Bones are absolutely required as part of the home-prepared fresh foods diet. Not optional unless you are using a calcium supplement in place of bones or feeding a properly balanced prepared raw food.
Many people feed a diet that consists of predominantly raw meaty bones, which can be a VERY healthy and excellent choice – from weaning and into old age. When doing so, they are feeding most meals with the meat “on the bone”, maintaining the consumable bone amount in the diet at a proper and adequate % or ratio.
Raw bones are consumed first and foremost for their nutritional value to the cat or dog. A natural, and highly digestible source of calcium is provided by raw bones, and is required to provide a natural balance to the higher levels of phosphorous found in raw meat. Sufficient supplies of calcium is vital for normal growth and development, for correct mineralisation (strength) of the teeth and bones, and structure of joints. It is vital for muscular contraction in the body, including the heart muscle, and is involved in a wide array of metabolic processes.
The calcium in raw bones can be up to 4 times more digestible than most common calcium supplements available. Bones also supply smaller amounts of cartilage (natural glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate to prevent arthritis), bone marrow and other minerals like boron, which are vital for bone health.
Bones should never be fed cooked
NOTE: Feeding ALL bones poses a risk of choking, so supervision is absolutely essential at every feeding. Choose size appropriate bones