Written By: Dr. Judy Jasek, DVM – Colorado Wholistic Vet
I have been recommending raw food for dogs for nearly 20 years, and I have seen tremendous improvements in my patients when they are taken off of processed diets and fed fresh, species-appropriate foods.
Many raw blends contain ground bone as a way of providing valuable minerals in the diet. I often get questions from concerned pet parents about the safety of feeding raw bones. Are raw bones safe to feed your pet? Yes, they absolutely are! So why is there so much controversy over the safety of feeding bones to your dog?
The only time I have seen bones cause a problem in dogs is when they are eaten after being cooked, or allowed to dry out. Why is this? Cooked bones become brittle, and can splinter, causing injury to the digestive tract. Raw bones, on the other hand, are full of moisture and cartilage, making them pliable and not likely to do any harm.
Most commercial raw food blends contain ground bone that should be easily digested and absorbed in a healthy dog. If a dog vomits after eating pieces of ground bone, it is usually the case that the individual’s digestive process has been damaged with poor diets, pharmaceuticals (including antibiotics, antacids, and pain medications), or over-supplementation. It is an important distinction here that it is not the bones that are a problem, but rather the dog’s inability to properly digest them.
We are able to help your dog’s digestion with specific supplements and herbs that can heal damaged cells and stimulate the natural digestive process. For example, a healthy dog should have a very acidic stomach, and this is what helps breakdown the raw diet. Many diets, supplements, and medications will neutralize the acid, and can damage the cells lining the stomach that produce it. Once the stomach is healed, and capable of proper digestion, your dog will be able to eat a raw blend without a problem.
Every pet is different, and the solution will be different for each case depending on the individual circumstances. Our goal is to help your dog live a long, healthy life and appropriate nutrition is the most important first step.
We are here to help you support your dog’s health, and proper digestion for a long, healthy life!