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Okay, so this is sort of a continuation of my other ongoing thread (https://www.poodleforum.com/5-poodle-talk/266723-how-often-do-you-give-bullysticks.html), but I thought it deserved its own thread with a new title since it's now focusing more on raw bones than bully sticks.

Based on responses I received to the bully stick question, I'm now very interested in starting to feed raw meaty bones occasionally. We would still feed kibble for main meals, but I'm thinking maybe a chicken wing or leg or such once a week for the dental benefits. However, when I asked my hubby last night if he would be willing to try this, he said no, he's not comfortable feeding bones.

His next question is the reason I'm here...he then asked me why giving a chicken wing would be okay, when we take a bully stick away once it gets down to a couple inches, and I had no answer for that. What's the difference here? Why must I be careful to not let a bully stick get too small, but I can let a dog eat an entire chicken wing? Appreciate any more insight anyone can provide. DH wants me to ask the vet if she approves, but I know most conventional vets will say no so I really don't want to ask.
 

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I give my standard wings, drumsticks, turkey necks, bison and beef neck, liver, ground beef, raw eggs, and ribs.

We first started out with wings and drumsticks, i liked to hold one end to make sure he ate it slowly. First they might pull and tear at the meat/bone but later on their own you can hear them just crunch twice and swallow. I'm not sure how big your pup is but i'm sure he'll love it.
 

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Okay, so this is sort of a continuation of my other ongoing thread (https://www.poodleforum.com/5-poodle-talk/266723-how-often-do-you-give-bullysticks.html), but I thought it deserved its own thread with a new title since it's now focusing more on raw bones than bully sticks.

Based on responses I received to the bully stick question, I'm now very interested in starting to feed raw meaty bones occasionally. We would still feed kibble for main meals, but I'm thinking maybe a chicken wing or leg or such once a week for the dental benefits. However, when I asked my hubby last night if he would be willing to try this, he said no, he's not comfortable feeding bones.

His next question is the reason I'm here...he then asked me why giving a chicken wing would be okay, when we take a bully stick away once it gets down to a couple inches, and I had no answer for that. What's the difference here? Why must I be careful to not let a bully stick get too small, but I can let a dog eat an entire chicken wing? Appreciate any more insight anyone can provide. DH wants me to ask the vet if she approves, but I know most conventional vets will say no so I really don't want to ask.
Raw bones are completely safe as they wont splinter like cooked ones do. Hugo will crunch down maybe 3 times on a drumstick and swallow. My friends dog who is also a Spoo will slowly pull and tear at it. They know how much they can swallow, and will regurgitate it if it isn't going down right. I don't give Hugo bully sticks because even the 'no odor' ones still make me nauseous. Chicken bones are quite fragile so i don't worry about it when he swallows them. I'm sure you pup will split it with one or two chomps. It keeps his teeth cleaner. We feed him Raw in the AM and Kibble in the PM.
 

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I spoke to my vets 2 of them and they said only give a dog a bone if the bone is bigger than the dog, so I am afraid to give them any bones or bully sticks, so it is teeth cleaning 2 times a year
 

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Some dogs cannot have bone ones they get small. I've given my pom a chicken neck a couple times and both times he choked trying to eat the last piece too large.
But my mini poodle and my standard poodle both have no issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Some dogs cannot have bone ones they get small. I've given my pom a chicken neck a couple times and both times he choked trying to eat the last piece too large.
But my mini poodle and my standard poodle both have no issues.
It sounds like maybe I should treat it like I do the bully sticks to start...let him have it but take it away once it gets too small. Of course first I have to get DH on bored.
 

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Raw bones are certainly not safe - the theory about them being 'soft' is actually quite flawed (do they feel soft to you ?), and there are several issues with feeding them. I wish it was as simple as dogs 'knowing what they can handle' - but that is absolutely not the case at all. My biggest concern with feeding any bone (including raw) is the potential for gastrointestinal obstruction / perforation and fractured teeth (have seen both happen). Any bone (e.g. chicken necks) that are swallowed in 1-2 chews are doing absolutely nothing for their dental health regardless, and still pose the afore-mentioned risks.

This article is from the UK - but essentially reiterates the above point (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/17/give-the-dog-a-bone-vets-warn-pet-owners-not-to-do-it/).

