We always hear about how a dog’s natural diet includes bones. Yep, they are good predators and the coyotes that live near me, for example, have no problem chowing down whole small animals like rabbits and squirrels, leaving nothing but a few tufts of fur behind. Other natural predators, same story. And that’s the natural way.
And our sweet domestic dogs? I know many who absolutely thrive on a raw diet. One of my local colleagues has several dogs, ALL of whom eat raw and are doing absolutely fantastic! They get raw turkey necks, wings or legs, and many other raw items. They don’t get food poisoning, and their teeth look great.
However, I know the raw diet is controversial and not everyone is ready to take the plunge. Despite our own mentalities, we need to make sure our dogs are getting what they need nutritionally, and this includes bone. However, it has to be done properly.
Commercially, there is one really nice item I give my dog all the time now. Stella and Chewy’s meal mixers are whole, balanced meals but can also be given as an addition to a dog’s regular meals. They come in different shapes and sizes, but I buy the little nuggets which I dole out as high value treats. The beef flavor I get has grass fed beef meat, organs and bone, along with a little sprinkling of fruits, vegetables and probiotics. I feel happy giving these out to my dog as I know they are highly nutritious and contain bone.
Another option I use is bone meal (seen above). This can be found in many heath food stores, but it is important to make sure it’s the edible kind, not the kind used for gardens. And it should be high quality, and tested for heavy metals. The kind I use is beef based and highly concentrated … a little goes a long way. My holistic vet said to be careful with it though, as too much can cause kidney stones. I asked if about 100 mg a day is okay (for my 60 pound dog – dosage should depend on weight), and he said yes.
The nuggets and bone meal are just two supplemental items I use in my quest to provide a wide variety of awesome, healthy (and bone-containing) foods for my dog.
Anther great way to use bones is in bone broth. Delicious and nutritious! Here is one of my recipes using bone broth – actually this chicken crockpot stew recipe cooks a whole chicken for about 24 hours, long enough to make the bones soft and mushy … soft enough to eat.