Burying the Bones... And Other Aspects of a Raw Canine Diet

This article is based on information from Norwegian classical homeopath Geir Marcussen

I first encountered Geir as "GM" on the Homeopathy Home bulletin board "Pets and Animals" forum (see http://www.homeopathyhome.com/cgi-bin/bb/
), where he no longer participates.  (But the archives are still good reading! - look for postings by "GM", and you'll see any number of recommendations similar to what we'll be talking about in a minute.)  He's now a regular participant in discussions on his own forum, On-line Homeopathic Consulting...  See

What really struck me about his counsel was the repeated advice for dog-owners to give their animals a strict raw food diet and raw bones (preferably raw bones from wild animals such as deer and elk) to bury.  Sometimes he would very briefly explain that the buried bones and marrow would be worked on by microorganisms in the soil - and that the dog would dig it up just at the right time for it to be most health-giving!

I conceived the idea early on to write to Geir and ask him what's behind all this...

And I got out my copy of the book Secrets of the Soil, «- Clicking on this link will take you to book info at Amazon.com  (Or click HERE to try Powell's used books] by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird...  Because I remembered reading in it things that seem to resonate with this surprising instruction. ...Which I'll bring up later on.  (For now, let's just say that this is an utterly absorbing book, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in good health and world ecology... and strange, wonderful things!).  

Old Viking advice on pet health!

This is what Geir had to say about burying the bones...

"It's annual behavior in dogs, and the reason is biological...  Earth bacteria are an aid to the transformation of bone into calcium, and marrow into nourishment - 'splitting things up', so they can utilize fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, and so on."  Dogs don't have these bacteria naturally - earth bacteria are different from those in the canine (or human) intestinal tract.  So they get it from a bone which has been buried - the bacteria having transformed the marrow, and the calcium matrix (chelating it, presumably - making it more usable to the body), in the meantime.

"You will often see this in wild dogs if you study them...  When they lack these earth bacteria, they get starved, 'malnutritioned'.  Most of the dogs of today suffer from disease of two origins:  one from vaccines; two from malnutrition.

"I got this [about the importance of buried bones] from an old man who is ecologically-minded... and I know he has read Steiner [see the next section of the article!].  He told that to get the most out of horns or bones, they need to be buried... and that this was old wisdom known from Viking times.  He especially mentioned the link with dogs' health. ...I checked a bit, and it's an ecological/biological fact that is observable in wildlife" - dogs, wolves, foxes, etc. all rely on once-buried bones as part of their natural diet.

Instinctive behavior has a grounding in something logical...  What do they know that we don't?

Secrets of the soil... and what's buried in it

Back to that fascinating book I mentioned - now what I want to point out to you will make sense...  In the book are a couple of things about soil and health that seem to me to pertain to what Geir has to say...

The following is from a chapter called "Claws of Chelation":

"...One of the most - perhaps the most - important properties of well-composted material...is its ability to react on soil minerals, just as lichens react on rocks. ...Soil organic matter solubilizes soil minerals. ...Chelating acids are also excreted by many bacteria, which equally dissolve minerals in soil.  Chelation goes on not only in the soil and in microbes but in the cells of plants and in the bodies of animals and humans."

The discoverer of this process of chelation was Albert Schatz, holder of a PhD in soil microbiology.  He also discovered (to make a long story short!) that soil microorganisms in humus "do their thing" more actively in a container placed in the ground...  The container, such as an open jar, acts as a concentrator...  (Huh?! - wait...)

He said of plants that the trace minerals prized by them "...are more readily available in humus since it has already acted as a chelating agent to solubilize them.  Secondly, the far greater microbial activity in the jar breaks down the humus itself so that the roots can absorb the organic products coming out of it." ...Now think about the marrow in the container of a bone, and the chelating that's going on in both the marrow and the structure of the bone (the calcium).  And hold that thought as we go on to Rudolf Steiner...

Rudolf Steiner was a visionary Austrian who was influential in esoteric circles from the 1890s to his death in the 1920s.  He founded the Anthroposophical Society, which dealt with far more than agriculture.  But his agricultural teachings (now known as "bio-dynamics") hold some further remarkable clues to what might be going on with those old bones in the ground...

I can't explain bio-dynamics to you (read the book!) - and I warn you that much about it sounds alchemical... hard to fathom.  The actions of cosmic forces (such as planetary influences on buried objects - hmm!) and the special properties of certain plants and certain animal parts (bones, horns, skulls, bladders) come into play...

"Buried in the ground, the cow horn also concentrates energies picked up from the soil during the winter."  Interestingly, too, some bio-dynamic preparations for the soil (there are several different ones) are potentized homeopathically by dilution - and stirring the solution to create a vortex.