In my personal opinion, there are much safer alternatives out there so why risk it ? My 2 tp love the OraVet chews (these can be bought from online retailers such as chewy), and I also get some of the other dental treats (milkbone, CET veggie dent etc) on occasion. I do try to brush their teeth once or twice weekly (wish I was more committed haha) - and neither has needed a dental so far (1yo and 3yo). The veterinary oral health council website is a good resource as it shows which treats have actually been shown to help prevent dental disease (many claim they do, but are an absolute waste of money) - http://www.vohc.org/VOHCAcceptedProductsTable_Dogs.pdf

Oh and just wanted to add - I care more about VOHC tartar (calculus) claims vs plaque, as plaque is what you will be removing with frequent brushing anyway.

For those that still choose to take the risk, here is some good information https://www.walkervillevet.com.au/blog/feeding-bones-to-dogs/. I will add that the incidence of problems has been much higher in my experience - but I worked at an after-hours emergency clinic for close to 10 years (vs. general practice), and these are more likely to come in as emergencies. I have seen both GI obstructions and perforations (due to raw bones) result in death.
 

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My vet told me not to feed my dog any bones - obviously not cooked and not raw. He's seen several dogs break their teeth eating chicken feet. He also told me no deer antlers or anything else that I couldn't easily push my finger nail into. We stick to pizzle sticks.

I believe MollyMuiMa's Mollie broke teeth and had to have them pulled from eating raw bones.
 

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Yup! For 6 years Molly got raw bones and we never had a problem, That is until I gave her a pork bone and she fractured both upper 4th premolars, I never worried because she was a 'knawer' of her bones.... and unless they were chicken she never tried to 'eat' them(chicken legs she crunched up throughly!) she just stripped the meat and marrow off the pork or beef and left the bone itself. Even though I discovered the fractures soon after it happened it was a necessity to remove more teeth that were loosened with the damaged teeth. She had to have surgery as the 4th premolars are the deepest rooted teeth with 3 roots that have to be removed individually! A very painful (& costly) surgery for my girl! I do have to add that other than the damaged teeth the Vet said her teeth were in perfect condition no tartar and white at 6.5 years old! Unfortunately this has scared me away from bones entirely and I now brush her teeth every night, and give her Ark Naturals Toothless Toothpaste chews, Get Naked dental chews, tracheas, buffalo ears, and Bully sticks BUT NO MORE BONES! Hahaha!
 

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After I read "I still feed kibble"I didn't bother to read any more. Sorry.
Bully sticks make my dog sick.

I feed raw. Obviously with raw bone. Sorry if I am sounding blunt and crabby. A friend died today and I have no patience.
 

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Raw feeder here - for many more years than I'd like to admit. My dad fed our GSD dogs raw 45 years ago - absolutely gorgeous healthy dogs - he grew up as a grandson of butcher with the most gorgeous and healthy St. Bernards you have ever seen who were - you guessed it fed raw...
Raw meaty bones should be the biggest part of a dog's diet - not like is practiced now mainly meat with the occasional bone thrown in.
Most problems people have feeding raw is almost always not enough bone....hence runny poo etc.
Raw feeding requires a lot of education - much more than you can get from one post. I would encourage anybody to join the appropriate FB pages and read, read, read. And then be critical of the information and read in another page - and so on..

So bone does not equal bone.
A raw bone from an animal of appropriate size (important relation between jaw strength and tooth size and capability) that is not a weight bearing bone (extra hard) can be dismantled and digested.
What we nowadays call a "bone" everything from a rawhide (yuck! they are so popular because they satisfy the one need that dogs have that is never addressed in a kibble based diet - the immense need to chew) to other processed animal parts and bones that are dried, cured. cooked etc - all those really should not be called "bones". All that processing completely changes the nature of the bone - mainly dries out natural water and oils making it into a hard clump that gives more time to chew but then leaves a clump in the stomach that is impossible to digest. Plus these "bones" are infused with a massive amount of preservatives otherwise the bone would do what it would do in a natural state and rot. That massive load of preservative must wreck havoc on a dogs digestion. So those are not bones..

Raw bones are softer - almost pliable - most can be cut with kitchen shears never brittle. One thing that always surprises newbies is how fast dogs can get through bones. Look at the size of their teeth! But again please adjust the size of prey animal to the size of your dog and its teeth! My dog is a mini - puppy still at 9 months. The biggest bone to date I offer is a chicken thigh - although his most common bone size is chicken wing and foot. He currently does not eat anything bigger than chicken (his proteins are rotated constantly - I am strictly speaking bones here).
Not all dogs unfortunately know how to handle bone at first. You need to observe and evaluate your dog while chewing as puppies (which also gets them used to being responsible with their bones (stay in one area and let you remove it at will). Some are really fast learners others need a lot of help. I would never crate a dog without supervision with any raw bone - the need to observe is there - anybody who says different just got lucky. This observing and evaluating should be even more vigilant if the dog you are introducing to raw bone is not a puppy anymore.

