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Prochain chiots Manchesters prévus pour  2021! * Next Manchester puppies expected in 2021!


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Portée  /  Litter  - 2021!

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We hope you enjoy browsing on our new Web site on Beauceron and Manchester Terrier and that you will find lots of useful information .


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Dogs Eat Bones 

This chapter contains the key to understanding how dogs should be fed.  Read it carefully.

The central message is that if a dog is to become and remain healthy, it’s diet must be based on raw meaty bones.

Most people know almost instinctively that dogs love bones.  They have seen dogs eat them, fight over them, dury themn and dig them up later on..  all rotten and smelly and decomposing… and delicious – if you’re a dog.

Despite that almost instinctive common knowledge, many modern dog owners are reluctant to feed bones.  Some believe bones are dangerous.  Others find them inconvenient, either because dogs fight over them, or because they ruin the farden with ceaseless burying of and searching for …. bones.

  • As a result, dogs, which for tens of thousands of years have relied on bones as the most important part if their diet are suffering health problems at all stages of life, in innumerable ways



That question is uppermost in many people’s minds.  The answer is …  yes, but only if they are cooked.


Cooked bones are harder, more brittle and more splintery that raw bones.  They are the ones most likely to be caught in the mouth, to pierce the intestines, to set like concrete in the large bowel, or to stick like fish hooks into the rectum.  All those events are bad news for dogs.

The long and short of it is… Don’t feed cooked bones.  They are unnatural and a danger to dogs.


Raw Bones are Completely Different !

Whilst cooked bones are potentially fatal for dogs, raw bones, in my experience, and in the experience of numerous dog owners, dog breeders and other veterinary surgeons, have been the only single food item that guarantees a dog will have excellent health.  This is hardly surprising.  It’s a dog’s heritage.

  • The vast majority of healthy dogs that I have known professionally and otherwise, were bone eaters.  No matter what else they ate, the central theme of their diet was raw meaty bones.  By contrast, most of the sick dogs I have known, rarely if ever ate bones.

I have also notices that there are fewer health problems in country dogs, compared to city dogs.  I attribute this in great measure to the sensible attitudes towards feeding dogs exhibited by many country people, in particular the fact that they view it as normal to feed their dogs bones.



Dogs are scavengers.  For millions of years, dogs have cleaned up the remains of other animal’s bodies.  Mostly bones.  That ability remains.  All modern dogs easily and joyfully tackle bones.

  • A dog’s whole system is designed for and in fact needs bones to function properly.  That desire and ability has not been removed from any breed of dog, no matter how altered it’s mouth and teeth may be, and no matter how frail and '‘non-dog-like'’ it may look.

This includes the shortest-faced Pug dog, the daintiest Papillon, the sweetest Pomeranian, through to the roughest and toughest of Pit Bull Terriers.  Any breed you care to name can, will and should eat bones.

  • Age makes no difference.  So long as you old dog still has sufficient healthy teeth left, eating bones with all it’s benefits should either continue, or commence as part of it’s life.

Your vet may have to scale some teeth, remove others that are rotten and perhaps treat your dog with antibiotics to fix a mouth infection, but once that poor sore mouth has settled down, your dog can commence to chew bones.



Ask any puppy whether dogs eat bones.  The answer comes back in a flash … most certainly … and don’t you try and take it off me !

Ask any adult dog.  We do, constantly.  The answer is always the same.  Yes thankyou and can I have some more please ?

Time and again, dog owners assure me that their dog will definitely not eat bones.  Not long after they have come to stay with us, their dogs, even if they have never eaten bones before, are happily crunching away on their bones, and feeling so much better.


Talk to a few butchers.  Every day they peddle bones to people for their dogs.

Recently, butchers have been advertising a product called ‘’trim lamb’’.  This lamb has no bones or fat.  The advertising in the magazines finishes up with an unhappy dog gazing sadly at the lamb with no bone … and the words… ‘’no bones … a disaster !’’

If only dog owners could know how true those words are !



The question you must be asking yourself is… why are bones good for dogs ?  What is it that bones have which cannot just as easily be supplied in another way ?  This is a most important question.

When I began feeding my dogs this way about nine years ago, I was amazed at how well they did.  I found that most dogs could eat practically one hundred percent raw meaty bones, and reamain in perfect health.

This included growing puppies.  They survived and grew normally.  In fact much better than puppies fed the modern way on processed food and calcium supplements.  In other words, as incredible as it sounds, raw meaty bones appeared to be a complete food for a dog.  If not totally complete, then pretty close.  I was pleased.  It suited my lazy nature.  It also left me a little perplexed.  Why was it so ?

I have spent the last eight years or so researching that question – amongst others.

What follows are some of the answers I have found regarding bones.  Why bones play such a unique and irreplaceable role in providing the bulk of a dog’s nutrition, and at the same time, making dogs both happy and healthy.

I have no doubt that there are lots more reasons that I have managed to discover.  However, I have found enough to convince me of the supreme importance of bones as the bulk of a dog’s diet.  I hope you feed the same way.


Bones  ..  Essential Nutrition For a Dog

Most people think of bones as something for a dog to chew on.  Something which will keep a bored dog occupied for a few hours.  A pacifier.  The more advanced folk know that bones clean teeth.  However, what most dog owners don’t realise is that bones are also full of vital nutrients for their dog.

