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Raw chicken necks Feeding guide without propaganda

chicken neck dog treats

Recently in Australia (2018) the university of Melbourne ran with an article based around the title “raw chicken linked to paralysis in dogs”

An article by ” Dr Nerissa Hannink, University of Melbourne”  dresses this up as helpful hints to save our “furry friends”.  Unfortunately this “new study”  led by the University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital, smacks of propaganda, and a scare campaign aimed at driving the people back into the corporate arms of big grain dog food companies, Nothing more.

It is true that ‘bad bacteria’ will affect ANY ANIMAL that eats it.  It is true that dogs and wolves (dog ancestors) in the wild bury meat in dirt for days at a time, before they dig it up and eat it.  It is true that this is a natural phenomena.

As of 2023 we relented to popular demand and began selling Smoked (oven dried) chicken necks) – for any of the concerns discussed below about bacteria .. this will surely quell any further issues.  You can review our new CHICKEN NECK dog treat here.

Here are also some more facts (not uncovered by the university) as to why people use chicken necks as dog treats.  Their bones tend not to splinter can provide the perfect natural way of safely getting the right balance of calcium and phosphorus into your dogs body,  Affco guidelines show you how much calcium your dog needs and in what ratio – which is provided in powdered form in most dog food – but not always from bone sources.

Raw feeders use chicken necks as the perfect most bio availably method of securing your dogs calcium for bone and many other body functions, as well as teeth cleaning and jaw strengthening. Unlike pellets that can have the wrong type of calcium, doesn’t require chewing, doesn’t clean teeth and can actually stick to teeth requiring expensive and sometimes dangerous teeth cleaning sessions at your vet.

So why would chicken necks suddenly fall out of favour and who would sponsor such studies at a vet training school would you think? 

They say that ” Campylobacter is now considered a triggering agent in up to 40 per cent of GBS patients. It may be present in undercooked chicken, unpasteurised milk products and contaminated water.”  “Our team at U-Vet Animal Hospital wanted to understand if consuming raw chicken COULD also be triggering APN in dogs.” The study was only on 27 dogs with symptoms of APN (acute polyradiculoneuritis ) and 47 without.

It is curious that butchers, Coles and Woolworths (that cover 70% of supermarkets in Australia) should still be selling such potentially ‘lethal’ products.

And straight out of the corporate dog food manufacturer, their by-line has this perverted statement  “We recommend owners choose regular dog food rather than chicken necks until we know more about this debilitating condition.”

They may as well add that if you drink too much water you can drown.  Or eating too much food can make you obese.  YES there are basic safely rules around feeding raw meat, but before we go into those please consider how dangerous “regular dog food” has been in the recent past: I have listed some of the global reaching dog food poisoning cases by trusted “dog food” corporations in the APPENDIX below.  Note this is just for balance to the claim that you can trust dog food grain brands more.   Please consider that many of the main brands in Australia are imported from America still, and it can be the grain or other added chemicals that cause the dog poisoning.

Archie dog Australia Safety around raw feeding and chicken necks

Raw feeders feed mostly raw meat.  Any grain is typically used for its fibre value for the dog intestine. If you don’t feed whole prey to your dogs, then your dog’s stools might become loose without added non meat fibre.

Many true raw feeders feed chicken carcasses and raw chicken meat even road kill. While suburban raw feeders might concentrate on raw red meat meals and cooked chicken. The chicken necks are invariably raw for their calcium benefit and teeth cleaning properties.  Cooking small bones too much as the increased potential for bone splintering. That was their main caution in the past.

If you read up on Human food safety and food storage you will know that between 4 C and 60 C is often the temperature you don’t want to have your raw or cooked food sitting for too long. This is the temperature range that most ‘bad’ and good bacteria can breed fastest. It is the AMOUNT of bad bacteria which is really the problem for most healthy humans and dogs, not just the type.

Did you know that while raw feeders and humans are told to freeze their raw meats until required and freezing raw meat and offal and bones for dogs while stall bad bacteria population growth (if the meat has any ‘bad’ bacteria), it won’t kill most of the bad types unless the temperature falls below 70C which is out of reach of most domestic freezers, and many commercial freezers too.

So ideally: buy your raw meat for your dogs from a good source, freeze immediately if you are not going to use the chicken necks. Make sure your refrigerator is between 2 and 4 C  and put the necks in batches for two days feeding so they dont stay in the refrigerator too long before feeding.

NOTE if you have a very small dog, old dog, young dog or any dog with a compromised immune system – you may consider finding another source of calcium if you are a raw feeder. Your dog’s safety is our primary concern. Of course any of these dogs can eat our 100% meat jerky range of healthy dog treats to get a good chew and nutrition.

