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Cow feet

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your dog's diet, please contact your vet!

  
Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 27, '11 5:57pm PST 
I feed my dogs kibble, but I like giving them some raw food as a treat or to clean their teeth. So far the most we've done is frozen turkey necks, although I picked up a beef rib today.

I went to a new grocery store and saw that they were selling fresh cow feet. It looked like their were cut in half. Is this safe to give to a dog as an occasional chew?

I have Sarah- 25lbs. It takes her about 15 min or so to get through a frozen turkey neck. Then I have Lizzie-55lbs. Lizzie powers through a turkey neck within a few minutes. She has jaws of steel! I don't give them to her any more, but she can easily crack a knuckle bone.
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 27, '11 6:29pm PST 
I would say no, but it's a "know your dog" situation. I don't believe cow hooves or any part of their legs are appropriate for chewing. They can be a danger to a dog's teeth and are called "wreck bones" since dogs sometimes break or chip teeth attempting to crunch through them.

I have give my dogs wreck bones before, but only until they've gnawed all the meat off. If these are real meaty, a good price and if your dog is not food-aggressive, it might be doable.
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 27, '11 7:18pm PST 
My dogs aren't food aggressive- although raw food is extremely high value for them! If cow hooves aren't appropriate, what would be a good teeth cleaning thing to give instead? She can crunch right through everything else I have given her.

Lizzie's teeth aren't the greatest. She has two little ones in the front that have long been missing. Many others are chipped. Two years ago she got in a fight (she didn't start it laugh out loud ). In the fight she broke the largest tooth in her lower jaw in half. The pulp was exposed and it had to be pulled. I definitely don't want to go through that again. I am brushing her teeth twice a day with Petzlife oral gel toothpaste, but I haven't noticed a difference.
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Fenrir

Veni Vidi Nom
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 27, '11 7:28pm PST 
I don't use cow feet either but I do like pig feet. They're easier to eat but still not too easy. Pork ribs work well for my guys as well.
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 27, '11 7:36pm PST 
Seconding Fenrir's suggestion of pig's feet. Try to get them whole if you can. I'm not a fan of split feet, and my dogs take their time on the whole ones.

Pig's feet contain about 30% bone and a lot of skin and tendons. They are, in my opinion, the best raw "toothbrushes" around. My dogs, who gulp down their meals, will still take a good 15-20 minutes to eat one.
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Mon Jun 27, '11 7:37pm PST 
I'll have to look for pork feet. I saw some but they were smoked.
When you give the pork ribs, do you give a whole slab?

I really know nothing here...red face
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Charlie

The world is my- food bowl!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 28, '11 6:13am PST 
Nothing smoked or seasoned.

The basic equation for how much to feed is:
(Pet's weight) x (0.02-0.03, depending on the activity level of the pet)
The lower number for less active pets and the higher number for more active pets.

Example, Charlie weighs 45 pounds, and is somewhat active.

(45) x (0.025) = 1.125 pounds (1 pound 2 ounces) raw food per day, roughly. So generally I want to give him a little over a pound of food per day. Going a little under or over that number is fine as long as it isn't constant. You aren't always going to find items like pig's feet that are exactly the weight you need and those buggers are really hard to cut through.

Edited by author Tue Jun 28, '11 6:14am PST

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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 28, '11 10:55am PST 
Thanks.

I know the no smoked/seasoned rule.

Thanks for the ratios too. I am not planning on feeding my dogs entirely on raw food. I'm more looking at what would be a good, safe chew that I could give them once or twice a week to keep them busy and clean their teeth.
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Maxwell

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 28, '11 1:06pm PST 
If you take that 2% of your dog's weight, divide in half then use that weight to feed a raw meaty bone once or twice a week instead of the usual. Or be aware and feed less before and after. A pig foot might be about 12 ounces so would be about 1% the weight of a 75 pound dog but you could just feed a bit less the morning before and after for a smaller dog if it got completely eaten. It might not, that skin is awesomely tough and hard to chew up. And sometimes it is fine to feed more than usual. Just a good idea to start out with not too much in case of tummy trouble, right?

My all time favorite is BBQ beef ribs. The ribs from rib roast are often cut off around here and sold for BBQ in ~8 rib racks. I give Max 2-3 left together in a mini rack and it is fun for me to watch and fun for him to work out how to get all the soft stuff off the food puzzle. He got them before he ever got raw food but once he started raw he thought he was supposed to crunch up anything in his dish so I had to take this off the menu until he learned he didn't need to eat it all. I don't care for crunchcrunchswallow with these, I like ripnibbleripnibblegnaw better. He does end up eating some bone but most is thrown away. I throw away about half the weight as bare gnawed bone so this is a more expensive chew. So for a whole day's meal I would measure out double his usual.

Don't know that cow feet would be safe for dogs that think they need to eat it all. Max might be okay as he tends to leave bone that is too much work and just goes for the softer stuff. Besides the hoof and bone there is a lot of tough tasty tendon and ligament.

Other bony meats to look for might be BIG turkey necks and whole pork neck bones. The neck bones Max gets are a section through the vertebra and a long bone with some meat left on. Max eats the long bone and the meat and I throw away the backbone part. Max takes 10-15 minutes to eat a turkey neck as he hasn't much experience with them, large dogs can swallow the whole thing and they can be a choking hazard.
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Tue Jun 28, '11 1:25pm PST 
Thanks! The turkey necks I bought at the pet store are about 10inches long or so but not super meaty. The ones I picked up at the grocery store (for half the price!) were a lot meatier but shorter. On the days where I give them the necks they don't get their kibble dinner. Their stools are harder and crumbly- very dry, but they don't seem to be having a hard time passing them.

I know the grocery store has beef ribs in a slab like you talked about. I'll look for pigs' feet also. This store had some impressive stuff- huge sheets of tripe, bags of intestines...
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