Bones are living tissue composed of living cells.  Because bones are living tissue, just like any other part of the body, they are a complex source of a wide variety of nutrients.

Bones contain minerals which are embedded in protein.  They also contain fat.  With the fat are fat soluble vitamins and the central part of most bones contains marrow which is a highly nutritious mix of blood forming elements, including iron.  Raw bones also provide natural anti-oxidant/anti-ageing factors including enzymes.


Bones Provide Your Dog with all the Minerals it Requires

Bones are nature’s storehouse of minerals for your dog.  They contain calcium and phosphorus in perfect balance, together with all other minerals essential for your dog’s normal functioning.  Isn’t that beautifully simple ?  No need for any mineral supplements.. just feed raw meaty bones !

  • The ability of bones to provide a dog with it’s complete supply of minerals is unique and irreplaceable.

For example, it is the only logical way to supply a puppy’s complete and balance supply of calcium, phosphorus and other minerals.  No more guesswork.  After all, that is how nature has done it for the last million years or so.

This is well demonstrated by modern attempts to raise puppies on processed foods and calcium supplements.  The results of these attempts walk through vets’ doors daily.

  • Some are older dogs with arthritis.  Lots of people think they have raised their dogs well on artificial calcium, but they are wrong.  Their dog shows no obvious signs when it is young, but in later life develops one of the many forms of arthritis.
  • Others are yound dogs with growth problems, particularly defects in bone growth, the most popular one bieng hip dysplasia, but there are a host of others including OCD (osteonchondritis disecans), wobbler syndrome, dropped hocks, splayed feet, bone cysts and so on.

If those names are unfamiliar to you, don’t worry.  They are not important.  What is important is that puppy owners realise that every one of those modern skeletal diseases of dogs is a direct result of poor nutrition.  Commercial dog foods plus calcim supplements.  They do not occur when a dog is raised properly on raw meaty bones.

We have been breeding Great Danes and Rottweilers on and off for years.  The bone problems our dogs had benn experiencing disappeared the moment we began to riase our puppies on a bone based diet.

  • That is why I stress daily in my practice that when feeding puppies, do not use calcium supplements.  No matter what the breed.  In fact, the larger the breed, the more important it becomes NOT to add calcium supplements to the diet, but to make sure those pups are raised on heaps and heaps of bones.  As a rule of thumb, about sixty percent of the diet sould be raw meaty bones.

People who heed this advice raise pups bounding with health, including perfect bone formation.


Protein in Bones

The protein extracted from bone by steam under pressure is gelatin, a poor quality protein, deficient in a number of essential amino acids.

Fresh bone is different.  It contains all the essential amino acids in adequate amounts with the exception of methionine.  The amino acid lysine, essential for normal bone growth is present in large quantities.

Fortunately methionine, the missing amino acid is found in abundance in meat.  This means that raw meaty bones contain your dog’s total protein requirements.  Keep that in mind next time you feed meaty bones to your dog !


Essential Fatty Acids in Bones

Essential fatty acidsare essential for perfect health.  Raw bones contain fat.  If the bone is from chicken (or pork), then that fat will be very high in the essential fatty acids.

Beef and lamb bones have fat which is low in essential fatty acids.  By feeding lamb bones you will usually supply more fat and therefore more essential fatty acids than beef bones.


Fat Soluble Vitamins in Bones 

The fat soluble vitamins A, D and E are stored in bone with the fat.  This is another reason why dogs that eat plenty of raw bones are so healthy.  Remember, the fat soluble vitamins are associated with enhancing the immune system and promoting healthey longevity.

  • Note that when bone is cooked, these vitamins leave with the fat.


The Marrow in Bone

When your dog eats bones, your dog is receiving many of the nutrients which help produce blood and a healthy, well functioning immune system.  This is because the bone marrow is where blood is formed and it is also part of the immune system of an animal.  When your dog eats raw bone, he or she is consuming all the important blood forming nutrients, particularly copper and iron.  Cook the bone, and many of those valuable nutrients are lost.


Energy in Bone

Because bone is full of fat and protein, it is full of energy for your dog.  Note, in very fat dogs, bones are still a necessary part of their diet and should be fed daily.  However, this should be in limited amounts, because of their high energy content which will help promote obesity.


The Nutrients in Bone … Summary

In summary, when your dog eats a raw bone, your dog is receiving high quality protein (only one essentiel amino acid missing), the very best mineral supplement possible, essential fatty acids if the bone is from chicken or port, the fat soluble vitamins A, D and E, the blood forming elements in the bone morrow, including iron and copper, energy (in the fat and protein), together with the unknown factors prensent in all raw food … health enhancing factors, including anti-oxidants and enzymes.

  • What I am describing here, is nery nealy all the nutrients your dog requires !  The only nutrients missing are some of the B vitamins, and the amino acid methionine.  All you have done to get this magnificent nutrition into your dog, is to feed your dog a raw bone !

If you add meat to this diet, that is, feed a raw MEATY bone, you supply methionine and most of the B vitamins.  Note also that dogs manufacture all the B complex vitamins in their large bowel, and also vitamin K.

