Jump to content

Raw meaty bones causing hyperactivity?
Advice from a pet nutritionist

  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:03 PM

I was talking to a dog trainer and "pet nutritionist". She was encouraging me to stop feeding Bickie raw meaty bones and just have her on 100% dry food with maybe 1 bone a week. Bickie currently gets a small amount of premium dry food for breakfast and lunch and meat (so far just chicken necks/wings/frame or beef neck or raw mince with an egg and veggies) for dinner. She seems to think raw meat gives them too much protein and causes hyperactivity and also that too much protein is making her wee more, leading to delayed toilet training, not to mention causing nutrional deficiencies.

I've never heard that raw food = hyperactivity before. In fact, I've witnessed the opposite a number of times in the past (especially with supermarket brands). It seems odd to me to suggest that feeding the dogs natural diet would cause hyperactivity as opposed to thinking that the packaged food is causing lethargy if there was a marked difference in a particular dog's behaviour IYKWIM.

What do you think? Is this a common thing?

#2 FiveAus

Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:08 PM

My dogs get kibble and raw, and after a good chomp on a big raw meaty bone, they are the opposite of hyperactive......they tend to snooze.

I've had them on all raw, all kibble and a combo and their energy levels didn't change. I think they look better on a combo diet so I keep them on that now.

#3 Froger

Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:26 PM

Perhaps what she meant was that some dogs can show aggression and get over excited with guarding bones? That is the only way I could think to make some sense of what she said.

#4 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 03:34 PM

No, she was clearly telling me that Bickie was too young for raw food and that she's seen loads of hyperactive dogs on raw foods who settle down considerably on just dry food. She said she's really not a fan of raw food at all, but I find the thought that raw meaty bones would cause hyperactivity and toileting issues to be quite strange. I've never heard anyone say that before, although I have heard people say that their dogs had more energy on raw, which I guess is the same thing, just with a different spin.

#5 Oriental lily

Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:06 PM

It goes against the whole BARF diet philosophy.

My dogs are on a dry diet of black hawk which is the premium of the premium dog food. Plus meaty bones for teeth and variety

I did BARF for a while but found they gained weight to easily on it.
So they are now on a mixture for convenience mainly ( and they are still rather portly lol) because i found it hard  to figure out calorie Intake with BARF type diets.

Op like human diets (look at all the thousands of weight loss eating styles books on the market) people have different ideas that contradicts other people's ideas.

Ask spikey if she feels there is a massive  difference in behavior when it comes to training and diet. I doubt she will say there is unless it's a nutritionally poor diet.

Vets and other people in the pet industry also get kick backs if they remote a particular pet food.

So be aware of that as well.

#6 FiveAus

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

My vets, both the one I've recently started seeing, and the other one I've been seeing for years advocate the feeding of raw bones, especially for oral health.

I was telling my old vet that when I got Shae (my little blue merle girl), she was 5 years old and her teeth were manky and coated in brown muck and her breath wasn't pleasant at all. I put her on the same diet as the other dogs....a raw chicken drumstick for brekkie, Black Hawk kibble for dinner, and some extra raw bones on the weekends, just for a change and for a bit of pleasure for them. Within weeks, I could see the difference in her teeth and three months down the track, her teeth were white and clean with no medical intervention.
She said she frequently sends people away with instructions to start giving their dogs bones for their oral health, rather than rely on sedating the dog and cleaning it's teeth.

Last week when I took my dogs to a new vet, she checked all their mouths and commented on what lovely teeth they have and said I must be feeding them plenty of raw bones.

#7 casime

Posted 23 December 2012 - 07:58 PM

What an idiot.   Seriously.   She's an idiot.

#8 FiveAus

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:07 PM

QUOTE (casime @ 23/12/2012, 08:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What an idiot.   Seriously.   She's an idiot.

I'd agree with this. The only thing hyperactive about my dogs when they get fed raw bones is the amount of leaping and jumping around they do when they see it's bones for dinner or a treat. Then they grab their own bone and bolt for their favourite eating place and have a good chomp and we generally don't see them for hours.

#9 runnybabbit

Posted 23 December 2012 - 08:25 PM

Exactly what is a "pet nutritionist"? A veterinary nutrition specialist has done a veterinary degree and then further specialisation (usually a residency programme over three to four years, before taking board exams and passing).

I've never heard of raw food causing hyperactivity. Personally I'm not a fan of recommending raw food as I think many owners don't do it well (some do!) and it can lead to problems with immunosuppressed people in the household.

