FEEDING RAW bones AND MEATY CHEWS

We get a lot of questions from Natures Menu customers about feeding raw bones.

Here we hope to answer some of those questions, and provide some useful hints and tips. If there is anything we haven’t covered, don’t hesitate to email us, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

Raw Bones for Dogs and Cats

Why should you feed raw bones?

  • Bones are a fantastic source of nutrition. They contain glucosamine, calcium and phosphorus, and many are rich in omega 3 fats, too.
  • Benefits can include improved skin health, improved joint health and firmer stools. In addition to this, chewing can be an immensely satisfying and relaxing experience for raw fed dogs. Raw bones also make a fantastic natural tooth brush!
  • A wide variety of our raw foods contain minced bone, with the exception of beef mince and tripe.
  • We recommend that you offer a raw meaty bone or chew 1-3 times a week to help keep your pet’s teeth clean, as well as providing an enjoyable, relaxing and healthy treat.
  • If you have just switched to raw, please wait 3-4 weeks before introducing raw bones to your pet's diet

The table below gives a guide to the age and experience level at which to introduce each of the raw bones we produce, as recommended by our in-house vets.

Raw BoneDescriptionRecommended AgeExtra Info
Turkey NecksSoft, whole boneFrom 10 weeksGreat for pups and new starters
Duck WingsSoft, whole boneFrom 10 weeksGreat for pups and new starters
Duck NecksSoft, whole boneFrom 10 weeksGreat for pups and new starters
Chicken WingsSoft, whole boneFrom 10 weeksGreat for pups, cats and new starters
Chicken PortionsSoft, whole boneFrom 6 monthsGreat for new starters
Chicken CarcassSoft boneFrom 6 monthsGreat for new starters
Lamb NecksTough, meaty whole boneFrom 10 monthsGreat for new starters
MarrowboneExtremely tough, whole bone containing marrowFrom 10 montthsFor experienced chewers. 
Beef knuckle boneExtremely tough, whole boneFrom 10 monthsFor experienced chewers. Care with tough chewers.
Beef RibsWhole, tough boneFrom 10 MonthsCare with inexperienced chewers

What about bacteria?

Natures Menu bones and chews are safely sourced and stored to ensure it is safe for raw consumption. Our batches are regularly tested for bacteria such as salmonella and enterobacteriaceae. We keep our bones and chews frozen to ensure safe, fresh products. We recommend to defrost the bones and chews in a sealed container on the side for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. We advise to use the product within 24 hours of defrosting.

Is it safe to feed bones?

Only if they are fed raw and selected appropriately for the age and experience of the animal. Raw bones are moisture rich, softer and more flexible compared to cooked bones. Once a bone is cooked they become very dry and brittle, this is when they can easily splinter and potentially cause problems. Please do not feed cooked bones.

A few pointers before you start....

  • Never cut or saw bones
  • For older dogs, stick to the softer bones
  • Never feed bones with small children in reaching distance
  • Never leave a dog unattended with a bone 
  • Never feed a dog cooked bones
  • If you have more than one dog, separate them before feeding bones as they may are a high value item and may cause fights.
  • Always feed bones appropriate to their age, breed, experience and size
  • If storing after a chewing session, rinse the bone under cold water and store in a plastic bag or container in the fridge.
  • Always dispose of any uneaten material after 24 hours
  • With cats, always keep an eye on where they take their bones, as they have a tendency to hide them away!  

If you would like to give your dog a natural chew but do not want to give bone we also have a range of meaty chews including Beef Trachea, Paddywacks and Meaty Beef Chews, detailed in the table below. These are particularly good for puppies as they are softer than bone but offer all the satisfaction of a good chew session - great for teething gums.

 

Alternatively, you can view the whole range of natural snacks, treats, bones and chews here, as well as buy online.


ChewDescriptionRecommended AgeExtra Info
Meaty Beef Chews Cartilage Chew From 10 weeks Great for pups and new starters
Paddywacks Tendon Chew From 10 weeks Great for pups and new starters
Beef Trachea Cartilge Chew From 10 weeks Great for pups and new starters
organ meatDescriptionRecommended AgeExtra Info
Lamb Heart Muscle Chew 10 weeks+, cut into small portions. Very chewy muscle meat
Beef Heart Muscle Chew From 10 weeks Rich chew - feed in small portions 1-2 times a week.