As a dog owner, you may have heard that giving bones to your furry friend can have benefits such as reducing boredom, calming anxiety and promoting oral health. However, it's important to remember that bones can also be harmful to dogs. In this article, our Diamond Bar veterinarians will provide you with more information about the pros and cons of giving bones to your dog.
Are Bones Good For Dogs?
Yes, bones can be good for your dog! They give your pup important minerals and nutrients and also help with their appetite. Chewing bones also helps keep their mouth healthy by preventing plaque and gum disease. Plus, giving your dog bones to chew on can even stop them from doing bad habits like excessive scratching or licking.
So Can I Give A Dog A Bone?
A better question to ask is "should dogs chew bones?"
Raw bones are typically better for dogs than cooked bones. So, the answer to "Are cooked bones harmful to dogs?" is usually yes.
Bones, whether raw or cooked, can break into sharp pieces and cause harm to a dog's mouth or digestive system, leading to serious injury or death (especially with cooked bones). Let's look at some of the dangers that come with a dog chewing on bones.
- Lacerations or punctures to the gums and tongue
- Cuts and wounds to the throat
- Damaged or broken teeth
- Severe constipation
- Intestinal blockage
- Perforation of the intestines
- Rectal trauma and bleeding
What bones are NOT safe for dogs?
Cooked Chicken and Turkey Bones: These bones are most likely to splinter. Small bones are also more prone to getting lodged in the throat and esophagus than larger, more solid bones.
T-Bones: T-bones, due to their shape, can become stuck in a dog's throat while the other end is down the esophagus or trachea. This can lead to severe swelling that can block the airway, preventing your dog from breathing.
Small Bones and Circular Bones: Giving any bone that is smaller than your dog's mouth or easily splinters is risky. Both can result in choking hazards as well as trauma to the mouth and intestinal tract. Circular bones are also unfavorable because they can become lodged in the lower jaw of a dog. Dogs are terrified of this, and cutting the bone to free the dog's jaw usually necessitates sedation.
What bones are safe for dogs?
Get your dog a large raw bone from a trustworthy butcher. The bone should be easy to grip and similar in size to your dog's head. Look for bumps or lumps on both ends of the bone. Keep in mind that while raw bones are a safe option, there are still potential dangers. Your dog may break a tooth, hurt their gums, or get a splinter. Over-chewing on the bone can also lead to constipation. Store the bone in the fridge and dispose of it after a few hours.
General Rules for Bone Safety
If you want to give your dog a bone, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Serve raw meat bones.
- After 10 to 15 minutes, remove the bone from your dog and place it in the refrigerator.
- After three or four days, discard the bone.
- Give large bones to large breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Bloodhounds, and Mastiffs.
- When you give your dog a bone, keep an eye on him.
- Be an educated consumer
- Give your dog the wrong type of bone.
- Don't give your dog cooked bones of any kind.
- Allow your dog to chew any type of bone into small pieces.
- Don't give your dog a bone if he has stomach problems.
- If another dog is visiting, don't give your dog a bone to chew on.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.