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There are a few questions that really depend on who you ask and when you ask to get the answer you’re looking for. “Do you think I should get a bone grinder?” is one of those questions.
Ask someone you just met at a bar and they may, understandably, alert the police and hope they make it out alive. Your Mom may have a few nervous follow up questions, which you better give some pretty good answers to.
But ask your dog? Different story.
Okay, so your pup may not catch on right away. But when they see what they get out of it, this tool may have to become a staple in your home. I just did a trial run with my boy, Leo, and he was all for it.
Why grind bones?
Just like us, dogs benefit greatly from natural, organic foods. Food that is free from preservatives and fillers are healthier and more nutritious for humans, as well as our four-legged friends. Mass-produced dog food may be economical, may not be ethically produced or of the highest standard (if any standard exists at all).
Grinding bones can be a part of a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF; they seriously call this the BARF diet) Diet. This raw food diet for dogs is becoming increasingly popular for those with humans that love pointing out how unhealthy your diet is. They may well be right – and whatever the latest trend is, at least they will bring it to your attention. I’m sure you know who I’m talking about.
The BARF Diet (why. just…why) is healthy, though, and kills two birds with one stone. 1. your dog gets great nutrients they’ll love and 2. you won’t have to waste the bones in your meat.
Preparing a lot of meat? Learn about which cutting boards will help prevent cross-contamination.
Believe it or not, the health benefits of bone are extensive – even for humans! But chewing bones is a natural instinct for dogs. Think wolves and hunting dogs: they don’t waste any part of the animal they hunt and eat, including the bone and marrow.
Bone contains calcium phosphate, two important minerals your dog needs to grow and develop. These minerals help strengthen your best friend’s skeletal system, which is especially important for puppies and older dogs. Puppies grow fast, and large breeds grow even faster! Grinding bone is an easy way to include those important minerals for strong, healthy bodies, in your pet’s diet.
Many vets also believe the extra fat in bone marrow, and the added roughage in bone, will help support a healthy digestive system. Just like in human diets, there are healthy and unhealthy fats. Marrow is a great source of healthy fat for dogs – much better than the added sugars in cheap pet food.
Want to make your own sausages too?
Here are the best sausage stuffers for the money.
Bone in pet food
Bone gets ground in with the meat in the majority of pet foods, so even if you don’t “give your dog a bone” they may still have some today. If your pet’s food has “bone or meat meal” on the ingredient label, it contains ground bone.
However, you have to be careful! Most companies that make cheap dog foods don’t debone their meat, so the food has two to three times more calcium than your dog needs. You know what they say about too much of a good thing? Relevant here, too. Make sure to read the ingredients before adding extra ground bone into your dog’s diet.
Do you hunt or buy meat in bulk? Store your meat in the best vacuum sealer for fish and game!
What you’re really looking for is a meat grinder, you hunter, you. Most come with built-in bone grinders that are very effective. I use an LEM Big Bite Grinder. It does the job, does it quick, and grinds the bone down very fine, like powder. I highly recommend it, and Leo loves it, too.
I’ve also heard good things about the ALTRA and the STX.
Definitely read the reviews before you buy a meat or bone grinder. The machines can have their little quirks, like getting stopped up or jammed. Get the one that’s best for you! Most can be found at Amazon.
Can your butcher do it?
Yes, your local butcher will have a meat grinder, so they will probably grind any bones you bring him (within reason). Be nice, ask politely, and show them all those cute pictures of your dog. Doesn’t hurt to break out the Benjamins as well.
Grind meat on a budget with the best meat grinder for the money!
Grind, baby, grind
Now that you and your dog are healthy as can be, you may consider sharing your bone grinder with friends and family, or even selling it to make a few bucks here and there. Don’t forget to spoil your pup when they come rollin’ in!
Interested in following Rover’s example and hunting your own dinner? Read this quick primer to learn how to get started! You’ll also want to ensure you’re using the right tools for the job. Here’s a discussion on hunting knives, and my review of the best hunting knife sharpeners.
Looking for more things to do with bones? Make bone broth. Here’s the best slow cookers for the job.