Raw Meaty Bones for Puppies

Raw Meaty Bones for Puppies

★ 3 min read

In this article, raw meaty bones for puppies and dogs:

  1. An essential part of a species appropriate diet
  2. Health benefits 
  3. Appropriate raw meaty bones
  4. Tips to enrich the diet
  5. Safety tips for serving raw meaty bones
  6. Raw meaty bones chart
Raw meaty bones for cats and kittens go here.

Raw Meaty Bones are an Essential Part of a Species Appropriate Diet for:
Puppies and Dogs

Puppies can start gnawing on raw meaty bones at six to seven weeks of age. At this age, your puppy will enjoy pulling the meat and sinew off of the meaty bone. By ten to twelve weeks of age puppies are able to start eating the raw bone too.

My eleven-week old puppy Annie’s nightly bed time snack includes a quail egg and a raw meaty bone (RMB). Tonight Annie’s having a raw chicken foot. Annie gets a rotation of various RMB for her evening snack including:
  • Chicken feet
  • Chicken neck
  • Chicken wingette
  • Duck feet
  • Duck neck
raw meaty bone for puppies, bedtime snack

At ten weeks of age Annie transitioned from gnawing on her RMBs, to consuming her raw meaty bones.  Further below I'll provide you with tips to help your puppy properly chew RMB.

Raw Meaty Bone Health Benefits for Puppies and Dogs

Nutritional Value to Support Overall Health

Raw meaty bones are an essential part of a species appropriate diet for puppies and dogs. RMB provide vital nutrients for overall health. As an example let’s take a look at raw chicken feet. Raw chicken feet are a good source of:
  • Animal protein (amino acids)
  • Bone marrow
  • Collagen
  • Chondroitin
  • Glucosamine
  • Fiber
  • Sinew
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
Vitamins and minerals including:
  • Vitamin A
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B9 (folate)
  • B12
  • Choline
  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

The major component of protein in chicken feet comes from collagen (70%). Collagen is a fibrous protein that holds the body together. The body uses collagen to support:
  • Blood health
  • Bone health
  • Brain health
  • Gut health
  • Muscle and joint health
  • Skin health

Bone and Joint Health Support for your Growing Puppy
Poultry feet and necks are an excellent source of collagen, glucosamine and chondroitin. Include these raw meaty bones in the diet to support:
  • Musculoskeletal growth
  • Long-term health of bones, joints and ligaments

Soothe Puppy's Teething Discomfort
When your puppy or kitten’s adult teeth begin to emerge puppy’s gums can be very uncomfortable. Gnawing on a raw meaty bone will help relieve puppy's discomfort. 
Give puppy thawed raw meaty bones, not frozen.

Nature’s Toothbrush for Puppies and Dogs
You’ll also be helping puppy get a good start on long-term oral health. Raw meaty bones are also called “nature’s toothbrush”. A raw meaty bone daily or three to four times a week helps to keep teeth scrubbed clean naturally.


Appropriate Raw Meaty Bones for Puppies and Dogs

Editable Bones Suitable for Puppies and Dogs:

Poultry Raw Meaty Bones

Poultry, Fowl Feet
  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Duck
  • Guinea fowl
Poultry, Fowl Heads
  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Duck
  • Guinea fowl
  • Pheasant
Poultry, Fowl Leg (drumstick)
  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Duck 
  • Guinea Fowl
Poultry, Fowl Neck
  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Duck 
  • Guinea fowl

Poultry, Fowl *Wings
  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Duck 
  • Guinea fowl
    *Wings: wing tip, wingette (middle section of the wing), drumette (large section of the wing)
Poultry, Fowl Whole or Part Carcass
  • Chicken
  • Cornish Hen
  • Quail
  • Pigeon

Small Pray Raw Meaty Bones

  • Rabbit
  • Rabbit
Whole or Part Carcass 
  • Cavie
  • Rabbit

Ruminant, Cloven Hoof Raw Meaty Bones

  • Goat
  • Lamb
  • Pig
  • Wild Boar
  • Goat
  • Lamb
  • Pig
  • Wild Boar
Duck Feet v.s. Chicken Feet
Duck feet are denser than chicken feet, and can be a little more difficult for a puppy to properly chew. 
Here’s a tip to help your puppy, or kitten:
  • Use a pair of poultry sheers to make a few clean, horizontal cuts along the length of the duck foot. 
  • This makes it easier for a ten to twelve week old puppy to properly chew the duck foot bone.
  • See the photo just below.
raw meaty bones for puppies, duck foot

