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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,

I have recently started feeding my dog strictly raw, and so far she is loving it! Thanks to many people on this site, I am now understanding how to feed raw and feel more comfortable with it. I know it's the right choice.

One thing I have been concerned about though is bones getting stuck in the GI tract. I was thinking about getting an electric meat and bone grinder so that I can put bone-in meat right in there and ground it all for Bella's meals. I feel this would probably decrease the chance of this causing any GI issues. I know many people suggest that bones are easy for dogs to break down-but I am just a tad concerned because my dog tends to be a gulper when it comes to food she likes.. So I'm afraid of her swallowing a big bone and causing internal issues.

I was just wondering if anyone owns/has used a meat and bone grinder for their raw food diet. If so, which one do you recommend? I want one that is high quality and can easily break down bones. I would love if it was reasonably priced!! Also, I live in Canada so I know some US grinders aren't available in Canada.

I thank you all in advance for your opinions and suggestions!

Kerri
 

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Grinding the bones really defeats part of the reason for feeding a raw diet. Chewing bones cleans teeth. It also give the dogs some satisfaction and the chewing gets the digestive juices going. Ground food will also be gulped down in seconds. It is very rare that a bone causes GI issues and I feel that worrying about it is only going to stress you out for no reason. I would really give this a good try before deciding grind the food. If you still want to grind the food you will need to find a strong grinder. I have a meat grinder, mostly for human use. But I've ground up food for the animals when needed. My grinder is good, but still struggles with fat and there is no way it would handle bone. I'm not sure if any home grinder would handle bone well.

I'm telling you, give it time. You'll get more comfortable with it and so will Bella. I worried about everything too when I first started raw. I always questioned if I was doing the right thing. Worried about bones and bacteria(FYI, there will be a higher bacteria count in ground because it has more surface area). But I've seen my animals thrive on prey model raw. Just give it a chance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grinding the bones really defeats part of the reason for feeding a raw diet. Chewing bones cleans teeth. It also give the dogs some satisfaction and the chewing gets the digestive juices going. Ground food will also be gulped down in seconds. It is very rare that a bone causes GI issues and I feel that worrying about it is only going to stress you out for no reason. I would really give this a good try before deciding grind the food. If you still want to grind the food you will need to find a strong grinder. I have a meat grinder, mostly for human use. But I've ground up food for the animals when needed. My grinder is good, but still struggles with fat and there is no way it would handle bone. I'm not sure if any home grinder would handle bone well.

I'm telling you, give it time. You'll get more comfortable with it and so will Bella. I worried about everything too when I first started raw. I always questioned if I was doing the right thing. Worried about bones and bacteria(FYI, there will be a higher bacteria count in ground because it has more surface area). But I've seen my animals thrive on prey model raw. Just give it a chance.
Thank you for this information! I didn't realize that allowing dogs to actually chew the bones aids in the digestion process. I was just thinking that allowing them to eat bones helps bulk up the stool so I thought as long as she was getting it it should help. But what you said makes sense!!

It makes me feel better that you are so experienced with this and feel confident that everything will be ok. It is a little worrisome because she is my baby but I am sure she can handle it. I will definitely give it more time and keep everyone up to date!!

Thanks again :)
Kerri
 
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And chewing bones = amazing fresh breath!
 

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Hello All,


I was just wondering if anyone owns/has used a meat and bone grinder for their raw food diet. If so, which one do you recommend? I want one that is high quality and can easily break down bones. I would love if it was reasonably priced!! Also, I live in Canada so I know some US grinders aren't available in Canada.

I thank you all in advance for your opinions and suggestions!

