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Beef Knuckles - Butcher vs Pet store purchase

PetFriendly
January 15th, 2007, 06:21 PM
I'd like your opinions on something. Before Christmas I bought Charley two beef knuckles from the pet store. From the look and feel of them they have been basted in something (or maybe it was smoked). They have also been sliced in half (or maybe thirds) so the dense marrow is exposed.

He's chewed one down to almost nothing and is slowly working on the second one. They are not cheap to buy ($6 for two I think it was) and I'm wondering if something I bought from the butcher would be as attractive to him for as long. I realise the butcher ones would be more juicy so I have a concern on two levels, one is bacteria and the other is will he even like it if its not smoked?

BMDLuver
January 15th, 2007, 06:59 PM
Unfortunately, we've seen a rather large amount of gastro issues from pet store bones. Many dogs cannot tolerate the basting ingredients and have also had allergy consequences. My guys get the butcher ones and they love them.

PetFriendly
January 15th, 2007, 07:06 PM
Are the butcher ones 'messy' like fresh marrow bones are?

technodoll
January 15th, 2007, 07:29 PM
well what is "messy" for one isn't for the other :D so my suggestion is to get one from the butcher's and try it out. i hate the petstore ones, they're smoked (ie cooked), stinky, greasy, often of questionable quality and full of chemicals and nitrates, and gave both my dogs explosive diarrhea. No problems with the raw butcher bones, ever. just my :2cents: :)

PetFriendly
January 15th, 2007, 07:36 PM
well what is "messy" for one isn't for the other :D

Messy as in bloody trails all over the house. I have laminate flooring, with a few small braided rugs.... Charley loves to chew stuff while laying on teh rugs. The greasy-ness doesn't show, but blood does.

Funny, Charley gets runny poop really easy and he's been going at these for over a month with no ill effects... I guess I got lucky, better find plan B before it runs out! :eek:

technodoll
January 15th, 2007, 07:57 PM
yeah, each dog reacts differently to food & treats :shrug: what you could do is allow your dog to only chew on the raw knucklebone while on a towl or something. when he's done, rinse it off and store in the fridge or the freezer until next chew time. it will last a good week or so this way, at least! and many butchers give them for free or charge a token amount for these bones. :highfive:

PetFriendly
January 16th, 2007, 07:10 AM
Do you get yours sliced in half?

technodoll
January 16th, 2007, 09:38 AM
i don't get them anymore (dogs are on a raw diet and crunch through enough bone in a day to keep their teeth clean) but when i did get a few i asked the butcher to keep them whole, to match the size of the dog. for a smaller dog, you could have the bone sawed in two to facilitate chewing :) (ps these bones are quite dry, not bloody or slimy, you will see!) :dog:

4thedogs
January 16th, 2007, 10:58 AM
I have a concern for both.

Smoked pet store bone, cooked ( possibly more brittle) and fear it may break apart and dog make choke or get a piece lodged.

Raw from butcher, fear bacteria will grow quickly and may harm the dogs or my kids.

I don't use either

technodoll
January 16th, 2007, 11:15 AM
Raw from butcher, fear bacteria will grow quickly and may harm the dogs or my kids.

there is more bacteria on your floor, your shoes, your phone, your doorknobs, garbages and kitchen counters that on any fresh raw bone you bring into the house, unless you live in a sterilized environement - bacteria is a normal part of life and we have been brainwashed to fear it (use antibacterial soap! use antibiotics! use disinfectants everywhere!), to our great disadvantage. we are weakening with each passing generation due to our fear of what is normal.

IMO, unless a "fear" is based on facts it is just unsubstantiated fear, which ends up depriving your dog of many health benefits a good chewing would do. Go ahead and give that raw bone, crate your dog during chew time if you fear "contamination", after a good chew you can rinse the bone in white vinegar and water then store in a ziplock in the freezer until next chewtime, and wipe down the crate with a white vinegar and water solution.

