I thought you might like to read this, jmann.
I do not adhere to any one particular method of feeding. Each dog should be evaluated on an individual basis. All breeds have unique dietary requirements based on genetic background, food tolerances and allergy response. For optimum health each dog requires a blend of foods containing the proper amino acid profile for that breed of dog. There is no such thing as one diet fits all dogs.
This said, I do believe a "raw" diet is best for most dogs as it is the way nature intended. You should however go into this diet with guidence. Raw meats should be "organic".
I am very pro raw but I am very against "whole" bone feeding. The reason being, when animals kill a prey animal in the wild, the bone is still warm and pliable and still has blood running through it. Besides this, they also consume the animal with fur and feathers, nature's way of protecting the digestive tract.
When we buy meat, the animal has been slaughtered, bled, skinned and hung in a cold storage room. The bones, once cold and dry become brittle and may splinter (yes, raw bones can splinter). Because of this I cannot in good faith recommend whole bone feeding.
Some people do it for years with no problem however I have heard of too many deaths by choking a few deaths by punctures internally and a few deaths by impaction. A person wrote me who lost her dog because of bloat, a post mortem showed a large portion of the digestive tract was full of lacerations and scars from consuming whole bones. I can only imagine the pain and suffering that dog must have had to endure.
Grinding bones not only makes bone eating safer but also makes it much easier to digest. Grinding the bone provides a greater surface area for stomach acid hydrolysis and subsequent intestinal absorption.