Thursday, February 9, 2012

Can I really feed raw bones to my dog?

Take the plunge! Feeding raw meat and bones has become quite a contentious issue in the veterinary and pet-owning fraternities, but the fact is that dogs have been eating raw meat and bones for hundreds of thousands of years, the last time I looked.

That's long before the pet food companies did such a good job of convincing everyone that feeding your dog anything other than something out of a tin or supermarket pack was tantamount to abuse.

Dogs are carnivores. In the wild, they hunt and kill or scavenge in order to eat meat, bone and stomach contents. They have teeth and digestive systems that are finely adapted for extracting the nutrients from the raw materials, and a metabolism that appears to thrive on the results of that digestion.

Sure, many vets can recount tales of extracting sharp fragments of bone from dog's mouths, throats and intestines, but in my limited experience (of 30 years of practice) these have almost always been bones rendered hard and indigestible by cooking.

Go raw – they'll love you for it!

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