Dog Cookies, Biscuits & Snacks
The safety and wisdom of giving bones to dogs has long been a source of controversy among pet owners. While dogs clearly relish the opportunity to chew on a bone, anyone who has taken their pet to the emergency room for intestinal blockage would warn against this. Of course, there are some risks involved with feeding bones to your dog. With the right information though, it is possible to minimise the chance of harm while still giving your dog the chance to enjoy a good bone.
What kind of dog Bones?
There are a couple of rules to follow if you would like to feed your dog bones. First and foremost, avoid feed your dog cooked bones. These bones are brittle and dried out. When your dog chews on these types of bones, the bones will splinter and may harm your pet if they swallowed it. When feeding your dog bones, always try to give them raw bones. These are flexible and soft. If part of the bone is swallowed, the dog’s stomach acid will break it down and allow it to be digested.
You also need to be wary of the size of the bone. The bone should not be small enough for your dog to swallow whole, or for your dog to fit entirely in his mouth. And never feed your dog bones that have been cut or sawed: these tend to splinter when chewed on.
Choking Dog hazard
Anything you feed your pet, including kibble and rawhide bones, has the potential to be a choking hazard. Whenever you feed your dog a bone, you should supervise him while he chews. It is also important to train your dog to obey commands like ‘drop’. If your dog chews too hard on the bone or if he gets a hold of an unsafe bone, you need to be able to remove the hazard. You should also throw away any old bones that have been chewed.
Bones and a Dog raw food diet
The essence of a raw diet is a return to the foods dogs ate before they were domesticated. If you look at the dogs’ closest wild relative, the wolf, you can get a pretty good idea of what the species was built to eat.
Wolves eat a diet made up mostly of raw meat plus the stomach content of their prey, leading to some suggestions that a percentage of vegetables and fruit should be added to a raw diet.
Bones are an integral part of the raw food diet as a source of calcium as well as a natural part of their diet. Dogs are carnivorous and before they were domesticated, dogs caught and ate the meat of prey as well as the bones. Wild foxes often eat entire chickens and wolves are known to chew on the bones of their prey. Cleary, canines are equipped, and in fact intended, to chew on bones.
Health benefits of feeding dogs bones
There are many health benefits to feeding bones to your dogs. First, bones are full of calcium, phosphorous, protein and other vitamins and minerals that your dog’s body needs. Because the bone is served raw, none of the nutrients have been lost through cooking so your dog gets the maximum benefit from the bone.
Benefits of Dog Chewing Bones
Chewing is a very pleasing, instinctual activity for a dog. If you’ve ever watched your dog chew a bone, you’ll have noticed that your dog becomes very involved in the process. Many pet owners claim their dogs seem happier and calmer when chewing on a bone; observations that can be attributed to the dog satisfying a very basic urge to chew and gnaw.
Aside from satisfying an instinctive drive, chewing on a bone is also beneficial to your dog’s teeth and gums. Bones are almost like a toothbrush for dogs: they remove plaque, massage the gums and generally improve the periodontal health of your pet. If your dog regularly chews on bones, you will find that you no longer need to bring him into the vet for things like flossing and brushing.
Where to get raw Dog Bones
Raw bones can often be purchased from a butcher, grocery store and some pet supply stores. Be sure to choose bones that are the right size for your dog and also avoid bones with fat attached to them. You can also buy dog food and bones online.