Having now lived with Dogs for over 18 years, I am amazed at all I have learned along the way. I just wish I knew when I was younger what I know now.
The first dog I had lived to a great age of 16 years, but he sure had his fair share of problems along the way. He cost us an absolute fortune in vet bills. The things I have learned since could have saved us a lot of money and Sam the stress of undergoing veterinary treatments on way too regular a basis.
Raw meaty bones
The benefits of feeding your dog raw bones are quite impressive. It was something I always shied away from in the past, but I am a total convert. This is not to say that my dogs (Faye is pictured below) are only fed raw foods.
I know many dog owners feed a strictly raw diet. To be perfectly honest, I just don’t think we have the funds or the time to get involved in food preparation for three dogs on a twice daily basis. What I do ensure, however, is that all three dogs get a raw bone each at least twice a week.
It is always advisable to ease a dog into raw meat or bones gradually, especially if they are not used to them. Once you are sure they can handle the different food then you will be glad you took the time to introduce them into their diet.
Advantages of raw bones for dogs
There are quite a few advantages to feeding raw bones to dogs. First we will look at the main benefits and then examine each one in turn.
- Helps to keep their teeth clean
- Stops bad dog breath
- Stops problems with their anal glands
- Keeps them occupied
- Improves their overall health
How to clean a dog’s teeth
You can, of course use a dog toothpaste and a toothbrush to clean a dog’s teeth. I wrote about teeth cleaning for dogs on my site and included a recommended toothpaste and toothbrush Kit. I, however, prefer a hands-off approach! If you supply your dog with a good few bones each week then they will do the job for you.
It is great that we don’t actually have to learn how to clean dog’s teeth ourselves. As long as we are fine with them munching on bones we can just sit back and let them teach us!
A nice hard bone will last your dog hours if not weeks. Hard bones are very tough for the dogs to eat, but they will keep going back to them over and over for a chew. This biting and scraping action will strip the plaque and tartar away from their mouths.
I really wish that our first dog had been supplied with bones. I simply never gave it enough thought, and the result? He had teeth removed at great cost and he had extremely bad dog breath.
How to stop bad dog breath
This is part of cleaning dogs’ teeth. In nearly all cases your dog will have bad breath because its teeth are not clean. The bad breath smell many of us associate with dogs does not have to be tolerated.
None of the three dogs I have smell. Well, apart from a recent gassy dog issue, but that is another story!
My dogs have lovely fresh breath. There is not a hint of discoloration on their teeth, and I can honestly say there has never been any kind of bad smell coming from their mouths.
This is because if they are not munching on a fresh, raw meaty bone, they have settled down with an old bone for a good chew.
Anal gland problems
Not the nicest of topics, I know, but it is one that many dog owners have to deal with. The sacs of many dogs are a real problem.
We had to take Sam to the vet every few months to have them emptied. You can do it yourself, but I just couldn’t face doing it. I guess I was just not prepared for the awful smell.
Dog glands naturally empty themselves, but a lot of owners find this is not the case. It is much more likely to be a problem in later life for many dogs. The problem occurs because of a lack of fiber.
Raw bones, once again, are the answer. Feeding relatively soft bones to your dog will go a long way to solving the problem. The fiber from the softer bones will pass through your dog and naturally help to empty the sacs.
If your dog “scoots” its bum along the ground on occasion, then it is time to give the dog a bone.
An occupied dog makes for a happy owner
This is one aspect of looking after dogs that shouldn’t be overlooked. Sometimes we would just like a little time to ourselves. Giving the dog a job to do will give you some peace.
There is no job a dog likes better than when it involves food. A nice big bone can keep your dog occupied for hours and will allow you a little time to get on with whatever you want uninterrupted. We all like a little peace now and then!
General health benefits
Dogs naturally eat raw food. There has never been a case of anyone reporting a wild dog first sparking up the barbie before they ate a nice portion of ribs. Raw is natural.
Raw meat and bones will give your dog a lovely coat, a healthy mouth and a sparkle in their eye. Dogs fed a proportion of raw food have smaller, harder stools and actually eat less than those supplied with only dried food.
A few health reminders
Never feed cooked bones, as they are extremely dangerous. They shatter easily.
Freeze pork bones for three weeks before feeding as there is a very slight chance of the dogs getting a fatal bacterial disease. This is extremely unlikely, but it is better to be safe.
Remove the thin bone in chicken thighs as it is very sharp. The rest of a whole chicken is fine though. Dogs love chicken or turkey necks.
Above all, give it a try. Why not talk to your vet first if you have any concerns? If your vet tells you that raw bones are not good for dogs, then go find yourself a new and sensible vet.
I am not saying just feed your dogs raw ( I don’t). It may be too expensive, too time consuming or just not to your liking. What I hope you will get out of this is to slowly introduce a few bones to your dog’s diet.
May the Doggie Force be with you all.
Note: ThatMutt.com released a raw feeding guide with 10 raw dog food recipes.
Tuesday 21st of August 2012
Hi! Loved that you're for raw bones and I can't believe all the news now on the web against it! You mentioned that it's too expensive to feed raw food and just wondering if you've heard of a dry dog food called "Black Gold?" I met someone who has a huge German Shepherd that's a retired police dog and they said that Black Gold was the absolute best. Have you heard of it?
Thursday 31st of May 2012
we feed our dogs raw food and you can easily see the vast improvement in there energy and condition in the months since we started. problem is though i cannot find a local source of raw bones. all the butchers sell them to resturaunts for making stock. and no one else i can find sells them either,just these ones that have been baked until they resemble fossils does anyone know where i can maybe get them online anywhere at a reasonable price.
Tuesday 5th of February 2013
I know this is kind of late, but most grocery stores or supermarkets should have raw meaty bones. They sell them in packs of 2-4 and are labeled "beef soup bones" or "beef stock bones". Just ask the attendant for marrow bones or bones you'd use to make stock and they should be able to either show you or tell you they don't carry them.
Thursday 17th of May 2012
I have fed my dogs raw bones for years. They love it and I haven't seen any problems!
Saturday 24th of September 2011
I've been totally confused by different views on feeding raw bones. Some sites say it's safe, and others more or less condemn those owners who do feed bones. This site has put me a little more at ease, however, and I am about to order some knuckle bones for my usually destructive collie. :) I'll have to feed it to him outside, but I'm sure he'll be quite happy.
Thank you for the great site and information!
Saturday 24th of September 2011
Any bone can be dangerous. Make sure to supervise and make sure your dog is actually chewing rather than breaking off small pieces and swallowing them. You just have to weigh the pros and the cons and do what's best for your dog.
Tuesday 17th of May 2011
You're right, that's disgusting. I had to leave the sight as well.