Saturday, February 16, 2008

Raw Food Diet, Day 15- I Crunch Bones and Swallow Them

I've heard some humans say that they don't want to put their dogs on the BARF diet because they are afraid of the raw bones impairing digestion or creating a choking hazard. I can tell you that bones are no match for my ferocious teeth. I bite through chicken wings with incredible speed, suck down the marrow, and swallow the bits. In fact, last night my humans were having a hard time cutting the last turkey neck in half for my brother and me to share, so they gave my brother some ground raw turkey instead and I got to eat the whole neck myself. I crunched that bony feast in half like a cleaver and swallowed it. I have no idea what happens to the bones after I eat them, but I never see them again -- even when I do my business outside. The bottom line is that RMBs (Raw Meaty Bones) are not only safe, but delicious!

On an unrealated note, I'm still waiting for my goat meat to come in the mail. If I don't get it today, I'm going to get angry and probably bite the mailman in the bum because apparently raw meat doesn't come in the mail on Sundays, and it won't come this Monday because it's President's Day. That means I would have to wait until Tuesday to finally taste goat. This is unacceptable.

Feast Hard,

bone-feasting brother comments:
There are many myths and worries that people have to deal with before starting you on the raw diet. These include the idea that "human food" is bad for a dog, that bones are dangerous, and that the bacteria in raw meats will make us sick. While there is always risk in everything we eat and do, I will try to explain why these troubled feelings shouldn't be that big of a concern.

Sure, there are some human foods that are bad for a dog, some that are terrible, and others, like chocolate, that can even kill us. Our bodies are not able to metabolize certain spices and chemicals the same way as the human body can, and when you plan on tasting some human treats you need to make sure you're being smart about it. But let's face it: we're made to eat meats, and if these meats are human quality then they're going to be that much better for us. Our bodies need enzymes from fresh foods and nutrients from healthy sources. If anything, human food is better for us than our kibble! The only concern is that you're getting all of the nutrients that your body needs, but with a little research under their belt, your human can easily make it work for you. Humans need to learn how to share their food!

Perhaps the greatest concern about the raw diet comes from the bones in our meats. Humans have been told time and time again that bones can cause serious medical problems in a dog, and they can even kill us. This is true... if those bones are cooked. Dogs should NEVER eat cooked bones. But look at our teeth! We are not built to crunch down dry kibble and break down grains. We have no flat molars. Our mouths are designed to rip meat off bone and cut cartilage to little bits. Our natural digestive enzymes are specially tuned to breaking down these foods. However, unlike our humans, we lack the enzymes necessary to digest grains and break through the cell walls of plant matter. This is why many people that feed the raw diet choose not to give any grains and turn our vegetables into blended veggie mush, as this crushes the plant cellulose and releases the nutrients for us to absorb. We are carnivores, and meat is what we're made for!

Salmonella and E. coli are common words you'll hear your humans say. These bacteria can make a person very ill, and they are found in abundance in raw poultry and meats. While it is possible for a dog to become sick too, it is highly unlikely if our immune systems are working as they should. Part of the immune system is in the digestive system, and it is here that our bodies get rid of all that bacteria. You see, our stomach acidity is much much higher than that of a human, and so salmonella and those other yucky things just don't stand a chance. Also, as a carnivore, our digestive system is constructed differently than that of a herbivore or omnivore. Our digestive tract is very short and simple, and this prevents bacteria from having a chance to get out of control and cause problems. This also decreases our ability to digest plant matter and carbohydrates as discussed above.

If your human can't quite come to terms with the idea of bones or bacteria, tell them to think of the stuff we get into even when we're on a kibble diet! Some dogs eat their own feces, and that's just crawling with E. coli and other gross stuff. That has never made my brother sick! We also consume bits of our toys, fuzz, hair, and whatever that tasty thing was that I found outside while we were on a walk. Dogs have eaten socks, shoe leather, carpeting... and people are scared of bones? I'm not saying that you should ever eat a slipper, but our systems are just hardier than a person's. Plus, if bones are truly what's holding your person back, they can always crush or grind them for you. You'll be getting all of the nutrients with none of the worry.

What holds people back is the old way of thinking about doggy nutrition and needs. It's time to enter into the age of feasting! I am calling this the Year of the Chicken Wing. Happy feasting!


Emily said...

You make a very good point about how dogs molars have sharp ridged edges unlike ours which are much more flat!

After my dog's are past the first few days of raw, and things are going well, I am going to give Henry a turkey neck and see how he does. If he does ok, I won't be grinding his anymore. He is missing a few teeth, but only on one side of his mouth.

Riley's teeth are already rotten due to 13 yrs of eating kibble, (kibble is very bad for teeth) so I am pretty sure I have to grind his. =(

I hope you got your meat today! =)

Your blog has been extremely helpful, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience!

Emily from The BARF Blog.

Emily said...

Update: our meat grinder broke, and we ended up giving the dogs the bones unground! And they did just fine! Come check out my blog to read more about it. =)