By now you should be starting to understand why dogs can be fed raw meaty bones as the major part of their diet.  Why pups can be raised on a bone based diet.  Why older dogs with sound teeth stay healthey on a bone based diet.  Why pregnant and lactating female dogs have no problems with infertility on a bone based diet.  Why most dogs can live almost entirely on this food for most of their lives and by healthy.


Nutritional Value of Different Bones

All bones are pretty much equal with regard to protein and mineral value.  However, beef and lamb bones are very low in essential fatty acids, while chicken and port bones are excellent in this respect.


Nutritional Value of Cooked Bones

Do remember that as soon as they are cooked, apart from becoming dangerous, bones lose much of their nutritional value.  This includes the essential fatty acids, any fat soluble vitamins, many of the anti-oxidant/anti-ageing factors including enzymes that may be present, and much of the protein.  The minerals in the bone are changed in a way that makes them far less useful than when the bone was raw.


Buried Bones

We all know that dogs bury bones, saving them for later on.  In the case of raw bones, they slowly decompose under the action of their own enzymes.  It is quite healthy for your dog to eat these buried bones … so long as it was a buried RAW BONE.  It is nutritious for your dog.  It just has different qualitites to fresh bone.  We are not sure at this stage of all of them, but they are similar to aged meat.

With cooked bones in which all the enzymes have been destroyed, the resulting rotten bone could possibly make your dog sick.  Buried cooked bones cannot decompose under the action of their own enzymes.  Their enzymes have been destroyed by the cooking process.  Instead, they are attacked by bacteria, which can produce dangerous toxins.  Perhaps the worst of these would be the toxin released by the bacteria which cause Botulism, a deadly paralysis.

  • Incidentally, if your dog is burying it’s bones, that signals a lack of hunger … you are over doing the feeding bit !


Bones and Dental Health

It is not hard to pick the dogs that eat bones.  They look and act healthy.  The acid test however, is to look in their mouth and smell their breath.

I do this daily as part of a routine examination of all dogs that enter my practice …

Another clean set of teeth !  No sign of tartar, nice healthy gums, and doggy breath that does NOT smell like a sewer.  I can say with complete confidence to this client …. ‘’I see your dog gets plenty of bones !’’… I have not been proven wrong yet.


Bones are Nature’s Toothbrush for Dogs

As dogs chew on bones, rip the flesh off bones, cruch bones, that very action cleans the teeth, ans massages the gums, stopping tartar, gum infections, tooth root decay, dental abscesses, and a whole body poisoned by a grossly infected mouth.  aN extremely common condition in today’s dog fed on soft mushy convenience food.

Bone eating should commence when puppies are first introduced to solid food.  We use minced up chicken wings and chicken necks… bones and all.  After about ten days, those pups are eating the wings in their entirely, without the need to be broken up at all.  Now those wings are acting as toothbrushes.

Thirty years ago, Aussie dogs did not have the dental problems they have today.  The rise in the incidence of mouth problems has parallelled the increase in consumption of processed food, together with the decline in consumption of raw meaty bones.

The result of no bones on a dog’s menu, processed food only, is teeth covered in TARTAR, receding gums, tooth root decay, and the most vile, stinking mouth infection.

Left untreated that mouth infection, spreads via the bloodstream and may lodge in other organs such at the heart, lungs, kidneys, prostate, uterus etc…

Meanwhile think of the poor suffering animal, a lifetime of cruel pain… plus rejection by an owner who cannot stand the smell.


Doggy Dentists … Only New in Australia

The rapid increase in canince dental problems over the last ten years has spawned a growing specialty within the Australian Veterinary profession.  Veterinary Dentistry.

In 1991/92, a veterianry drug company, with expensive dental machines to sell to Assie vets invited two American Veterinary Dentists to Australia.  The idea was that these Yankee vets should persuade the Aussie vets what a great money-making racket is Veterianry Dentistry.

  • Apparently, we Aussie vets needed to catch up to our American counterparts.  In the States where dogs never see a bone and eat only processeed pet foods, Veterianry Dentistry provides vets with one third of their gross income.

The company’s aim was to sell the Aussie vets expensive dental machines.  Machines that are so sophisticated, they would make a human dentist proud.  More importantly, that equipment would make it’s new owner a fortune !  Those filthy infected mouths, the direct result of precessed foods, were literally filled with gold.  All an astute veterinarian had to do was be willing to invest a few thousand dollars in dental equipment and learn how to use it !

As part of their sales pitch, those American vets tried to tell or sell us on the idea that dogs should not be fed bones … ever.

Such provocative statements raised the ire of a number of practical Aussie vets, who knew the importance of bones to the dental health of dogs.

  • Since that time there has been much debate amongst vets, about the importance or otherwise, of bones to a dog’s dental and genral health.

The question has been asked ‘’do dogs chew their food ?’’  This had lead to further questions such as … ‘’Is it ones alone, bones plus scraps of meat, or is it bones plus their full complement of flesh which clean dog’s teeth and massage their gums ?’’

From such learned pontificating has come the suggestion that this is an area worthy of research.  That may well be so.  But from my point of view it seems like an incredible waste of money to research something so painfully obvious.

My observations tell me that all of those activities are healthy for dogs.  Any researchers who enter this field will be staggered at the difference they see in the health of bone eating dogs compared to the ‘’mush-and-dry’’ brigade.

