Raw Food & Bones

Raw meat and bones

If you’re looking online for advice on whether its a good idea to feed raw meat and bones to your schnauzer, you will find every extreme of possible answers.

From this…

“Dogs are not wolves” and shouldn’t eat raw meat and bone like them, says Jerry Klein, AKC’s (American Kennel Club) chief veterinary officer. “Through the thousands of years and generations of becoming domesticated, dogs became omnivores who evolved to eat what we people eat,” Klein says. Wolves are carnivores, he says. Their gastrointestinal systems can process raw meat, and they absorb nutrients differently than dogs do. In addition, their ability to fight potential pathogens is limited compared with wolves as well.” – https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/why-few-vets-say-raw-dog-food-is-a-good-idea

to this …

Always feed your dog raw bones. Raw meaty bones (such as raw chicken wings or lamb flaps) help to keep teeth and gums healthy, provide added nutrition and help cleanse your dog’s digestive tract. Never feed cooked bones to your dog, as these can splinter and cause internal injury“: – https://www.rspcapetinsurance.org.au/pet-care/pet-ownership/all-about-bones-and-your-dog

Schnauzer food

This is our opinion, what I do with my own dogs, and what I tell the owners of our pups to feed them. I hope it helps.

From the moment pups are weaned, pups love to chew. Whether it’s toys, fingers or your favourite shoes, our young dogs explore the world through their mouth. A pup chewing and strengthening its mouth and jaw prepares it for catching and eating other critters. I think a schnauzer’s mouth is designed to catch prey, tear up a carcass, chomp up the raw meat, and crunch bones into pieces. It’s not a pretty thought, but it’s the circle of life. It’s not much of a leap to think my schnauzer’s digestive tract is also designed in the same way. Catch critter, eat critter. Remember, among other jobs, a schnauzer was bred to catch and kill foxes, badgers and rats; it’s in their blood.

Crunching up food (just like for people) keeps the teeth seated correctly in jaw, and keeps the jaw muscles strong. It reduces the build up of tartar, and therefore lowers the occurence of gum disease. Finding the right food for my schnauzer Ari is easier than trying to brush her teeth; I know Ari wouldn’t be a big fan of a toothpaste/brush routine.

Feeding our schnauzers

Chicken wings are an important part of my dog’s diet; on average two wings a day. My 16 year old (when he passed) had the teeth and gums of a pup, strong and white with healthy pink gums.I choose chicken wings because they are the easy to get, right size, low cost, and people eat them every day (cooked of course).

The first time I watched my dog splinter chicken wings in her mouth and then swallow them it terrified me. How could they not perforate her stomach? She’ll choke! She’ll get an bowel obstruction! Decades on and many healthy dogs later, I’ve learnt that my dog knows what its doing.

As for the bacteria, all dogs, whether domestic or wild, are scavengers. Both Nina and Winston love to bury a spare chicken wing (if allowed) and let it mature for a few days. Nina considers this buried treasure and will guard it all day. My dogs will eat the buried wings when they feel they’re ready without ill effect. I get more concerned the bacteria will end up on me than harm the dog, so no burying is allowed in our house.

Raw rules in our house

  • No cooked bones – the only time ever I’ve had a constipation problem with my dog was when he found some cooked chicken bones. He didn’t die and we didn’t even have to go to the vet, but it wasn’t pleasant for him.
  • Introduce bones slowly – My bitch Ari loved chicken wings from the moment she tasted them…maybe a little too much. She almost swallowed her first one whole. Starting with chicken wing tips, and letting her eat half her meal first so so she wasn’t ravenous helped. Two meals later, she was an expert at crunching them and tearing them apart.
  • Meat on the bone – I let my dogs tear and chew off the bone as it’s more fun for them. If they can crunch the bone up, more fun.
  • Cook minced meat – bacteria live on the surface of meat; uncooked minced meat has more surface, therefore more bacteria. Unless you mince the meat yourself, you don’t know when or how it was minced, and bacteria multiply quickly. Also, preservative is generally added to mince to control bacteria growth, and I’m not a fan of preservative. I prefer to cook the mince and add vegetables, just like I would for my own food.
  • Supervise the meal – both my dogs Nina and Winston would sneak a chicken wing off to bury, then come back and ask for more food at the empty bowl. The dogs would get obsessive about guarding their treasure and it can lead to a smelly discovery during gardening, so we have a ‘no takeaway’ rule at feeding time.

Processed dog food has its place in good nutrition. There is nothing wrong and everything right with good quality meat loaf, dry biscuits, and even the occassional can. It’s just not everything. There are some recommendations on other pages of this website, or you can always contact us and ask what we think is best quality this month.