When first transitioning onto a raw diet, it's a common problem that the dog will have absolutely no clue what to do with a raw meaty bone (RMB). Especially if they are older, it is understandable as they have most likely never eaten anything like it. It's cold, wet, and slimy, and your dog doesn't know how to eat it. Here are some tips & tricks to help your dog become an expert chewer.
If your dog normally eats their RMBs fine and suddenly refuses to eat them, take a peek at their teeth to ensure nothing is fractured or out of place. If there is a crack or exposed tooth pulp, it will warrant a vet visit. But if they pass the dental check, move on to the strategies below.
Make Sure It's The Appropriate Size
If your dog is having trouble chewing, it could be that it is not the correct size. Here is a more in-depth look at why the size of bone matters and how to match your dog to the right one. If the bone is too small/big, it could make learning to eat raw bones much harder.
If your dog is not used to eating raw food and raw bones, the texture can throw them off. It's cold, slimy outside, crunchy on the inside, and unfamiliar. Often freezing can help get the hang of chewing and make the RMB more presentable. Ideally, bones should not feed frozen entirely, but a few times to adjust is acceptable.
Simply throwing a RMB to your dog can work for some, but usually, the dogs require a bit more hand-holding (literally) before they can confidently chomp away by themselves. Firmly hold the bone for them or use pliers to help give your dog the stability and leverage they need to learn how to chew. Ensure that they place the bone on their back teeth versus their front when biting down to crunch.
Teaching your dog how to chew may seem a bit strange at first, but with your help, they'll become expert chompers in no time. Remember that every dog is unique and honor the dog's pace. I hope you learned something new today & Always Keep Exploring!