In the meantime, while we wait for this scientific research to prove beyond all shadow of a doubt what we already know, let us not deny our dogs the benefits of bones.

Fortunately, much valuable ground has been made within the profession out of these discussions.  More and more vets have become aware of the importance of bones to a dog’s dental and general health.

Many are realising that should the Australian dog-owning public start feeding their dogs bones, this new specialty (vet dentistry) within the Australian Veterinary Profession, might quietly fade away, leaving redundant a lot of expensive equipment and training.


Disappearing Dentistry

Prior to recommending bones as an essential part of a dog,s diet, I had had to deal with masses of revolting, stinking, disease-ridden mouths, just like every other vet.  Gradually, as my clients took my advice and fed their dogs bones, that unpleasant job was on the wane.  The result was that as Veterinary Dentistry began to flourish in Australia, I was scaling down my vet dentistry activities.

These days, the bulk of my dental work is carried out on the pets of new clients.  This usually involves, getting rid of the tartar from the teeth, removing the badly diseased teeth, and clearing up the mouth infections with penicillin and flagyl or whatever antibiotic is appropriate.

After that, I talk to the owner about diet, dentistry, teeth and health.  Within a couple of weeks most of these dogs are confirmed bone eaters with no more dental problems and a vast improvement in health.


Meaty Bones Provide Incredible Exercice For Your Dog

Do not cut your dogs meat up, and do not cut it off the bone.  Feed it in large lumps left on the bone.  This gives your dog something to do with its jaws and teeth and whole body … exercise.

Meat left on the bone means your dog will have to rip, tear and chew at it.  This is the way nature intended your dog to eat.  It is part of keeping your dog healthy.  It is vitally important for your dog’s health that it eats it’s food in as natural a form as possible.  All that exercise of chewing, ripping and tearing at large lumps of bones and meat is of benefit to dogs of all ages.

It helps a growing dog to develop properly, and it helps keep an adult dog fit.

Think of a dog with both feet planted firmly on a lump of meat still attached to it’s bone.  Head down, taking hold of that meat, ripping and tearing away.  What is that dog exercising ?

That dog is exercising it’s whole body.  It’s jaws, it’s neck, it’s shoulders, and it’s front legs.  It is also exercising the back and hind legs which are braced to resist all this activity up front.

That process is of vital importance to growing dogs.  Young dogs deprived of bones, NEVER have the correct development of their jaws, neck, shoulders, front legs, chest, back, hips, in fact their whole body !  Time and again I see weak spindly looking pups coming in to be vaccinated.  They are about twelve weeks old.  They have legs like chooks.  Long, thin and no muscle tone.  I know immediately that this pup does not eat raw meaty bones as a major part of it’s diet.  I know that this pup is being raised on some horrible sort of canned mush or one of the dried dog foods.


Pick the Puppy Raised on Bones

Puppies MUST Eat Bones !

It is vital to the future structural health of all dogs that they are involved daily in this form of eating exercise.  The lack of healthy growth promoting eating exercise in pups, is a major part of the process which results in the bone diseases common in mordern dogs.

I remember back to my early days in practice, when a client who bred the most beautiful corgis complained to me about poor shoulder developement in her pups.  She was concerned about poor angulation, and poor muscle tone.

I had no answer back then.  Today, I have owners of corgis (and other breeds), who feed their pups as I advise, asking me if it is normal for a dog’s front end to be so well developed !  When they get in the show ring, the judge certainly assures them it is OK !

Older dogs deprived of eating exercice simply grow weak and flabby.  You know what they say … use it or lose it !


Meaty Bones and Digestion

In addition to exercising and healthily stressing a dog’s muscles and bones, all that ripping and tearing at big lumps of meat … on or off the bone, helps with a dog’s digestion.

That preliminary activity, that hard work, sends a series of messages which alerts the entire divestive system to the fact that food is on the way.  This gives the digestive system plenty of time to get ready, and do an efficient job of digesting, absorbing and retaining what is eaten.

The bone eating dog contrasts strongly to a dog fed it's food in a minced up, soft and soggy dollop.  One or two gulps and it’s gone.  No work is required.  The poor creature does not even have to go to the bother of standing up to eat.  There is very little time for messages to be sent to alert the digestive system which remains unprepared.  This mass of mush, slides past tartar covered teeth which have not had to chew food for years, arriving as a leaden, lifeless lump in an unprepared stomach.  Poor digestion, indigestion, and quite commonly diarrhea is the result.

A few hours later, and the dog, initially uncomfortable from this amorphous mass sitting in its stomach, is now hungry once again.  This is a sure recipe for obesity.

Puppies and adult dogs fed raw marty bones rarely if ever suffer from indigestion or diarrhea.  Dogs fed raw meaty bones produce smallish quantities of solid minimally offensive stools.  These are quite different to the revolting mounds of evil smelling partially liquid waste which oozed it’s way out the back end of dogs fed processed food.


Meaty Bones an Your Dog’s Psyche and Immune System

Ripping and tearing at it’s food is very emotionally satisfying for a dog.  A dog’s whole being longs to eat in thes way because of it’s evolutionary background of hunting and scavenging.  That is why eating this way is a tremendous sitmulus to the immune system, and no doubt is another reason for the incredible health and disease resistance of bone chewing dogs.

