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Dear BC Bex,

 

I know a lot of people will disagree with me for saying this I don't believe in giving any animal dried out processed foods.

 

After starting my boy on Hills Science I read a report that it contained formaldehyde coupled with some other peer reviewed papers on the huge increase on cancers in cats and dogs sealed it for me. Plus I found his coat was dry and dull.

 

I switched to either making my own food for him, always raw meats unless it's sardines with steamed veg. I'll add flaxseed oil and coconut oil too now his coat is beautiful and shiny. Raw bones regularly for healthy teeth and gums, he gets cold carrots for a chewable treat yet never any grains as their digestive system is not designed for them.

 

Here in Australia the vets are like doctors. They get compensated for promoting their drugs/ foods.

If I don't have time to cook, I give him Dr Barf which is raw meat mixed with vitamins, minerals, fruit and veg. They are pattys. I simply pour some coconut oil on top for additional fats.

I'm helping a friend whose going thru a separation and his ex had their BC on dehydrated meat biscuits from NZ the most expensive brand I've seen. This was recommended by a natural vet, yet her coat was dry and dull and had constant runny poos. After a week on veg and meat her coat has improved, her poos are perfect and her energy has escalated.

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Elwood, dog's systems aren't designed for vegetables either. Just look at their teeth. No flat surfaces to grind or chew them up, and no way to break down cellulose.

 

Better to go with a prey model diet and much easier. ;)

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Dear BC Bex,

 

I know a lot of people will disagree with me for saying this I don't believe in giving any animal dried out processed foods.

 

After starting my boy on Hills Science I read a report that it contained formaldehyde coupled with some other peer reviewed papers on the huge increase on cancers in cats and dogs sealed it for me. Plus I found his coat was dry and dull.

 

I switched to either making my own food for him, always raw meats unless it's sardines with steamed veg. I'll add flaxseed oil and coconut oil too now his coat is beautiful and shiny. Raw bones regularly for healthy teeth and gums, he gets cold carrots for a chewable treat yet never any grains as their digestive system is not designed for them.

 

Here in Australia the vets are like doctors. They get compensated for promoting their drugs/ foods.

If I don't have time to cook, I give him Dr Barf which is raw meat mixed with vitamins, minerals, fruit and veg. They are pattys. I simply pour some coconut oil on top for additional fats.

I'm helping a friend whose going thru a separation and his ex had their BC on dehydrated meat biscuits from NZ the most expensive brand I've seen. This was recommended by a natural vet, yet her coat was dry and dull and had constant runny poos. After a week on veg and meat her coat has improved, her poos are perfect and her energy has escalated.

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Very true Gentle Lake.

I chose to add some veg after watching my aunts 8yr old kelpie riddled with so many cancers that were inoperable, survive after my aunt turned her vegetarian. She lived for another 8 years and developed the shiniest coat.

 

I stick to the veg list recommended by Andrew Jones ( Veterinary Secrets).

 

You are right tho,they are not designed for veg, grain or processed foods.

 

I wouldn't feed my family dehydrated processed biscuits even if they contained vitamins and minerals.

Here in Australia every organic imported product is irradiated when going thru customs, it therefore has had all the "nutrients" destroyed as are the natural flavours, another reason why I choose natural foods for all of us.

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Some probiotics do break down cellulose and blanching and blendering veg helps the dog to be able to use them. While I don't believe that dogs strictly "need" veggies, I do believe they get many benefits from them, like trace minerals and antioxidants. If our meats, including organic ones, weren't exposed to so many harmful chemicals, maybe dogs wouldn't need the extra help from certain super foods, but as it stands, I'll keep adding the veggies. And my little old JRT needs the added fiber for regularity.

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Wild canines eat the stomach contents of their prey, and that is vegetable matter. While dogs are not designed to survive on plants, they eat them (most dogs love to chew on grass, many like to eat carrots, etc.) and I do not think it is possible that they get no benefit from them at all.

