Why Should You Feed Your Pet Raw Meaty Bones?
The group of us who run this site have been accused of being completely biased towards feeding a raw meaty bone diet! Yes, we are! Now, with a web site title of ukrmb (united kingdom raw meaty bones) you would probably expect that - but how have we reached the decision to be so biased?
We have over the years tried the other ways of feeding our pets - tinned/dried/vacuum packed/home cooked meat/raw meat with veggies & supplements - and each of these foods has been found wanting, some more than others. We accepted rancid breath, dirty teeth, disgusting faeces, frequent bouts of runny tummy, obscure skin, ear and eye infections, lethargic dogs. We accepted that it was commonplace for our dogs to die young with cancer, or develop liver or kidney problems early in their lives. Joint problems in our dogs at six years old was normal. Pancreatic Insufficiency was considered almost standard for some breeds, as was Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Gastric Dilation, especially in the larger deep chested breed of dog was, and is, a fairly common occurrence - it is rare in naturally fed dogs.
We all experienced these types of health problems with our dogs & cats and independently started to investigate why. Then we discovered that there was a better way of feeding our pets. Individually, we all ended up either reading the book Raw Meaty Bones, or attending one of Tom Lonsdale’s seminars, or both. It all made such sense! The more we looked into the rmb method of feeding, the easier and more logical it became. We have now all been feeding this way for several years and are hugely delighted with the health and general condition of our pets. (see Diet)
Now, although this site is non commercial, and all the advice we offer either on the site or via email is completely free, the exception is that if you haven’t read either of Tom’s books, you must! (Click here to order). Both Raw Meaty Bones and Work Wonders are available in e-book and hard copy formats.
So what’s so great about feeding raw meaty bones? We now have dogs and cats (and some ferrets), with gleaming white clean teeth with no gum disease, sweet smelling breath, well muscled bodies. No allergies or irritations. No anal gland problems. No hyperactivity. Much more energy, especially in the older dogs. Much less dog poo to clear up (they digest and utilise much more of their food, so therefore less waste matter). What’s left is small lumps of environmentally friendly waste, which is easily disposed of, unlike the revolting chocolate pudding type piles that you see in the parks and other urban spaces.
When the breeder, the vet and the pet shop all recommend feeding your dog, cat or ferret on commercial pet food, why should you ignore such advice? When they, and the information on the packet or tin tell you that this food is nutritionally balanced, and made for optimum health, why should you disbelieve them? After all, they know best, surely! So why would they be giving you such advice if it is incorrect?
As far as the breeders are concerned, it may simply be because they don’t have any knowledge of the alternative or they may have been ‘supplied’ with some free samples of branded food to not only feed their own breeding stock with, but also to encourage their customers to do the same. With the pet shop, their interests are obviously slightly more commercial! With the vet, it is probably because the veterinary colleges include very little specific education on nutrition for dogs, cats and ferrets within the curriculum, and what education they do give barely touches on feeding the way nature designed. Coupled with the fact that the pet food industry provides sponsorship and funds to the vet schools, it is hardly surprising that newly trained vets start up in practice believing that what they have been told about processed pet food is true. (See under News for more details)
Pet food companies sponsor dog shows, they visit schools, they advertise in your vet’s waiting room. Then there is all the information on the tin or packet - surely they can’t make all those claims if they are untrue! They advertise on television. Reality check coming - advertising is about selling a product, not telling the truth! We are not trying to sell you a product - we don’t make anything to sell. The many raw feeding web sites available (see links) are not trying to sell you anything either. So why should we want you to feed raw to your pets? Because we know it works! Evolution has proved that, without any interference from mankind. Dogs, cats and their ancestors have eaten raw food for millions of years. Processed food has been around for only about 100 years. The diet we are advocating is not a processed, manufactured food, but just normal food, fit for human consumption, which you can buy from your butcher or supermarket.
Be prepared to have to argue your corner with vets, and other dog owners. Some people will tell you you’re mad, or cruel, to feed your pet on raw meaty bones - especially if you feed them chicken. The myth about chicken bones continues to perpetuate but it is the COOKED bones which can be dangerous, because they can splinter (see links).
