Dogs are wolves. Perhaps some clarification is in order—dogs are domesticated and wolves aren’t, but the former’s digestive systems are identical to its cousin, the Gray Wolf. It should follow, then, that dogs should maintain a similar diet as their evolution dictates to maintain optimum health. One of the best routes by which to achieve this health is giving your pup raw meaty bones (RMB). If given in combination with offal, odd table scraps like meat trimmings and cooked vegetables, and other raw options, a dog can live as healthfully as a wolf and as happily as, well, a dog with two tails.
Benefits of RMB
Raw meaty bones are exactly what they sound like: totally edible raw bones wrapped in meat. They can come from any animal: chicken, turkey, lamb, pork, fish, rabbit, beef, and the like. By eating meat without all the harmful chemicals and ingredients that pet food companies insist on putting in their products, dogs will enjoy and thrive on RMBs and a good raw diet.
Moreover, feeding your dog RMB can prevent periodontal disease. An oft-cited fact: most dogs show signs of periodontal disease by age three, and 80% of domestic pets have gum disease. A pet with clean teeth is a pet that lives longer and costs you less money; bacteria forms in the mouth of animals and will travel the blood stream where it can cause all kinds of havoc on vital organs. With RMB, cats and dogs alike can clean their teeth by the chewing motion against a bone; this cannot be achieved with either wet or dry pet food.
Feeding your dog RMB can also make your life with him or her a little easier in other, less easily mentioned ways. A dog on conventional pet food will often “scoot,” but a dog fed RMB has harder, smaller stool and can thereby better express his or her anal glands. Also, his or her breath will smell a lot better as will the dog’s coat (a real concern for the hound variety).
Concerns about RMB
Conventional wisdom dictates that dogs can chew up chicken and turkey bones into splinters that can hurt their gums and their insides. One wonders from where this wisdom came: pet food corporations eager to win over customers. A dog that chokes or is hurt by consuming chicken bone has likely received it from his or her caretaker, who must consume only cooked chicken. Cooked chicken bone is brittle and dry, easily broken into sharp splinters; raw bones do not pose such a high a risk. Don’t wolves eat their prey raw? Dogs don’t even have to worry about salmonella; they are biologically engineered to be able to catch and eat their prey fresh or to simply clean up another animal’s conquest’s leftovers. Certain bones, however, are left to rot even in the wild. Wolves will eat the meat off of weight bearing bones (marrow, knuckle bones) and leave the bone itself. This is because these bones are too hard to chew on for nutrition and end up doing little more for dogs or wolves than breaking teeth.
Still, many dogowners are concerned that if they are left in charge of their dog’s diet, it will not be balanced. The healthfulness and balance of any animal’s—any person’s for that matter—diet is dependent not on a meal but on a series of meals, habits, exercise, and the like. You will do some experimentation since your dog, like you, is an individual who may have a picky stomach. If he or she perpetually throws up beef bones, try another meat. It’s good to keep the source of the RMB varied, anyway, as wolves don’t hunt just one type of animal. Besides, your dog is most likely better off on the diet you give it than on any kind of kibble, in which are countless chemicals, brewer’s yeast and rice, and other harmful materials that in the long run can cause your pup a variety of health problems and many expensive visits to the vet.
So, the next time you feed your dog, try (quite literally, and forgive me) throwing him a bone. He or she will know how to handle it and if not, will be happy to learn.