 

I give raw carrots and kale stems and apple pieces and many other vegetable and fruit items to those of my dogs who enjoy them as treats. And I mix vegetables, cooked and pureed, in with their home made food, which contains either raw or cooked meat and organ meats. I think that it is a lot healthier for them to have some vegetables than only giving them meat in their home made food.

 

After doing a lot of reading on the topic I have decided to give a good calcium supplement rather than raw bones. That means I need to brush their teeth, but I have been doing that for years anyway.

 

I will admit that I am still very much a beginner at home made food, though. My dogs have had grain-free food for years but I have only started making home made food recently, and at this point it is about 25% of Digger's diet and less for the other two who don't really want to change from eating kibble. I don't want to feed home made exclusively until I feel very confident that I am making it complete nutritionally.

I have increased the quality of the kibble I feed recently as well. (feeding three instead of four dogs makes it possible financially). If money were no object I would not feed kibble at all, but I have chosen one that gets 4.5 stars on the Dog Food Adviser.

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May I ask what you came across that made you make that decision? Was it just a safety issue with the bones or one based on health/nutrition reasons? If it is nutrition based could you pass along the information? (can PM me if desired)

I feed raw and follow the 80/10/10 idea of lots of meat, some bone, some organs. I only ever feed edible bone (which means no beef bones) that is surrounded by a good amount of meat.

After doing a lot of reading on the topic I have decided to give a good calcium supplement rather than raw bones. That means I need to brush their teeth, but I have been doing that for years anyway.

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Elwood-

 

I don't think dogs are necessarily getting more cancer- how many dogs who now 'have cancer' would simply have been diagnosed as being 'off their food' or 'getting old'? Dogs don't seem to die now of 'getting old' (i.e. suddenly losing masses of weight, showing abnormal neurological symptoms, wounds that would not heal, large tumors, stopping eating etc) as much, though I have seen dogs with the above symptoms who were 'just old' and had to 'die in peace' at home without treatment. That's what many older people told me about my own dog, but I brought her to the vet and had her diagnosed with cancer.

 

Or how many would have died of distemper before ever getting a chance to get cancer? Plus there's the other potential that steadily increasing inbreeding in many breeds will mean worse immune systems, and cancer is simply reproducing cells that are missed by the immune system, so you get for example golden retrievers who are at a much higher risk than other dogs. It's the old "correlation does not equal causation and diagnosis does not equal incidence" thing. Would be interesting to see your peer reviewed papers to see if they controlled for confounding factors, and which ones.

 

What were the levels of formaldehyde? I know animals naturally produce formaldehyde so a certain amount is always present in meat (and in other foods- grapes and pears for example produce fair amounts). Do you mean added formaldehyde?

 

* 4.6-20 mg/kg for meats, pears have 40-60mg/kg, grapes have around 20mg/kg.

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My dogs eat a quality kibble, get some supplemental raw (organ meat, largely, and bones from the freezer), and love certain vegetables. They also tend to graze quite a bit and I feel that they largely do that out of a need for fiber in their diet. As pointed out, as carnivores, plant material is eaten as part of the digestive tract as it's consumed. Some predators (canids and felids) often seem to eat the "guts" preferentially before the meat.

 

Is it the vitamins? Is it the fiber? Do some like the flavor? I don't know but I do know mine seem to crave cooked veggies and/or grazing on grass.

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Wild canines eat the stomach contents of their prey, and that is vegetable matter.

 

I've read that this is a persistent myth and that they usually rip the stomach open and shake out the contents unless food has been very scarce.

 

I can't swear to the accuracy of either view as I've never been fortunate enough to observe wild canines eating their own large prey. Small animals like mice and voles are usually consumed whole, and my own dogs will eat the entire stomach content of rabbits when I can get them, so there may be something to that for canines who eat mostly small prey.

 

I've read that Yellowstone wolves' diets consist of approximately 80% deer, so if the stomach emptying info is correct they may not be getting very much vegetation.