Tips to Enrich Your Puppy and Dog's Diet

  • Very young puppies will only be able to gnaw the meat off the raw meaty bones, but don't throw away the gnawed-on bone.
  • Allow puppy to pull most of the meat and sinew off of the bone. Then take the bone away from puppy. Save the gnawed on bone by placing it in the freezer. When you've collected enough gnawed on bones use them to make bone broth or bone broth gelatin for puppy. See the recipes just below.
  • Bone broth recipe.
  • Bone broth gelatin recipe.

Safety Tips for Giving Raw Meaty Bones to Your Puppy and Dog

Rib Bones
When giving your puppy raw meaty ribs always give 2 to 4 ribs attached together. Single ribs are a choking hazard. If your puppy is young, allow your pup to chew the meat off of the rib bone, then take the bone away. You can use the bone to make bone broth or bone broth gelatin. Once your puppy is a little older pup will be able to consume the whole rib bone.
Load Bearing Bones, Marrow Bones, Antlers
I do not recommend giving your puppy or dog marrow bones or other load bearing bones and antlers. Leg bones from ruminants/cloven hoof animals and large poultry e.g. emu, turkey, ostrich. Adhere to the supple load bearing bones provided in the chart and listing further above.

These load bearing bones and antlers are not editable flexible bones, instead they are very dense bones. These load bearing bones (including marrow bones) and antlers are a leading cause of oral cavity injury and trauma including: broken, chipped and fractured teeth, jaw injuries, etc.

These load bearing bones and antlers can splinter. Unlike the supple editable bones recommended in this article, the splinters from load bearing bones can cause damage to the upper and lower gastrointestinal track.

Marrow bones also contain marrow which is a very rich, fatty substance that can cause inflammation of the pancreas and can trigger acute pancreatitis life threatening condition.

Load bearing bones can be used for making bone broth or bone broth gelatin.

Teach Your Puppy and Dog to Chew RMB
To teach your puppy or adult dog to properly chew raw meaty bones:
  • Hold one end of the RMB firmly with your hand or with a pair of plastic pliers.
  • If your pup is an aggressive chewer using plastic pliers is a must to help teach puppy and adult dogs to slow down, relax and chew.
 In the photo below, I'm holding a duck foot for Willoughby (my older puppy), while Annie (my younger puppy) waits for her duck foot.

raw meaty bones for puppies, teach your puppy to chew properly

Always Supervise
Always be present when your pup is chewing raw meaty bones. This is a safety precaution that applies to feeding RMB to puppies and adult dogs. 

Thawed, Not Frozen
Raw meaty bones should be thawed in the refrigerator and then given to your puppy or dog. Don't give frozen raw meaty bones to your companion animal. Consuming frozen raw meaty bones (frozen food) is hard on the neurological system, forces the body to waste energy in order to digest the food, and forces the core body temperature to increase.
Pastured, Free Range v.s. Factory Farm Sourced
Animals (e.g. chicken, cows, ducks, pigs, turkeys) raised in *concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) animals spend their short life, living in miserable conditions. CAFO **animals are fed a toxic, species inappropriate diet. Many of these toxins (e.g. lead and other heavy metals, drug residue) remain in the animal's flesh and bones after slaughter.  I recommend broth and bone broth not be made with factory farm sourced animal flesh and bones.

The best choice are bones sourced from pastured, free-range or organic pasture, free range.  The second best choice is bones sourced from organic raised animals.
Learn more here, about intensively farmed animals, how animal protein, fat and bones sourced from these animals can adversely effect the health of your dog and cat. 
* also known as: factory farms, industrial farms 
** also known as: factory farm-raised,  intensively farmed

Shareable Chart - Raw Meaty Bones for Puppies, also applies to Adult Dogs

Raw meaty bones for puppies chart

Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat
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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld


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