The Pet Parent’s Guide to Giving Bones to Your Dogs

Bones to your dog_Felica

It’s the million dollar question: Should dogs have their bones cooked or raw? The short answer is, you should always give your dog raw bones. Keep in mind that, just because you are allowed to feed your dog raw bones, you can not blindly pick one of your choice and give that to your dog. There are still guidelines to follow if you want to prevent any unwanted injuries.

In addition to explaining why cooked bones are harmful, this article will cover some of the safest ways to give bones to your dog, best raw bones to feed your dog, and info to keep in mind before you hand bones to a puppy.

Why are cooked bones bad?

While bones provide your dog with nutrients, minerals and an option to chew the boredom away, it might not be worth the risk. Cooked bones can splinter once inside their stomachs increasing the possibility of an internal injury which can in certain cases even be life threatening. It is also believed that cooking removes the nutrients that are present in the bones.

Safe ways to give bones to your dog.

  • No cooked bones
  • The bone must be of the appropriate size- not too small that your dog swallows it whole and not too large that it causes blockages. As a general rule of thumb, the bone must be longer than the length of their snout.
  • Offer bones after a meal as this reduces the risk of them swallowing it.
  • Throw out bones after three days
  • Be present and supervise while they are given the bone.
  • Don’t let your dog chew on a bone for more than 10 minutes at a time

Best raw bones to give your dog.

An important reason why raw bones are recommended for dogs is so as to meet their calcium requirements. However, balance is key and if your dog’s nutrition already meets their unique calcium requirements, then bones should be given less often.

Bones are available in three forms:

  • Edible Bones
  • Recreational Bones
  • Smoked Bones

Edible bones are those bones that are softer and covered in cartilage and tissues. As you probably know, most edible bones are poultry bones. Poultry bones safe to be consumed by your dog include: tips of wings, feet, neck and back.

"Since, chicken is the smallest poultry bone it is appropriate for small to medium-sized dogs. For larger breeds, go for larger bones such as turkey necks."

Recreational Bones are made for dental hygiene, jaw exercise,mental stimulation and not for consumption. For the same reason, they lack nutritional value and are much harder. And that’s precisely why you should be present and on your guard while your dog is chewing away at one of these bones.

If your dog tends to be hyperactive and excited most of the time, it is safe to stick with an edible bone as consuming a hard recreational bone is not in their best interests. With that said, if you are confident of your dog’s chewing habits and are not worried of her gulping it, then an occasional recreational bone will do no harm.

Bovine red meat bones make up more than half of the market’s recreational bones. Choose a bone after consulting with your vet regarding your dog’s chewing habits and health requirements.

Smoked Bones and cooked bones are essentially one and the same. Referring back to the main point of this article, it is best to not indulge your dog in cooked bones. It is not worth the risk.

Now that we have covered important information regarding bones for dogs, let’s see how safe an option it is for puppies.

Bones and Puppies

Let’s face it, it is tempting to introduce the world’s best goodies to your puppy and give them a taste of the good life. However, we know better and should always take actions that factor in their health and well being. If your puppy has started teething, you might be wondering if bones are a good choice for your little pupper.

Bones should not be offered for puppies as their growing teeth are not strong enough to endure hard bones.

To summarise,

  • Cooked bones should not be given
  • Recreational Bones can be offered occasionally
  • Edible poultry bones such as those belonging to chickens are best suited for small sized dogs and larger bones such as turkey necks are appropriate for larger dogs.
  • Bones should not be given to puppies.

As always, consult with your pet’s vet before you make a decision. And that’s a wrap! We hope this article was helpful to you!

Happy parenting!