 

When my dogs eat grass, it either comes out undigested in their stool or they vomit it up. So not much nutrition there either. :rolleyes: (at the dogs, not you. LOL)

 

I tend not to feed my dogs much vegetable matter, but I think it's probably OK if it's not very much and if I did (I kinda keep going back and forth about whether to add any) it'd be green leafy veggies and pureed berries, which latter some canines eat in the wild. I'm not sure how much of the fruit actually gets digested, though. I've seen a fair amount of scat that looks like berries are coming out much the way they went in.

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THE CALCIUM DEBATE.

 

After reading 1/7 of Dr Caroline Dean's books on magnesium and calcium "The Miracle of Magnesium" she states that taking a calcium supplement can cause the body to leech calcium. Being a massage therapist if I am asked I recommend natural bone broths made with apple cider vinegar which extracts the magnesium and calcium out of the bone and into the broth. This I believe is the purest form of taking magnesium and calcium which must be balanced with Vit D for absorbsion of all 3 minerals.

 

I have noticed a significant difference in my older female clients that begin to take calcium naturally especially if they stop taking "Caltrate" no more crunchy muscle attachments and they claim greater flexibility in their muscles.

 

Here in Oz there has been quite a few supplement tests on programs like the "Checkout" and "Choice" that both claim that supplements don't contain what the bottle claims.

 

Some food for thought.

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May I ask what you came across that made you make that decision? Was it just a safety issue with the bones or one based on health/nutrition reasons?

It is not about nutrition, but about the possibility of choking or a bone fragment getting lodged or piercing an internal organ. I know it doesn't happen often but after much reading and internal debate, I decided to stop giving bones and use a seaweed-based calcium supplement that has great reviews from vets, and occasionally ground eggshell instead, on the days I feed raw.

As I said, I am still feeling my way with this, and am very interested in discussions about feeding dogs, so that I can learn more. I want them to have the very best that my time and money can afford.

 

Although long grasses consumed by all three of my dogs often come out looking almost the same as they go in, I feed raw kale stems, lettuce, and carrots to Digger almost daily and never have I seen even a small a piece in his poop. (I am one of those people who really looks at each dog's poop every day :-) ) So I cannot help but think that they are getting digested, and hopefully that means also leaving some nutrients behind. It may very well be a myth about canines eating the stomach contents of prey. It's just something people think and say but I don't have scientific research to back that up....

 

I cannot help but wonder if it could be an individual thing as well to some degree, what gets used nutritionally. For instance, I can't eat certain things that most people eat every day. Feed me a piece of whole wheat bread and I will be sick for 2 days. Maybe some dogs process veges better than others do.

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Dear DElle,

 

I know what you mean by bones being stuck etc, our natural vet showed me an X-ray of my boys stomach after he had a chicken carcass and said no more bones. I have chosen to give only beef or lamb bones uncooked of course as he doesn't chew chicken bones as well as beef and lamb. His teeth are as white as snow, with healthy gums. His girlfriend whose 4months younger also a BC was raised without bones, similar to yours...being given ground eggshells etc for calcium, and her teeth are horribly coated in dark yellow tartar, she looks like a smoker and her breath stinks.

 

My personal thoughts are, dogs have survived on bones since they first walked the earth and all those cases I've been told about chocking were all on chicken bones.

 

We all have to do what we believe is right for our 4 x legged kids and you are clearly a very good mum who obviously loves her dogs.

 

As for veggies, I have been using a lot of "Veterinary Secrets" info from Andrew Jones ex vet who was run out of the industry for publishing these secrets, he talks about the veggies they can digest as so far his poos have shown me they are being processed .....yes I check the poos too everyday. He only gets the squirts from too much sea water and sand.

 

I can tell you that I nearly lost my boy in his first year due to the Natural Vets diagnosis that his pancreas was in distress. He ate the recommended diet which resulted in 2 months of the runs, losing nearly 4 kilos and his coat became a lot duller and even got split ends. I switched back to what I was cooking added the coconut oil and he gained weight, and has a beautiful shiny coat now.

