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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a lot of people mentioning here that they feed raw chicken bones and wanted to give it a try. Good thing I mentioned it in another thread first, because I learned chicken wings are too small for spoos!

Those of you with spoos, what type of bones/raw meat do you feed? And how did you introduce them?

I'm specifically looking for something that can be given to complement Peggy's meals, not replace them, and that will help with tartar control.

While I understand the bones should be large enough to not swallow whole, I'm not looking for recreational bones. She loves her Himalayan Yak Cheese Chews and I love that they're not smelly, they're not messy, and she never guards them.

I thought chicken wings were good because the bones are rubbery and can be crunched rather than gnawed. Is there a larger rubbery option?

Thanks!
 

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Sorry I realized I should clarify. Chicken wings would be fine and safe for a spoo to consume, but they would probably just be too small to use for the purpose of tartar control. Not big enough to present a challenge to gnaw on I would think. But I'm sure spoo owners will know more about sizing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
D'oh. That totally makes sense.

I guess I'm looking for two things then. The chicken wings can be a healthy addition to her diet, but I also need something that poses enough of a challenge to help clean her teeth.
 

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When my aussies were alive I would give them frozen turkey necks. Their teeth were sparkling! They came frozen in a big box from the butcher. I kept them in the freezer and just pulled them out as needed. The dogs did not seem to mind at all that they were frozen. Growing up in Alaska it was common to give dogs frozen meat, so I didn't think anything about it at the time. There may be updated info on feeding frozen, so double check that or just defrost.

Also, I think chicken wings might function pretty well as tooth scrubbers for a spoo as long as she is chewing them and not gulping. If you are going this route anyway, I would give it a try because they are so easy to come by.
 

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Turkey necks, pig neck (I haven't tried the pig but that's what I hear).
Chicken feet- added bonus of being a natural source of glucosamine.
Maybe a quarter or so of chicken carcass? I can get those from my local butcher and cut them into sections with kitchen shears.
 

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Our local market stocks Chicken Backs. Frozen raw.
Depending on the skill of the butcher, they come with not much breast meat, or a whole lot of it. Some would be half-pounders.
Finish your kibble and you get CHICKEN!!
He know the drill. And his teeth stay white.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also, I think chicken wings might function pretty well as tooth scrubbers for a spoo as long as she is chewing them and not gulping. If you are going this route anyway, I would give it a try because they are so easy to come by.
I might have to get over my squeamishness and hold them for her for the first little while, otherwise I can imagine her gulping them because they feel forbidden. ?

Maybe a quarter or so of chicken carcass? I can get those from my local butcher and cut them into sections with kitchen shears.
Maybe a dumb question, but can I just butcher a whole chicken for her? Meat and all? Is that what you mean by carcass? Because we can get whole chickens super cheap at our local market.

Our local market stocks Chicken Backs. Frozen raw.
Do you feed them still frozen?
 

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I might have to get over my squeamishness and hold them for her for the first little while, otherwise I can imagine her gulping them because they feel forbidden. ?
This is why I feed them frozen. I give frozen chicken necks and feet, and I give them frozen because then I know Zephyr will have to chew them up and not just swallow them. I have done this with a number of dogs now, and none of them has minded a bit!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is why I feed them frozen. I give frozen chicken necks and feet, and I give them frozen because then I know Zephyr will have to chew them up and not just swallow them. I have done this with a number of dogs now, and none of them has minded a bit!
Thank you! And do you feed in a bowl? Outside? On the floor and then disinfect it?

Trying to decide which is most practical and hygienic.

I picked up chicken wings today from the butcher and my husband assumed I was going to cook them and feed her just the meat and skin. Wish I had a photo of his face when I explained what I was actually planning to do. ?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I started handfeeding Peggy her first chicken wing and all was going well until I (stupidly?) tried to pet her with my other hand, the same way I always do when she's chewing a yak cheese, bully stick, antler, etc.

Well, she growled.

Peggy has NEVER growled at me before.

I immediately threw it away.

Did I handle that completely wrong from beginning to end? I figured the handfeeding was a good way to start, since it's worked so well with other high value items. Was petting her just completely idiotic? Was throwing it away even worse?
 

