When you feed your dog super premium food, you know that you’re giving them complete and balanced nutrition, but we often get questions about adding raw bones to the diet.
Benefits of raw bones for dogs
Can dogs eat raw bones? Are raw bones good for dogs? The answer to both is yes! Raw bones also offer extra nutrients that are great for cleansing your dog’s digestive tract. If you give your pet raw bones, they may benefit from the calcium in the bones.
Not only do raw bones offer your dog nutritional benefits, the action of gnawing on the bones is fantastic for tooth and gum health. When your pet chews on the bones, it will massage their gums and clean plaque from their teeth.
Risks of raw bones for dogs
It’s no surprise that dogs are big fans of bones but as pet parents we need to be very aware of some of the real risks involved to ensure we keep our pets healthy. Some dogs are very sensitive to bones and can struggle with constipation or diarrhoea. That said, for all dogs, too many bones can cause constipation. It’s also important to be aware of the high fat content of bones, which can lead to inflammation of the pancreas.
Then there is the issue of the choking hazard. Avoid giving your dog bones of a size where your dog may attempt to swallow them whole, for example raw chicken and poultry bones. These can cause obstructions and may require surgery. There is also an increased risk of dogs fracturing their teeth with raw bones.
Remember to remove your dog’s bone after each chewing session. Dogs love bones and if they’re are left lying around for too long, your pet may show aggression to humans or other animals trying to take them.
Dangers of cooked bones for dogs
Never feed your dog cooked bones – smoked, fried, baked, steamed, boiled etc. These can be incredibly dangerous, as cooked bones can splinter once they are bitten into. Not only are very small splinters a concern, the larger fragments that come off can also be choking hazards. It’s smart to remind your whole family of the dangers of cooked bones and, if you’re hosting a barbecue, ask guests not to share any bones with your pets. This will help you avoid an emergency vet trip. If you suspect your dog has eaten a cooked bone, you should contact your local Greencross Vets immediately.
Tips for feeding your dog raw bones
If after reading the pros and cons of feeding your dogs raw bones, you’ve decided to go ahead, you should follow the following rules:
- Never feed them cooked bones
- Bones are for chewing on, not through
- Get rid of chewed bones
- Bones should only be given under supervision
- Bone chewing should start when they are a puppy
- Be sure to ask for ‘dinosaur bones’ for all other dogs
- Bones are for chewing, not the meat. Remove the meat from the bones and give this to your dog separately to the bone
If you need more advice on your dog nutrition, feel free to talk to a friendly team member at your local Petbarn.