Is Feeding Raw Meaty Bones Right for My Dog?

The term ‘raw meaty bones’ refers to many types of animal parts and organs with muscle tissue functions, including the heart, poultry gizzards, skin, tongue, stomach tissue, lungs, raw intestine, and throat, tendons, etc. These ingredients are readily available in supermarkets, and they can be a great addition to the usual meats provided to give your dog a more comprehensive level of nutrition.

Raw meaty bones are divided into Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF), and the other is called Prey Model Raw (PRM). No matter which one you choose, these meats, including bones, liver, and endocrine organs, are raw.

Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF)

Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) is a raw meat diet that conforms to canine biology. This diet consists of 70% meat, 10% bones, 5% liver, 5% endocrine organs, 7% vegetables, 2% nuts and 1% fruit composition. Throughout long-term evolution, dogs have become omnivores for access to many essential nutrients, especially vitamin E. Meat for your dog can be selected from all meat varieties that we consume as humans, which can be particularly handy for those living in cities. 

Prey Model Raw (PRM)

Prey Model Raw (PRM) is a raw bone and meat diet based on predators. According to petfoodsherpa, this diet consists of 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver, and 5% endocrine organs. This type strives to restore a dog’s canine ancestors’ natural diet structure as closely as possible. It includes whole birds, hares, other wild animals, furs and feathers, etc., and the choice of species needs to be more abundant. In the United States, dog owners who live in rural areas or have a lifestyle that incorporates hunting habits are more suited for this method.

Why Feed Raw Meaty Bones to Dogs

Many people may believe that being that there are so many dog food choices these days, it’s unnecessary to go to the trouble of providing a raw meaty bones diet. Some veterinarians do not believe that a raw meaty bones diet for dogs is an unacceptable feeding method. There are many perspectives on this topic, and primarily it comes down to personal belief and preference. In this article, we’ll focus on the reasons you may want to consider this diet for your dog.

BARF Ingredient Ratios

70% Meat

Meat is an essential part of a dog’s diet. It provides a daily energy source for the dog and is also rich in various essential amino acids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Duck, turkey, pork, beef, and lamb are all excellent meat choices for dogs. Plus, if your sensibilities as a dog owner permit it, rabbit, quail, venison, etc., can provide them with further beneficial dietary diversity.

10% Raw Bones for Dogs

Raw bones are an essential source of calcium, which plays a significant role in your dog’s health – plus, it can clean their teeth to a certain extent as they chew. Although it only needs to contain 10% bones, this proportion of raw bones for dogs needs to be bones with meat. It can be tricky to ascertain the right proportion of raw bones to provide for your dog when you are new to this diet concept, but take your time to gradually learn and experiment to find the most suitable food habits and needs for your dog.

The legs, wings, necks, claws, and poultry skeletons are all very suitable ingredients for dogs of various body types. Small dogs are better to eat chicken, whereas, for medium dogs, you could choose duck or turkey. For large dogs, choose pig, cow, and sheep ribs and tails. Load-bearing bones, spine bones, and some bones with hard bone density (such as turkey legs) are not suitable for feeding and can easily damage your dog’s teeth. Any cooked and smoked bones are easily broken and are not ideal for feeding your dogs.

The presence of bones in such meats varies and must be considered when deciding which to use. For example, the proportion of bones in chicken feet and duck feet is approximately 50%, the proportion of bones in duck necks is around 60%, and in pig’s tails, it’s about 30%. It is better for older dogs to choose crushed bones, and for dogs who eat big mouthfuls, you should also choose ingredients that are not easily swallowed at once – alternatively, you can freeze the food to slow down your dog’s eating speed to avoid choking while eating.

5% Liver

Liver provides necessary fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. However, the proportion of liver you provide mustn’t exceed 5% of your dog’s food; otherwise, it may lead to excessive intake of vitamin A. For some sensitive dogs, it may be necessary to reduce the proportion and gradually introduce the liver appropriately. Chicken liver, pork liver, beef liver, etc., are very common in supermarkets and at reasonable prices.

5% Endocrine organs

The endocrine organs are also rich in nutrients, and there are many choices, especially in supermarkets where you can find a variety of the visceral tissues you need. Kidney, Spleen, Pancreas, Brain, Thymus, Testicles, Ovaries, etc., are all endocrine organs, and you can choose according to yours and your dog’s preferences.

