Dr. Billinghurst on Raw, Meaty Bones
What about Bones, the cornerstone of a fresh raw diet? We all hear warnings about feeding bones to our dogs; that they will splinter and pierce the dog's esophagus, stomach, or intestines, or get stuck in the dog's mouth. Can this actually happen? The answer is yes, it can. Cooked bones can splinter, even raw bones can cause choking and possible death. Dr. Billinghurst has a specific and safe process by which to introduce young dogs to raw meaty bones, which if followed and supervised carefully, can be of great benefit.
Young pups in particular have the opportunity to avoid some of the growth problems that come from artificial sources of calcium. Dr. Billinghurst teaches us that growing pups on artificial food is one of the reasons for orthopedic diseases like hip dysplasia. He acknowledges the genetic predisposition, but says it it enhanced by feeding artificial food with artificial calcium. We have found this to be true. In 20 years of breeding Borzoi, a giant breed, we have seen several growth issues when feeding commercial kibble and canned food to puppies. Since we began raising our puppies on Dr. Billinghurst's formula, using ground meaty bones, our pups have grown up perfectly with no issues.
Dog digest raw bones nicely and absorb all of the important nutrients, so there is no question about the health benefits.
For most of us, however, feeding enough raw meaty and safe bones is not practical. The solution that Dr. B offers is to grind the meat and bones together! In our case, when we began our fresh raw feeding journey following Dr. Billinghurst's patty formula to create our various recipes, we quickly became aware that even that was not an easy undertaking because we were, and still are, feeding quite a few dogs, and at the time had no way to grind the meat and bones.
We did our research and talked to the folks that sold and serviced commercial meat grinders, the largest size that would handle soft young chicken and turkey bones and settled on a model that is working out very well. It grinds the bones finely in order to give the dogs every benefit but none of the risks associated with feeding whole bones. The equipment is expensive and heavy, and we needed to build a whole commercial grade processing room that can be cleaned and sanitized properly in order to produce and freeze our fresh food safely and efficiently in every respect. So, not an easy solution to the bone issue, but one that is do-able if one has the time, the room, the money, and the notion to do so. Even easier for our local dog owners and dog owners in contiguous states, is that our fresh food is available to purchase frozen.
There is one exception to the raw meaty bone issue here at Highmeadow Farm. We do feed whole raw fresh chicken necks to our dogs because they are relatively safe, although a few of our dogs swallow them whole without chewing them, so we rarely feed them to those dogs. Just raw chicken necks, however, do not provide the same nutritional value found in raw meaty bones because they contain so much cartilage, but, they are great for chewing and teeth cleaning, and the dogs love them. Again, under supervision.
Do you have questions or concerns about feeding a fresh, raw diet to your dog? Please call us to chat: 508-451-4519 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.