Raw Meaty Bones Feeding Guidelines

Written on Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Raw Meaty Bones Feeding Guidelines

Safety First

Raw meaty bones (RMB’s) are the mainstay of a balanced raw food diet. Variety is the key and 3P offers one of the largest selections of RMB’s for pets in North America. To ensure you have the best possible experience while feeding a natural diet, follow these important safety guidelines.

Ground bone only when switching - Only feed ground bone, raw bone dust and/or bone meal for the first month of switching your pet to raw. The digestive system needs time to adjust to the new diet and it’s best to give a one month adjustment period. The pH of the GI tract will change as well as enzyme production, liver and kidney function. It’s important to offer easy to digest meals to aid in making the transition as easy and stress-free as possible.

Teach Pets How to Chew – When introducing whole bones to dogs and cats, be sure to purchase bones large enough that they cannot be swallowed whole by your pet. This is especially important for highly enthusiastic pets that are new to bones. Some pets have never had experience eating and chewing raw bones and they need to practice. You may also wish to hold the bone while your pet chews for the first few times until they get the hang of chewing. Carnivores have a natural instinct to chew bones so the learning curve should be quick and easy.

Practice Taking and Trading Bones – To avoid any possibility of developing possessive behavioural issues, practice taking bones from your pet and trading them for a second bone, treat or toy and then giving back the original bone. This ensures that your pet will understand that you will give the bone back if it is taken away or will be traded for something else they will enjoy.

Supervision – Always supervise animals when feeding whole bones.

Feed Fresh - Feed bones within 48 hours of being thawed. Never feed bones that have been left to dry out. Do not let your dog bury bones in the yard to dig up and chew on later.

Feed Raw – Feed bones thawed and straight out of the package. Never cook raw bones.

Vary Bones – Do not get stuck feeding the same bones all the time. Different bones offer different nutrients and should be rotated frequently to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Monitor Bone Intake – Be sure that you are not feeding too much bone in one day. You will notice your pet may have harder or crumbly stools if too much is fed. To avoid this, do not offer whole bones on days when you feed meat with ground bone. Instead, offer them on days when red meat (with no bone) is fed.


Raw meaty bones provide the following essential nutrients:


An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules which create free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start the chain reactions that occur in cells, causing damage or death to the cell. Antioxidants terminate these chain reactions by removing free radical intermediates, and inhibiting other oxidation reactions.


Calcium is a necessary mineral for life. It helps build healthy bones and teeth, aids in exocytosis for muscle contraction and neurotransmitter release and in the electrical conduction system of the heart. Calcium deficiency can cause an array of serious health problems. The main source of calcium in a raw diet is raw bones. Puppies and kittens will need bones every day to ensure they receive enough calcium during the crucial growing stages. Pregnant and lactating mothers will also need lots of calcium to carry their young to term and produce adequate amounts of milk for their young.


Enzymes are biological molecules responsible for thousands of chemical processes in nature that sustain and support life. Most enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts for all types of metabolic reactions in the mammalian body. They play a major role in the digestion and absorption of food. Complex starches and proteins are broken down into smaller molecules that can be digested by the intestines. Enzymes can form metabolic pathways, each one working in a specific order to get different jobs done. Enzymes help maintain the homeostasis of the body and if there is a mutation, change or termination in production, disease can occur. It is important to provide your pet with live enzymes every day for a body that functions at its best. Cooked and commercial foods contain little to no live enzymes. A raw diet is rich in live enzymes that allow that body to easily maintain a healthy rhythm.


Phosphorus is a mineral found in every cell in the body. The main function is to form bones and teeth but it also is involved in the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, formation of ATP, synthesis of proteins and growth and maintenance of cells. Additionally, it works with B vitamins and is involved in kidney function, regulating heart rate, nerve impulses and contraction of muscles.


Silica is an essential nutrient that acts to improve bone density and the health of skin, hair, nail, teeth and gums. It also helps the body maintain and repair collagen and connective tissue and plays a role in healing bones and wounds.


Sodium regulates blood volume, blood pressure, osmotic equilibrium and pH. A raw diet has a well-balanced level of sodium unlike human diets that are often too high.


Sulphur is essential to all living cells. It is present in connective tissue, nerve cells, skin, hair and nails. Cysteine and methionine are amino acids that are present in plants and animals. These amino acids exist in all enzymes, proteins and polypeptides. Sulphur is present in countless metabolic processes in the body including glucose metabolism.


Vanadium is needed in small amounts for the growth of puppies and kittens and in reproduction and pregnancy. It has been suggested that it can aid in increasing insulin sensitivity in diabetics but more research is required. It may also provide cancer fighting properties, reduce cholesterol formation, prevent heart disease and prevent tooth decay.


An essential trace mineral, zinc is involved in many metabolic processes, triggering enzymes, building proteins and creating DNA. It is necessary for healthy bones, muscles, kidney function, liver function and maintenance of the neurological and reproductive systems. It also serves as a structural component in proteins. It is needed for growth and pregnancy. Interestingly, it is required for proper taste and smell.

