Putting My Dogs' Raw Meals Together - Part 3: Raw Meaty Bones

Putting My Dogs’ Raw Meals Together – Part 3: Raw Meaty Bones

Are you ready to watch some football this Labor Day weekend and throw some meat (-y bones) on the grill? I bet your pups will be licking their chops if you do…I know Missy & Buzz are, and not in vain, either. 

They’ve been eating raw meaty bones on a regular basis ever since we made the switch from kibble to raw in early 2015. Why raw meaty bones? Because they’re part of a balanced, raw diet and make up about 10% of it.

Think about it this way – a dog who’d catch and eat his prey in the wild would eat the whole thing. Most of it would consist of muscle meat (about 80%), but there’s also roughly 10% organs (5% liver, 5% other organs) and about 10% bone.

If you missed parts 1 and 2 of this raw feeding mini series, you can catch up on them here:

Putting My Dogs’ Raw Meals Together – Part 1: Muscle Meat.

Putting My Dogs’ Raw Meals Together – Part 2: Organs.

Emphasis On RAW Bones

The emphasis definitely lies on the word “raw”. Unlike cooked bones, raw bones are pliable and soft. They don’t splinter like cooked bones and keep a dog’s pearlies nice and clean. 

Australian Veterinarian Dr. Ian Billinghurst writes of the benefits of raw meaty bones (RMB) in his book “Give Your Dog A Bone”.

Book Review Of The Raw Feeding Bible “Give Your Dog A Bone” By Dr. Ian Billinghurst.

Book Review Of The Raw Feeding Bible - Give Your Dog A Bone by Dr. Ian Billinghurst

I already talked about their benefits in my post “Can Dogs Really Eat Raw Bones?“.

What Counts As Raw Meaty Bones?

Raw Meaty Bones in Raw Feeding

Raw Meaty Bones I’ve Fed

My guys have had the pleasure of crunching down on the following raw meaty bones:

  • Chicken leg quarters 
  • Chicken feet 
  • Chicken wings
  • Turkey necks 
  • Turkey thighs
  • Duck necks 
  • Duck heads 
  • Duck frames 
  • Bone-in pork chops 
  • Lamb bones
  • Rabbit heads

Duck frames are roughly 25% meat and 75% bone and are great for medium to large size breeds. Duck is considered a cooling protein.

Chicken feet are mainly bone, meaty lamb bones are about 20% meat, and 80% bone. Both are considered to be warming proteins. Chicken feet might not be ideal for large breeds who have a tendency of gulping. The same goes for chicken wings. They’re a good size for smaller to medium size dogs.

Balanced Raw Meal With A Turkey Neck

Balanced Raw Meal For Dogs With Turkey Neck

Turkey necks are about 55% meat, and 45% bone. Turkey is considered to be a neutral protein. They’re a good size for medium to large size dogs.

Missy Brushing Her Pearlies With A Chicken Leg Quarter

dog can eat raw chicken leg quarters no problem
Chicken leg quarter

Chicken leg quarters are about 80% meat, and 20% bone. As mentioned above, chicken is considered to be a warming protein. They’re a good size for large dogs.

My supermarket around the corner has an awesome deal on those about once per month where I’ll get 2 bags of chicken leg quarters for the price of one. 1 bag typically costs around $9 and contains 8 leg quarters.

They do come with a bunch of skin left on them which I cut off because my pups don’t need that extra fat. It would be a good way of putting some extra pounds onto a dog who’s underweight.

Never feed your dog cooked bones. They can cause serious problems because the cooking process turns them brittle.

Where I Source My Raw Meaty Bones

I’m lucky and can find chicken feet at a local organic farm and turkey necks and thighs at the supermarket down the street. Of course I can also get my hands on chicken drumsticks/wings and bone-in pork chops at the supermarket. Every grocery store should carry those, really.

I can feed my pups chicken wings because they’re not gulpers and are good about breaking them up with a few bites. If your dog is a gulper and a larger breed, I would pass on the wings. 

I’ve ordered duck necks from Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, Raw Paws Pet Food, and Raw Feeding Miami. I get duck heads and frames from Raw Feeding Miami, and have also ordered bone-in pork chops, rabbit heads and lamb bones from them.

Ever since I found out that Missy does poorly on lamb (<- click to read more), I obviously stopped feeding that protein.

Duck Frames Are Currently On Sale At Raw Paws Pet Food – Save An Add'l 10% With My Affiliate Code K9Savings

Raw Paws Pet Food Duck Frames For Dogs For Sale, Save Extra With Code K9Savings

Bottom Line

Raw meaty bones are the bomb as far as K9 tooth health is concerned. You need to know your dog though in order to assess which raw meaty bone to feed.

As a general rule of thumb, RMBs should be slightly larger than your dog’s mouth so that he’s forced to chew on them. If you know that your dog is a gulper, hold the RMB with one hand and let your dog chew on the other end. That way you avoid him swallowing the entire bone and possible choking on it. 

Remember that RMBs make up about 10% of the raw feeding equation (80% are muscle meat and 10% organs). One way to tell if you’re over-or underfeeding RMBs is to look at your dog’s poop – if it’s too runny, you’re not feeding enough bone. If it’s too dry, you’re feeding too much.

Toothless dogs or those with weak teeth should not eat whole raw meaty bones. It’s best to grind them in that case if you’re planning on making your own meals (less expensive than pre-made commercial raw meals). If it’s in your budget, you can of course purchase pre-made raw meals. They’ll consist of the perfect balance of muscle meat, RMBs and organs, all ground up.

I’ve fed pre-made raw meals from Darwin’s, Balanced Blends, Raw Paws Pet Food, Tefco & Raw Feeding Miami.

Does your pup have a favorite RMB? As always, we’d love to hear from you in our comment section!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.






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