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our natural vet showed me an X-ray of my boys stomach after he had a chicken carcass and said no more bones.

 

Of course the bones will show up in the stomach in an x-ray right after they've been eaten. They haven't digested yet. It doesn't mean they won't or that it's a problem. Just simple scare mongering at its worst. :rolleyes:

 

If you're worried about your dog not chewing chicken bones there are several things you can do.

 

  • Give large enough pieces of bone so that the dog has to actually chew it and can't just gulp it down in one swallow. Make sure there's enough meat on the bone so the piece is large enough to require some chewing.
  • Freeze the chunks of meaty bones so that the dogs need to chew more to eat them. They break the bones down into smaller bits and it has the added benefit of providing more quality chewing time that dogs crave.
  • Teach your dog to chew bones without swallowing them whole. I do this when introducing a new dog to raw food by holding on to one end of a chicken leg so they can't just gulp it down whole and let them figure out how to chew up the other end. Once they get the idea they'll chew the leg appropriately (but the bones will still show up in an x-ray -_- ).
  • Get a pair of kitchen shears and cut them into small bites. Time consuming and not my choice, but it can be done.

Yeah, you can provide calcium in other ways, but I'd never deprive my dogs of the opportunity to chew edible bones. Even at that they still want to chew other items I provide for them. It's an important part of keeping them happy.

 

Btw, 2 of my guys went to the vet yesterday for their checkups. Vet remarked how "beautiful" 4 1/2 y.o. Tansy's teeth are. There's a tiny bit of plaque at the gum line on her canines, but otherwise her teeth are as clean and white as the 8 month old puppy's. Compare that with the average kibble fed dogs that have considerable tartar and gum disease by the age of 2 or 3. B)

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Well, as some have said, it is a personal choice. I gave it a lot of thought and research and have decided that I am not going to give bones to my dogs. It just makes me too nervous and I am not going to take the chance.

 

Their teeth are beautiful, by the way, and I have even had people comment on how nice their breath is. Digger did get a full dental cleaning when he had his dental surgery this year, (for an abnormal bone growth, not because his teeth were bad) but that was to clear out stuff that had built before he came to live with me, and that I had not seen. I took Boo with me one time when I took Digger for a re-check post surgery and the vet complimented me on how good Boo's teeth look. Boo has only been fed kibble, and now more recently some raw food but no bones.

 

I brush their teeth regularly with Oratene, which is a great veterinary tooth gel, so no plaque builds up at all and their teeth are shiny white and strong. They never get any plaque build-up even along the gum lines because I examine them closely .After realizing that I was missing some in Digger's mouth, I actually wear an optivisor to clean their teeth because I want to be sure I don't miss anything, and if anything is starting to build I scale it gently with a special dental tool.

 

I understand that I might not have to do all that if they ate raw bones. But that is the choice I have made and it is fine with me. The main thing, to me, is that my dogs are healthy.

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I hope this isn't too off-topic. I used to give my dogs antlers to chew on but one of my dogs broke a couple teeth ($$$$). At first glance he teeth look pretty good, but under examination the vet said you could tell he'd had Distemper as a puppy. The girls never had an issue. So no more antlers. My older female's teeth are starting to look a bit cruddy so I would like to offer them something to chew. Hoofs and bully sticks stink to high heaven! Specifically, what types of bones should I be looking for in the grocery store?

 

Thanks!

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I hope this isn't too off-topic. I used to give my dogs antlers to chew on but one of my dogs broke a couple teeth ($$$$). At first glance he teeth look pretty good, but under examination the vet said you could tell he'd had Distemper as a puppy. The girls never had an issue. So no more antlers. My older female's teeth are starting to look a bit cruddy so I would like to offer them something to chew. Hoofs and bully sticks stink to high heaven! Specifically, what types of bones should I be looking for in the grocery store?

 

Thanks!

