|Dental | Ear | Eye | Flea and Tick | Heartworm | Joints | Medications | Pain | Skin and Coat | Supplies | Vitamins | Specials|
Heart Blood Pressure
Urinary Tract and Kidneys
Give the dog a bone: Practicing bone safety
Dogs and bones go together like peanut butter and jelly – the age old image of a dog and its bone makes many pet owners believe that giving their dog a bone to chew on is an all-natural choice to satisfy their dog's dental urges. There is some controversy over whether natural bones are safe for dogs of today to chew on. While bones are a natural source of calcium and phosphorus for your pet, they can break teeth and cause enamel damage. Cooked bones are softer, but they get brittle and can splinter, causing health concerns for your pooch. Many owners turn to commercial pet products designed for chewing for this reason.
As long as you know what risks there are to giving your dog real bones to chew on, you can take the proper precautions and allow your pooch to enjoy this treat occasionally. Chicken bones are commonly used as an example of what not to give your dog. However, the truth is that feeding your dog any bone that has been cooked is dangerous. Bits of splintered bone could pierce the stomach or intestines or cause other damage. Raw bones, however, usually do not splinter – even those of chickens and turkeys. Marrow bones from the butcher are commonly given as treats to dogs, and your veterinarian may recommend other varieties as well.
The only thing to worry about with raw bones is the risk of bacteria that can cause illness. The same salmonella that makes humans avoid raw meat can pose a risk to canines as well. Always refrigerate bones when they are not being chewed, and douse them in vinegar to kill bacteria.
If you don't feel comfortable with real bones, consider rawhide bones. The Dingo Big Bone is a good option for larger breeds, while smaller dogs might enjoy the Mini Dingo White Rawhide. Rawhide is a good alternative to real bones because they allow dogs to chew safely without dirtying your home while keeping their mouths clean and healthy. Just be sure to take it away when it gets so small the pooch could choke on it.
You can fill a toy like the Buster Food Cube with pet food to quell your dog's boredome, but other chewing options are specially formulated to satisfy its urge to chew, keep it occupied and improve its dental health. Greenies Dental Treats for Dogs or C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews for Dogs.