Kerri
I had the same feelings of apprehension as you are talking about when I first started my pup on a raw diet. I couldn't believe the bony chunks this dog would swallow and wolf down, I'd be a liar to say it didn't cause me to be a bit uneasy about this raw diet program. So, I did exactly as you are inquiring about and bought this meat grinder. Kitchener #12 Electric Meat Grinder — 1/2 HP | Electric Meat Grinders| Northern Tool + Equipment

I believe I paid $99 USD and also purchased a 2 year extended warranty in case it crapped out for another $15. Glad I did because after 2 years it started making some crazy grinding noises which wasn't associated with the meat/organ/bone grinding process. I sent it back and they replaced it with a new one and I still have that one. It will only grind poultry/rabbit etc. bones, forget beef or pork bones. You still have to do a bit of chopping with a meat cleaver because the receiver tube is only so big. Here's the pros, I would make 80-100 lb batches and store them in a freezer in 5 lb containers and it was easier to get the percentages of all required components. You still have to do the math regarding the bones percentages such as a whole chicken is approx. 25% bone etc. and the organ percentages were easy of course. I could make 100 lbs of balanced ground raw fairly easy. Yes, I understand that it is not crucial that every meal needs to be exact just that it stays balanced over a reasonable period of time. But doing the grinder method did make me feel that she was getting the proper percentages on a daily basis. As far as the cons go, well it's more work, there's no way around it. Also most grinders won't handle anything other than poultry or other small animal bones. I'm sure they make them but they have to be fairly expensive.

Balancing the calcium / phosphorus in a raw diet is most important and it does not matter if the dog grinds the bones or you grind the bones, the dog needs these components in it's diet, plain and simple. However, there is so much to be said for letting the dog grind up those bones by themselves. There is no doubt that it is wonderful for its teeth and gums, so I chose to give my dog a meaty bone a couple times a week for this benefit. As time passed by, watching this dog grind up those meaty bones, it changed my practice of grinding everything up. However, I still do a batch of ground on occasion as it works out great when I take the dog on the road camping or boating.

I still can remember how I used to sit there watching this dog swallow chunks of meaty bones even though she crunched them up first but still it just seemed bizarre. Do what ever makes you feel best and if you don't mind the extra work of grinding and give your dog some bones on occasion for dental health, you should be okay.

Bottom line, I was a worry wart in the beginning and I probably didn't need to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had the same feelings of apprehension as you are talking about when I first started my pup on a raw diet. I couldn't believe the bony chunks this dog would swallow and wolf down, I'd be a liar to say it didn't cause me to be a bit uneasy about this raw diet program. So, I did exactly as you are inquiring about and bought this meat grinder. Kitchener #12 Electric Meat Grinder — 1/2 HP | Electric Meat Grinders| Northern Tool + Equipment

I believe I paid $99 USD and also purchased a 2 year extended warranty in case it crapped out for another $15. Glad I did because after 2 years it started making some crazy grinding noises which wasn't associated with the meat/organ/bone grinding process. I sent it back and they replaced it with a new one and I still have that one. It will only grind poultry/rabbit etc. bones, forget beef or pork bones. You still have to do a bit of chopping with a meat cleaver because the receiver tube is only so big. Here's the pros, I would make 80-100 lb batches and store them in a freezer in 5 lb containers and it was easier to get the percentages of all required components. You still have to do the math regarding the bones percentages such as a whole chicken is approx. 25% bone etc. and the organ percentages were easy of course. I could make 100 lbs of balanced ground raw fairly easy. Yes, I understand that it is not crucial that every meal needs to be exact just that it stays balanced over a reasonable period of time. But doing the grinder method did make me feel that she was getting the proper percentages on a daily basis. As far as the cons go, well it's more work, there's no way around it. Also most grinders won't handle anything other than poultry or other small animal bones. I'm sure they make them but they have to be fairly expensive.

Balancing the calcium / phosphorus in a raw diet is most important and it does not matter if the dog grinds the bones or you grind the bones, the dog needs these components in it's diet, plain and simple. However, there is so much to be said for letting the dog grind up those bones by themselves. There is no doubt that it is wonderful for its teeth and gums, so I chose to give my dog a meaty bone a couple times a week for this benefit. As time passed by, watching this dog grind up those meaty bones, it changed my practice of grinding everything up. However, I still do a batch of ground on occasion as it works out great when I take the dog on the road camping or boating.

