Raw meaty bones can improve the health and well-being of your dog or cat

Many holistic veterinarians, including Dr. Ian Billinghurst, author of Give Your Dog A Bone and The BARF Diet, advise feeding uncooked bony parts of chicken (such as necks, wings, and backs), turkey necks, beef knuckles, marrow bones, and lamb bones as a part of your dog or cat’s diet. These meaty parts provide good nutrition, teeth cleaning, psychological well-being, and full-body exercise.

Raw bones are not dangerous

We have been told so often that bones can splinter and cause internal damage that it is hard to embrace the idea that bones can be beneficial when given raw. Cooking a bone can cause it to become brittle and splinter, but raw bones are pliable and resilient. Raw poultry bones are soft enough to be completely chewed up and digested and are a great option for the small mouths and teeth of cats. Harder raw bones, such as beef, lamb, or buffalo are considered recreational bones for dogs and are mainly for chewing, not eating. Their marrow, gristle, and connective tissue provide valuable nutrients and roughage.

Raw bones are nature’s toothbrushes

Despite food companies’ claim to the contrary, dry kibble does not clean teeth! Dogs and cats who eat commercial food alone frequently develop tartar, gum disease, infected mouths, and bad breath. Dogs and cats regularly fed raw bones have clean, white teeth that rarely need dental scaling. Raw bones act like floss in the mouth, polishing and scraping away tartar as the animal crunches and gnaws. In addition, raw meat contains valuable food enzymes that inhibit plaque formation and freshen your pet’s breath.

Raw bones provide a perfect mineral balance

For eons, wild canines and felines obtained necessary calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other minerals in the perfect ratios from consuming the bones of their prey. 

Nutritionally speaking, raw bones can still be an excellent part of a balanced diet. Bones contain the proper mineral balance, eliminating concern about over-supplementing any single mineral. If your dog consumes more bones than they need, the excess is eliminated. Don’t be surprised by some chalky, crumbly stools after a bone-heavy meal—this is normal. Cats, who naturally consume less bone than dogs due to the tiny nature of their prey, are less tolerant of extra bone in their diet and can be prone to bouts of constipation when fed too much.

The nutritional value of raw bones

Besides contributing calcium and other minerals, raw bony parts provide essential fatty acids (poultry is higher than beef or lamb), fat-soluble vitamins, blood-forming factors found in the marrow, including iron and copper, cartilage and collagen (arthritis preventing), proteins, and valuable amino acids, especially lysine. Poultry necks and wings also contain natural glucosamine. 

Raw, meaty bones can serve as an occasional meal replacement for dogs as part of a balanced diet.

Ground poultry bones for reluctant animals

Some dogs and cats are not enthusiastic about bones, or have poor teeth, and don’t like to chew. For these animals, finely ground or hacked-up chicken backs, necks, or wings are a good substitute. Although they don’t clean the teeth as well, they provide the same nutritional value and can encourage a gradual transition to larger pieces.

We offer many options including our own ROAR bones—human-quality, raw beef kneecaps, marrow bones, whole, sectioned, and ground turkey necks, and ground chicken leg quarters and backs. To give your dog a variety, ROAR Value Packs will provide several options for recreational bones. To get started, talk to one of our Pet Care Specialists to find the best raw bones for your dog or cat.