Yep, it's arcane - a little strange.  But however it might make us gape, the preparations have been shown to work.  And here are some other interesting juxtapositions with the Viking bones (the first one, at least, sounding perfectly sensical)...

This is from the chapter called "Microcosmos": 

"Microbes first attack the substances that decompose most readily, such as sugars and cellulose.  When these are used up, most of the microbes die, making up with their bodies half the total of the soil's organic matter...  Animal excretory products, such as urea and uric acid, are transformed by brigades of bacteria working in relays into ammonia or ammonium salts, which are then converted by other bacteria into nitrates. ...So varied is microbes' alchemy that they can convert corn-steep liquor - a waste product - into penicillin, or dead cuttlefish into perfume.  And they reveal...an astonishing level of over-production:  the B-2 that microbes produce is ten thousand times as much vitamin as they require for their own metabolism."

Soil-based microorganisms have a variety of specialized jobs...  While the information in Secrets of the Soil «- Clicking on this link will take you to book info at Amazon.com  (Or click HERE to try Powell's used books] is logically focused on other things, it's clear from this that some microbes have the job of turning bone and marrow into something wonderful that dogs need!  (Or perhaps they're meeting up with organisms that are already in the bone marrow?  Who knows?... only that it works.)

And this, to ponder on, is from the appendix called "Planetary Powers":

"The stag or male deer, seen anthroposophically, is an animal in touch with cosmic forces, sensitive through its antlers to the whole cosmos around it. ...Antlers are bone, raw living bone, the most-developed organ in the animal kingdom, whose marrow is the source of blood and life."  Presumably elk and other antlered folk would fall into the same category...  And even if the superior bones of those creatures aren't available, bones is bones is bones (well, bones from organically-fed critters are, of course, better).

So consider regularly giving your dogs raw marrow bones - and letting them get dirty burying and digging them up! ...They apparently know what to do for their own health, if we let them.

(Wild game bones may not be plentiful where you live - but even within a few hundred miles of hunting grounds, there may be a wild game processor... who might be happy to get rid of the bones.  Freeze a bunch when you can get them! ...Or if not, take what you can get - cow bones - and let nature do the rest.)

Raw bones - unburied or not - are healthy for other reasons too...  Chewing on them cleans a dog's teeth, massages the gums, strengthens the jaw bones and surrounding muscles, and stimulates digestion so that what's swallowed is well-assimilated.  (It's only cooked bones that splinter, not raw ones.)  And all that chewing slows down the whole process of eating, so that it's hard for a dog to eat so much it gets fat!

Raw meat diet for dogs

And of course, dogs would rather have raw bones and meat, if we'd give it to them.  We might be worried about bacteria or squeamish (I certainly am - I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years)...  They aren't - and their healthy digestive systems are still designed to take care of the bacteria they ingest.

Parasites in raw meat?  Sure, they're there (as they are in cooked meat that isn't very well-done - and utterly enzyme-killed).  A carnivore with a strong immune system won't be adversely affected by them as a weakened animal will.  (You can always give your dog raw garlic too - one of the great wormers around, totally non-toxic!)

The bottom line...  Geir says that he's seen dogs get sick on even "the best" commercial dog food.  He particularly cautions against feeding any dog soy products.  A vast number of dogs react severely to soy - he's mentioned eczema, itching, and sterility as possible results (three of many)... with the cause hidden in the food.

...Along with so many other possible allergens therein!  "Severely" may mean an acute illness or a chronic health problem.  And underlying food allergies may cause a hypersensitivity to a myriad of other substances, such as flea saliva, shampoos, pollens, and other types of environmental contaminants.

Anyway, cooked food is "dead food" - killed enzymes, killed vitamins, killed anti-oxidants.  Some raw food is important for all of us; more is important for dogs (and cats).

This I've gleaned from several expert sources...  Dogs need and are designed to digest enzyme-rich raw meat (including poultry and whole fish, some whole eggs) - not much in the way of dairy products, fruits, legumes, vegetables, or grains. ...Grains are especially difficult for them - they don't have enough of the amylase enzyme to digest carbohydrates.  (The only grains that work well are pre-digested via fermenting - as would be found in the stomach of a carnivore's prey.  Fermented milk products would similarly be far preferable.)  They need some raw fat - don't feed only lean meat... just not lots of fat (venison or rabbit or quail - the wild prey dietary counterparts - don't have nearly as much as beef or lamb).

Hey, there's even a "Raw Meaty Bones Lobby Group" in Australia, led by a veterinarian!  They amusingly "advocate" "chalky white dog poo" (and cat poo) - the natural (and unstinky!) result of a natural canine or feline diet.  And they advocate the importance of raw meat and bones as being the mainstay of the canine and feline diet.

