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Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

Many believe dogs can chew on any bone, but did you know that's not true? Today, our veterinarians in Kennesaw delve into the safety of dogs eating bones and identify which bones are safe for your furry companion.

Can dogs eat bones?

Did you know that incorporating bones into your dog's diet can give them essential minerals? Chewing bones not only stimulates saliva enzymes, aiding in the prevention of plaque buildup and gum disease, but it also helps maintain your pup's oral health. Additionally, chewing on bones can deter undesirable behaviors by providing necessary stimulation.

However, many veterinarians caution against allowing dogs to chew on bones due to the associated health risks. So, can dogs safely enjoy bones? What are the benefits and drawbacks of bones for dogs, including the potential dangers of cooked bones? Let's delve into the topic to provide you with everything you need to know.

Why Your Dog Should Eat Bones

Chewing naturally stimulates dogs, aiding their oral health maintenance and behavior control.

Dental Health - Allowing your dog to chew on bones may significantly improve their oral health. Gnawing on bones helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, preventing gum disease and promoting healthier teeth. Chewing on bones provides an abrasive action that acts as a natural toothbrush for your dog.

Mental Stimulation - Bone chewing becomes a stimulant for dogs falling them to 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 bones. They contain marrow, are rich in fat, and can provide dogs with additional calories. Bones also contain calcium, phosphorus, and trace minerals that contribute to nutrition.

The Harm That May Come From Bones

Some bones are great for your dog's health, and others are not a good idea and could result in serious repercussions.

Dental Injuries -Chewing on bones may increase your dog's risk of certain health factors. Dogs may crack or fracture their teeth, leading to pain, infection, and the need for dental procedures. Hard bones, like weight-bearing bones from large animals, are particularly risky.

Choking & Obstruction - There is a case that bones can break apart into tiny fragments which will be unedible due to their increased risk of injury. These shards can also cause intestinal obstructions if swallowed, leading to a life-threatening emergency. Small dogs, aggressive chewers, or dogs prone to gulping are at higher risk.

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

What bones can dogs eat?

Since you know which bones 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 your dog is chewing on, you will need to watch them the entire time they are chewing.

Synthetic Chews - Plenty of safe synthetic chew toys are 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 planning to introduce new items to your dog, the first step is consulting with a vet professional to ensure you're making the right choices. While bones offer benefits like promoting dental health, providing mental stimulation, and offering nutritional value, they also carry risks. Dental injuries, choking hazards, and digestive issues are potential concerns that require attention.

As a responsible pet owner, you must evaluate the benefits and risks and make an informed decision. Ultimately, consulting your veterinarian is crucial for determining the safety and appropriateness of giving your dog bones based on their circumstances.

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 can and can't do safely, including what they can eat. Contact North Cobb Animal Hospital today to book a consultation for your pup.

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