The Importance of Raw Meaty Bones
Dogs love to chew. Chewing recreationally is a normal doggy behaviour and a very important part of the natural scavenging process. It releases all kinds of feel good chemicals that help decrease stress, lower arousal and increase overall happiness.
Providing opportunities to chew bones will not only provide mental stimulation, but also provides an opportunity for calm movement. As your dog positions itself to hold or manoeuvre a chew they will be performing a range of natural and gentle stretches, working their jaw and upper body.
There are a number of natural chews available on the market for your dog, but nothing will ever be a substitute for a raw, meaty bone.
Raw bones are excellent for dental health. The active chewing, crunching and gnawing provides gentle abrasion that scrapes and removes buildup on teeth, preventing plaque and encouraging better oral health overall, which in turn actually makes it harder for plaque to form!
It is not just the act of chewing that is beneficial for our dogs, but the bones themselves are full of essential goodness!
Raw bones provide vital minerals calcium, zinc, iron, selenium, copper and magnesium. They are rich in lysine that is vital for bone growth, with lots of chondroitin and vitamin C which are crucial for healthy joints.
Raw bones also provide natural roughage to a dogs diet, which promotes gut health, firm poops and therefore healthy anal glands. There are no additives or preservatives, they are 100% natural meat and bone, kept fresh by being frozen.
Raw meaty bones come in many forms, but can roughly be put into two categories: chewing bones and eating bones.
Bones for gnawing, licking and primarily for dental health- marrow bones and knuckle bones fit in this category. Click here to shop
Bones that the dog consumes all or most of, they provide the most nutritional benefit for your dog but are still integral for dental hygiene. Duck necks, feet, wings, lamb ribs, necks and chicken carcasses are examples of these! Eating bones can be fed daily as part of a raw diet. Click here to shop
As with all things in life, variety is key, so try mixing up the type of raw meaty bones your dog eats.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about feeding bones to our pets but here are some tips to get you started!-
- NEVER feed cooked bones. Cooked or smoked bones splinter and can cause serious damage and trips to the vet!
- Always supervise: dogs should be supervised, particularly if this is their first time eating one.
- Always feed separate: if you have multiple dogs, feed them bones separately. Keep children away, but also be a responsible owner and give your dog some space to eat. Meaty bones are a valuable resource, and even the most friendly Fido doesn’t need unnecessary stress worrying that someone might nick their bone.
- Always choose appropriate size: the larger the dog, the larger the bone. It prevents them gulping. A good starting bone for most novice dogs is a lamb neck, or for a large dog a knuckle bone. Small dogs do well with duck necks and wings.
- Put away bones after a chew session: if storing rinse bone under cold water and put in a plastic bag or refreeze. If bone has been out all day, dispose of.
- Aim to feed a raw meaty bone at least one a week: Studies have shown that feeding raw meaty bones at least once a week reduces dental plaque, calculus accumulation and improves gingivitis health. If feeding more frequently, remove a portion from their dinner, or replace it entirely with a bone so they don’t get over fed
- For more experienced chewers bones can be fed straight from the freezer, still frozen! For beginners and gentle chewers, leave to defrost out of the freezer for a couple of hours before feeding.
- This is a raw bone, and should be treated as such! Wash your hands and surfaces after touching. Feed in the garden or on a towel or mat that can be washed.
- All dogs can benefit from eating raw meaty bones, even if they are not on a completely raw diet. Adding a raw bone will provide essential nutrients that can be harder to come by on a dry diet.
Puppies baby teeth emerge between four and eight weeks old. Those little sharp teeth poking through their gums are very sore and chewing things helps relieve pain. A raw meaty bone is an excellent choice for puppies as they chew they will consume bits of meat, but, more importantly gnaw away bits of cartilage and bone, which provide imperative building blocks for their own joints.
Big bones that can’t be swallowed are the best for little puppies, that way they can just gnaw at them.
When the adult teeth start to come through, meaty bones are again a very good choice for teething puppies. The gnawing will not only help soothe the discomfort, but helps massage the gum line and get rid of baby teeth.
Bad breath is not a sign of age, it is a sign of bad dental health. It is key that we still maintain the best dental health that we can for our senior dogs.
Softer bones with higher cartilage content, such as duck feet and tracheas, provide an easier eating experience for the more tired jaw, combined with the higher cartridge content that provides glucosamine and chondroitin which is essential in supporting older joints.
Raw bones are the most natural chew for our dogs, with an array of health benefits, and can be a quick and convenient way of adding a fresh nutrient boost to any diet.
- Sarah Groom