Chewing on bones can also cause slab fractures of teeth = root canal or extraction, which is expensive and people get angry when that's the recommended treatment. It doesn't happen to most dogs that get bones, but certainly happens enough that I've seen a few of them.

Neither I nor any practice I've worked for has ever received kick backs for stocking or recommending a particular brand of pet food. I generally tell people that most dogs will do mostly well on most foods -- whether it's Eukanuba, Advance, Hill's, Royal Canin, Supercoat, Purina etc, as long as it's AAFCO certified complete and balanced. The only specific recommendations I make are prescription diets for medical conditions, and I don't care if it's Royal Canin or Hill's as long as the patient eats it. original.gif

Having said that, I used to give my dog a giant butcher's bone as an occasional treat -- but I wouldn't have been too upset if he'd fractured a tooth on it, it was a calculated risk.

#10 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 23 December 2012 - 11:26 PM

Thank you for all confirming what I was thinking!

I thought it was really, really odd. I also find it suspicious that she has gained her qualifications as a "pet nutrionist" through working for Proctor & Gamble (ie, Eukanuba and Iams).

Next week, we tackle nutrition and feeding "properly", so that will be interesting. wink.gif

#11 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:43 AM

The most influential causes of 'hyperactivity' in a dog are:


A Jack Russell between 6 months and 6 years is the definition of hyperactivity.

Kelpies are not too far behind them.

Nutrition is important for building sound bones and muscle. It is important, which is why a good alround diet is something we all chat about here.

But to suggest that protein is a cause of hyperactivity is laughable - commercial kibble also contains protein, and just because its cooked, doesn't mean it is changed in any significant 'nutritional' way other than perhaps making it slightly easier to digest. (Its why smoked salmon, salmon sushi and grilled salmon are all terrific for you and very nutritious wink.gif .)

Anyway, I'd chalk it up to 'nice hypothesis', falls down on the scientific study end. Dogs are designed to eat carrion - ie, bones with meat on them. wink.gif

(and I think you're right to be concerned about her claims about being qualified, except to the extent she knows the basics about the P&G products - which are good, BTW).

#12 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 24 December 2012 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Spikey. original.gif

Given that Bickie is a 3 1/2 month old Labrador puppy, I'm not surprised she's prone to hyperactivity and I would expect her to be hyperactive regardless of her food. She's very smart though and has a few "tricks" already.

I think I'm going to keep her on the mixed diet of kibble and raw for now, she's growing really well and really enjoys getting stuck into her bones. It also helps calm down her need to chew for a few hours afterwards, which the kibble doesn't.

#13 casime

Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:05 AM

Chewing on bones can also cause slab fractures of teeth = root canal or extraction, which is expensive and people get angry when that's the recommended treatment. It doesn't happen to most dogs that get bones, but certainly happens enough that I've seen a few of them.

This is true of the weight bearing bones, but in general, a true raw diet is made up of the lighter bones, with a good portion of meat on it.  Things like chicken carcass, lamb off cuts, that type of bone, which is flexible and breaks down more easily.   Large weight bearing bones are much harder to chew, and particularly if cooked, are brittle and can damage teeth.  

I thought it was really, really odd. I also find it suspicious that she has gained her qualifications as a "pet nutrionist" through working for Proctor & Gamble (ie, Eukanuba and Iams).

Next week, we tackle nutrition and feeding "properly", so that will be interesting.

Not a qualification, just able to spout the sales pitch.  I can imagine what the feeding advice is going to be.  Are you paying her to train your dog or give you a lecture in feeding?

#14 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:22 AM

She's running the puppy preschool class. She is an NDTF qualified trainer and also trains therapy dogs, hence why I thought her class would be a good puppy preschool option for us. I didn't expect it to be covering food though. Interestingly, we both studied the same Animal Science degree at the same Uni.

I know I'm cynical due to my (long ago) background as a vet nurse - I had a lot of dealings with the salespeople and have heard all the sales pitches, have done the free training courses they run on their particular products etc. So the fact that her "qualifications" come from a pet food manufacturer, makes me very cynical as to how unbiased her opinion truly is. wink.gif

#15 la di dah

Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

I* diagnose that as long as you feed your labrador puppy, it will be hyper.

Don't NOT feed your labrador puppy to avoid this, they do need regular doses of food to grow into real dogs. wink.gif

*Not in any way a veternarian.

#16 Jellyblush

Posted 24 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE (runnybabbit @ 23/12/2012, 09:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Personally I'm not a fan of recommending raw food as I think many owners don't do it well (some do!) and it can lead to problems with immunosuppressed people in the household.

