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I'll save you the long story, but when I was feeding raw before (I took a break from it, but am starting back very soon) I was doing an INTENSIVE level of prepping. Having 2 small, white dogs I was concerned with choking on bones, cleanliness and staining. I had the exact figures of how much meat, offal & bone each dog did best with and I did it meticulously. I strongly believe that feeding raw is the best way to go, but I also believe an ill-balanced raw diet can be very dangerous. But I'm wondering if I was being OVERLY meticulous.

I had it worked out that one chicken wing would cover 2, sometimes 3, servings (they seemed particularly reactive if the measuring of the bone was off). To ensure the bone amount was measured right, I was actually cutting all the meat OFF the bone first-in order to measure it separately. As you can imagine I was spending a LOT of time cutting meat.

That's not all, I would always hold the bones while my dogs ate them. That's the only way I could think to keep it off their paws and out of their fuzzy faces. I have no problem doing that going forward, but I am questioning if my holding it had anything to do with the 3 scares I had w/one of my dogs. 3 different times, he got a piece of the bone lodged between his teeth. It seemed to always be in the same place in his mouth, so maybe it's just bad luck, but dang it's scary to see it happen. It's not choking but it's still distressing to see him freak out. I got to where I was keeping tweezers in the kitchen so I could pull it out from between his teeth. I mean, I know COOKED bone splinters - raw shouldn't. I don't know how to combat that. I've seen some people write about bone meal, but that is just silly, seeing as the bone is so good for dental health. Granted, ideal dental health doesn't consist of bones stuck between their teeth either. I know there are smaller bones out there, but my other big issue with raw food is my own gag reflex. I seem to be able to handle it to the point of deboning wings; and I've been managed with the kidneys, hearts and liver. But my limits were tested when I tried to handle a turkey neck. I mean, I want to do everything I can for my fur kids-I really do...but if I can keep what is in my stomach IN my stomach in the process...well, that would be preferable.

Sorry about the long post. I tried to keep it short, but I've failed immensely. But if anyone manages to get through it all AND has pointers - I would REALLY appreciate it!! Thank you all!
 

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I think you just need to relax, and let your dogs do what they naturally know how to do...eat raw. It sounds like it's more you who has an issue with a weak stomach, rather than the dogs being able to eat or not. With that said, the smaller the dog, IMO, the harder they are to feed raw. If you aren't convinced how well they can chew just yet, you can take a kitchen mallet or hammer and lightly smash the wings, or even drumsticks to make it easier. As they get better, and you get more comfortable with their abilities, slowly back off the smashing.
 

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I wouldn't worry about staining, if you just give them a wipe off after dinner. Also, feeding 'naked' bones is actually not a good idea and can lead to the splintering issue you mentioned earlier. Your dogs are perfectly capable of eating their bones by themselves if you let them figure it out.

I would look at getting cornish hens from the store, they are great tiny bones to feed. Also chicken and duck feet are easily chopped apart into smaller portions. Rabbit would be a good smaller bone source as well.

We have an Excel file that we made and compiled that will tell you the average amount of bone in any cut of bone-in meat (based on weight). I can email it to you with how to use it if you'd like! Our dog is also very sensitive to her bone being off.

Also, on the balanced diet thing, you probably haven't ever eaten one 'nutritionally balanced' meal in your life, unless you've really tried. The goal is balance over time. If you feed a variety of proteins (read: animals. 4 is considered the minimum) and as many cuts (bone-in, boneless, and organs) from those proteins, you will easily achieve a balanced diet for your dog. We currently feed our dog chicken, turkey, pork, beef, venison, duck, rabbit, lamb, and smelt and our vet says that she is in perfect condition.
 
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