Bone chewing dogs are also found to be much more evenly balanced emotionally.  In contrast to what many people think, bone eatibng dogs are the ones least likely to be savage.  It is as if they have taken out all their aggression on the meaty bones.  Eating this way also means much less destructive behaviour.

Emotional balance, skeletal health and all round good health due to a healthy immune system is part of the reason modern zoos feed their carnivores on whole raw carcases rather that use processed foods.  The processed foods were tested and found not to be good at all for the animals.


Meaty Bones and Obesity

A major benefit of feeding the meat in large lumps, or on the bone, it that it takes the dog longer to eat it’s food.  This helps with the obesity problem.  It gives the dog’s internals a chance to tell the dog it has had enough.  BEFORE it has over-eaten.

Many people notice that after a few days on this type of food, their dog will appear to lose it’s appetite.  Their immediate reaction is to worry that something has gone wrong.  That their dog no longer likes the new diet.  That their dog is sick.  Not so.  In fact things are perfect.  For the first time in it’s life that dog is no longer hungry.  It is actually satisfied.

When this happens, the very worst thing you can do is assume your dog no longer likes the new diet and go back to feeding him or her the old way on commercial dog food or whatever.

Be patient.  Do not offer any food at all for twenty four hours.  Your dog WILL eat again !  If you are impatient and go back to the old food, this is a sure recipe for producing obesity and all the other disasters stemming from not eatin raw meaty bones.

The other thing to keep in mind is the need for variation.  For example, if you have been feeding only chicken bones for the last couple of weeks, switch, and feed some beef and/or lamb bones.  The reason for the variation is not simply to please your dog.  It is for the very sound reason that different meats have somewhat different nutrient contents.  Variation is healthy.  That is why nature builts that desire for variation into all creatures.  It ensure balance in the diet.


Bones May Have a Similar Role to Fibre

It is highly probable that bones play a similar role to fibre in a dog's  body.  That is, a role of bulking out the food, and a role of removing toxins and promoting bowel peristalsis (mouvement) and general bowel health.

The possibility of toxin removal would help to explain why bone eating dogs are so healthy, and rarely (or never in my experience) suffer from cancer, while non-bone eating dogs suffer the whole range of degenerative diseases … including cancer.


Bones, Worms and Anal Sac Problems

Not feeding bones to dogs sells an awful lot of worm tablets, and good quality worm tablets are not cheap !

When our dogs ate mostly processed dog food, we often found worm eggs in their feces.  Naturally we would then worm them.  From the time they are whole raw foods, including heaps of bones, they were rarely if ever ‘’wormy’’.  I concluded from this that processed dog foods do not feed the immune system properly the way fresh whole foods do.

Another reason that non-bone eaters get wormed regularly is because they spend a lot of time scooting their rear ends along the ground or the carpet in an attempt to empty their anal sacs.  This makes their owner think they have worms.

Sometimes their dog will have a tapeworm infestation which will cause this.  More commonly, their dog’s bottom is not so much itchy as uncomfortable.  Their dog has full anal sacs.

what are anal sacs ?  They are two little stink sacs embedded in the ring of muscle which keeps your dog’s anus closed.  They are full of rotten, smelly, thickish, semi-liquid to liquid material.  It smells something like very off fish.  Both of these anal sacs open to the outside throught a tiny duct.  These little stink sacs are designed to expel their contents either when a hard lump of feces passes through the anus on it’s way to the outside, or when your dog is frightened.

They are scent-cum-identification- cum- warning glands for dogs.  When you see a dog sniffing another’s feces, he or she is looking for this particular signature.

If a dog has a fright, the whole contents are expelled, and all the other dogs get the message that something awful has happened or is about to happen.

If your dog does not have many frights, and if you dog does not nage hard feces, these sacs fail to empty, and become very full.  Your dog then scoots this bottom along the ground or the carpet, in an attempt to empty them. 

If you feed your dogs lots of bones, those beautifully hard feces that result, cause the anal sacs to empty… your dog does not have to scoot… you don’t think your dog has worms … and so you save money …  not buying unnecessary worm tablets.

Note also, that anal sacs which are not emptied regularly by the passage of hard feces, often become diseaced and have to be removed.  A most unpleasant operation for your dog.

All of this can be avoided by feeding raw bones daily to your dog.


Bone Feeding, Constipation and Dog Logs in the Back Yard

To a person who has fed a dog on processed food all it’s life, the passage of feces formed from bones can make a dog look as though it is constipated.  When a dog has to strain to pass a nice solid fecal lump formed from bones, that is completely normal.  Stop worrying !

By the way, who gets to pick them up at your place ?  The ‘’dog logs’’ in the back yard I mean.  Not a pleasant job is it.  If your dog eats lots of bones, the job will be at least less unpleasant, if not more pleasant.

The ‘’dog logs’’ passed by dogs eating processed food stink.  They are mushy, the canned variety stain the concrete, and those form dry dog food, because they are so indigestible, produce stinking voluminous wet feces.

Feed you dogs copious quantities of bones and hey presto… The droppings are far less smelly, there are less of them, they are easy to pick up, they do not stain the path, and they are less likely to squash between your toes… should you be barefoot.


Raw Bones Prolong Your Dog’s Life

  • Bone eating dogs are long lived healthy dogs.  They seem to be particularly free of the degenerative diseases of old age.