Runnybabbit, can you elaborate on this? I feed raw as this diet seems to suit my dog, assist her (significant) anxiety issues and symptoms of same such as skin rashes, and give her energy. I'd hate to be doing the wrong thing by her though.
I feed a mix of liver, kidneys, lambs hearts, chicken necks and frames and occasionally soup bones, with dry food always available but only via her toys i.e. tug-a-jug. I supplement with omega 6 and 9. Is that good enough?

To the OP; I guess it's exactly like going to the people doctor and seeing their pens, notepads etc all covered in sponsorship. It must work or it wouldn't be so prevalent. A vested interest from a practitioner is sad but usual, it is no problem to informed people like yourself but makes me cross to think of people that wouldn't question where the advice or qualification came from.

#17 runnybabbit

Posted 24 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

Jellyblush, I'm not an expert on nutrtition but that sounds pretty good. wink.gif I have found that many owners start doing BARF diets with the best of intentions and give a good variety, and then after the novelty of a new pet wears off, it just becomes crappy meat and chicken frames, and after a while it just becomes a diet of scraps and off cuts. I have also found that some dogs get very constipated when they get bones.

I think the average owner doesn't have the stamina to commit to a high quality raw food diet for the lifetime of the pet. Not to judge pet owners harshly, but when you look at how many people acquire animals ill-suited for their circumstances, without budgeting for vaccinations and basic preventative health measures, etc, I'd really rather most owners just feed Supercoat or whatever supermarket dog food, because it's simpler for them and the pet is likely to have better nutrition in the long run.

Dogs and cats can also get sick from eating old meat, or raw food if they have an underlying medical condition (immunosuppressed for whatever reason). The Delta Society in the US (run assistance and therapy dog programmes) exclude raw-fed dogs from their programmes because their dogs go to nursing homes and hospitals, where they come into contact with immunosuppressed people.

If a vet advocated a raw fed diet and then a pet comes back with a fractured tooth that required a $600 (or more) GA and extraction, people would likely see that as self-serving and the vet would be labelled money-grubbing. :/ Or if the owner or owner's kids got gastro from kissing the dog's muzzle and it was traced back to the dog's raw diet, the vet would get blamed. So I don't recommend raw diets, especially bones. It's just too much of a minefield professionally (in my view), unfortunately.

Bones can also be an issue (as casime pointed out, more with the big bones than not) when dogs bury them and then get back to them days later. They can get gastro, or GI obstructions -- I mean really, if a bone has been sitting out in a 40-degree yard for days, it may as well be cooked. I've seen dogs get GI obstructions from being fed such raw bones that then bake outdoors for days.

Meat and bone quality also varies with the butcher, and the owner's pursestrings. original.gif Kibble is boring but uniform and quality-tested.

So I'm probably more risk averse than most when it comes to raw food and especially bones, because I don't tend to see the animals that are fed raw foods and do really well (or I do, but they're a lot less memorable than the animals who come in with worn down teeth, GI obstructions, and verbally abusive owners!).

#18 FiveAus

Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:02 PM

I fed all raw for a couple of years but in hindsight I don't believe it was the best thing for my dogs. They got a variety of meat and offal, vegetables, fruit, oats, eggs, oil etc. But one of them started vomiting everything back up shortly after eating it, so I switched them on to super premium kibble supplemented with raw meaty bones, and within weeks their coats improved immensely and it became much easier to control their weight.
It's too expensive now with five dogs, but I'll never go back to all raw anyway. I liked the idea, and I thought I was giving them the best diet possible (and as nature intended) but their appearance improved too much when I changed their diet for me to believe that all raw is better.

#19 midstudentcatie

Posted 26 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

It was suggested to us that we take Mo off of raw as a full diet, as he's on immunosuppressive meds for his butt disease (anal furnunculosis or something like that...really pretty name  tongue.gif  ), so they're both back onto dry. Strangely enough, Supercoat used to give them the runs, so we went to Advance, but now Advance gives them the runs and we're feeding them the 'active' version of supercoat made with kangaroo, and they're thriving on it! They still get meaty bones or turkey necks once a week or so.

We thought that Mooch was less anxious/hyper/barky on BARF than she was on dry too, but turns out it's not that - change in neighbourhood dynamics over the last month or so, and she's a different dog!

I'd be more inclined to think that Bickie would be more hyper if she didn't have nice meaty bones to chew on and keep her busy wink.gif And how seriously cute is her name? Love it biggrin.gif

#20 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 30 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

Well, I've been continuing with raw bones for one meal a day for her, but am going to stop for now and put her on straight dry food for a while. sad.gif The twins keep picking up her toys and chewing them like she does and while I think it's gross regardless, it's even grosser when she's been eating raw chicken then chewed the toy. sick.gif

That, and I spent half of last night with her at the emergency vet because she sounded like she had a bit of bone stuck in her throat. I'm taking her back in an hour for xrays. rolleyes.gif She's lucky we love her! wink.gif

#21 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 30 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

Bugger. Hope she's okay.

