Raw bone - how long will it last?

cuttervonwifflepuffMay 30, 2008

Took my 30 lb sheltie to the vet today to get her microchipped, and while there, the vet gave her an exam. Perfect health, awesome coat, ideal weight (I feed her Canidea All Life Stages), but she's got some plaque building up on her canines. Rather than giving her a teeth cleaning when her only trouble spots are those 2 teeth, the vet recommended raw marrow bones to clean off the plaque.

I went to my favorite natural pet food store/boutique, and they didn't have marrow bones, but had frozen raw beef knuckle bones. I bought one and gave it to my sheltie almost an hour ago, and she is loving it. The knuckle bone is pretty much bigger than her head!

So, how long will the knuckle bone last? Should I refreeze it when she's done with it today? She's out on the deck with it right now, within my sight; I don't want to bring the bone into the house to let her have it on the carpet, nor do I want to leave the bone out on the deck to get covered in ants.

If you give your dog raw bones (knuckle, marrow, or otherwise), I'd love to know your routine. The bone was almost $7, I'd hate to have to throw it away after just one afternoon of her chewing on it.

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Depends on the size of the bone and the size of the dog and how aggressive of a chewer the dog is, and if the dog can EAT the bone.

Is she just chawing on it, or can she break off any pieces? Make sure she can't break off any shards.

Raw bones dry up after a short time, then get more easy to break into sharp shards. You want to throw it away before that happens.

I don't know about re-freezing - you can try it.

Don't ever let a dog chaw on a bone unsupervised - just give the bone for a period of time, then take it and put it away in the fridge until the next day.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 6:23PM
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She's a delicate eater (her Canidae kibbles are TINY, and she still chews and crunches up each and every little one), and the knuckle bone is bigger than her head. It also started out frozen, which should be harder to eat, right?

Right now, she seems more interested in the meaty goo that's left on the bone. She wanted to take a nap after she'd been gnawing on it for a little over an hour, so I wrapped the bone up and stuck it in the freezer... we'll see how things go tomorrow when I bring it out again. She hadn't broken off any pieces.

The info about the raw bones drying up and being more easily broken into shards, that's something I didn't know, so I'll have to watch out for that.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 6:36PM
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Don't give her the bone for too long, especially at first. If there is a lot of fat in/on the bone, she may get diarrhea. Or if she consumes a lot of bone she can get pretty constipated. Watch her next bowel movements for problems.

Personally I'm not a fan of beef bones because they are really hard and can cause cracked molars. I feed a raw diet to my dogs but the bones in that are mostly edible.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 9:02PM
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I feed my Newfoundland Beef bones from the grocery store. They are about 1 1/2 in. to 2 in. across and about that in length too. They have a little meat on them and marrow in the middle. Lucy will eat the meat and marrow out of it and chew on the bone but not eat the bone, it takes her just about 3 hours to chew one clean. Then I can just throw the bone away. They are usually $1.00 to $1.30 a pound, and 4 in a pack in the meat department. A 4 pack is right around a pound. I freeze them and give her one a day. I find this easier that a big knuckle that she can't finish in one day. It is very important to be watching your dog when she is eating any real bone. I usually give it to her when we are outside but in bad weather she can have one in the kitchen while I am cleaning/cooking or she does not get one that day.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 11:39AM
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If its a raw bone, i'd give it to her outside if possible, treat it like raw meat just to be safe, I''d let her chew it for a day or so then throw it out.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 10:55AM
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I'm in the country and we can get knuckle bones and leg bones pretty cheap from butchers who process cows, pigs, deer etc. I have knuckle bones out in the yard that the meat is chewed off and they've been outside for a year and are in no way brittle. We won't get the leg bones again. Butcher said they were "easy" to cut smaller with a hacksaw. yeah uhuh..my husband had to use a skill saw on it and after that said NEVER again.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 4:42PM
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I do as rosegarden and buy from the grocery store. If the bones are too large ask the butcher to cut them into smaller sizes. My dogs usually eat the meat and marrow off them and then they're done. At that point I toss them.

You should be safe refreezing it as long as there's meat on the bone, but from your description I think what she has is too large.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:12PM
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Raw bones with meat on them can still leave an oily mess on the floor, sterilized bones wont, and the sterilized bone will last longer than your dog if used every day. If you are concerned about plaque build up - go get some canine dental brushes and toothpaste, if done gently and with patience you can brush your dogs teeth daily.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 6:56PM
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Are the sterilized bones the ones in pet and grocery stores in plastic wrap? I'm alwys tempted but afraid to give bones because of splintering. I can't just sit here and watch her gnaw. Sandy

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:56PM
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I've tossed the knuckle bone.... after a couple 1 hour chewing sessions out on the deck, it got kinda grimy and pine needles were stuck all over it. Also, I HATE handling raw meat (it makes me wanna have a cheese sandwich for dinner instead), and knuckle bones are included in that quirk of mine.

I've given my sheltie the sterilized bones before, but she only likes them with the stuffing in them, and that stuffing is filled with by-products. Blegh. Someone on this forum mentioned that they bought sterilized bones and made their own filling with water-softened dog kibble that was mashed up and then frozen inside the bone. I think I might try that.

In any case, I think it's time to break out the dental brush and chicken-flavored toothpaste..... with bones, she's just too much of a "lick the bone" kind of dog, rather than a "gnawing the bone" dog.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:37PM
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