(Bone) Size Matters | Safe & Risky RMBs
Updated: Aug 10, 2022
Raw bones are a staple in a raw diet and make up 9-15% edible bone content. They provide a great source of calcium and provide mental & physical enrichment. Feeding the right bone size prevents choking issues and ensures that the animal safely consumes the entire edible bone.
Recreational vs. Edible
There are two types of bones: recreational & edible.
Recreational Bones: meant for chewing and not consuming. They are mostly weight-bearing and filled with marrow. These bones include ruminant knuckles, femurs, etc.
Edible Bones: precisely what it sounds like, edible! They are hollow, non-weight-bearing bones such as poultry feet, necks, and wings.
Feeding cooked, dehydrated, or weight-bearing bone should be avoided. There is a chance of a cracked tooth, which is extremely painful and expensive. The opportunity of a fractured tooth increases if the pet is a power chewer.
Safe to consume edible bones include:
Turkey Drums & Wings: These can be very dense and splinter easily. If anything, you can trim the muscle meat off the bone and use the extra bone for homemade bone broth.
Weight-Bearing Bones: Very dense and can cause a fractured tooth, especially for power chewers. These include beef bones, shanks, femurs, etc.
Machine-Cut Bones: These are primarily found in grocery stores. The bones have sharp edges and small pieces through the meat, which can be a choking hazard.
Heat-Treated Bones: Cooked, boiled, dehydrated, and smoked bones should never be fed. They are dry and brittle, which changes the molecular structure and causes them to splinter more severely.
Thankfully, various bones match the various sizes of dogs and cats. It's almost impossible to feed a bone that's "too big" as a larger edible bone can be offered in multiple sessions. But you can provide a bone that is too small. This is why it's important to feed an appropriate size bone. Below is a rough guideline on correct bones to their proper sizes.
Always supervise while feeding.
If your pet is a gulper, you can feed ground bone or hold the bone with your hand or pliers.
Raw bones can get messy, so feed outside or on an easy-to-clean surface.
Never feed cooked/dehydrated/smoked/boiled bones.
Following these guidelines will ensure easy and safe feeding for edible bones. It is crucial to remember that every animal is unique and to follow what the dog needs. Some animals do better on ground bone, while others need supplements. The best thing is to find out what works for the animal in front of you. I hope you learned something new today & Always Keep Exploring!