• Is gulping entire necks and wings normal for a 4 month old Basenji puppy?

    After starting out with 'high-quality' grain-free kibble, I decided in mid-April that I would take the raw diet plunge. I initially started with store-bought 500g portions of BARF-style meals (usually chicken or turkey with ground bone, veggies, etc). Realizing that it would be a bit expensive in the long run, I recently started supplementing with whole raw chicken necks and wings as part of his meals. However, my basenji puppy barely chews them. He usually gives them a few back teeth chomps and then gulps them down whole. On the second occasion I fed one he gagged and screamed when a chicken wing apparently had trouble going down, and I feared that it was going to rip his guts on the way through his system! Nothing bad came of it, luckily. On a few other occasions he has gagged a bit after swallowing, sometimes minutes later. Yesterday he seemed kind of funny with his teeth. Like he felt something was wrong and didn't enjoy tugging on his chew toys. I can see that his adult molars must be coming in because there is only a slight protrusion of them from the gums. I wonder if that could be an issue, too?

    After the screaming incident I decided to cut the chicken necks in half using a normal kitchen knife, and break the wing bones in the middle with a hammer and flat-edged screwdriver, removing any splinters or sharp edges just in case.

    Do any experienced raw feeders out there know if gulping is normal behaviour and if I'm doing the right thing in cutting the bones in half? I sometimes just feed minced meat (with an egg with crushed shell), but I've read that the raw bones are an important component for calcium intake and for maintaining dental health.

  • I have never had a basenji pup swallow a chicken wing (I didn't give necks as I feared they would… but mine were 3 mos old when I got them). You might look for LARGER wings, or FREEZE THEM first. Yes, freeze. Allow to only thaw a little and they tend to chew not try to swallow. And if that fails, turkey necks are GREAT. 🙂

  • I had one dog swallow chicken necks whole, so I would cut them up into 1" pieces. I havent had issues with wings. Backs are nice because they actually have to chew those. I do a lot of ground raw now. I can get it at a decent price from a small raw food vendor and then mix up a recipe myself.

  • Thank you both for your responses. I do freeze chicken necks and wings beforehand because I read that it was an extra safeguard to kill any possible bacteria. But then I have been thawing them for 24 hours before serving. Are our puppies able to chew semi-frozen wings?

    Nemo, do you have any recommendations for what's best to mix with ground raw?

  • I would say it is better to consult and get the proper guidance from a Vetenary doctor about the diet of the puppy with regular intervals, otherwise the diseases may evolve during certain intervals and that may lead to the death of your puppy. lewis diet book"

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