health and longevity with the raw food diet…

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    Which type of bone for which pet?
    A short faced pug
    The pug is described as, ‘a "toy" (very small) breed of dog with a wrinkly, short-muzzled face.”
    This dog would be able to consume whole chicken necks, it could be given other parts of the chicken too such as the back and wings, the legs bones maybe a challenge to work up to as they are thicker and require more gnawing.
    Avoid beef bones, as they are too thick and large to chew as this dog may break or wear down his teeth trying. However the Pug could be given beef rib bones to try.
    The bone must be entirely chewable in order for the dog to obtain all of the nutrients. All types of rabbit bones would be good additions to the diet too.

    Small Papillon
    The small Papillon is described as, ‘a small, friendly, elegant toy dog of fine-boned structure, light and dainty.
    This dog would be good to eat whole chicken necks, chicken wings and any of the rabbit bones.
    They can be given larger bones too for example pork bones, however if they are too large and cannot be entirely consumed then the dog will be left deficient in essential minerals from the uneaten bone.


    A cat or toothless pet
    Chicken necks, back, wings, breast and legs can be ground in a meat mincing machine as can rabbit bones. However this would also depend on how robust the mincing machine was? A wooden mallet can be used to soften and pulverise the pieces before placing into the grinder for the more robust bones such as chicken leg bones. Chicken necks are the easiest to prepare as they contain mostly cartilage. From my own experience, chicken necks can be placed in the blender with a little water to provide a soft paste suitable for the most toothless of cats.

    Larger breed dogs
    The larger breed dogs can be given whole chickens, rabbits, pork bones, lamb bones. Large beef bones are ok for chewing the ends, giving the jaws, gums and teeth a workout. However, I don’t think any dog should be given a large beef bone to ‘consume.’ They are too big, quite brittle (unlike other bones), and can damage teeth. Everything your dog needs in a bone can be obtained from smaller animal bones. Chickens are my favourite choice of bone and have by far the most nutrients.

    Kittens or puppies
    As chicken bones have the highest amount of natural essential fatty acids, a rich source of bone marrow and are usually without toxins (due to their being only 2 months old), they are highly recommended for the growing kitten or puppy. The wings in particular have bone marrow very rich in blood forming iron, essential for the growing puppy or kitten. Chicken bones also do not contain any hydatid tapeworms.
    Beef bones are hard and low in EFA’s, can carry toxins, and so are the least appropriate.
    Lamb bones are low in EFA’s, may contain the hydatid tapeworm and may cause diarrhoea, also not a good choice initially.
    Pork bones, having a very high fat content, contain lots of EFA’s and lots of nutrients therefore are good to trial. However, it is worthwhile to note that pork bones may also contain hydatids.
    The most advisable way to introduce the bones is to initially grind and mince chicken wings and necks for the first 10 days, and then introduce whole pieces gradually into the diet. As cats require more meat than dogs, the kittens should be given ground up chicken bones with a little more meat on them.

    A fussy eater just being introduced to raw meaty bones
    From my own experience, I suggest blending chicken necks into a puree and introduced a spoonful into their regular diet. Over time, increase the amount. This could then be replaced by small rabbit or chicken bones and in time (depending on the size of the animal) larger bones that require more gnawing and chewing to break down and consume in their entirety.

    In the words of Dr Syme from ‘Vets All Natural,’ “
    Dogs and cats have evolved eating a raw food diet for over 40 million years, compared to only 50 years on processed pet foods. Logic and science dictates that they will enjoy better health on their natural, evolutionary diet.”


    References:
    Billinghurst, I 1993, ‘Give your dog a bone,’ Warrigal Publishing, Australia.
    Messonnier, S, 2001, ‘Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats’ Three Rivers Press, New York.
    Pitcairn, R. H. & Pitcairn, S. H, 2005, ‘Dr. Pitcairn’s guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.’ Rodale Inc, USA.

    Website internet references:
    Vets All Natural by Dr Bruce Syme 2010. Article, ‘Importance of Omega 3.’ Viewed 18th August 2011
    http://www.vetsallnatural.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96&Itemid=106
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