A while ago I was presenting at The Grand Rounds, a veterinary forum, that discusses veterinary matters. I asked a well know orthodontic veterinarian, his stance on feeding whole bone.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that they concur with our stance and knowledge on the subject. And that is: ‘NEVER FEED COOKED BONE – ONLY RAW’.
Basically, by cooking bone you denature the calcium structures which causes the bone to become fragmented, brittle, sharp and dangerous.
Quite the contrary, raw bone keeps its cellular structures and provides a nutritious supplement to your pet’s meal. Remember, in most pet foods, the inclusion of ‘bone meal’ is a prerequisite. However, the industry often uses bone-meal that is derived from dead or sickened animals (used generally for agricultural purposes) but somehow lands up in pet nutrition.
Therefore, by feeding whole raw bone that’s been derived from a credible source, can be extremely beneficial to your pet.
Bones are living tissue composed of living cells. Because bones are living tissue, just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of a wide variety of nutrients. Bones contain minerals which are embedded in protein. They also contain fat and is high in the essential fatty acids. Central parts of most bones contain marrow, which is a highly nutritious mix of blood forming elements, including iron. Bones also play a similar role to fiber, that is, a role of bulking out the food, i.e. removing toxins and promoting general bowel health.
Bones have many other added benefits. Unlike children who entertain themselves with play-stations and games, dogs rely on bones/ treats/ toys for their daily activity. They would rather be chewing on a bone than attacking your furniture or shoes.
Bones cleans teeth. It is a total misconception that dried kibble cleans teeth. Bone serves as your dog’s natural tooth brush.
Whilst raw bone is recommended, I would still be weary of feeding raw chicken bones. There are many more other hardy bones, like ostrich, beef or mutton. Also, for those who find bloody raw bones offensive, one can lightly sear the bone and even use the left-over stock as a tasty gravy.
So there you have it – Give a dog a bone, but NEVER cooked.