I still can remember how I used to sit there watching this dog swallow chunks of meaty bones even though she crunched them up first but still it just seemed bizarre. Do what ever makes you feel best and if you don't mind the extra work of grinding and give your dog some bones on occasion for dental health, you should be okay.

Bottom line, I was a worry wart in the beginning and I probably didn't need to be.
Hi DriveDog,

Thank you as well for all of the information you have given me. I am hoping that my dog has no issues with eating bones and that it helps her teeth. I think you make a good point though, getting a good grinder may prove to be useful in those times when its not always easy to grab a slab of meat out of the fridge (ie., we do a lot of camping and day trips to the lake) and so ground meat may be easier and faster for her to eat during these times.

Thanks for providing the link to the grinder you bought. I will definitely check it out!

Kerri
 

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It always worries me a bit when Kris, my Dobe, chews up any bones I give her. I do not give the heavy leg bones, but ribs and sometimes the bones around the joints of cattle which are more gristly. I quite often see chewed up chunks in her stool and just hope she passes everything. Consequently, I do not feed bones very often. What I buy quite often is the trimmings off pork ribs. It is mostly meat with just the gristly bit of bone or the same bone you get in chops. I buy them quite often but never feed them more than once or twice a week at the most, just freeze them till I want to use them.
 

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Beef bones would be considered recreational bones, not edible. So most dogs will have a hard time digesting beef bone. But most other bones are edible. Freyja gets bone daily, the boys four or five days a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well.

I am in a bit of a dilemma and could really use your help!

Unfortunately, I have strayed away from feeding raw for the past couple of days for two reasons; I think Bella is allergic to chicken (which I presumed while she was on kibble but it seems raw may not be different (she was sick on chicken, not turkey) and she choked on a bone which has really scared me and my partner. We are VERY reluctant to give her another full bone. The past couple of days we have been giving her Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice LID but of course, it has made her stool formed, but soft.. and this does not help her persistent anal gland issue. So, I really need to figure something out fast and need to bulk her stools up. However, I don't want to just give her something to bulk up her stool because I feel this is just a "band aid" fix.. I think she has a allergy and think raw could help alleviate this problem.

Today, I bought some turkey backs, turkey wings, and chicken quarters (to try one more time to see if she has a reaction). I am still really wanting to give this another shot because I am hoping that we can help her allergies and make her feel better.

I know that it is not "ideal" to grind meat and bones, but given that we are very scared to give Bella whole bones, do you think it would suffice to grind them? I could give her big bones to chew on to help her teeth but I don't want her to really eat them unless they are really small (grinded). But as for eating, do you think it would be ok to grind meat and bones? Do you know if butchers do this or should I buy a grinder? I would rather have a local butcher do this if possible vs. a commercial raw food.

Also, I was thinking, I have seen that some people supplement dog food with yogurt, kelp, eggs (with shell), powders, etc. Is this something I am supposed to be doing?

Lastly, if I do end up grinding, what would be the percentages that I should aim for?
I was thinking about grinding for about 30lbs (one months worth) and freeze the food and thaw it when needed. However, I don't know what variety of meats/cuts I should use for the first month? I am so lost and everyone has given me so much information already. It is a lot to take in and feel like I am still clueless! :(

Sorry and thanks in advance!
Kerri
 

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I did answer you in the other post. I wanted to add here that if you do grind it is still the same amounts, 80/10/10, meat, bone, organ(half of that organ being liver). But with ground you can't really give more or less bone or organ as needed, you're stuck with whatever grind you have. There is really no reason to supplement. The exception is fish oil, unless you are feeding a good amount of oily fish. Most dogs, like other mammals are lactose intolerant so dairy may cause GI upsets.
 
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