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Maybe a dumb question, but can I just butcher a whole chicken for her? Meat and all? Is that what you mean by carcass? Because we can get whole chickens super cheap at our local market.
The carcasses have had most of the meat taken off. Sometimes they have chicken backs instead, which is nearly the same, basically whatever is left over from butchering.

As far as your first attempt at feeding the wings... Since it has worked with other things I can see it makes sense to start with hand feeding those too. I don't think it was a smart idea to pet her at the same time. Raw meaty bones are the ultimate high value item for many dogs. You're already involved by holding it for her to chew, I wouldn't push it farther until she gets used to eating them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you, Starvt. She was being such a good girl, eating it carefully and not even letting her teeth touch my hand. I stupidly pushed it.

I probably also made it worse by sitting outside. Lots of barking dogs in the distance, people passing by on the sidewalk, etc. so she was already a little on edge as she tried to enjoy her mind-blowingly good new treat.

Multiple bonehead moves on my part (pun intended).

I'll do better next time. Will also inquire about chicken carcasses from the butcher at our local market. Wish we had a good old-fashioned stand-alone butcher shop.
 

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Wow! This is good to know! I've always thought chicken bones, cooked AND raw were bad for dogs. The raw bones I have been giving to Sable are cow leg bones, and those little round steak bones, all with the yummy marrow. I've been fortunate as far as growling goes. First time I gave her raw bone, I let her savor for a few seconds them reached down and took it away. In silence. Not a peep or a dirty look out of her. I've done it several times, she never says a word.
 

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Wow! This is good to know! I've always thought chicken bones, cooked AND raw were bad for dogs. The raw bones I have been giving to Sable are cow leg bones, and those little round steak bones, all with the yummy marrow. I've been fortunate as far as growling goes. First time I gave her raw bone, I let her savor for a few seconds them reached down and took it away. In silence. Not a peep or a dirty look out of her. I've done it several times, she never says a word.
She didn't protest when I took it away. No snatching or guarding or growling. She couldn't have been more gentle with it.

It was when I pet her head—just a low rumble that I almost didn't catch.

She gets lots of pets while chewing on other things. She'll even bring me her bully stick and ask me to hold it for her while she cuddles in close. So it was definitely an unwelcome surprise. I do wish it hadn't happened.

As far as the chicken bones go, they are very flexible and rubbery when they're raw. Still have to supervise, of course. And I worry about the spread of salmonella in our house so would never just let her take them and chew wherever.
 

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Maybe a dumb question, but can I just butcher a whole chicken for her? Meat and all? Is that what you mean by carcass? Because we can get whole chickens super cheap at our local market.
This is what we do on Thanksgiving and birthdays.

If you can find them, pork or lamb tails are also good raw meaty bones. I’m also a huge fan of giving beef/bison marrow bones. Keeps them entertained for hours while I’m away and once all the marrow is gone you can refill the center with canned dog food (paté type works best in my experience), freeze, and give again. It’s like a Kong, but better. I do this a few times before moving on to the next bone.

You can probably train her to eat them on a towel, if you prefer. Take the bone away if she gets off and give it back when she is in the right place. They pick it up pretty quickly... Since you’re trying to prevent resource guarding, maybe you might want to wait until the novelty has worn off before trying this.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you! A towel seems like a good idea. Easy to throw in the wash after each bone, and Peggy's already been trained to go to a bed, mat, towel, etc. and stay there.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much. The high value of it probably just sent her over threshold. It's common for dogs to react that way at first. Or the opposite where they are completely uninterested in them. She will probably get over the novelty soon. I feed a lot of poultry carcasses as well, but I have to cut them up for Misha. We usually do duck and pheasant that I order online.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've gotta say, it was pretty neat watching her teeth do what they were designed for!

And thanks for the reassurance. :) It's been hard going from a girl who would've turned herself inside out and done backflips before growling at me to this much more doggy dog of ours. Then again, I never fed Gracie a raw chicken wing, so who knows? Maybe she'd have surprised me.
 
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