After feeding raw for 3 years now, and never ever anyone in the house getting sick from "bacteria" (and let me tell you I am not fastidious about cleaning, either), i've come to let go of that fear and learn to live with what nature gave us - it is very liberating! :shrug:

Scott_B
January 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM
Agreed. Just the other night there was a show on TV, talking about how we have opened ourselves up to these new super bugs by being so crazy about germs & bacteria. How kids growing up, now are kept away from things so they end much much more sick then if they where introduced at a younger age. It was an interesting show. I forget which channel it was on though. I'm not saying you shouldn't be clean, but as long as you follow normal hygiene, wash your hands after handling food, the washroom, handling money, etc, you'll be fine. I mean honestly, how many people have gone to the store, paid for food, then proceeded to eat it without washing your hands. Money is like the dirtiest thing ever.

4thedogs
January 16th, 2007, 01:25 PM
My kids almost teens have never been sick besides a sniffle here and there.

It is not giving the bone fresh that I worry about but one that has been sitting around for a day or more and has had time to grow bacteria.

I doubt everyone using the raw bones are disgarding them after their first chew on it.

technodoll
January 16th, 2007, 01:36 PM
well i certainly wouldn't leave any raw meat just hanging around the house for days, LOL :D but even if some people do, that is no reason not to feed any raw bones, though. just pick it up after the dog's done with it and store it in the fridge or freezer :shrug:

ps: i do leave raw meaty bones outside for days when the weather is below 10C (no flies = cold enough). either the dogs end up eating them, or the birds, or after a week or so i kick it off the balcony so the alley cats can have a go at 'em. works like a charm :thumbs up

PetFriendly
January 16th, 2007, 05:18 PM
How kids growing up, now are kept away from things so they end much much more sick then if they where introduced at a younger age.

So there might be more benefits to being the kid who ate the sand than we thought :p ;)

PetFriendly
January 16th, 2007, 05:24 PM
Given Charley's small size, I'm not over concerned with him cracking a piece off of an overly brittle bone. I am concerned with the idea that store bought ones may cause digestive problems. (nothing worse than a puppy with a sick tummy, especially at 3 am when its -20!)

I wonder if I could somehow cook/bake/boil the fresh ones to kill off the e-coli?! I'll have to ask around. I do offer him marrow bones, which I try very hard to put back in the freezer once he's done chewing, but occasionally he'll stash it under the couch or something and it gets forgotten for a few hours or a day or so... Hence the appeal of the smoked store bought ones. I guess I'll just have to replicate them at home somehow. If/when I figure it out, I'll come back and let you all know.

Prin
January 16th, 2007, 05:53 PM
Unfortunately, we've seen a rather large amount of gastro issues from pet store bones. Many dogs cannot tolerate the basting ingredients and have also had allergy consequences. I agree... Jemma and Boo can't tolerate them at all. Goopies and pukies from both of them. They'll never get a smoked bone from a petstore ever again. NEVER! :yell: :laughing:

Scott_B
January 16th, 2007, 07:46 PM
Try making him stay on a mat or towel with the bone. Also, and this is just me, I would never leave my dog alone with a bone unattended. Hell, I won't leave him alone with a squeaky toy. A nylabone and black kong is all he gets when hes along, and those are closely monitored. Id just be very careful with that.

As for cooking it..again, I'm against giving cooked bones to pups. That includes smoked.

Given Charley's small size, I'm not over concerned with him cracking a piece off of an overly brittle bone. I am concerned with the idea that store bought ones may cause digestive problems. (nothing worse than a puppy with a sick tummy, especially at 3 am when its -20!)

I wonder if I could somehow cook/bake/boil the fresh ones to kill off the e-coli?! I'll have to ask around. I do offer him marrow bones, which I try very hard to put back in the freezer once he's done chewing, but occasionally he'll stash it under the couch or something and it gets forgotten for a few hours or a day or so... Hence the appeal of the smoked store bought ones. I guess I'll just have to replicate them at home somehow. If/when I figure it out, I'll come back and let you all know.

technodoll
January 16th, 2007, 08:00 PM
it is common knowledge AND good sense to never, ever give any cooked bones to dogs. they are dangerous for many reasons. IMO not worth the risk... :shrug:

cooked = smoked, baked, boiled, etc. :dog:

PetFriendly
January 19th, 2007, 07:42 PM
it is common knowledge AND good sense to never, ever give any cooked bones to dogs.

Apparently the knowledge is not all that common... I didn't know?! So fill me in, are cooked bones bad cause they get brittle?

