Pets Blog

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            • #7
              My doggie gets a little constipated of she gets meat only... anyone else have this issue?
              Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!

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              • #8
                Tara, try giving her a little (tiny, thumbnail size) piece of raw liver.
                "Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut
                "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
                "Moderation sucks." Suse
                "Wine is a vegetable." Meaty
                "Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that." Cmdr Chris Hadfield


                Winencandy

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Meadow View Post
                  Our dogs really don't get knuckle or marrow bones anymore, I stopped that after we had a couple cracked molars in the bunch. Stick to bones they can actually consume 100%. Chicken is the easiest, wings, backs, necks...that sort of thing. Some can handle turkey necks or beef & pork rib bones. I would skip the marrow bones and maybe even the knuckles if they have the hard femur attached. You want bones that are fully consumed, the digestive track will break them down so they get the mineral/nutrition out of them. Think of a wild dog or wolf....a large animal carcass would be mostly picked clean with bones left behind, where as a rabbit, mouse, rat, etc would be consumed whole.
                  Yes I am thinking that is good advice and I will stick with poultry feet and perhaps wings. I'd rather not risk a broken tooth with something larger from cattle. However, if I see a knuckle bone at the store, I figure it might be a treat once or twice a month but not a regular thing.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by winencandy View Post
                    Tara, try giving her a little (tiny, thumbnail size) piece of raw liver.
                    She gets liver in her food usually, maybe I'll start givong her sep liver when she just gets meat...? She is a tiny dog so I worry about the Vit A.
                    Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tara tootie View Post
                      My doggie gets a little constipated of she gets meat only... anyone else have this issue?
                      I don't have this issue but I read that canned pumpkin is good for this. It's cheap and easy to mix in with meat and my dog seems to like it so I give him a spoonful and mix it in with the rest of his food.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by winencandy View Post
                        Jeff, how big is your dog? That will determine the size of bones. Weight bearing bones from cows are too dense. They could chip or crack your dog's teeth. Their nick name is "wreck bones".

                        You want to give him meat covered bones he can eat.

                        Depending on the size of your dog that could be chicken wing sections (what I give my Papillons), chicken thighs, 1/2 or whole chickens, lamb, or pork. Give him something the size of his head. When he's first 'learning' and until you know if he's a gulper, you should watch him eat.

                        You can train him to eat in one spot.

                        If you want an excellent resource, I belong to a really experienced active Yahoo Raw Feeding group.
                        http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/

                        These are also good resources:
                        http://www.rawlearning.com
                        http://www.rawmeatybones.com
                        http://www.rawfed.com/myths/
                        http://www.rawfeddogs.net
                        +1 to that. All good advice there.
                        I've my dogs have been eating primally for about 4 years now, which is a lot longer than I have

                        They're pretty big dogs with powerful jaws so can handle a canon bone (beef leg bone), but even then I giv them the joint end and they prefer to chew at the joint ball / socket and it's cartilage rather than the solid bone itself.

                        Chicken frames make up the bulk of their diet, with other stuff like offal, green tripe, fresh fish, etc. (whatever I can get cheap) added in and they're both doing great. The vet doesn't believe that we don't brush their teeth daily
                        Last edited by Misabi; 11-03-2010, 08:22 PM.
                        If you're interested in my (very) occasional updates on how I'm working out and what I'm eating click here.

                        Originally posted by tfarny
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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                        • #13
                          I feed 100% raw and find that creating the perfect poop is a delicate balance between meat, fat, and bone. If her poop is too hard, feed more fat (doesn't have to be liver - chicken skin or fatty cuts will do it).

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                          • #14
                            The best teeth for cleaning bones are the kind they crunch up - this will be dependent on the size of the dog - for a larger type dog something like a chicken back or frame or turkey neck. Wings are so small that a greyhound can pretty much swallow them whole - not a lot of teeth cleaning action. But a small dog would have to chew them in order to get them down.

                            We do give weight bearing bones...we get them from the meat counter at whole foods and they have a lot of meat scraps on them, cartilage bits and the marrow is easy to get to. The dogs don't gnaw on the bone, per se....they use their front teeth to scrape the remnants of meat and sinew off and the lick or nibble the marrow out (nature's version of the pb filled kong!). Out of all the dogs we've had through our house...about 30...we've had a minor slab fracture in one and she has really bad teeth to begin with. She doesn't get the weight bearing bones. We have one dog who's a fiend and will actually try to crunch through the bone so he doesn't get them anymore either. The bones are super dense and I don't him to actually EAT the bone...It's about knowing your dog, their overall tooth health and making decisions about the best type of bone from there.

                            If you don't want to give cow bones, pigs feet are GREAT "recreational" bones. We can find them here already cut in half and it takes the average greyhound about 30 minutes to work through one.
                            Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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                            • #15
                              Here's another option for a "recreational" bone



                              This (and the 7 other moose bones on my deck) gives my Papillons a mental workout as well as a dental cleaning
                              "Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut
                              "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
                              "Moderation sucks." Suse
                              "Wine is a vegetable." Meaty
                              "Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that." Cmdr Chris Hadfield


                              Winencandy

                              Comment

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