I can see a number of reasons for this.

Firstly, the bones themselves produce all those wonderful benefits we have talked about, including dental health, good nutrition without excesses or deficiencies, proper digestion, proper development of puppies and great exercice throughout life.  In addition, being raw, the bones provide all the wonderful benefits of raw food, including enzymes, and age fighting anti-oxidants.

Not only that, people who are prepared to feed lots of bones to their dogs, seem to have plenty of good old fashioned common sense when it comes to feeding dogs.  They see the dog as a dog.  With doggy needs, and are usually not seduced by the claims of dog food manufacturers.

They almost always feed both themselves, and their dogs lots of healthy foods.  That i, they feed the scraps of their healthy foods to their dog(s).  In addition, I usually find that these common sense healthy people also make sure that their dog does not become overweight !



In our hospital and at home with our own animals, we have fed every conceivable type of bone to every conceivable type of dog.  All raw.  In our experience with feeding bones to dogs, it is a very safe procedure.  We have led dogs this way in complete safety, over many years, as have thousands of our clients.

I must also confess, that with our own dogs that eat bones all the time, we have occasionally slipped in the odd cooked bone.  However, we do not recommend the feeding of cooked bones.

From this wide circle of bone feeding experience we feel confident to offer the following comments, information and guidance.


‘’Dinosaur’’ Bones

These are the great big bones.  The big long bones out if both the front and hind legs of cattle.

They are all fairly hard tough bones.  That is one of the reasons I recommend them least of all.

In the past, many vets have said give only these big bones to your dog because he or she cannot break them up.  The idea being, that if they could not be broken up, they would be safe.

However, in our experience, all bones are safe so long as they are not cooked.  They are a dog’s natural food, and may be fed with confidence.

Not only that, big dogs can break up these bones.  They can chew them, and they swallow them.  I am very pleased to report they have never in our experience caused any problems.  Of course for little dogs that cannot break them up, the disadvantage is that they do not get to eat the bone, except perhaps the softer ends, thus missing out on the nutritional aspects of the bone.  In other words, for all except the bigger dogs, these big bones act more as pacifiers and teeth cleaners, and less as suppliers of nutrients.

Many folk get their butcher to cut these big bones in half lengthways, so as to allow the dog access to the marrow.

The main problem they do cause, because they are so big, thick and hard, is the wearing down and the breaking of teeth.  Loss of teeth is serious, and can happen if they are the only type of bone offered.

Actually, I do have another objection, but it is an objection common to all bones.  The horrible crunching noise that goes on all night under the bedroom window, making human sleep well night impossible.


 Meaty/Boney Off-Cuts From the Butcher

Most butchers, and this includes butchers in the major supermarkets will supply bags full of boney off-cuts.  These off-cuts will vary as to the proportions of meat bone and fat, and of course as to the beast they came from (either lamb or beef usually), and finally as to which bones are included.  That is, they can contain all sorts of bones – e.g. chop bones, beef ribs, necks, backbones, the pelvis – etc.

We do not try and sort them out, mostly accepting whatever bones are there, and dolling them out to all and sundry.  At our place, all and sundry includes Rotties, a fox, a Bull Terrier, some cats and Toy Poodles, plus a number of client’s dogs that are staying with us as we correct their nutritional proplems

The only sorting we might do is if we feel there is too much fat on a piece for our fat little poodle.  We do sort out the meatier pieces for the cats, and the softer bones for any young pups we are raising.

  • We think of these off-cuts, as good general bones.  They keep dogs happy, their teeth clean, and as described, supply much of their nutrition.

We have NEVER had any problem from these bones with our dogs, or dogs that have had bones from birth.  In fact we have RARELY seen problems with raw bones – period.

I have seen rib bones, raw ones, caught in the mouth between the teeth.  However, I do not see that as sufficient reason for recommending against bones.  They are not difficult to remove, them.  The only thing you may possibly need to be alert for would be infection in the mouth if the bone pierced the gums or palate etc.  If that were the case, your god may need a shot of penicillin or some other antibiotic as your vet decides.


Chicken Bones

Raw chicken, on the bone is without doubt the very best form in which to feed your dog most of it’s requirements of raw meaty bones.

Most people, when I suggest they feed their dog chicken bones (I often recomment chicken wings), reel back in horror and surprise … and say…. ‘’But I thought you were not supposes to give chicken bones to dogs … ! ???’’

The answer is of course, that it is most certainly not a good idea to feed COOKED chicken bones to your dog.

I can remember my first case of cooked chicken bones.  I had been in practice only a short time.  My son David had a little toy Poodle.  Her name was Elizabeth.  That poor little soul had got into the garbage can.  She had polished off a whole heap of cooked chicken bones.

Those darned things were hard and sharp, and they were stuck in her rectum, each sharp point jagging into her rectal wall.  She was in agony.  Fortunately, not hard to fix, but I never forgot the danger of cooked ckicken bones.

There is an incredible difference between cooked and raw chicken.  Have you ever tried to chew on raw chicken ?  It is TOUGH.  The bones on the other  hand, coming fron ten week old birds are extremely soft.  Once your dog has crunched through that flesh, the bones are very safely crushed.  Contrast this with cooked chicken.  The flesh is beautifully soft, while the bones have gone brittle and sometimes quite splintery.  These are dangerous !  DON’T FEED COOKED CHICKEN BONES TO YOUR DOG !!!

