Cook's Corner: Raw Data

The basics of feeding a raw diet.


When discussing homemade diets, most people think of cooked diets, but another option is a diet based on raw meaty bones (parts that are at least half meat) where the bone is fully consumed. This method of feeding is meant to mimic the natural diet of the wolf.

Benefits of a raw diet
In 1993, Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian, published his book Give Your Dog a Bone, which extolled the virtues of feeding dogs raw meaty bones and helped introduce the concept to dog owners around the world.

Raw meaty bones, or RMBs, provide dogs chewing pleasure and exercise, helping to keep teeth clean and remove tartar. Other reported benefits include improved digestive health, fewer skin problems, leaner muscles and optimized energy levels. Many raw feeders say that couch-potato dogs become more active, and hyperactive dogs calm down.

What to feed
Chicken parts are the most commonly used RMBs. They’re inexpensive and readily available, and the bones are relatively soft. Necks and backs have the smallest and softest bones, but you can also feed wings and leg quarters. Turkey necks are often fed to large dogs.

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Katie   Surrey, UK, AL

4/29/2010 2:48:44 PM

I found it a shame that you mention Ian Billingshurst and his book as if this is where raw feeding started, but in fact it was Dr Tom Lonsdale who first promoted a raw meaty bone diet and formed the raw meaty bones lobby, of which Ian Billinghurst was actually a part of. Lonsdale also published a very well referenced book, Raw Meaty Bones, Promotes Health. Billinghurst later broke off from the RMB Lobby to form his own version of raw feeding (the more commonly known BARF diet) which is founded on quite different principles of feeding.

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