You will come across people who will steadfastly refuse to listen - they will tell you that they have always fed their dogs/cats on dried or tinned food, that their pets are perfectly healthy and live well into their teens. There are always exceptions, but what quality of life do these old artificially fed pets have, with sore mouths and aching joints? Their pets may have lived even longer if fed on a raw meaty bone diet, and would certainly have lived a lot more comfortably. They may possibly feel threatened, thinking that you are saying that they don’t care for their pet properly. We all like to think we are doing the best for our animals, and until we discovered the truth about pet diets, we were the same. Read everything you can get your hands on and become an expert at raw feeding. Don’t get side tracked down the raw meat only path. That is a bad way to go and is completely wrong for your pet. Give them raw meat on the bone!
Ready to Start?
It can seem quite daunting, stepping into the unknown and feeding raw, when you have been used to simply opening a can or serving up a mugful of pellets. It really isn’t difficult at all! In fact it is SO easy. Just take a few simple preparatory steps first, prior to feeding your pet his or her first real meal
Step 1 – Storage
Probably one of the most important parts of this way of feeding is to have sufficient storage space, unless you visit the butcher more than once a week. For a small dog, cat or ferret one of your freezer compartments should be sufficient. However, if you have more than one pet eating raw, investing in a second hand chest freezer in your garage might be a good idea.
Step 2 – Butchers/Farm Shops/Supermarkets
If you have a butcher nearby, it is a good idea to start buying meat for your own needs there. (It tastes so much better than supermarket meat). Even if you are vegetarian, butchers usually sell free range eggs and sometimes cheese too. Once you become a customer, you could suggest that he/she either gives or sells you their chicken frames. If they do not bone chickens out on site, they should be able to buy in the frames from suppliers. Rabbits and oxtail can usually be found in a butchers’ shop, as well as whole fresh chickens. Some butchers might tell you ‘never feed bones to dogs’ or ‘I’m not allowed to give/sell you bones under new EU Legislation’. Both of these comments are myths. Depending on the type of person you are, you can either find yourself another butcher, or explain that some bones (i.e. marrow bones) can be dangerous for dogs (they are so hard the dog could break or chip a tooth) and that cooked bones are very dangerous as they splinter. However whole rabbits, oxtail, chicken frames, lamb necks, pigs trotters etc are actually very good for dogs, provided they are fed raw. Furthermore, the EU Legislation on bones is that butchers are allowed to give/sell bones to customers, provided they have not already been thrown away – a print- off of this clarification is available under Articles/Actions. With regard to these “scrap” bones, apart from perhaps giving teething puppies something to chew on, we would not recommend feeding bare, meatless bones - all bones should have lots of lovely meat wrapped around them! If you have transport and are willing to travel further for your supplies, have a look in your telephone directory under Farm Shops or Organic Suppliers. Most of these small businesses are only too happy to sell their products to pet owners, and the quality is usually excellent. If you really can’t access a butcher, you can still buy chicken wings, whole chickens etc from the supermarket. (Check out the suppliers list in the menu - above left)
|Step 3 – Organisation |
Once you have your food, it’s a good idea to ‘bag it up’ and freeze it in daily quantities – unless, of course you are feeding it straight away! Many dogs will eat their rmbs straight from the freezer, without incurring any detrimental effects. If you are not happy with feeding frozen raw, then simply take the following days food from the freezer and allow to defrost in the fridge until the next day. Most cats seem to prefer their food well defrosted first and served at room temperature.
Step 4 – Where to Feed
When it’s dry, the best (and easiest) place to feed is in the garden on the grass, or on your patio. However, in inclement weather, the kitchen floor, covered by a piece of VetBed, or a towel , or an old sheet or tablecloth, will keep the floor clean and can be washed afterwards. Ferrets can be fed in their cages of course.
Step 5 – Ready to Go
So, everything is in place. Take the food (hopefully outside), no bowl necessary, and give it to your pet - sit back and watch! You should supervise your pet during his or her first few rmb meals, just to make sure they are eating properly. It is also lovely to watch the huge pleasure your pet derives from eating real food at last!
A dog's got to make sure her supply of
RMBs are guarded securely
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