Bones… The Really Scary Part
Dogs eat non-digestible dirt, rocks, tampons, plastic squeaky toys, and rawhides. They vomit, choke, poop out foreign objects, sometimes need veterinary attention… these are real dogs in real life. One of my Rottweilers had to have 3 ft. of Christmas tinsel pulled out of his butt by a vet. I know a woman who lost her champion German shepherd because he choked to death on a tennis ball of all things. A neighbor’s Cocker ate a sock resulting in an impaction that would have been the end of her without surgery. Every veterinarian you talk to will have stories of weird things ingested by dogs needing medical intervention – my old vet had an x-ray from a Labrador who ate an entire braided rug. Can dogs die from eating raw bones? Of course – they can die from eating just about all the other things eat too! There are risks , you can avoid completely, risks you can minimize, and risks you can accept only as a theoretical possibility. Just as every activity carries some risk, we are willing to accept risk when we feel it is minimal compared to the benefits. And feeding raw has huge benefits. Remember never feed cooked bones. These are not well digested by dogs and can splinter easily.
Raw meaty bones can be placed into categories;our RMB’s that are part of a meal and are consumed entirely – or almost entirely – and RMB’s are recreational that is bones that are chewed on, left, returned to, left and so on. Recreational bones for one dog may be a meal for another. Deciding which RMB’s to feed depends on how your dog eats. Daphne, Dutch and Phoebe all chew their food thoroughly – so I feel comfortable giving them any kind of bones, even the large, weight-bearing bones. Cooper gulps his down in a nanosecond. I call the chicken wings I feed him “sliders” because they slide right down his gullet in a single crunch. If your dog eats like Cooper , you can try encouraging him to slow down by holding one end of the food while the eats, or feeding separately from other dogs so he doesn’t feel like he must inhale his food faster than everyone else! I often feed Cooper frozen or partially frozen RMB’s because his forces him to chew a bit. Stay within your own comfort level with this. Some people smash the our RMB’s with a hammer or meat-tenderizing tool first. And don’t forget, grinding is always an adoption. This will eliminate any fears you have!
Remember never feed cooked bones.
These are not well digested by dogs and can splinter easily.
Excerpted with permission from Raw Dog Food: Make it Easy for You and Your Dog by Carina Beth MacDonald. Published by Dogwise Publishing. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved. You can buy a copy of Raw Dog Food from Amazon.ca