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Bone & Calcium Content in Raw Meaty Bones (RMB)

Estimated reading time: 5 min

Raw meaty bones (RMB) contain edible bone, muscle meat, fats, and connective tissue; and each RMB will vary in the edible bone content available. Calculating the amount of edible bone present in each RMB can be achieved by knowing the percentage of bone present.

Dogs and cats have a nutritional requirement for calcium; and one way to provide calcium in a raw diet is to feed raw meaty bones (RMB). Adding raw meaty bones into a dog or cats diet can easily be achieved in two steps.

Bone & Calcium Amounts

Identify the bone percentage present in the raw meaty bone.

Raw Meaty Bone Calculations

Calculate how much raw meaty bone is needed to meet edible bone recommendations.

The amount of edible bone for dogs and cats vary due to different nutritional requirements. Always remember to feed appropriate raw meaty bones for the size of the pet and it’s eating habits.

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Bone & Calcium Amounts

Its always a good practice to have a general idea of the amount of bone is in the RMB being fed. The percentages provided are average bone percentages, each RMB you receive will vary in bone content because of size and weight variations from one animal to another.

A few RMBs have nutritional data on the calcium content within the bone and these values are provided in Monica Segal’s books; however not all RMBs have nutritional data on the calcium content.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Beef Ribs 52% 48% N/A
Ox Tails 45% 55% N/A
Ox Tail Tips 90% 10% N/A
Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Whole Chicken
(without organs or feathers)
32% 68% N/A
Chicken Head 75% 25% N/A
Chicken Neck
(with skin)
36% 64%
Chicken Neck
(without skin)
1.15 g
Chicken Wing 46% 54% 0.92 g
Chicken Rib Cages
(Frames)
80% 20% 1.63 g
Chicken Back 44% 56% 1.33 g
Chicken Foot 60% 40% N/A
Chicken Breast 20% 80% N/A
Chicken Leg Quarter 30% 70% 0.88 g
Chicken Leg 27% 73% N/A
Chicken Thigh 21% 79% N/A

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone.
Source: Segal, Monica.K9 Kitchen, Your Dogs’ Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype Doggie Diner Inc., 2009. 
Source: Segal, Monica.Optimal Nutrition – Raw and Cooked Canine Diets: The Next Level Doggie Diner Inc., 2002.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Whole Duck
(without organs and feathers)
28% 72% 0.87 g
Duck Head 75% 25% N/A
Duck Frame 80% 20% N/A
Duck Neck 50% 50% N/A
Duck Wing 39% 61% N/A
Duck Foot 60% 40% N/A

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone. Nutritional data on the bone’s mineral content can be found in Monica Segal’s K9 Kitchen book.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Lamb Neck 32% 68% N/A
Lamb Ribs 27% 73% 1.36 g

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone.
Source: Segal, Monica.Optimal Nutrition – Raw and Cooked Canine Diets: The Next Level Doggie Diner Inc., 2002.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Pork Feet 30% 70% N/A
Pork Tails 30% 70% N/A
Pork Ribs 30% 70% 1.49 g

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone.
Source: Segal, Monica.Optimal Nutrition – Raw and Cooked Canine Diets: The Next Level Doggie Diner Inc., 2002.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Whole Rabbit
(without organs and fur)
28% 72% 0.65 g
Whole Prey Rabbit
(with organs and fur)
10% 90% N/A
Rabbit Head 75% 25% N/A

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone. 
Source: Segal, Monica.K9 Kitchen, Your Dogs’ Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype Doggie Diner Inc., 2009.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Whole Turkey
(without organs and feathers)
21% 79% N/A
Turkey Neck 45% 55% 1.84 g
Turkey Wing 33% 67% 2.90 g
Turkey Back 50% 50% N/A
Turkey Breast 14% 86% N/A
Turkey Thigh 20% 80% 0.74 g
Turkey Leg 38% 62% N/A

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone.
Source: Segal, Monica.K9 Kitchen, Your Dogs’ Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype Doggie Diner Inc., 2009. 
Source: Segal, Monica.Optimal Nutrition – Raw and Cooked Canine Diets: The Next Level Doggie Diner Inc., 2002.