Prin
January 19th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Yeah, and they splinter and get stuck.

technodoll
January 19th, 2007, 11:29 PM
Apparently the knowledge is not all that common... I didn't know?! So fill me in, are cooked bones bad cause they get brittle?

i didn't mean to sound preachy :o but it's just something that is said so many times, everywhere you look... but yeah you gotta look for that info to get that warning i guess!

good info here:

http://www.howtodothings.com/pets-and-animals/a4345-how-to-choose-a-dog-bone.html

How To Choose A Dog Bone

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Picking a good dog bone is no light matter. Letís say your dog wants a bone and you happen to have a cooked bone from the ham roast youíve been eating Ė a bone that was going to go to waste. You saw him chewing longingly on the leg of your sofa earlier in the day and naturally decide to give him the bone he so desperately cravesÖ only find yourself in the animal emergency room later that night because your dog has suffered an intestinal blockage.

This is just one of the many nightmarish scenarios that can easily result from letting your dog chew the wrong bone. The possibilities are so frightening to pet owners that many deny their dogs the natural satisfaction they derive from chewing a good dog bone. Indeed, the danger of health complications exists whenever a dog chews a real bone. But you donít have to deny your dog the pleasure entirely. By choosing the right dog bone Ė whether it be a real bone or an even safer alternative Ė you provide greater safety for your dog while also granting him the supreme satisfaction of chewing. Follow these few simple rules to reduce the risk of bad consequences from chewing dog bones.

Raw bones, not cooked bones. Never feed your dog cooked bones, because the cooking process greatly complicates digestion of the bone. Thereís a far greater chance of bowel obstruction when the bone is cooked. Raw bones, still with a layer of meat on the bone but with as little fat as possible, are a safer choice. Dogs can handle raw meat bacteria better than humans, though there is still a chance of minor illness. If you donít want to risk bacterial illness, the only advisable cooking method is boiling.

Size. The bone should be large enough that your dog canít swallow it or fit the whole dog bone in his mouth. Dog bones this small can spell trouble; itís possible for bones to get stuck in your dogís throat or for fragments to lodge themselves in the mouth.

Uncut. Donít give your dog bones that have been sawed or cut. These bones are much likelier to splinter badly and cause health issues.

Proper training. Obedience is an important part of dog bone safety; if your dog is chewing too long and hard on a bone Ė or somehow gets hold of an unsafe, cooked bone Ė you need to be able to take the bone from him. An untrained dog, half-crazed with lust over the delicious bone, isnít going to let you remove it. You should train your dog from a young age to be obedient.

Supervision. Even with a safer raw bone, you should still supervise your dog as long as he has access to it. Dogs all chew bones at different rates. Moderating your dogís chewing requires that you keep watch on him.

When to discard the bone. Any raw bone should be thrown away after two days at most.

Symptoms of a problem. Even with the safest real bones, there will always be some risk in the form of obstruction, choking, bacterial illness and tooth chipping. If, after chewing a dog bone, your dog begins to lose appetite, become lethargic, vomit, or have bloody diarrhea or difficulty going to the bathroom, then you should take him to a vet immediately.

Alternatives to real bone. Your dogís natural instinct is to chew bone but, as a pet owner, youíre understandably hesitant to let her. You donít have to give up on dog bones yet, though. Todayís pet owners are in luck; plenty of safe, easily digestible alternatives are now available on the market, in all sizes. These alternatives arenít made from real bone Ė instead favoring ingredients like rice, cornstarch or nylon Ė but do contain the flavors that dogs love! You donít have to worry about splintering or bacteria. Though obstruction isnít a concern with these dog bones, observe the same precaution about size.

The safest choice, clearly, is the alternative dog bone that isnít made of real bone at all. The best advice would be for you to try these non-bone dog bones first; if your dog hates them, then you can explore other, less safe options. But if she likes the dog bone alternatives, then your choice is simple!

PetFriendly
January 20th, 2007, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the info

It does mention that boiling them is the best way to go, lesser of two evils perhaps. :confused:

Scott_B
January 20th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Yeah, to hell with that. I believe this is the best part of the whole thing.

"Raw bones, not cooked bones. Never feed your dog cooked bones..."

Thats all you need to know. Not boiled, smoked, whatever. Raw raw raw! :thumbs up