  • Since discovering the joys of feeding chicken to dogs, raw chookds have become the most popular item of food on our dogs’ menu.  They have in fact become the mainstay of their diet.

We pop along to a chook processing plant where they bone out the chooks to make all that lovely human chook fare such as chicken kiev and boneless chicken stuffed with apricots etc. etc..  What we pick up are the chicken carcases, the boned out chicken legs, necks and various other bits and piecess of chook at an incredibly cheap price.

This is the waste which is normally processed to become commercial dog food, or chicken mince.  In its raw pristine state, straight from the factory, not processed, not cooked or minced, with no chemicals or preservatives or coloured dyes added, it is incredibly valuable food for our dogs.

Chicken pieces, the carcases, the wings, the necks, whatever, I now consider to be the most important raw meaty bone for our dogs.  There are a number of reason for this.

An obvious and important reason is their availability.  Because chicken is now a major human food, and much of it is being deboned, it is freely available at bargain basement prices.  Some chicken outlets are even paying people to dump it !

Of all the meaty bones available, chicken carcases would undoubtedly be the most nutritious and the safest.  The chickens from which they come are exceptionally young… two to three months at the most.  The bones are soft and have no toxins.  Chickens do not carry hydatid tapeworms.

  • Raw meaty chicken bones can be fed to the very old, the very young, the very sick, in fact to any dog at any stage of life.

They have the best essential fatty acid content of all animal bones.  They are beautifully balanced with respect to their bone to flesh ratio, and when raw, they are soft and safe.  This is why wings and necks are so good for puppies.  Plenty of bone for their bones.  The wings are a rich source of bone marrow, rich in blood forming iron.

  • Chicken protein is of exceptional quality with respect to essential amino acid content and is easily digested.
  • Chicken bones are a brilliant way to introduce bones to the old, the young and the never-had-bones before animal.
  • Chicken pieces, especially chicken wings make an excellent basic diet for lactating mums.  They have all that protein and calcium so necessary for producing lots of rich milk for the pups.

They provide all the other valuable assets of bones as I have already outlined.


Raw Chicken Carries Bacteria

Raw chicken does of course carry bacteria, E.g. – Salmonella.  Also Campylobacter jejuni.  These are of absolutely no consequence to a healthy dog.  However, after handling raw chicken, (and remember you do this all the time when you prepare a chicken meal for the family), wash your hands before eating, and sterilise all utensils, implements and cutlery etc. used in it’s preparation.  It’s that simple.



And alse dogs that have never eaten bones before.  We introduce bones into the diets of all these animals by mincing up chicken wings or chicken carcases or whatever bits of boney chicken bits we have.

If initially the dog does not like the taste, we mix a tiny portion of this minced chicken with a larger portion of whatever it does like… also minced.  Over a period of time, we gradually increase the proportion of minced up chicken bits.  For more information on how to encourage your fussy dog to try new food sensations, refer to Chapter 20.



Do Not Feed Your Dog Cooked Bones

Many dog owners have real horror stories to tell about feeding bones to dogs.  Things such as anal piercing by little spicules of cooked chicken or chop bones.  Bones that have pierced their dog’s bowels, bones that have become caught in the mouth, throat, oesophagus etc.  At the time, it caused their dog a lot of grief nd cost them a lot of money.  That is why I am never surprised that they vow never to feed their dog, any dog, a bone ever again.

  • However, what must be borne firmly in mind is that almost every problem caused to dogs by eating bones has benn caused by COOKED BONES.

Rule number one is … do not feed cooked bones to your dog.  Feeding cooked bones is a little like playing Russian roulette.  You may get away with it for years, or you may have a disaster straight away.

I have met folks who have given their dog cooked bones for it’s entire life with no problems.  Others, myself included, feed cooked bones to their dogs – occasionally … again no problems.  However, if any bone is going to cause a problem it will be the cooked bone.  From the moment people began feeding their dogs cooked bones, there have been problems.  These multiplied at a rapid rate once the idea of cooking food for dogs became firmly entrenched in people’s minds.


Why are Cooked Bones so Bad ?

The obvious answer is that they are a totally unnatural way to feed a dog.  For the last million years or so dogs have been eating raw bones.  That is what their body, their digestive system is geared ta handle.

I have already mentioned the physical changes in bones that occur following cooking, however, they are very important and deserve repeating.  Cooked bones are harder, more brittle and more splintery.  They are the ones most likely to be caught in the mouth, to pierce a bowel, to set like concrete in the large bowel, or to stick like fish hooks into the rectum.

Bones, once cooked are very poor nutritionally compared to raw bones.  Their whole chemical composition has changed.  They become very much like any other processed unnatural food.  Their protein it of MUCH lower quality.  Not much different to gelatine.  They have lost most of their fat, and therefore their essential fatty acids and thier fat soluble vitamins.  The marrow, once cooked is much less valuable nutritionally.

Having lost their rawness, bones have lost their enzymes, all the vitamins which are destroyed by heat, and all the anti-oxidants and othe anti-ageing factors in raw foods.

One of the most important changes that occurs is to the minerals in that bone.  It is probable that the calcium in the bone chemically combines with other minerals in the bone making them unavailable.  Cooking the bone changes the way your dog’s body assimilates the calcium, resulting in problems relating to an excessive intake of calcium, causing problems in both growing and adult dogs.

