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Are Bones Safe to Feed Dogs?

If you’ve ever researched this online, you’re sure to have come across a lot of conflicting opinions about whether or not to give bones to your dog. It may seem like the most natural thing in the world to treat your pet a big juicy bone, but before you do, there are a few things you should be aware of.

The dangers of bones

Bones do provide a lot of benefits for dogs. They can be a good source of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, they can relieve boredom, and they can also help stimulate saliva which helps to prevent plaque buildup. However, there are some risks involved. You may have heard that cooked bones can splinter, but this also includes raw pork and poultry bones. Splinters can break off and cause damage to the mouth, throat or intestines. Even non-splintering bones that are bitten down into smaller pieces can cause blockages in the airways or digestive system. Bones can also cause damage to the teeth or enamel.

How to safely give bones

If you do wish to treat your pup with a bone, make sure you do it sensibly. First of all, select the right bone. It should be raw to prevent splintering, and also to preserve the nutritional value. The best are large round bones that bulge at the end, such as leg bones. The bone should be given after a meal so that your dog is not hungry and won’t try to eat large pieces. You should supervise your dog while they chew on the bone and be aware if any splintering occurs, or if they break off a piece that could potentially choke them. Remove the bone after 20 minutes and keep it in the fridge for another great day.

Bone alternatives

If you’d like to provide some of the benefits of bones but without the risks, there are other options. Flavored chew toys can give the dog the sensation of a bone and help to exercise their jaw but without the risk of splintering. Dried ears or antlers are another alternatives, but you will still need to check that they aren’t bitten into small chunks that can choke or cause damage. For dental benefits or bone chewing, there are also specific chews for cleaning teeth.


Are Bones Safe to Feed Dogs?

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