If you want some real science you might look to references such as this from “Journal of Applied Microbiology”  2006   ” As for samples inoculated on cut muscle, only freezing had a significant effect, as had already been observed by other authors. For Campylobacter cells which were frozen on boneless chicken breasts, the largest drop in cell counts occurred during the first 24 hours of storage  – after which there was a more gradual or no decline (Abram and Potter 1984). We observed a clear tailing effect after 2 weeks. This is consistent with the findings of Moorhead and Dykes (2002), who studied Campylobacter on beef trimmings, and at minus 18C found a log CFU decrease during the first week but no subsequent decline.”

What you might also want to know is that Campylobacter ” will not survive thorough cooking (temperatures above 70°C). It is important that when cooking foods such as eggs, chicken, fish and pastry products, they are kept at this temperature or higher for a minimum of two minutes”.  However other bacteria need temperatures well over 100 C temperatures to be killed.

Dog food companies often cook grain and meat concoctions as much higher temperatures to reduce cooking times (and increase profits – by speeding up manufacturing and reducing gas costs).  However cooking at too high temperatures can kill enzymes and all of the natural goodness (including vitamins).

This fact is a good reason to buy meat based healthy dog treats. They are cooked at the right temperature for killing bacteria, but not too high as to kill all of the goodness. This is why our treats are the perfect dog food supplement.

the happy dog park Melbourne Why vet schools publish propaganda papers

Well firstly if your paper gets published in the popular press, it gains attention and funding.  This is a good thing for a struggling school.

Secondly, vet schools are funded directly or indirectly by dog food companies.  They hide the direct financial gain that the dog food company gets, as giving advice on nutrition, but of course if anyone with a glancing knowledge of dog evolution or bio-availability had a look at the grain based “dog food” they would laugh at the nutrition claims angle.

2016  abc article  – “Vet industry compromised by influence of pet food and pharmaceutical companies, expert says”  He HAS  “outlined three areas of concern: the commercialisation of vet practices, the influence on student vets and continuous professional development of qualified vets.”

2016  huffingtonpost – ” University Defends Pet Food Sponsorship In Wake Of Controversial Cat Food Study

” A university has defended its sponsorship deal with pet food companies after a masters student’s study showed some cat foods could cause serious injury, without naming which ones.  The preliminary study by the University of Sydney analysed the components of 20 supermarket-bought cat foods and found eight didn’t meet voluntary standards and nine didn’t meet the nutritional information advertised on their packet.  Controversially, the report did not name the offending labels and it has been suggested this casts doubt on all supermarket foods.”

There are numerous claims and if you have been to a vet recently and seen the dog food they have on their shelves and the promotional calendars and pens from the dog food companies, that is the tip of the compromised iceberg.

Always use the upmost care in the purchase, storage and feeding of your dog food and dog treats. 

We call storage ‘pantry conditions’. This means keep the bags sealed, out of sunlight or UV light, and in kept in stable low temperatures.  Our dog treats are medium temperature oven dried. If you cook meat at temperatures that are too high, for too long, not only will the end product look bad and fall apart, but it will kill the healthy enzymes and vitamins that you really want to keep for your dog.



Just a small sample of the dangers of commercial dog food:

1              FEB 2018 newsweek site  “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found a euthanasia drug in several brands of dog food, leading some brands to issue a voluntary recall and causing concern among pet owners.”

2              2015   thedailybeast site –    “Purina Sued for Allegedly Killing Thousands of Dogs With ‘Toxic’ Food” (beneful brand)

3              2007- 2009  FDA site: the big recall of this period was caused by the “Melamine Pet Food Recall”

”  Since March 16, 2007, more than 150 brands of pet food have been voluntarily recalled by a number of companies. Types of pet foods recalled include: moist (packaged in pouches) dog and cat food, canned dog and cat food, dry dog and cat food, dog treats, dry ferret food. DA laboratories found melamine and melamine-related compounds in samples of pet food. Melamine, an industrial chemical, and its related compounds have no approved use as an ingredient in animal or human food in the United States.”  This drug killed thousands of pets.

4              petmd  ” Fungal Toxicosis Related to Fusarium Fungus in Dogs”

“Mycotoxicosis is the medical term used to describe a diseased state that is brought on by a mycotoxin, a toxic chemical that is produced by a fungal organism, such as molds and yeasts. Deoxynivalenol (DON), also known as vomitoxin for its effect on the digestive system, is a mycotoxin produced by the fungus Fusarium graminearumin grains such as corn, wheat, oats, and barley. Mycotoxicosis-deoxynivalenol refers to the toxic reaction that results when a dog ingests pet food that was made with DON-contaminated grain.”

2006  ” Mycotoxins in pet food: a review on worldwide prevalence and preventative strategies.

”   Mycotoxins contaminate cereal grains worldwide, and their presence in pet food has been a potential health threat to companion animals. Aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, and Fusarium mycotoxins have been found in both raw ingredients and final products of pet food around the globe. Aflatoxin, a hepatotoxin and carcinogen, has caused several food poisoning outbreaks in dogs, and aflatoxin content is regulated in pet food in many countries. Ochratoxin A and Fusarium mycotoxins including trichothecenes, zearalenone, and fumonisins may have chronic effects on the health of companion animals.”

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