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Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

We might assume that dogs can chew on any type of bone, but did you know that this isn't actually true? Today, our Stockton veterinarians discuss the safety of dogs eating bones and identify which bones are safe for your furry companion.

What Bones Are Safe for Dogs?

Can you give a dog a bone? Are bones good for dogs, or are cooked bones or beef bones bad for them? Here, we'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dogs having bones, along with any other essential information you need to know.

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Why Your Dog Should Eat Bones

Chewing is a natural form of stimulation for dogs, helping to maintain their oral health and prevent unwanted behaviors.

Dental Health - Your dog's oral health may be one of the leading reasons to allow your dog to chew on bones. Gnawing on bones can help remove plaque and tartar buildup, preventing gum disease and promoting healthier teeth. The abrasive action of chewing on bones can act as a natural toothbrush for your dog.

Mental Stimulation—Bone chewing becomes a stimulant for dogs, helping them avoid boredom and chewing on something they shouldn't. It can be a natural and instinctive activity that keeps them occupied and entertained. Bones can be a great way to alleviate anxiety or redirect destructive chewing behaviors.

Nutritional Value—Bones can be a source of essential nutrients, especially if they are raw. They contain marrow, which is rich in fat and can provide dogs with additional calories. Bones also contain calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals that contribute to overall nutrition.

The Harm That May Come From Bones

Some bones are great for your dog's health, while others could have serious repercussions and are not a good idea at all.

Dental Injuries -Chewing on bones can increase the risk of certain health issues for your dog. It can cause teeth to crack or fracture, leading to pain, infection, and the need for dental procedures. Hard bones, especially weight-bearing bones from large animals, pose a particular risk.

Choking & Obstruction - Bones can break into tiny, inedible fragments, posing a risk of injury and potential intestinal obstructions if swallowed. Small dogs, aggressive chewers, and dogs prone to gulping are at higher risk.

Digestive Issues -Bones can cause digestive problems for some dogs, including constipation, diarrhea, and pancreatitis. Fatty bones, like marrow bones, can lead to gastrointestinal upset, while sharp bone fragments can cause damage to the digestive tract. Dogs with sensitive stomachs or a history of digestive issues should be closely monitored.

What bones can dogs eat?

Since you are now aware of which bones never to feed your dog we can now discuss which bones are right for your pup.

Raw Bones - For natural bones, you should opt for a raw bone that won't cause as much injury. Raw bones are less likely to splinter and cause injuries. Regardless of the type of bones that your dog is chewing on you will need to watch them the entire time that they are chewing.

Synthetic Chews - There are plenty of safe synthetic chew toys available in the market. These products are designed to be durable, non-toxic, and less likely to cause dental or digestive issues. Look for options like rubber chew toys, nylon bones, or specially designed dental chews.

Vet-Approved Treats - Consult with your veterinarian to find appropriate treats that promote dental health and are safe for your dog's specific needs. Dental chews or treats specially formulated to support oral hygiene can be a safer alternative to bones.

How will I know that I am giving them the right option?

When considering introducing new items to your dog, it's important to consult a vet to ensure it's the right choice. While bones can provide dental health benefits, mental stimulation, and nutritional value, they also pose risks such as dental injuries, choking hazards, and digestive issues.

As a responsible pet owner, it's crucial to carefully evaluate both the benefits and risks before making a decision. Ultimately, consulting with your veterinarian is essential to determine if giving bones to your dog is safe and suitable for their specific needs.

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.

Our vets are here to help you learn what your dog and can't do safely including what they can eat. Contact Rosemarie Pet Hospital today to book a consultation for your pup.

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