Benefits of Feeding RMB’s

  • Healthy teeth and gums – Never pay for another unnecessary dental bill again! Pets that chew RMB’s have natural defense against plaque buildup. Chewing bones increases enzyme activity in the mouth, acts as a natural toothbrush for scraping unwanted bacteria from teeth and provides calcium and other minerals that allow for teeth to stay strong and healthy.
  • Overall physical health - Pets of all ages will benefit from the minerals and vitamins found in raw bones. These nutrients promote healthy, bones, nervous system, blood cells and cardiovascular function.
  • Healthy milk production for mothers - Pets that are pregnant and nursing will reap the benefits of RMB’s. The rich nutrient content of bones allows for proper milk production and development of young in utero.
  • Healthy bone growth for pups and kittens – Bones are an essential part of raising healthy pups and kittens. Youngsters need high density nutrition packed with calcium and phosphorus in order to develop their bones, nervous and cardiovascular systems.
  • Mental well-being – Pets that chew bones enjoy it as an extracurricular activity. Chewing stimulates endorphins in the brain, decreasing stress and providing pets with a task. Chewing bones is natural for carnivorous animals which creates an overall sense of well-being.

3P’s RMB Feeding Guidelines

3P has one of the largest selections in Canada. Each type of bone offers different nutrients so it is important to be sure you are not only using one type. We also cut bones to size for small, medium and large dogs to accommodate the vast range in size of our modern domestic dogs. It is important never to leave your dog or cat unattended with a bone and to ensure all bones are served fresh and raw.

  1. Knuckle bones – Knuckle bones are the highest in calcium. They are made of hard bone and cartilage and can be chewed into small chunks which are safe to swallow. These bones are a good option to feed on days when red meat is given. This will balance the days’ meals so that constipation does not occur as this bone is very dense and will make stools harder. Ground poultry and bone will have a similar effect on the stool so best to use either a whole bone or ground poultry with bone each day. Available in small, medium, large and extra large for dogs.
  2. Femur Bones – The center of the femur is the only edible part for a dog. It is primarily made of blood and fat. It is not as high in calcium and should be used in moderation, rotated with knuckles and other types of bones. It is a nutritious source of energy in the form of fat and dogs can spend time licking the marrow out of the bone. This is also a good extracurricular activity for your dog. Available in slices for small dogs and medium to large sizes for bigger dogs.
  3. Chicken Carcass, Turkey & Chicken Necks & Wings – All of these bones are fully edible and are a good source of calcium and protein. They can be used as meal items regularly throughout the week. Wings, wingettes and necks are all good meal items for small/medium dogs and cats. One or more chicken carcass or several turkey necks can be fed at a single meal to large or giant breed dogs.
  4. Elk & Lamb Necks – These meal items can be used for all sizes of dog since we offer whole necks as well as neck slices from these two animal sources. These can also be used for several meals per week as they are fully ingestible/digestible, high in protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals. For dogs only.
  5. Beef Ribs – Ribs are fully edible and a great extracurricular activity. Though they are not essential, they add more variety to a dog’s diet. If your dog leaves pieces of the rib bones behind, discard them in a garbage can out of your dog`s reach. Never allow rib bones (or any other bone) to lay about to be eaten later as they become brittle when dry and are only nutritious and safe when fed freshly thawed.
  6. Ankles- A specialty item packed with vitamins and minerals. These items can be sliced for small pets or purchased whole for larger breeds. For dogs only.
  7. Raw Bone Dust – 3P carries a limited supply of bone dust from beef, buffalo and lamb. These items are great for animals with special needs such as dental concerns that limit bone chewing, senior animals or animals newly switching to raw.
  8. Whole Quail - Another specialty item that is perfect for small cats and dogs. An entire quail is the closest to a natural food source you can get! Allow your small dog or cat to enjoy!

3P’s Raw Meaty Bone Selection:

  • Beef Bone Dust (when available)
  • Beef Rib Bones
  • Buffalo Bone Dust (when available)
  • Lamb Bone Dust (when available)
  • Lamb Bone Meal (when available)
  • Turkey Necks
  • Turkey Wingettes
  • Natural Beef Femurs
  • Natural Beef Knuckles
  • Natural Buffalo Femurs
  • Natural Buffalo Knuckles
  • Natural Buffalo Ankles
  • Natural Beef Ankles
  • Natural Elk Ankles
  • Natural Chicken Carcass
  • Natural Chicken Necks
  • Natural Chicken Wing Tips
  • Natural Elk Femurs
  • Natural Elk Knuckles
  • Natural Elk Neck Slices
  • Natural Elk Necks Whole
  • Natural Lamb Femurs
  • Natural Lamb Femurs Split
  • Natural Lamb Neck Slices
  • Natural Lamb Necks Whole
  • Whole quail (when available)
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