I don't give mine chicken bones. Never have. Its not so much the bones, its the risk of salmonella that worries me. Just call me paranoid....

#22 shelly1

Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:32 PM

I could never commit to fully raw as too get it right is too much work but my dogs do so well on a chicken wing and a cup of premium kibble a day. I cant bring myself to feed only dry food or tinned dog food as I honestly dont think it is natural. I wouldnt feed my kids processed food all day everyday (which is what kibble/tinned  is)

I did try Vets all Natural which is a mix you put in with raw meat - it was very easy but my dogs didnt like it so it went un-eaten then I had festering bowls of raw meat in the laundry.

I find the raw chicken wings the right size for my dogs and the bone gives them a firmer stool which helps with my female dogs anal gland issues (it also makes cleaning up after them so much easier - especially on walks when I dont have my little shovel with me and have to "handle" it LOL)

I also give my dogs a raw beef bone once or twice a month - I find they enjoy them more as a treat.
Weekly they seem to get bored of them

#23 jayskette

Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:39 PM

I have been told by various people of professional and non-professional persuasions that raw meat will make my cats rougher in nature... if that means hyperactivity than I guess that's where it came from

#24 casime

Posted 31 December 2012 - 10:38 PM

So I'm probably more risk averse than most when it comes to raw food and especially bones, because I don't tend to see the animals that are fed raw foods and do really well (or I do, but they're a lot less memorable than the animals who come in with worn down teeth, GI obstructions, and verbally abusive owners!).

There might be a reason that the raw fed dogs that are fed correctly are in the vets less often  wink.gif

I've been feeding raw for well over twenty years now.  Even back then it seemed like a crazy thing to give dry food to an animal.  This was well before it became the "in thing".  I've had two broken teeth (two different dogs) in that time.   One was from trying to pick up a massive stick (well, log!), and the other from running in to the frame of the pergola.   Other than the one missing from the stick incident, my 13 year old has every other tooth in her mouth, all clean with no bad breath, as does the 11 year old.  

It does involve doing it correctly.   Throwing a big weight bearing bone down is what leads to most obstructions, broken or other teeth problems.  The bulk of the diet here is chicken frames.   I buy in bulk from a butchers supplier, and it's the same carcass that the chicken breasts in the fridge being sold are from.  It's butchered in the morning and in my freezer by 10am where it stays until it's fed.  It's defrosted and fed straight away, so I'm no more worried about it than I would the meat I feed my own family.   I almost never feed big weight bearing bones, they get the softer, more flexible bones that break down easily, and they are fed in their crates, so on the off chance that there is any leftover, it gets thrown out and not consumed later.  

A big problem is actually with dogs that are not used to being fed a raw diet.  Sadly, many dogs actually have to learn how to chew their food, which many dogs don't really need to do with kibble.   People then try and start out with something like a chicken wing, hand it to a dog that has never seen one before, who thinks "yippee" and swallows it whole.  Starting with bigger bones that they can't physically get in to their mouths is actually the best thing if the dog hasn't learnt how to chew.   The first food pups get here are chicken necks and wings when they are weaned, and they know exactly what to do with them, and don't try and swallow them.  

For those considering it, I actually recommend you read a book by Dr Tom Lonsdale called Working Wonders.  If you want to get the "heavy" version, try his book called Raw Meaty Bones, which is more scientific.   But Working Wonders is great.   Not the crazy twenty different varieties of vitamins that Billinghurst does, just good simple language.

#25 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 01 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

That's interesting what you say about the chewing Casime. Bickie doesn't chew her kibble, she swallows it whole (obvious when she chucks it back up whole wink.gif ). She doesn't chew the bones/meat but eats the entire bone - even when I give her bones that are too big to swallow, she chews and chews bits off and swallows them until there's barely any left.

I would like to keep her on at least part raw, but until I can get the kids to stop mouthing her toys, I think it's safer not to. sad.gif

1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users


Kourtney Kardashian goes nude for art

We've all done some pretty radical things after a big break-up, but Kourtney Kardashian has gone one better.

Video shows babies 'singing' to music in the womb

A new study has shown that babies may actually be able to hear from as early as 16 weeks – 10 weeks earlier than was commonly thought.

