Raw duck heads for dogs have been a favorite in my pack since 2015.
They’re a great source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and amino acids, all of which are important for bone and muscle growth/regeneration.
Raw duck heads weigh around 4 oz and are great for medium to large dogs.
Raw duck heads are Raw Meaty Bones (= RMBs)
Duck heads are known as raw meaty bones in raw feeding. As such, they’re soft and crunchy, and great at cleaning dog teeth and exercising their jaws.
I haven’t touched a doggie toothbrush ONCE since I began feeding raw in 2015! Raw meaty bones are all you need to keep your pup’s teeth clean. Check out my pup Wally’s clean pearlies in the picture below:
Duck heads are 75% bone
They consist of about 75% bone and 25% muscle meat. That means that a 4 oz duck head has a bone content of 3 oz bone and 1 oz of meat.
What’s great about them is that they also come with brains and eyes. Those are secreting organs and important to feed for variety!
Good to know: Raw dog food consists of 70-80% muscle meat (including fish), 10% raw meaty bones, and 10% secreting organs.
If you choose to add plant matter like fruit, veggies, seeds and nuts, feed 70% muscle meat and 10% plant matter. Otherwise, feed 80% muscle meat.
Duck is a cooling protein
Duck falls into the category of cooling proteins. Chinese food energetics differentiate between cooling, warming, hot, and neutral foods.
Dogs can show signs of food allergies when they’re fed a predominantly cool or warm diet. What happens is that their body is out of harmony from a food source perspective.
One approach to figure out what food category your dog doesn’t do well is the so-called elimination diet.
With this approach, you feed one protein source for several weeks and observe your dog’s reaction to it. If his body doesn’t react to it (think itching, scratching, and/or yeasty ears), he can eat it. My pup Wally eats a mix of neutral, cooling, and warm protein sources.
Other cooling proteins are rabbit and certain fish (e.g. whitefish, crab).
Just FYI: Neutral, warming, and heating proteins
Neutral protein sources are beef, bison, pork, goose, quail, and certain fish. For example, mackerel, herring, salmon, and sardines.
Warming protein sources are chicken, turkey, pheasant, and certain fish like mussels, anchovies, lobster, and shrimp.
Heating protein sources are lamb, venison, and certain fish like trout.
How to feed raw duck heads for dogs
Raw duck heads can be fed as part of a raw meal or in between meals as a snack. My current dog Wally is a 38 lb Feist mix and enjoys both options.
Sometimes, I include his duck head in his bowl along with muscle meat and secreting organs.
Other times, I’ll give him the head separately, usually outside on the patio or in the backyard.
Tip: If your dog tends to try and gulp bones whole, hold one end of the duck head while you let your dog chew on the other end. That way, your dog is forced to chew on it and won’t be able to swallow the head whole.
When I give Wally the head separately, I’ll feed him muscle meat and secreting organs for breakfast and the head for dinner, or vice versa.
Good to know:
Dogs need to eat 2-4% of their target body weight in raw dog food per day. The exact percentage differs from dog to dog and depends on the dog’s activity level, metabolism, and age.
Wally eats 2-2.5% of his target body weight on a daily basis (between 12-16 oz). He eats less (2%) during summertime due to our very hot and humid summers here in central NC, and more (2.5%) during the rest of the year.
How to get your dog to try a duck head if he’s never had one before
Some dogs are thrown off by raw duck heads and aren’t sure what to do with them! One way to get your dog to try a duck head is to offer it frozen as opposed to thawed.
Another option is to offer a freeze-dried duck head instead. Vital Essentials carries them, and my girl Missy loved their freeze-dried duck heads as an in-between snack.
You can find them at independently owned pet retail stores as part of the Vital Essentials RAW BAR. Find the nearest store by checking the store finder on the Vital Essentials website. Almost 5000 stores carry VE, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one nearby).
How to store raw duck heads for dogs
Raw duck heads can be refrigerated up to 4 days. After that, they’ll have to go into the freezer. I invested into a freezer chest that holds Wally’s raw dog food only.
It was a great investment that I recommend to any raw feeder who’s looking to save some money as it allows you to buy in bulk and stock up on cuts of meat that are on sale.
My freezer chest holds 5.1 cubic feet and cost me around $200 on Amazon. Update: My new chest freezer holds 7 cubic feet.
Where to buy raw duck heads for dogs
I buy my raw duck heads from Raw Feeding Miami. They come in 5 lb bags that are $17.50.
Tip: You can save 15% off your Raw Feeding Miami order with my referral discount.
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