Give your dog a bone

Yesterday was bone day at our house, the day I give each of my dogs a big yummy raw bone. Each month or so I set aside a day when I can spend a couple of hours just chill'n in the backyard or kitchen. Bone day is a very controlled and supervised event in our home because of the value put on raw bones. My poodles are fine but Jessie being the alpha bitch and a very dominant little Jack Russell it is important that everyone have a place and every bone be in that place, no swapping is permitted.

I pre-plan these bone days making a stop at the local grocery store to pick up the bones. At the meat counter I ask for the a big leg bone to be cut into three, please. Yesterday the lady asked "you want all three pieces" with a look on her face. "Yes please" I exclaim. Thanking her for cutting my bones I'm off to the cash feeling very much like Wilma Flinstone. I am accustom to getting the looks as I go through the line both from the cashier and the people waiting in line behind me. Sometimes I'll say something to the effect that my dogs are going to be happy today but more often I let their minds wander.

Once home it takes a split second for my guys to know what is in the house. Usually the bones are frozen so they must sit on the counter for a while or in the fridge overnight. When they are thawed and my couple of hours set aside I bring out the knife and sharpen it. The dogs are by my side in an instant as I puncture the wrap and start to clean up the bones. They typically come with alot of sinew, meat and fat on them so the fat is all cleaned off and some of the meat saved for later(important). I take a good amount of marrow out from the end of each bone as it is very rich and can upset the toughest of stomachs.

Now all on a platter as I head to the door, all the dogs are jumping but no jumping on me. Jumping on the "top dog" is not allowed; and if someone jumps on me it will immediately stop my forward motion so everyone jumps away from me, smart bunch. The bones are rationed out exactly like mealtime, Jessie, Tilley and then last but not least Luke. This way there is no confusion and that's the way it works best with dogs; black and white.

Each dog is designated an area with their bone, and yesterday it was important to choose a shady spot. So everyone had their spot and everyone had their bone, this is my chill'n time. Bone day is all about the dogs, it is about them doing a very doggy behavior and cleaning their teeth. You would be amazed what their teeth look like after a bone session. So I wander the yard, plant some new flowers and move some of my flowers around to new spots. I clean up the kitch, do some cooking and baking and generally be around. I am lucky because my kitchen is a complete wall of windows to the yard so I can be in my kitchen and supervise at the same time. I keep the door open and all windows open so that I would hear the first growl and be out before anything started.

During this bone time, I will bring out pieces of raw meat that I had previously taken off of the bones and deliver it to the dogs. I demand attention off of the bone and on me before they get the meat. The poodles are fine but Jessie is not so fine, she gets a face on as she prepares to protect her possession. This is all about being smarter than her, I don't want to get physical with her because once you go to that place it is hard to go back. So I outsmart her, I lower her guarding instinct by approaching and giving yummies so that when the time does come for me to take the bone she is not guarding.

After 1 1/2 hours my son arrived home and needed my attention which means my attention will not be on the dogs. That signals time to collect the bones and throw them away. I don't keep raw bones, too many ants, too many flies and too much chance of a fight in my yard. So just as they were delivered they are picked up in the same order. I don't want any of the poodles wandering over to Jessie's bone so she looses hers first. Each dog is a asked to sit, they get a piece of meat and I remove the bone. Once they are all picked up there is general wandering and investigating and with the bones gone everyones guarding instincts are lowered and I can attend to my son.

Another great bone day, teeth are clean, dogs are happy and now I need to clean the yard.


- bones must be raw
- clean fat off of the bones
- scoop out a good percentage of the marrow
- some dogs have a loose stool a day after bone day
- usually the first poop after bone day is like a concrete poop, because it is filled with bone meal
- a very healthy thing for dogs to do
- don't give these bones inside your home (yuck)
- make sure to always use new bones
- I always do bone day when I will be home for most of the following day. Sometimes Tilley gets a little upset stomach but not always and the other two are always fine.

So, give your dog a bone.

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