 

I hope this isn't too off-topic. I used to give my dogs antlers to chew on but one of my dogs broke a couple teeth ($$$$). At first glance he teeth look pretty good, but under examination the vet said you could tell he'd had Distemper as a puppy. The girls never had an issue. So no more antlers. My older female's teeth are starting to look a bit cruddy so I would like to offer them something to chew. Hoofs and bully sticks stink to high heaven! Specifically, what types of bones should I be looking for in the grocery store?

 

Thanks!

Not that I am any kind of expert, but I would suggest that probably if your dog's teeth are looking "cruddy" they will need to be professionally cleaned because just starting to chew on bones now won't clean off built-up plaque.

Or, the alternative, is to get the previously mentioned Oratene gel and rub or brush it on the teeth daily for about a week, which will soften up the plaque, and then you can probably chip it off with a dental tool or your thumbnail.

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Yes, she's going in for a cleaning. I tried hand scraping some (with the vet's instructions) but it went over like a lead balloon.

 

Not that I am any kind of expert, but I would suggest that probably if your dog's teeth are looking "cruddy" they will need to be professionally cleaned because just starting to chew on bones now won't clean off built-up plaque.

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I would suggest that probably if your dog's teeth are looking "cruddy" they will need to be professionally cleaned because just starting to chew on bones now won't clean off built-up plaque.

 

As I've mentioned before in (I think) another thread, I switched a 6 yo rescue with really horrendous teeth over to raw meat and bones and a year later her teeth were perfect. The vet, who was very concerned that she needed a cleaning the first time she saw her, was amazed and made a point of telling visiting vet students about it and still remembers this after 13 years. (Tilly died a year ago and Dr. Sarah left that practice probably 8 or so years ago, but I consulted with her with another dog recently and she brought it up to me again.)

 

Now, I did switch Tilly to a completely raw diet and didn't just add some raw bones, but I still think there's every reason to believe that adding some good edible bones (frozen chicken backs, split pork or lamb necks) would work wonders.

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I feed chicken quarters, chicken split breast (you can also just buy whole chickens too), turkey wings, though I have to go to a butcher for those. They're much larger than chicken wings which I don't recommend, too small to actually do much teeth cleaning. I also feed turkey necks, which I never did before since they are not a bone-in meat (theyre pretty much all bone) but the ones I get are quite large and my dogs take their time chomping them.

 

For teeth cleaning purposes you want something that the dog has to work at for a bit. I think chicken quarters are the best, for my dogs anyhow. I would never feed beef bones as I have yet to come across an edible beef bone (one the dog can eat fully) that does not make me wonder how long it will be before it cracks a tooth. Just like you experienced with the antler, which is too hard fro the dog to actually eat.

 

Most pork bone-in meats at the grocery store are going to be sharp, sawed bones (like pork chops) and I don't like to personally feed those either. I do feed pork ribs in slabs on occasion but even those don't typically have much meat on them and unless they are from a local butcher, they are typically cut very small in size at the store. I also feed slabs of deer ribs which are much thinner/easier to eat than the pork ribs.

I hope this isn't too off-topic. I used to give my dogs antlers to chew on but one of my dogs broke a couple teeth ($$$$). At first glance he teeth look pretty good, but under examination the vet said you could tell he'd had Distemper as a puppy. The girls never had an issue. So no more antlers. My older female's teeth are starting to look a bit cruddy so I would like to offer them something to chew. Hoofs and bully sticks stink to high heaven! Specifically, what types of bones should I be looking for in the grocery store?

 

Thanks!

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Gentle Lake, that is very interesting. I wouldn't have thought that it would work to clear off built-up plaque that well. Cool to learn that!

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My 14 year old JRT gets plague build up very quickly if she doesn't get her bones to take it off. Before I got her, she was getting a teeth cleaning every year(she belonged to my vet), but once I got her, she has had 1 teeth cleaning in the last 10 years. That 1 was because as she has aged, she has had constipation issues, so I decreased her meaty bone meals after a bad bout. Within 6 months, she needed her teeth cleaned. Right now, I'm trying to figure out what her needs are to balance out her issues. I'm hoping a meaty bone once a week will work for her.

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