7% Vegetables

There is no reason to avoid upping your dog’s daily vegetable intake for dogs who love vegetables. But for some picky dogs, it may be tricky to get them to eat any at all. However, the nutrients in vegetables are not provided by meat-only diets, so incorporating vegetables into your dog’s diet must be persevered with.

Vegetables include plant pigments, low GI, and starch. Plant pigments mean that dogs should eat vegetables of various colors, such as peppers, tomatoes (without any stems and leaves), carrots, cucumbers, eggplants, ginger, etc. These different plant pigments are essential to the health of dogs. Low GI vegetables promote low glycemic index and include green leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, etc., and starchy vegetables can provide energy for dogs. Some dogs cannot eat high-fat diets to maintain energy, and in this case, they need to supplement with starchy sweet potatoes, beets, and pumpkins appropriately.

A dog’s digestive system finds it very difficult to digest vegetables. If they are fed directly, they will be excreted directly without digestion. Therefore, you must do some preparatory work when feeding your dog vegetables to aid nutrient absorption. Green leafy vegetables are tough to digest. You can use a wall breaker to make a paste of raw vegetables and store them in the refrigerator. Root vegetables such as sweet potatoes and pumpkins are best steamed before serving.

Because there are different vegetables and your dog only needs to eat a small amount every day, you can make full use of what you can’t eat and prepare that for the dog! Carrot leaves, broccoli stems, and peeled vegetable skins can all be used for your dog.

2% Nuts

Nuts are rich in fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, and as we humans recognize, these ingredients hardly require any preparation. The easiest nuts and seeds you could buy for your dog are Chia, Ground Flaxseed, and Hemp Hearts, all of which can be added directly to your dog’s meal. 

1% Fruit

Fruits are rich in antioxidants. Although they are not essential foods for dogs, for many, fruits are incredibly delicious snacks. But what owners should remember is that it is not recommended to feed too much fruit to dogs because of the high sugar content. It is recommended to choose fruits with low sugar content such as blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries. It is also important to avoid fruits with pits for obvious reasons.

Feeding Amount of Raw Meaty Bones for Dogs

The ideal amount of raw meaty bones to feed your dog every day is approximately 2% to 3% of body weight, which needs to be adjusted according to the amount of exercise your dog gets. If your dog exercises a lot, raw meaty bones should naturally be fed more. If your dog needs to lose weight, you can also reduce feeding, and if your dog starts to lose weight, you can increase it appropriately. This ratio of raw meaty bones for dogs can only be adjusted accurately after long-term feeding. Each dog’s health requirements are different, and for their owner, these ratios require some trial and error before perfecting.

Extra Fish and Shellfish

Fish and shellfish (such as shrimp) are also a great addition to your dog’s daily diet. Still, because fish typically provides a dog with very simple nutrition and very little energy, it should only be an accompaniment to their daily feed. Fish contains a lot of fatty acids, which can provide healthy skin and hair for dogs. It is recommended to choose sardines, mackerel, herring, etc. The lower the food chain, the less mercury is contained in the fish.

Shellfish are also very important. They can provide essential minerals and other elements for dogs. Mussels and oysters are more suitable for feeding, but it is necessary to remember that they must be shelled and cooked before they can be given. Buying canned boiled oysters at the supermarket is also a good choice. 

The Benefits of Raw Meaty Bones for Dogs 

1. Your dog will be healthier, and anal gland, skin disease, allergy, ear smell, and ear canal diseases will be significantly reduced. Your dog’s feces will also become far less odorous. Simultaneously, raw meaty bones for dogs can considerably reduce the dog’s body odor and breath. 

2. Balance your dog’s bodily energy. Cooked food calms the dog, while the raw meat makes the dog more active than before. 

3. Cooked food frequently causes dental problems. Feeding raw meaty bones will keep your dog’s teeth clean naturally, which can reduce dental diseases. 

4. Raw meaty bones for dogs significantly reduces their chemical intake, such as preservatives in processed dog food. 

5. Long-term feeding of raw meaty bones for dogs will ensure no lack of calcium. 

6. Raw meaty bones for dogs can provide maximum energy, complete vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, yeast, protein, and carbohydrates. After cooking, high temperatures destroy these vitamins, yeast, and antioxidants, cause protein indigestibility and cause the loss of amino acids.

Article written by Author: Elsa Smith

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