Dogs and Cats are well equipped to process raw meaty bones. After all, bones have been part of their evolutionary diet for tens of thousands of years!
Bones are an excellent way to keep teeth clean, gums healthy and also supply essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and phosphorus.
Watch a cat and dog chewing on a bone and you will see muscles in the jaw and cheek being exercised as well as forelegs and shoulders when tearing at sinew. They get so much mental satisfaction as well.
In a wild diet, bones would have naturally been in the form of whole prey. A dog or cat instinctively knows how to consume and what to consume! What is different is the way bone can be presented, often in strange mechanical cuts or in a form they normally wouldn’t attempt. So to be safe, here are some tips and guidelines to follow:
Bones must be fed raw, NEVER cooked! Cooking changes the molecular structure and makes bones prone to splintering, this is very dangerous!
Bones are best fed “meaty”, adding a bit of lining to the gut. The sinew and connective tissue are like floss to the teeth. A bit of raw green tripe given with the bone encourages digestive processing.
Only feed bones to raw fed dogs and cats. The digestive function in a raw fed animal is better suited to process bone correctly than that of a kibble fed dog or cat.
Bones must be size appropriate. They should not be small enough to swallow whole. Don’t feed large, weight bearing bones ie beef cannon bones as these can damage teeth.
Some animals should not have bones. Age, dental condition, health issues, gulpers or brachycephalic (short muzzles) can all have an impact on the ability to process bones correctly.
Bones only need to make up approx 10% of the diet. Too much bone may cause constipation - hard white stools is an indication that too much bone is being fed. Be aware that minced edible bone is in some minced raw blends and should be included as part of the total bone consumption.
Just remember a raw diet without bone content is unbalanced. Even if your cat or dog can’t manage a bone, make sure they are getting ground up edible bone in their minced blends.
For any questions, feel free to talk to our staff at 09 427 8122.