By: Robert Mueller
Thanksgiving is just about a week away and during the entire holiday period statistics show that most people will gain an additional five to ten pounds! It’s not difficult when you think about it… with all the parties to attend, the delicious foods and freshly baked pumpkin pies with homemade whipped cream! This is the hardest time of the year to control our diets and it presents another dilemma for our pets as well. Often they get to sample different foods and are diverted from their regular diet choices.
It is at this time of year that we find ourselves with left over turkey carcasses that often get added to the dog bowl. This is probably the biggest danger the dog gets exposed to all year – cooked bones.
Unfortunately most people are unaware of the potential damage that can result from feeding cooked turkey, beef or ham bones to their dogs. Off the plate and into the mouth of the one looking up at you with those hard to resist begging eyes! It makes us feel good to include our best buddy as we celebrate the holiday spirit and to watch them savor the taste of that holiday bone treat.
However, no matter how much you’re inclined to share, I urge you not to feed cooked bones to your pet. The problem with cooked bones is that they are harder, more brittle, and will splinter, whereas raw bones will not. Cooked bones are the ones most likely to be caught in the throat, to pierce the intestines, to set like concrete in the large bowel, or to potentially crack or break permanent teeth.
As much as bones are nature’s most perfect balanced blend of Calcium and Phosphorus when consumed raw, they become a potential health hazard when consumed cooked. Cooked bones are unnatural and a danger to your pet.
No Bones About It!
There are just no bones about the fact that a good raw meaty bone is natures tooth brush and provides a world of nutritious advantages compared to a cooked variety. I have advocated the use of raw meaty bones for almost forty years and during this time I have also witnessed the damage caused by dogs eating cooked bones. Cooked bones are potentially fatal for dogs, but raw bones provide a formula for excellent health.
Benefits of Raw Meaty Bones
For this reason, I advocate that a dog’s diet should definitely contain raw bone to provide the needed blend of Calcium/Phosphorus in the perfect ratio. Using a raw natural uncooked bone source to supply the critical calcium/phosphorus ratio for your dog’s diet far exceeds the value of using artificial calcium supplementation. I suggest that the bone should be reduced in size to eliminate the damage to dogs with a smaller digestive capacity.
For Fun Too!
There are few that would argue the advantages of supplying a raw meaty bone for recreational purposes as well. Remember – not cooked, it must be RAW! It is best to try and gauge the size of the bone to the size of the dog. A once a week treat of this nature is much better than the average allergy generating cooked biscuit treat on the market.
Let me leave you with something to think about today: When a dog receives fresh or frozen raw meaty bones in his diet (once a week is good) it’s like us eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away. Your pet will definitely have fewer visits to the vet for health concerns. The kindest thing you can do over the holidays for your pet is to continue to feed the BARF diet, avoid the temptation to let them sample rich holiday foods and definitely NO COOKED BONES please of any kind.
From all of the BARF World team,
Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”, and co-developer of BARF World’s® BARF Diets® patties, nuggets and supplements – the first company to make the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF®) diet conveniently available to animals everywhere. To receive more articles like these in your email inbox, click here to sign up for “The Intelligent Pet” weekly e-zine absolutely FREE!