But most veterinarians receive absolutely no education on dietary needs... except from pet food manufacturers - !  So it's up to you.

(But if you change your dog's diet, do so gradually.  Too much at once will be a shock to the system and trigger a toxin-cleansing process that will be uncomfortable for your pet and worrisome for you - diarrhea, discharges, and who knows what all. ...Go slow.  And be aware that a dog that "inhales" kibble or canned food may need time to learn how to chew on a bone!)

Meat cautions:  Hormones, pesticides, irradiation...  Don't do it!  Feed your critters only organic, un-fiddled-with meat.  Non-organic organ meats are especially bad, filled with accumulated toxins.  Many ocean-going fish are terribly polluted with heavy metals.  Why take chances like that?... aren't you trying to improve their health?

And can all this cure a sick dog?

Geir Marcussen says - yes and no...

As he clarified in a discussion forum thread, this regimen isn't to cure the problem; this is for prevention of health problems.  But yes, getting a sick dog onto a "raw meat, buried bone diet" will help it head for a cure.

I asked him to verify that he'd seen for himself that this change can turn their health around...  He said yes.  How long does it usually take to see results? ..."One month - but it's provided that you treat homeopathically to correct the disorder."  (Of course, that's assuming that severe tissue/organ damage hasn't taken place.)  For information on homeopathy, see the section called Homeopathy - The Basics.  (Other natural treatments may help heal as well - homeopathy, in the right hands, can work wonders, often fairly quickly.)

What if you just can't do this raw thing?

When I first heard of this idea of better health from buried bones, winter had set in for many months, the ground frozen and covered, hunting/butchering season over.  (Not to mention the fact that I happen to live in the middle of nowhere and have only a tiny general store via which to do my shopping, which comes from hours away with not much refrigeration. ...And I'm not sure how raw meaty bones would fit in there.)

I have two suggestions...  Digestive enzyme supplementation, and soil-based microorganisms.  These will at least help you deal with the food that your dog is needing to digest.

...While you work on implementing a raw diet, and the buried bones, as soon as you can.  (What, no yard to bury them in? - borrow someone else's and bury them yourself... or get some dirt and a pot!)

Digestive enzymes

Disgorged food fed to puppies by mothers is... enzyme-laden!  It gets them a jump start and up to speed on digesting.  Sick dogs have "slackened speed" and need this same kind of aid to get back into shape.

Digestive enzymes are available in most health food stores, but you can also get them specially formulated for dogs (or cats).  While the latter is best, those created for humans might have to do - but only if in powder or capsule form.  (This is what you want for human enzymes too.)  The binders in pills mean that they don't break up and start to work on what you eat until it's already passed down into the intestines - and that's not very helpful.  The more readily assimilated powder goes to work on the food in your stomach - that's what you want.

Soil-based microorganisms

Soil-based organisms have been found to be extremely beneficial for immune functioning.  You probably know about the benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus to the intestinal tract...  That's only one of many microorganisms - many of which are normally "indigenous" to the intestines - that help the body to cope with life's stresses.

Not many people know about Bacillus Subtilis and friends, health-giving bacteria found in the soil.  As they release powerful enzymes that aggressively attack and destroy putrefactive elements in the soil, so too do they de-contaminate the body (animal or human) of yeasts, molds, fungi, and harmful bacteria.  With our modern food-growing and -processing habits, of course, these are largely killed off both in the soil and on the way to the table... or pet food bowl.

There's one product that combines a safety-tested source of soil-based organisms (SBOs) with phytoplankton and other micronutrients that the organisms can feed off of to rapidly multiply...  When they're re-activated by coming into contact with liquid.  This is Nature's Biotics® (formerly known as "EarthFlora").

On the webpage I've linked to are audio files of pet owners who have used the product to wonderful effect on their animals.  I also highly recommend reading the text file called "BIO/TECH News: Critters!"  From this same point you can get to product information and other pretty darned interesting information about these little "critters" - SBOs.

Keep in mind, though, that ingesting SBOs replicates only one of the three major elements that seem to be effective in long-buried raw bones... the SBOs themselves.  The other elements are the pre-treated calcium matrix of the bone and the marrow that's transformed by the SBO activity.  (In fact...  When I did bury bones in our fairly dry and sterile soil, I sprinkled the contents of a couple of SBO capsules over them - a kick-start, as it were.)

And then there's the astral force...  Maybe you could bury a bottle of Nature's Biotics®??  (Just kidding! ...or maybe not, who knows?)




Web www.AlternativePetHealth.com



AlternativePetHealth.com HOME