Chew bones are engaging for all dogs who love to chew and allows them to release their “inner wolf” when it comes to this instinctive behavior.
Think about it…in the wild, every bit of the kill is devoured including the meat left on the bones; once satiated, the bone is buried to be enjoyed later. (Does your dog bury his bones? Now you know why!)
Our domesticated dogs rely on us to provide every meal and serving appropriate chew bones helps fulfill your dog’s “wild” needs while also keeping his teeth clean by reducing plaque & tartar build up. Especially important for puppies, chew bones can be a great distraction, or presented in exchange, when your furry youngster finds your favorite shoe for his teething pleasure.
KNOW WHICH BONE TO PICK
Cooked bones are NEVER a good idea, as vets routinely see dogs that require surgery to remove the bone shards and splinters that can cause intestinal blockage. While you may not think to share your cooked chicken or turkey bones with your dogs, many will scavenge in your garbage to find them and always when you aren’t looking (back to the call of the wild…the mere scent of a juicy, cooked bone might send your dog on the hunt. Always dispose of properly to avoid an unintentional intestinal blockage).
RAW RECREATIONAL BONES however, are much safer and beneficial for dogs. These are big chunks of beef or bison femur or hipbones filled with marrow.
They can provide a source of additional protein, glucosamine, calcium and collagen. They are easy to digest and lack the carbohydrates, starches and sugar often found in other dog chew treats.
Chewing a raw, meaty bone works your dog’s muscles and jaw like no kibble diet can. And a savory chew on a raw recreational bone is the equivalent of a good teeth brushing for your dog.
Avoid donut-shaped marrow bones as many have been caught in a dog’s jaw which is not only uncomfortable for your dog, may require a vet trip to surgically remove while your dog is sedated.
Always supervise your pet, with any bone-munching moment, and ensure you are providing a size-appropriate bone.
Tips to serving a raw bone to your dog:
(1). Keep it frozen. Introduce slowly (10-15 minutes at first) and refreeze between “sessions”. Any new food item introduced to your dog’s diet requires baby steps to avoid possible diarrhea.
(2). Keep small children and other dogs away when you serve up this delicious treat that few dogs will want to share with others.
(3).The size of the bone should match the size of your dog’s head
(4). Let him bury it if so inclined.
(5). Serve on tile or wood floors if indoors or teach your dog to stay on a mat while munching to avoid possible carpet stains.
EDIBLE RAW BONES
These are long-lasting chews, without the marrow, and are a healthy, more durable, digestible alternative to Rawhide. Edible raw chews can provide calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals that are essential to your dog’s diet. Depending on the type of chew, they can last 15-45 minutes.
While there are many edible chews on the market, we favor those USA-based manufacturers featured on our PET STORE: Raw Paws and EcoKind Treats & Chews, for their all-natural and nutritious products @ Shop
The owner of Fetching Dog in Scottsdale, Becci Scott, offers the following advice:
“Many people believe that dry dog food has dental benefits by having enough scraping action to keep dog’s teeth clean; however, dry dog foods are made with lots of starch to bind them together which stick to the dogs teeth and form plaque. It is evident by the extreme dental decay seen in dogs that eat primarily dry food diets, that sugars are as bad for their teeth as they are for human teeth”.
Bones are great for recreation and for the dental health of our dogs. Raw meaty bones can also add calcium to your dog’s diet.
Raw bones are the only safe bones for dogs to chew on. Fresh, raw bones with all their natural oils are solid but have some give so they do not splinter like they do once they are exposed to heat (smoking, cooking, roasting, etc.) which dries them out and makes them brittle. Brittle bones are prone to splintering causing damage to gums and the digestive tract when swallowed.
It is important to choose the proper bone for your dog. They are available in many sizes for you based on your dog’s size as well as chewing strength. Large breed and more aggressive chewers should avoid thin weight-baring bones like Lamb femurs which can be more easily crunched by a strong jaw allowing the dog to swallow large sharp fragments.
Large breeds do best with larger, thicker bones that allow them to gnaw which scrapes the teeth (without leaving behind any starches) and helps prevent tartar buildup. Smaller dogs do great with smaller cuts of bone.
Raw meaty bones, such as chicken, duck and turkey necks and chicken backs are meant to be chewed up and consumed. They not only give that same brushing action to the teeth and gums, but also add calcium to your dog’s diet. Many dog owners who make their own properly balanced dog food, use raw meaty bones to meet some of the calcium requirements”.
RAWHIDE OR NOT?
There is some controversy about the benefits vs risks of Rawhide bones and chews. Rawhide has been sold and consumed for years and is a cheaper alternative for pet parents on a budget. While I indulged my beloved Leonberger Max with countless rawhide bones during his lifetime, without incident, I have serious cause to “paws” today.
A more experienced perspective than mine is provided by Sarah Sypniewski at Embrace Pet Insurance:
“Rawhide is extremely dangerous. It is so dangerous, that I am stunned they can still sell it. In fact, the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA both discourage rawhide consumption and list it among the dangerous household products for pets (next to pesticides and cleaning chemicals)…[Rawhide] is the inner layer of cow or horse hides that has been cleaned and stripped of hair. In order to remove the hair from this layer, the hide must be soaked in chemicals, primarily sodium sulfide. It’s as toxic as it sounds. It’s then washed and whitened with hydrogen peroxide; dried, and pressed into the treats you see in the stores (sometimes they add flavorings or coatings to make them appetizing for dogs). Other toxins, such as trace amounts of arsenic and formaldehyde have been detected in rawhide treats as well. Rawhide is classified neither as a human food nor pet food, so there are no regulations over its production”. YUK!
If you haven’t enrolled your pet in a qualified pet insurance plan, now might be a good time to implement protection for your pets. Doolittle’s Doghouse recommends 2 qualified pet insurers, Healthy Paws and Embrace Pet Insurance. Click here for our Pet Shop menu to obtain more information and links to obtain free quotes: https://doolittlesdoghouse.com/shop
Doolittle’s Doghouse shares your commitment to your pet’s happiness and wellness…nose to tail.
Happy tails and hugs,
photo attribution of first dog eating a bone from Aditya Joshi found on unsplash.com