Having Trouble Balancing Bone

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Crazy Ball'O Fur
Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 12:05am PST 
I'm doing fine balancing the meat/organ ratio, but the one thing I can't figure out how to balance is bone, for example, I have no idea if I'm feeding too much or too little. How do I tell? From what I know it's very important to balance it, especially since I'll be fostering puppies soon. shrug


I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 10:14am PST 
See Charlie's thread about Newbies. It has the info on how much bone in what meats. For instance a normal sized chicken foot isn't quite enough bone for Max and a normal sized wing is more than enough. Feed them on alternating days and it is just right. The tricky thing is some bony stuff looks more or less bony than it really is partly because of the size of the bit. Necks and backs are obviously super bony but drumsticks don't look as bony with that big lump of muscle on them and the reason backs can be trouble is they are so large you cannot feed much else.

Until the dogs are really settled down you just feed bone for stool control. Many people do an informal food diary so they learn the patterns for their dog. One particular liver could be more powerful than another. Max did better with the smaller bones in chicken backs, ribs and necks than the long bones of legs for instance.

Member Since
Barked: Sat Feb 9, '13 10:45pm PST 
This is how I do it (my dogs are on PMR diet):

On the first 2 weeks that I transition my dogs to PMR, I feed only chicken - the whole chicken without the innards. The whole chicken I get is on average 3.5 lbs. My dog eats roughly 1 to 1.5 lbs a day. So, the very first whole chicken the dog gets, I would cut up into 4 parts and I feed one part a day. Then his 2nd whole chicken is cut up into 3 parts and I feed one part a day. After the first 2 weeks, I introduce another protein source that will be added to the chicken.

Okay, so I know (from reading about PMR all over the place) that a chicken is roughly 25-30% bone. So when I introduce the 2nd protein source, I would feed without the bone. My 2nd source is usually beef. My dogs don't get beef bones in their meal except for ox tail. They're too dense for my liking. I would give beef bone marrows and riblets as chew toys and not main meal. So, this is how I achieve the 10% bone ratio that is recommended in the PMR method. I feed one whole chicken and 6 lbs of beef meat-without-bones spread into 9 days of meals. To make it easier on me, I would do the exact same thing with the chicken - cut it up into 3 parts and feed one part in one day, then I would feed a pound of beef without bones the next 2 days, then feed another part of chicken the next day and then 2 more days of beef... When I add the organs, I feed one whole chicken, 6 lbs of beef, half a pound of liver and half a pound of other organs all spread into 10 days.

I also feed rabbits. The rabbits are easy - I just feed the entire rabbit - skinless but with innards all intact - and that rabbit has the proper ratio already.

Hope this helps.