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How Much Bones A Day ?

- - - - - bones how much bone to feed

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#1
Antz_nick

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Hello, I start the raw diet tomorrow morning. I will give my dog raw meat as treats for a couple days and then soon replace a whole meal. I can't find the answer to this question and I need to know. Should one meal be just meat, organs, and some veggies and another meal be a chicken thigh with bone? I don't understand how often i need to feed my dog a bone in meal. Thanks 



#2
naturalfeddogs

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Welcome! In the beginning, during the transition, you will feed bone daily, and as you continue through, you will add more meat to it. Foe example, bone in chicken for about the first week, then move on to bone in turkey, but still give chicken, without the bone. Then, pork ribs, with some boneless chicken/turkey. Once completely transitioned, it will depend on your dog as to how much bone you give. Some need more, some less. But on average, I would say bone two or three times a week. 



#3
Poodlebeguiled

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Good question OP. I never did the transition quite gradually enough but my dogs seem to be handling it all quite well. I've been feeding a bone, sometimes small ones (chicken necks, thighs, wings, duck feet, rabbit bones, the bigger ones, probably something else I'm forgetting) every other day at one meal...mostly chicken bones, twice a week mackerel or fresh sardines with bones. Is that too much or too little bone do you think? The rest of the time, They're getting a variety of muscle meats (chicken, grass fed, organic beef, rabbit, lamb, pork beef tongue, hearts and gizzards. I've got some kangaroo and venison but haven't given them that yet. (and won't be giving that very much...too expensive) The vast majority of meat is chunks, not ground but a little is. They get a few tiny pieces 2 or 3 the size of a dime, maybe a tad smaller I'd say (they're all tiny dogs remember, 10, 7, and 4 or 5 lbs) of chicken, beef liver, lamb kidney or beef spleen once a day. They get a little raw green tripe pretty much every day...just a 1x1" or less square, as they're getting use to it still I think. They also get a tsp or so of a variety of veggies steamed, pureed. (ie: yam, green beans, zucchini, celery, carrot, broccoli, blueberries) The extra fiber seems to do them good and it's broken down for them so I think they get some extra vitamins, plus I put in the water it was steamed in. They get some egg with shell ground up 2 or 3 times a week poured on their other food. 

 

Jose`, who can't chew bones up on account of his teeth gets either a pinch of ground egg shell or about 1/2 tsp of bone meal on his food. I'm totally guessing as to how much he should get. He's the 10 lb dog. What do you think? They get green lipid mussel powder once a day and a squirt of anchovy-sardine oil pretty much every day unless they're having digestive difficulties. eh-hem. 

 

How does that sound? I'm always a little nervous I'm not feeding a correct balance of bone to other things so thank you Antz-nick for posting this question. 



#4
zeusthedapple

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Definitely give higher bone content for the beginning transition into raw. You may need to give more or less depending on the individual. For example, Zeus, he needs bone-in everyday to keep a firm stool. Good luck with everything and welcome to the forum!! :)



#5
Antz_nick

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thanks everyone. Why do they need a lot of bone in the beginning? a bone everyday won't be bad, will it? Also, poodlebeguiled, i would like to get my meat organic, grass fed, pasture raised as well. especially the organs because i think i can find a local farmer who just throws the organs away. How much do you pay for quality meat like that? 



#6
zeusthedapple

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They need more bone in the beginning to help keep the poop firm. Think of bones as your fiber. With all of that raw, the body is adjusting which is cause for a runny poo, so the bones help with that.



#7
Poodlebeguiled

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thanks everyone. Why do they need a lot of bone in the beginning? a bone everyday won't be bad, will it? Also, poodlebeguiled, i would like to get my meat organic, grass fed, pasture raised as well. especially the organs because i think i can find a local farmer who just throws the organs away. How much do you pay for quality meat like that? 

 

It varies, no doubt. I've only bought it once so will be comparing pretty soon. If you look at this, my picture thread, of the prices show on the photos otherwise, I don't remember. lol. The frog's legs I didn't buy...that's just a picture I took at the Asian market. The venison and kangaroo is for a special treat. Or maybe I'll keep it for myself. After all, the dogs are getting grass fed, organic beef and I get the stuff with the hormones and antibiotics in it. Go figure. lol. http://preymodelraw....g-with-the-raw/



#8
Antz_nick

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Ok. Do you guys give whole bone as long as your know your animal and trust that it won't swallow big pieces? I would like to give mine whole chicken bones to clean her teeth. She's a good size lab with a pretty big head. Also, 1 month ago, she caught and killed a rabbit here in the mountains of colorado. I cleaned it and it has been in the freezer since. Is it safe to feed her that? theres usually no diseases in the mountains in the winter.



#9
Antz_nick

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Also, will my dog be ok on only 3 different meat sources? beef, chicken and turkey? will too much beef be harmful because of the cholesterol? 



#10
Poodlebeguiled

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I don't think cholesterol affects dogs the way it does humans from what I understand. I don't worry about it. Too much fat can bring on pancreatitis but don't go over board the other way. I personally use as many various meats as I can find within reason. I'll let someone more experienced answer that though. 



#11
Spy Car

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Also, will my dog be ok on only 3 different meat sources? beef, chicken and turkey? will too much beef be harmful because of the cholesterol? 

 

Saturated fats and cholesterol are vital to good canine health. I'd like to see a little more diversity in the proteins, but even 3 would be big improvement on cereal-based foods.

