Starting raw, afraid of bone hazards

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!


small but mighty
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 12:36pm PST 
We have three dogs, two Siberian huskies and one dachshund. I tried doing prey model with the huskies but couldn't get the balance right and ended up putting them back on kibble.

I'm putting them back on raw and placed a pre-measured order with reel raw to help me get the dogs started on prey model. Unfortunately I can't afford to continue this service beyond one month.

They are all currently on Blue Wilderness. My main motivation is that my dachshund's breath is terrible. I have tried brushing her teeth. Also the female husky is on phenobarbital for seizures and she poops way more than should be possible. I'm not sure if it's the medicine, the food, or that she likes to eat dirt. I can let her out before bed and she will poop. In the middle of the night she will have to poop. And then in the morning she can poop again. Not to mention during the day.

Now I'm having second thoughts. I have been doing research and keep coming across instances of people saying that their dog died due to a bone being unable to pass through the system or bones damaging their system. It has been a raw bone and appropriately sized. One example was a turkey neck which I have read is acceptable to feed. Then other commenters were saying that they don't feed turkey necks because there isn't enough meat and they didn't get that information from this group.

I realize dogs can choke on all kinds of things but I don't want to add to that possibility. Is there a way to make sure they don't die because of the prey model diet?
Addie CL1- CL2 CL3 CL4- OAJ

if it moves,- I'll chase it!
Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 1:20pm PST 
I was VERY nervous about feeding raw bones when I started raw.. in fact all I fed for about 6 months was ground. Then I started with chicken feet, then duck necks.. a little bit at a time and Addie did fantastic! She did vomit he first time she ate a chicken foot, but had no problems after.

As you mentioned, feeding appropriate size meaty bones is key.. have them padded with lots of meat. Theres a good raw cut thread on here you should read! Keep an eye on your dog when feeding RMB's and make sure your dog is not gulping. I have not had any issue. The horror stories you tend to hear are from feeding cooked bones, too small bones, or from freightened vet staff. Sure, there can be problems but not often.. just start slow and take it easy.

Worse comes to worse, you can go to a health food store and get bone meal and add it along with organs for a raw meal.. hope this helps some!

Edited by author Mon Dec 17, '12 1:21pm PST


Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 2:05pm PST 
There is no way to make sure your dog won't die from a raw diet just like there is no way to make sure your dog won't die from a kibble diet.

As you already mentioned dogs can choke on anything.

If you are very worried about it you can feed bigger pieces, and frozen to force your dogs to really have to chew their portions well.

You can also take a pet cpr/first aid course. That way if your dog is choking on anything in life you'll know what to do and can at least have a better chance to help them.

Personally I'd save your money on the processed raw and go with straight chicken wholes and halfs for your bigs, quarters for you little, at least for the first couple of weeks. Then add other proteins. If you're worried about keeping things balanced put that money towards processed organs once you need to add that in.


Barked: Mon Dec 17, '12 2:16pm PST 
It's interesting to me that people's innitial worry is over bones, when based on my experience, the meat is the real problem. My dogs have been eating raw for two years and the only time they've come close to choking was when I cut their meatless piece to a size that didn't force them to chew enough. I will say, if a dog is acting like it's choking, 99% of the time mine bring it up on their own. I had to step in once and help, but again it was the boneless meat. I've read other people same the same thing in that their dog has had issues with the boneless cuts, not bone.

With that, always make sure you cut your boneless meat long wise, long/skinny, verses short and fatter. I always try to feed boneless pieces bigger than their head. Dogs know how to eat, it's natural for them to eat something, not chew it enough and puke it back up to chew it more. I visit quite a few forums and it's rare this is even an issue, but when it is, it's user error in the way they cut the meat. Just remember long/thin is best when it comes to boneless meals. Bone, you really have nothing to worry about. even if the dog swallowed it hole they'd be fine and it would digest in the stomach.

Doodles Do It- Better
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 5:50am PST 
Always supervise a dog when they are eating or chewing on anything, no matter what you are feeding them! wink

small but mighty
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 11:59am PST 
I'm not as concerned about choking as I will be there to supervise. But intestinal perforation or obstruction is a concern.

Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 2:52pm PST 
Only feed bone with plenty of meat on it and make sure they chew. A bowel obstruction is rare.

plush destroyer
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 3:26pm PST 
The only reason to be afraid of bones is if they are cooked in any way. As long as they are raw, edible bones you have nothing to fear. I never, ever see bony bits in my dogs stools which tells me the stomach is doing it's job breaking everything down.