Raw Meaty Bone Bone % Meat % Calcium*
Veal Ribs 35% 65% N/A

*Calcium levels are based off of 100 grams (3.5 oz) of complete raw meaty bone. Nutritional data on the bone’s mineral content can be found in Monica Segal’s K9 Kitchen book.

Raw Meaty Bone Calculations

Raw diet ratios provide a guideline for edible bone content which is the bone found within a RMB. Calculating how much RMB is required in a meal is needed to provide the appropriate amount of bone in the raw diet.

Calculate Edible Bone Recommendations

The first step to determine how much RMB to feed a dog are cat begins with calculating the recommended edible bone amounts. This value can be calculated by multiplying the total amount of food a dog or cat consumes daily and multiply it by the edible bone percentage. For dogs, it is recommended to add 10% edible bone in the raw diet. It is recommended to add 6% of edible bone in a cat’s raw diet.

Dog Example:
A dog consumes 17.5 ounces (500 grams) of raw food a day – 17.5oz multiplied by 10% edible bone ratio will provide the daily edible bone recommendation.

17.5oz x 10% = 1.75oz edible bone
500g x 10% = 50g edible bone

Cat Example:
A cat consumes 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of raw food a day – 3.5oz multiplied by 6% edible bone ratio will provide the daily edible bone recommendation.

3.5oz x 6% = 0.21oz edible bone
100g x 6% = 6g edible bone

Calculate RMB Bone Amounts

Once the edible bone recommendation has been calculated, the amount of raw meaty bone needed to fulfill edible bone recommendations is the second calculation step. This value can be calculated by dividing edible bone recommendation by the bone percentage of the raw meaty bone. This calculation will provide the total weight of raw meaty bone needed to fulfill edible bone requirements.

Dog Example:
A dog needs 1.75 ounces (50 grams) of edible bone a day and a duck neck is 50% edible bone and 50% muscle meat – 1.75oz (50g) divided by 50% bone will provide the total weight of duck necks needed to fulfill the daily edible bone recommendation.

1.75oz ÷ 50% = 3.5oz total duck neck
50g ÷ 50% = 100g total duck neck

Cat Example:
A cat needs 0.21 ounces (6 grams) of edible bone a day and a chicken wings are 46% edible bone and 54% muscle meat – 0.21oz (6g) divided by 46% bone will provide the total weight of chicken wings needed to fulfill the daily edible bone recommendation.

0.21oz ÷ 46% = 0.45oz total chicken wings
6g ÷ 46% = 13g total chicken wings

Online RMB Calculator

Calculate the weight of raw meaty bone needed to provide recommended amounts of edible bone within a dog’s and cat’s raw diet with the free calculator below:

Ratio Guidelines

Ratios for edible bone are starting guidelines and it is important to adjust to the pet’s individual needs. If the pet has very hard stool or white/grey stool, too much bone has been fed. Provide boneless meals for the next day or two to balance out the amount of bone previously fed. Once stools have returned back to normal, continue your normal meal routine. If stools are too loose and not formed, increase the amount of edible bone slightly until stools become firm.

CLOSING COMMENTS

Raw meaty bones are an excellent source of calcium, however it is important to know the bone amount will vary from one RMB to the next. Calculating the amount of raw meaty bones a dog or cat needs in their daily meal can be accomplished by calculating daily edible bone recommendations and dividing this value by the bone percentage of the RMB.

The amount of edible bone is the same in all RMB whether they are whole are ground. If RMBs are not included in a raw diet, it is important to include an alternative calcium source such as a calcium carbonate or bone meal supplement to ensure the diet provides recommended allowances for calcium.