Give the dog a Bone?
Bones are good for :
- Cleaning Teeth,
- Breaking Boredom,
- Providing a natural source of protein and calcium
Correct? I mean - this is all correct isn't it?
Well ... yes. It is correct. Giving the dog a bone will achieve some or all of the above. BUT - there is more ... The other part of the education is below.
Bones are risky.
There is a large amount of dogs that spend time in surgery getting bones removed from their throat. Many of them will never recover. Is the risk worth it?
We have several clients who are our example of this. Some have spent thousands of dollars on vet bills, others have lost their family member.
I have never recommended a bone for a dog without first understanding the framework of where they may be suitable.
Firstly, for nearly all dogs, chicken necks are one of the highest risks. Chick necks have the perfect sized discs and joints to get stuck in the majority of throats.
Secondly, some beef bones are too high in fat and the sudden load on the organs could be detrimental.
Furthermore, dogs could damage teeth.
If you want to realise the benefits of bones for your fur-baby, then I suggest the following:
- Always choose a bone that is lean - not high in fat. Do not use bones that have been cut down the length to reveal the marrow as this contains a high amount of total fat quantity. Avoid bones with a lot of connective tissue too - which includes brisket bones.
- Never give a cooked bone - these are too brittle. They can break or splinter cause severe organ damage.
- Choose a bone that is "too big". If it is too big to fit into the mouth, there is less chance of damage, yet they can grind their teeth against it to clean and obtain plenty of flavour.
- Smoked and Low Temp Cooking is ok. Some bones are dried at a low temperature for a long period of time, and this does not make them significantly more brittle than a raw bone, but a lot of the fat is dropped off. They are also better for storing at room temperature.
Having too much bone ingested can also cause very firm stools which can cause discomfort when passing them. On the upside, they can help discharge the anal gland.
If you don't want to give a bone .. there are plenty of alternatives at all leading pet stores such as:
- Dental Sticks,
- Cow Hooves,
- Ears (Pork, Lamb, and Veggie),
- Cartlidge sticks,
- Rawhide (not all is ok though, so please get advice),
- and more ...
I personally have not given my dogs a bone for such a long time ... They get alternatives, but I've experienced too much of the risk side to know that it is not in balance.
The Pet Whisperer.