Dogs "eat" bones two ways - they chew and they gulp. The first is what WE think their eating should look like - the second way is a lot more common.
A large dog (my Dalmatian being the perfect example) could eat through several chicken legs within minutes. The method was always the same - chew - crack - gulp. Never an issue. However if you have never seen a dog eat real food - it can be a bit unsettling at first. All raw feeders talk about that in forums - it takes a while to get used to.
The procurement of bones that are unprocessed, fresh and safe is the number 1 worry of all raw feeders.
This is way too complicated an issue to explain in one post. If anybody in your house is uncomfortable I would stay away from feeding raw and raw bones altogether. If you have any friends that feed raw - where you could observe how its done and what it looks like - that would probably be the biggest recommendation I have for you.
 

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Great post Moni! Raw feeding isn't for anyone. As well with everything there are risks, but its up to each owner to decide what is best for them and their dog. I agree always supervise whenever feeding raw, I always watch him just in case because you never know. I believe raw is better, i would love to feed raw both AM and PM but can't afford it at this time. There is always kibble available to Hugo but he just picks at it if he gets hungry, and mainly is just raw fed. I had a hard time getting Hugo to eat raw at first, so it takes some adjustment both from owner and dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow, thanks to everyone who replied. A lot to read and think about here as there are many varying opinions and experiences. Reading these forums it seemed like everyone was feeding raw bones, but knowing there are still those of you who won't doesn't make me feel so bad, like our dog is missing out, if we don't do it. I'm just trying to do what's right for him, and this can be a tough decision to balance when there are so many varying opinions both strongly supporting and strongly opposing it.

We feed only kibble now because a) DH isn't fully on board with raw, and we both need to be on board to make a major decision in our dog's diet and b) I don't trust myself to make sure he's getting the proper balance of bones, organ meat, etc. I guess this is where pre-made raw comes in?
While I know there are those that will criticize the choice to feed kibble, it makes me comfortable to at least be sure he's getting a balanced meal. I'm hoping we can switch to at least 1/2 raw (one meal a day) in the future, but I have more research to do and don't want to make such a major change unless I know I can properly balance it. I feel bad that he just eats the same dry kibble for every meal and would like to maybe even add lean cooked meat in the meantime, but again I'm worried about keeping it nutritionally balanced.

I hate the idea of bringing our boy in for dental cleanings (I've read too many horror stories, even on here) which is why I want to do what I can to keep his teeth as clean as possible outside of the vet's office. For now we will stick with bully sticks, I will talk to our vet about raw bones, and will start to do more research on pre-made raw so maybe we can start substituting one meal in the future.
 

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<<<I hate the idea of bringing our boy in for dental cleanings (I've read too many horror stories, even on here) which is why I want to do what I can to keep his teeth as clean as possible outside of the vet's office. For now we will stick with bully sticks>>>

It is extremely tragic when a dog dies during a routine procedure like a dental, but it is still very rare. However, I understand wanting to prevent a dental as much as possible. Bully sticks aren't going to do anything, imho (but they are still good for satisfying a dog's chewing urge). Brushing the teeth and feeding raw are the best you can possibly do.
 

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Brushing the teeth and feeding raw are the best you can possibly do.
Well, I will probably never get DH on board with raw, as I just got a call back from our vet in response to the email I sent earlier. As expected, their practice is adamantly against bones of any kind, as well as raw diets. In my heart I feel that raw makes sense, but it's so hard when mainstream vets seem to be so adamantly opposed. If raw is indeed the best for our dogs, I really hope someday soon that veterinary medicine gets on board with it.
 

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Well, I will probably never get DH on board with raw, as I just got a call back from our vet in response to the email I sent earlier. As expected, their practice is adamantly against bones of any kind, as well as raw diets. In my heart I feel that raw makes sense, but it's so hard when mainstream vets seem to be so adamantly opposed. If raw is indeed the best for our dogs, I really hope someday soon that veterinary medicine gets on board with it.
The reasons as to why veterinary medicine won't 'get on board with it' is because most veterinarians are evidence based (blinded studies using controls etc.) - I will leave it at that :angel2:

I feed kibble - and am not about to get involved in a kibble vs raw debate (spend far too much of my work hours having those conversations), but my dogs are healthy, have good teeth and have never had any GI issues whatsoever.

All the best with your adorable little pup :)
 
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