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This blog post was originally published in November 2018.
Recently, my dogs tried raw goat neck bones for the first time. I was surprised to see that there were so many differences when compared to the lamb neck bones that my dogs are used to eating.
Okay, so lambs and goats aren't the same. In my experience, lamb bones are safe for my dogs – are raw goat bones safe?
Why I Feed Raw Bones to My Dogs
As part of my dogs' raw food diet, they eat recreational bones and raw meaty bones. Bones add vital nutrients to my dogs' diet, help to keep my dogs' teeth clean, supports jaw, neck and shoulder strength, and raw bones satisfy my dogs' chew drive. I feed my dogs the following recreational and raw meaty bones:
- duck necks
- lamb necks
- beef knuckle bones
- buffalo knuckle bones
- duck frames
Goat Neck Bones vs. Lamb Neck Bones
We received raw goat bones from Raw Paws Pet Food in exchange for our honest thoughts, so here goes.
My dogs are used to lamb necks bones. I stock up on lamb neck bones annually because the bones are insanely meaty, a great size for my dogs, and they have eaten them without any issues. I'm not 100% confident when I step out of my comfort zone when it comes to choosing bones for my dogs. I know what my dogs do well on and I stick with my list. But goats are similar to lambs, right?
The following is my takeaway after feeding my dogs goat bones:
1 – The goat bones are about 1/3 smaller than the lamb neck bones. So they're not too small for my dogs and I didn't have a concern of my dogs swallowing the bones whole.
2 – The lamb necks I get for my dogs are a lot meatier than the goat bones from Raw Paws Pet Food; the goat bones are 70% bone, 30% meat; I don't know the ratio of the lamb bones. So I consider the lamb necks “raw meaty bones” and the goat “recreational bones.” This means that I'd feed one as a meal and the other as a treat. Regardless of which I feed to my dogs, I do adjust the following meal to avoid overfeeding my dogs that day.
3 – The goat bones had a lot of cartilage along with the bone, which isn't something I see with the lamb bones I purchase, making the goat bones a great source of glucosamine and chondroitin. I also like that the dogs have soft parts of the bones to chew and consume.
4 – The lamb bones that I order are leaner than the goat bones. I don't mind feeding my dogs animal fat, so this difference didn't bother me. We're not talking about an excessive amount of fat.
5 – The dogs ate the goat bones a lot faster than the lamb bones, which wasn't surprising given that the goat bones are smaller and the lamb bones contain a lot of meat and bone that the dogs are working through.
6 – My dogs ate the entire goat bone, while they usually only eat the lamb bone until it's the size of a Jaw Breaker candy (bigger than a golf ball).
Raw Goat Neck Bones are a Good Fit
I was pleased with my experience with the goat bones and I'd feed them to my dogs again without hesitation. My dogs weigh between 60-70 pounds and did well on these bones. I think goat bones would be a great fit for smaller dogs too.
Meat to Bone Ratio of Raw Goat Neck Bones Works for Us
I found the meat to bone ratio acceptable for my dogs and there wasn't a ton of variance in the package we received. There were some bones with more meat on them than others, but not a ton more. And the sizes of the bones we received in the package were varied, but not by much.
As always, I recommend supervising your dogs when feeding raw bones so that you can step in if the bones prove to be hazardous.
You can find goat bones and other raw meaty bones at your local butcher, local independent pet store, or you can order them from Raw Paws Pet Food.