Prevent pelvic pain with pre-pregnancy exercise: study

Women who want to stave off aches and pains in pregnancy should exercise regularly before they conceive, experts say.

Dad's hilarious blog about life with twins

A stand-up comedian in the UK has plenty of new material since becoming a dad to twin boys.

Dinosaur products for babies and toddlers

Dinosaurs are one of those classic childhood crazes. We've put together a host of products for dinosaur-mad parents, babies and toddlers.

Restaurant manager sticks up for noisy baby

A mum was left upset by a note from neighbouring diners saying her screaming baby had ruined their dinner.

His name is Cayden: Mum and social media hit back after racist Facebook attack

When a man posted a selfie with a co-worker's son to Facebook, it became a magnet for racist comments.

Join the Real Mums Test Drive Team

Five new mums will join the Essential Baby Test Drive Team and discover great new baby toys from Fisher-Price & write a review to be published on Essential Baby.

The Chinese tradition for new mums that can now cost $37,000 a month

Opulent rest time is becoming the gold standard in postpartum recovery, inspired by a Chinese confinement custom known as "sitting the month".

How the media can shape our decisions when it comes to labour

We all like to think that we make our choices in fair, reasoned and well-thought out ways. Not many of us would admit that we allowed the media to influence us in our life choices.

Mum told to express in pet relief area at airport

A woman who flew from Boston to Washington says staff with United Airlines at Washington's Dulles Airport suggested she pump her breast milk in the pet-relief area.

Heartbreak as mum dies and her baby chokes to death

An Australian woman living in the US collapsed and died while feeding her baby, who then choked to death on his food. 

The hidden mental health illness of anxiety

Anxiety took over Robyn Read's life to such an extent she could not even buy the groceries and felt suicidal.

Two children fall from second storey window

Two young boys have been rushed to hospital after falling out a second-storey window of a home in Eastwood.

Mum gives birth to India's heaviest baby

An Indian woman has given birth to a baby boy weighing a whopping 5.97kg, setting a new record for the country's heaviest baby.

Grandma surprised with brand new granddaughter

Finding out you’re going to be a grandmother can be a very emotional moment. Finding out that you’re a grandmother and the baby is already here is just out of this world.

Saltwater Sandals for babies and toddlers

Many mamas are wearing Saltwater Sandals - why not buy them for your babies and toddlers too?

How to spring clean your body and mind

Whether you're pregnant, already a mum, or are just trying to be a bit more healthy, there are ways to use the rejuvenating season to give yourself a boost.


What's hot on EB

Stella McCartney honours mum with lacy bra

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has honoured her late mum, Linda McCartney, by designing a special bra for post-mastectomy patients.

Don't panic: A granddad midwife's guide for dads-to-be

Mark Harris has helped deliver 500 babies. And he's now telling fathers what to expect.

How to be a calm parent when you're feeling anything but

Being a calm parent takes a lot of work, sometimes more than is obvious to those around us.

The joy and isolation of being a stay-at-home dad

It's cool, kind of like a second childhood. I love him to bits and think, on average, I'm an okay dad. But I also want to talk about the other stuff.

How baby Teddy's short life is helping save thousands of lives

He may have only lived for 100 minutes, but that didn't stop baby Teddy from saving the lives of others.

A heartbreaking trail of missed chances in death of baby forgotten in car

A haunting reminder to stay mindful about babies in cars, especially as we approach summer.

What to do if your baby has tongue-tie

Tongue-tie can cause feeding problems. However once it is diagnosed, the condition can be easily treated.

How to move house without losing your mind

Some people move frequently, while others like to stay put. But everyone finds it stressful.

'She had nowhere to go': how new mum's life began to unravel

The birth of her first child should have been happiest of times for Campsie mother Phuong Cao, but friends say it marked the beginning of when her life began to unravel. 

Women giving birth to a son keep some of his Y chromosomes

It was an experiment doomed to failure - they were looking for male cells in female bodies. And their search was stunningly successful.

Photos: How babies fit in the womb

A gorgeous photo series shows babies in the first hours after their birth - as they were positioned in the womb.

Baby tries to persuade stubborn bulldog to walk, fails

We don't know what he's saying, but this baby has a very clear message for his bulldog pal: let's walk - NOW.

The best toddler gift ever? Nine gender-neutral play kitchen picks

Without a doubt, one of the best gifts for a toddler turning two or three is a play kitchen.

9 easy steps to improve your baby photography

With a few simple tips you can take your images from random happy snaps to lovely clean images that create beautiful lasting memories.



Can't decide?

Check out the Essential Baby Names section for some inspiration

Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.