Dogs like to chew. Some prefer shoes or furniture, however we can all agree that any dog would give up any of those things for bones. For decades, it has been tradition to give the dog of the house the left over steak bones once dinner is over. And of course, dogs devour them and enjoy the feast. However, just like cooked chicken bones, any cooked bone can quickly turn into an emergency vet visit because they can cause serious damage to your dog’s body. They can get stuck in their jaw, splinter and damage not only the tongue but also pass through the digestive tract, which can result in scrapes and cuts, causing severe pain. Bone fragments can go as far as causing peritonitis (poked holes in your dog’s stomach) which requires an emergency vet visit and sometimes cannot be fixed. To avoid these situations, try raw bones! Some of you have already introduced this great, healthy chew to your pets (yes, there are some for cats too) but here is just some general information on why they truly are one of the best chews for our four legged companions.
There are 2 different categories and either is a safer alternative and comes with great health benefits:
Edible Bones – these are hollow, light bones that typically come from birds like chicken and turkey. They are very soft and break very easily and do not contain marrow, and are therefore less fattening. The poultry products by Primal Pet Foods do not splinter and are easily consumed. Definitely a great option even for the kitties.
Recreational Bones – These are your big, chunky bones that come from cows, buffaloes or even lamb. They are typically filled with marrow and therefore a little bit more fatty. This type of bone should not be ingested, but rather chewed and gnawed on. These are great for your dog’s mouth because they are a great way to floss and brush, preventing gum disease. Now both of these bone types contain a great source of natural calcium that encourages bone strength. Calcium is also important for muscle contraction, blood coagulation and proper nerve impulse transmission and raw bones are a great way to provide those added benefits. Raw bones are also a great way to encourage your pets instinctual behavior and stimulate them mentally.
Now there are a few things to be aware of when you feed raw bones:
- As with any chew we recommend not leaving your do unattended to ensure their safety and be aware of their eating habits and you are right there if they do happen to get it lodged or start choking.
- It is better to take away bones that have been gnawed on. If they start chewing on direct bone, throw it out. The danger of it splintering and causing problems is higher when all the marrow and meat is cleaned off.
- Feed only fresh, raw bones. Pure Pet sells raw food and bones by Primal Pet Food that are specifically made for cats and dogs. These reliable products ensure your pet is getting the right stuff.
- Have a tough chewer? Avoid giving small bones that are easily broken or crushed. Always pick the right size that cannot be swallowed or devoured in one bite.
- If your dog has had teeth problems or restorative dental work done, avoid these bones. They can cause more harm than good.
- Pancreatitis dogs should avoid marrow bones because the amount of fat can cause diarrhea and severe discomfort. Try scooping out the marrow to make it a healthier bone.
- Also make sure your dogs are separated when you feed these bones. Some dogs can get very territorial and fight over their bones.
- Last but not least, avoid pork or rib bones. These splinter much more easily and create more danger.
It is important to remember that your pet should only eat 1-2 recreational bones a week due to the high amounts of fat in the marrow, and it is beneficial to put down a towel for them to eat on, or a washable bed that you don’t care that much about. These chews can get quite messy! Stop by and let us explain the different types of bones, and if you are interested, find out about how a raw diet is one of the healthiest options for your pet!