For the longest time, dogs have been drawn in cartoons and shown on TV with one key element; a bone. So much so that one of our favourite nursery rhymes has a line that says, ‘Give a dog a bone.’ But, are bones good for dogs to chew? Or, do they present a health and safety risk?
We’re here to tell you the truth behind this dog treat.
The Benefits of Bones for Dogs
Bones are a great source of minerals and other nutrients. They can help your dog feel satisfied. The intense chewing of bones can also stimulate saliva, which can help to prevent plaque and gum disease. Bones are also a fantastic way to keep your dog occupied. This can prevent destructive behaviour and may even stop other bad habits, such as excessive licking.
The Dangers of Bones for Dogs
A Choking Hazard
The types of bones you give your dog can have large ramifications on their health and well-being. So, you must choose wisely. For example, cooked bones are known to be more fragile. They can quickly shatter when chewed, which can become a choking hazard or cause your dog’s gums to bleed. If they aren’t chewed properly, this can also cause damage internally.
Can cause pancreatitis
Specific bones have incredibly high fat content, which dogs can’t handle. This can cause inflammation of the pancreas, which can lead to severe symptoms, such as vomiting and lack of appetite. There are chances that pancreatitis can also lead to death.
Bones may cause blockages
If your dog were to swallow a chunk of a bone, it may not enter the digestive system as it should. This can cause blockages, which may suppress their appetite or prevent food from being digested correctly. It is important to visit a vet if you suspect this has occurred.
So, can you give a dog a bone?
The simple answer is yes. You can give a dog a bone, but it should be done carefully. You should always discuss with a vet which bones are best for your dog to chew to ensure they will be safe doing so. For example, big dogs should not be fed small bones, as this is a choking hazard.
At PetNest, we, however, recommend other alternatives. For example, bone meal powder for dogs can ensure they still get the nutrients they need without becoming a choking hazard. Just be careful to ensure you only get a powder suitable for dogs. Excessive chewers can then be satisfied with a chew toy, such as a product from the Kong range.
This can ensure they receive all of the benefits of chewing a bone, without the risks.