I have gotten recently several messages from other Papillon owners, or small, toy breed owners, that although they are switching, or already serving their dogs a menu of raw meat, they are afraid to serve their small friends chicken wings, drumettes, chicken necks etc, as a raw bone meal. Bones are actual essential, as they provide the dog their calcium needs, among other things.
The fear that these bones get lodged in a small dog's esophagus is common, and I must say that I myself am in that group of "worrisome", and that I feed for that- , and some other reason less and less bones.
Other reason are:
- Seniors which would like to, but can not properly chew these bones, due to their tooth-loss.
- Gulpers. Yes, there are Papillons which just inhale their food. They gulp their food down, as fast as they can.
Here are the alternatives I apply to my dog's raw, and fresh diet:
- Eggshells: I add a small amount of ground eggshells to the menu as needed calcium.
(eggshells can be just dried, or , as I do, put into a small toaster- oven to bake for a while, and then crushed/grind in a coffee bean grinder or food processor.
Half a teaspoon of ground eggshell provides approximately 900 milligrams of calcium, and should be served per pound of food.
If you are adding eggshell just to a typical 2-2.5 Oz serving, sprinkle just a tiny bit over the meal.
- Sardines, Herring or Mackerel
1-2 times / week I serve besides a meat source canned sardines, mackeral, or herring, if I can find it.
These canned fish have small bones in them and are eatable for humans as well as pets.
I usually stay far away from any canned food, as the nutritional value in canned food is debatable. But in this case, not only provide the canned fish some of the needed calcium, it also serves as a special "treat" as most dogs just love the taste of it.
Again, only very small amounts please, especially in the introduction for such food item.
The key is:
Everything in moderation to avoid stomach- upset, where the server/owner tends to come to a possible false solution of pet "allergy" or "intolerance".
I also provide my dogs on a very regular base "recreational" bones. Bones they can not swallow, but will chew on for several days on and off. Not only will this keep their teeth in good, or better shape, it will provide entertainment, and satisfaction.
Beef back ribs, pork ribs and similar ribs are recommended.
What is not
advisable is to get "soup bones", as weight bearing bones (legs, from large livestock) may break the small dog's teeth, and the bone may have too much of the bone marrow.
Other alternatives to serving a bone meal are:
- Meat Grinder (Please be aware, that not all grinders grind bones. Only some heavy-duty ones do this kind of a job)