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Hello from the SF Bay Area! I am excited to be joining the Poodle forum. My username is orloffer, and I have migrated here from BackYard Chickens to learn about poodles, as well as general dog nutrition and training.
The dog in my profile picture is Jax, an alleged terrier-chihuahua-poodle mix owned by close family. He was around 6 months old in the picture, and he is now 6 years. He is a perky, happy, absolutely wonderful dog, and he doesn't cause allergic reactions in any of his humans. Jax is quite irreplaceable, but if my family were to get a dog of our own in the future, a standard poodle sounds like it would be the most suitable for us.

Now for my question:
I have been researching different diets for dogs, and was particularly curious about the various natural / raw food diets. I discovered some videos of a dog eating various raw animal parts, and I noticed that he doesn't use his paws at all to help him hold the food still. Do most dogs use their paws to help them grip food items like raw meaty bones? Also, do they tend to drag raw food items around while they gnaw on them? Feel free to share your answers and any other information about your dog's feeding habits below.
 

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Hi and Welcome!

I don't feed raw but my poodles have always used their paws to hold chew and other toys.

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I fed prey model raw (PMR) and now feed commercial raw. Sometimes people are concerned about the cleanliness and safety of feeding raw, and all I can say is that I never experienced a downside to feeding raw. I'm vegetarian, so it took me a while to figure out what meats were what, but the dogs have always done well on it, especially PMR.

When I fed PMR, I fed outdoors, so I wouldn't have to wipe up their crates afterward. One dog did better with bone-in meat every other day, the other dog did well with bone-in meat every third day. I added small amounts of liver, kidney, and other organs, usually cut into chunks. Sometimes I would feed a grind, and sometimes they got green tripe. They ate a variety of meats, but pork, chicken, turkey, and beef were the mainstays. Both dogs had perfect, tiny, odorless poops.

Depending on what the dogs were getting that day, they'd use their paws to manipulate the food. They might lie down holding the meat between their paws and chew. For smaller pieces or grinds, they would remain standing and simply eat from their bowl. I didn't wipe their paws or faces afterward, though I confess I turned down their thank you licks after a good meal.

As my current dog has aged, I switched to commercial raw to match her decreasing appetite. It's fine, but once a week I give her a bone-in meat and she is so much more enthusiastic. It's a delight to do something that makes her so happy.
 

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Basil doesn't eat raw, but to your question on dragging food. I imagine your asking from a cleanliness perspective. I don't think it'll be an issue. Basil tends to eat specialty food items in the same area on the floor... Not dragging them around the floor. I don't think your future Spoo will see meaty/boney food as a toy, more like a gift sent from the heavens and consumed with vigor.
 

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I feed raw bones 1-2x per week, but mostly feed kibble. I used to feed raw in crate only, now i feed outside only. Annie definitely uses her paws to hold the things down. If I am not watchful when she comes inside, she will cheerfully sneak her bones in to chew on the couch in comfort.

Our other dog gets them only in one room (enclosed porch) and is not released from that room until finished. She also will carry bones around the house if not watched.

If I feed a grind or a ball of frozen raw or home cooked she doesn't use paws and just eats from the dish.
 

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I've always fed raw. Right now I'm feeding a mix of whole prey and premade ground that I buy locally, but when I have more time I DIY my own mix. My dog isn't big on bones but when I've fed things like duck wings, chicken backs etc. he never uses his paws. Just chomps it up. Though he does have a habit of trying to snake-swallow things. I have mostly fed in an x pen but now I just have a large area of blank tile floor that I let him eat on. Easy enough to sanitize regularly. Many people teach them to eat on a mat or something.
 
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