Give Your Dog A RAW Bone! For years and years as far back as we can remember, pet owners have been told to never ever give your dog a bone. It will get stuck and choke them, block their intestines and kill them, cause a perforation of their esophagus or stomach. These are dire consequences indeed. While we agree that these predictions and warnings hold true for cooked bones, raw bones are another story. Raw bones are perfectly appropriate, safe and enjoyable for your dog or cat. They don’t splinter, don’t cause blockages, and don’t rip holes in their digestive system. Your dog and cat are first and foremost, carnivores. They were made to eat raw bones. Raw meaty bones are a staple in the diet of many dogs and cats – just like they are for wild carnivores. Certainly our pets don’t have to hunt for their dinner, but the composition of it pretty similar. Many raw feeders rely on whole pieces of chicken, turkey, pork, lamb etc. as the basis of their pet’s diet. Raw, these bones are perfectly safe and incredibly nutritious for your pet. Cooked? Not so much. Even if your pet isn’t fed a raw diet, raw bones can still have an important role in their lives and a positive impact on their health. Spending time chewing on a raw bone can be the one way to avoid dental cleanings and tooth extractions later in life. Kibble doesn’t clean their teeth any more than chewing a bunch of pretzels will clean your teeth. In reality, it gets stuck in the gum line where it causes issues over time. Brushing is fine but many dogs don’t tolerate it and it can be easy to forget. Raw bones will keep teeth clean; provide your dog with mental and physical stimulation, and, as a bonus, will provide your dog with important minerals and nutrients all while he is having the time of his life. Did you know that raw fed dogs rarely have issues with their anal glands? Due to the fact that they are ingesting natural diet that includes calcium in the form of bones, their digestive tract is far healthier and they can ‘clean’ out their anal glands all on their own. This is also why dogs fed a raw diet with bones have singularly outstanding poop – small, low in odor, firm, and best of all, it crumbles and turns to dust in a matter of days. Raw bones are a big part of having spectacular poop. It can be difficult to get the refrain “chicken bones kill dogs!” out of your head after hearing it for your entire life. We agree that cooked chicken bones do indeed have the ability to cause many problems in your dog, but let’s think about a raw chicken bone for a minute. When you pull chicken out of your fridge to cook for your own dinner, the raw skin is tough and inedible (not that a human would want to eat raw chicken!) but the bones are bendy and somewhat soft. Cook your chicken to doneness and look at the changes that occur – the flesh is tender and juicy (hopefully anyway) while the bones have turned dry and brittle and instead of being bendy, are easy to splinter and break. See the difference? Raw chicken is safe, cooked chicken is not. What types of bones are good for your dog to gnaw on for fun? Think about what sort of a chewer your dog is. Dogs who are heavy determined chewers do best with softer bones such as rib bones or neck bones from a cow, pig or sheep. More moderate chewers may thrive on knuckle bones or leg bones (marrow bones) from those same animals. Just remember that edible bones such as ribs, necks and other softer bones, will help the most with teeth cleaning while the harder recreational bones are bit more entertainment oriented. Why waste money on unhealthy smoked pet store bones, plastic and rubber bones or chews that are gone in a heartbeat? Give your dog a RAW bone for his well-being and for the pure enjoyment of it! Have you used raw bones with your dog? What kind has worked best for you?