 

If you have a cheap source of oily cold-water fish like sardines, herring, anchovies, or mackerel they are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids, in addition to being "whole prey" with organs, bones, and meat. If not, fish-oil is the one supplement most raw feeders use. Do be aware that PNW salmon, trout, and related species should not be fed raw to the a disease carried by a parasite in these fish that is fatal to dogs if not treated.

 

Bill



#12
Antz_nick

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Spy car, I just don't know where to find any other meat. Also, do you agree that 3 bones a week is enough to balance the calcium:phosphorus ratio? thanks 



#13
Spy Car

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Spy car, I just don't know where to find any other meat. Also, do you agree that 3 bones a week is enough to balance the calcium:phosphorus ratio? thanks 

 

Depends on the size of the bones and proportions to meats and organs.

 

Personally, I like to balance meals as close to the 80/10/10 model as possible. So I serve bone (and organs) at every meal. 

 

While I've got no big issue going a little bit bone heavy during the immediate transition, I'm not a fan of 40-50% bone meals. They can lead to serious GI distress, and (worst case) impaction. Likewise a meal of meat and organs (only) is likely to lead to soft stools (or worse).

 

Since i'm assembling "frankenprey" in any case, I build my meals around a bone-in piece that has about 10% of the total meals bone, pull out that day's organ portion (I pack liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and other organs into 10% serving sizes) and then select different meats, cartilage/tendons, green tripe, fish, or what-ever to complete the meal. If I feel like the bone is slightly off, I'll compensate in the next meal. But I aim to keep very close to the PMR ratios at each meal.

 

I'm tighter about trying to balance meals than many of the others on the forum who balance over time (and who also get good results), so there is more than one style that works. I like to minimize any GI problems, due to too much bone, too little bone, or too much organ in one go. This has worked well here. My Vizsla never experienced explosive diarreaha, has not been constipated, almost never had soft stools, and has predicatably well-formed stools daily.

 

I am a fan of adding organs early, against the advice of the "getting started guide," but I'd caution you to start with small portions and build up to PMR ratios.

 

You will need to figure what works for you. For me, it is balancing individual meals as closely as possible, and diversifying the protein sources over the week.

 

Bill


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#14
Antz_nick

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thank you for breaking that down. last question, to start off, should i follow the staffs reply to my first question and feed bone in chicken and turkey to start off? I just want anothers opinion so i get everything right the first time with no headaches.. tanks 



#15
Spy Car

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thank you for breaking that down. last question, to start off, should i follow the staffs reply to my first question and feed bone in chicken and turkey to start off? I just want anothers opinion so i get everything right the first time with no headaches.. tanks 

 

Starting with chicken is generally recommended. Chicken is economical, easily available, and a great source of soft edible bone. On rare occasions a dog proves allergic to chicken, and that makes raw feeding more complicated for those feeders. I don't share the suggestion to feed chicken backs (unless there is a good deal of meat added to get the ratios better) as backs are very boney. Quarters, thighs, and drumstick already have about 2.5 times the PMR ratios for bone. That IMO is plenty of bone to keep stools firm. More than that IMO is asking for trouble.

 

Stripping the fat (skin) for the first few days is IMO a better strategy for avoiding intestinal distress than trying to plug up a dog with bone. That fat is vital, so stop stripping skin as soon as things are progressing well (I'd save the stripped skins for future use, as opposed to tossing). Some dogs take to raw chicken straight away. Others sniff, and get a lookalike what;s this? If they don't eat the options are to stave them out, or (my suggestion) sear the outside just enough to bring out the smell on the outside (while not coming near cooking bone). A very light sear can turn on the lights. Better to avoid if unnecessary. Dogs are different in how they react.

 

We have a number of people here raw feeding successfully. The results show in our dogs. There are many variations of how people do things. My way is one way, but it is only one of many successful approaches. If I had whole deer or cattle in deep freezers I'd probably adjust my feeding out of practicality. Since I'm mostly sourcing "parts" that I can break down easily, balancing meals makes sense for me. I do believe relatively consistent bone and organ and meat ratios makes it very easy for dog to process meals. I don't question that a dog fed the proper ratios over a week isn't getting the right nutrition. Either way works.

 

Bill 



#16
naturalfeddogs

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Also, will my dog be ok on only 3 different meat sources? beef, chicken and turkey? will too much beef be harmful because of the cholesterol? 

I would add as many red meats as possible. They are the most nutrious, and have more needed fats for energy.


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#17
zeusthedapple

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I'm similar in Spy Car when it comes to feeding. In that I balance everyday, but even that it's still a great example on how we are all different in how we prep/feed yet still pull out the healthy pups. I definitely give organ every day, measure that out. I give bone in every morning, but I don't stress about the exact 10% I just give enough. Like one duck foot every morning is enough to keep my boy's stool firm. As long as his poop is firm, then I'm content with the amount of bone. I measure out each of his boneless portions to make sure it's just enough. But I sometimes go over, sometimes dip under, depending on what he's eaten. That's just how I do it. I also do a bit of supplementing. I give coconut oil every morning, occasionally raw kefir, sometimes some bone broth, even kelp sprinkled occasionally. I made golden paste, but no one will eat it. -_-


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#18
naturalfeddogs

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It sounds like you are doing just fine! And yes, I think we all feed a little different, depending on how our dogs handle different foods. But in the end, our results are all the same. Healthy raw fed dogs!


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