Raw meaty bones (RMBs) are an important ingredient of a dog’s raw meat diet. Although they only make up 10% of it, their calcium and phosphorus content are needed for healthy muscle growth and regeneration. The activity of eating them keeps our dogs’ jaws exercised and their teeth clean, eliminating the need for dental cleanings performed by veterinarians.
The concept of feeding dogs bones tends to be scary to new raw feeders – been there, experienced that! – but it’s actually very safe to do so as long as you’re aware of and follow a few safety guidelines.
Safety guidelines for feeding raw meaty bones
- Always feed raw bones. Cooked bones become brittle and can splinter, causing internal damage.
- Feed RMBs that are appropriate for your dog’s size mouth. A RMB should be a little larger than your dog’s mouth so that it can’t just be swallowed whole.
- Always supervise mealtime featuring RMBs, especially when your dog is a gulper. Hold one end of the RMB with your hand while your dog chews on the other end to encourage slow AND polite eating manners.
- Don’t offer weight bearing RMBs from large animals such as cows and bisons. They’re too dense and can cause tooth fractures. RMBs such as oxtails are ok to feed from that category of herbivores, but steer clear of knuckle, trotter, and neck bones.
RMBs I’ve fed my medium to large size dogs
My medium and large size dogs Missy (50 lbs) & Buzz (70 lbs) have had the following RMBs:
- Duck necks, heads, feet, and frames
- Turkey necks & thighs
- Chicken leg quarters, thighs, and feet
- Rabbit heads
- Beef oxtails
- Bone-in pork chops
- Lamb bones
I could get away with feeding both Missy & Buzz feet despite the fact that they’re smaller bones than the pups’ respective mouths. That’s because neither of them were gulpers and would properly chew the feet before swallowing them.
I’m adding this detail to suggest that you offer your dog RMBs according to his chewing habits. Start by offering your dog the appropriate RMB for their respective size.
Stick with smaller RMBs from the poultry category (feet, wings) for your small to medium size dog, and offer your large to extra large pup larger RMBs (heads, necks, thighs, frames).
Once you’re familiar with your dog’s chewing/eating habits, you can technically rotate between different size RMBs, but don’t forget to always supervise, just to be on the safe side.
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Thanks BFF @lana.nunez for sending me this video!! It features her Golden puppy Lucy enjoying her very first raw meaty bone, a ? neck, this past Thanksgiving. Family was visiting and my mom made sure to double check on whether or not this bone was a raw one… ? Once again, folks: ? Raw meaty bones (non-weight bearing ones): Yes, safe to give because they’re soft & pliable, and a breeze for a dog’s highly acidic stomach environment to digest. ? Cooked bones: Never feed those!! Cooking changes the bone density and makes them brittle, with the potential of causing harm on your dog’s interior. ‼️ More information on how to safely feed raw meaty bones and why to do so in the first place on my blog K9sOverCoffee.com. Link in bio. Just do a search for “raw meaty bones.”
Do you feed your dog RMBs? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!