  • The bottom line on COOKED BONES is DO NOT FEED THEM TO YOUR DOG !


Avoid Feeding Bones from Older Animals to Your Dog

Bones from older animals have a number of draw backs.  They are much harder than bones from younger animals.  This means that they will be very wearing on your dog’s teeth, and may even result in a broken tooth.

Old bones store toxins.  The older the animal, the more toxins that will be stored in it’s bones.  For example, an old cow kept pastured in a paddock near a main highway all it’s life will have bones full of lead from leaded petrol fumes.  Not a great idea to feed these to your dog.  As I mentioned earlier, when you buy processed dog food, you take all sorts of risks including the strong possiblility that such toxin-filled bones went into the mix.

These days it is not common for older animal’s bones to end up in butchers shops.  If they did, they would most likely be beef bones.  As beef bones are also low in essential fatty acids if would be better not to feed large old beef bones to your dogs, particularly if you are able to choose an alternative.

  • The bottom line is, where possible, feed bones from young animals.


Bone Meal – a Good Idea or Not ?

Within the last fifteen years in Britain, bone meal as a source of calcium for women afraid of developing osteoporosis, had to be banned.  Much of this bone meal had been derived from old carthorses which had spent all their lives in city traffic, concentrating lead from petrol fumes in their bones.  Some of these women languished in mental institutions until it was realised that they were suffering from lead poisoning.

What about bone meal for dogs ?  I do not recommend it.  Bone meal is ground up and cooked bone.  In other words it really is only cooked bone, without the physical dangers but with all the nutritional problems of cooked bones including the very real possibility of some sort of toxicity, including chronic lead poisoning.




Beef ?

In sum, beef bones are probably the ones you should avoid if you have the opportunity to do so.  tHey MAY be older, they will probably be harder, they may have more toxins, their fat is low in essential fatty acids, and they usually have the least amount of flesh left on them.


Lamb ?

Lamb bones are probably the most common ones that people are able to get hold of.  They can be very fatty, and that is something to be avoided in some instances.  Cut the fat off, or simply throw away the really fatty pieces.  Lots of dogs do very well eating lamb flaps.  It seems to cause diarrhea.  In that case, switch to chicken.

Lamb bones as the name suggests come from a young animal.  The bones are soft with few toxins.  The essential fatty acid content is reasonable because of the high fat content, and there is usually a reasonable amount of meat left on them.

  • The one drawback with any raw lamb products is the possibility of hydatids (see chapter 9).  However, this is certainly not a problem if you purchase them from a butcher.


Chicken ?

In terms of nutritional quality, safety, their contribution to dental, and therefore general health, freedom from hydatids, easy availablility and their cheapness, these would have to be the best type of bone to feed to your dog.

Some larger dogs will get into the habit of swallowing chicken carcases whole, which means that many of the benefits of bone eating are denied to that dog.  For that reason, and because variability is important when it comes to feeding dogs, it is wise to also feed both lamb and beef bones on a regular basis.

Many people myself included feed rabbit, pork and even fish bones… all raw, and with a good covering of raw flesh of course, to their dogs and have obsolutely no problems.  We just get very healthy dogs.

Incidentally, rabbit is quite good food for dogs if you can get hold of it.  It is a valuable food for dogs with bad skin due to eating dry food.  It has a good balance of essential fatty acids.



Bones should be fed DAILY to your dog.  That’s right … every day.  At the very least, feed them three times a week.  Any less that that, and all the problems kept away by bones gradually start to appear.  For example, tartar starts to build up.  Tartar build up usually means that junk food is creeping in.  Once the rot sets in, dog owners become lazy, they forget to go to the butcher, and gradually bones are fed less than once a week, then hardly at all.  In other words… keep the habit up.  Keep feeding your dog bones, or you will lose the habit, and your dog will suffer.

Please also note that I have been emphasising the words raw and meaty.  Please do not just feed bones without the meat.  At the same time, do not feed meat without bones.  What I mean by that is do not feed all bones without meat all the time, and do not feet all meat without bones all the time.

Remember, it is what you do for most of the time that counts.  In other words, a meal of pure bones now and again is fine, just as a meal of pure meat is fine now and again.  Just do not let one or the other idea take over and become the way it is always done.

  • Remember also that an all meat diet is a disaster.  Don’t do it.  Similarly, an all bone diet, that is, bone without meat event if it is a raw bone diet, can result in a bowel blockage (severe constipation) and DEATH.



Lots of people are not sure when to feed bones.  Often, if feeding bones AFTER other food, the dog says … ‘’No thanks, I am too full, I am saving these for later on … so I will now proceed to bury them …’’

For that reason it is probably best NOT to feed bones when you dog is full from other food.  We feed bones to our dogs when they are hungry… mostly, but we also feed them if they have had a small amount of other food, just to leave them with something to do… keep them occupied for the rest of the day.



Actually, that is what the rest of the book is all about.  The important point to grasp from this chapter is the unique and fundamental importance of raw meaty bones to dogs.  The fact that raw meaty bones should form the bulk of the diet, somewhere between forty and eighty percent, depending upon what else you decide to feed… and on that point I advise you to keep reading.