There are two different kinds of raw bones. Raw meaty bones which are supplemented for a meal, and marrow bones. Raw meaty bones tend to be softer bones, such as duck necks, many people are concerned that dogs eating bones is bad. Eating bones are okay as long as they are not boiled, or cooked. Cooked bones shatter and splinter easily and can get lodged in the digestive track. I am leery on buying certain smoked bones too, the only time I get them is from our local butcher who I know process them correctly and safely. Because I don’t feed my clan a raw diet, I only feed them marrow bones which are a recreational treat not a meal substitute.
Can You Feed Raw Meaty Bones on a Kibble Diet
Yes and no. If this is something you’d like to try, then I recommend feeding a bigger meal of kibble in the morning (or evening) and then feeding the raw meaty bones in the opposite meal.
The dog’s digestive system processes kibble and raw meet differently, with kibble the stomach needs to create more acid to break down all the additional fillers. Which feeding the two too close together can be taxing on their systems. It can lead to dog’s vomiting or having diarrhea this happened in Ginny a few times, however only when she got knuckle bones. Which I found out why – the knuckles are much richer due to the cartilage and fatty deposits. If I followed the alternative meal times she was completely okay with the knuckle bones. But with George it doesn’t matter he can eat kibble then straight to a bone, each dog is different but it is best to follow the guideline in case your dog is like Ginny.
How we serve raw Marrow bones to our dogs…
Blankets and Beach Towels – If i have to feed the bones inside versus outside in the grass, I lay down the dog’s blankets or towels. They both know, ‘on your blanket’ or ‘take it to the blanket’, which helps when they want to bring you their yummy prize. What helped get them to accustomed to eating on their blanket/towel is only use this towel or blanket during bone feeding time. They will soon associate it to this time and will always go to their blanket, another tip is to always lay it out in the same spot every time.
Feed Outside – The most ideal situation to feeding them their bones is on a nice dry day. I lay both their bones outside and sit out there with them enjoying the sunshine catching up on social media. Having them eat them outside leads to know bloodied messes and no slimey drooly messes too, it is a win win situation.
What About Marrow Bones?
Marrow bones are not raw meaty bones, they’re recreational bones. Many raw and kibble feeders give their dogs raw marrow bones, but there are some risks. Here are a few guidelines I’ve learned about feeding dogs marrow bones:
- don’t boil the bone – cooking/heat hardens the bones and causes a risk of tooth breakage and/or ruptured intestines.
- always feed under supervision – if you notice your dog trying to chew up the marrow bones, take it away. Although it’s raw, there is still a risk of tooth breakage or bone splintering. Our dogs chew the meat off the outside (great for flossing) and then chew/lick the marrow out (lots of nutrients). When they start eating the bone, I trade them for a treat and toss the bones.
- don’t let the bones sit out – I’ve been told that bones harden over time, becoming a risk to teeth. I don’t know how true this is, but I’ve heard it from several people so why take a risk? The cost of tooth repair is high; replacing a used marrow bone is affordable.