Dog bones. Are they safe? Are they good for your dog? While highly nutritious, easily digestible food is good for your dog's physical health, it does not adequately satisfy his natural instinct to chew. Before processed food, dogs had to spend a lot of time chewing their prey in order to get adequate nutrition. So, chewing is an instinct that is not likely to go away any time soon. Providing your dog with safe and satisfying ways to indulge in his chewing desires will keep both of you happier. In general, dog bones can be dangerous and most veterinarians do not recommend that owners give their dog Bones. Check with your veterinarian for their recommendation. For more information about dog bone dangers, click here
. Dog Bone Features to consider Chewing style – what is your dog's chewing style? Does he voraciously consume a rawhide treat like it is candy? Or, does he gently nibble, turning the dog bone around and around? Some dogs will turn their nose up at artificial dog bones, like nylon or rubber, while others will destroy anything of natural ingredients so fast that it would break the bank to buy enough of them to keep him supplied.
Size – the right dog bone will be big enough to not be a choking hazard, but small enough that your dog can get a good purchase with his molars.
Safety – If your dog likes to break off pieces to eat, be sure that the dog bone you choose is made from digestible material. And always throw away dog bones that have been chewed down to a size that would be dangerous for choking or ingestion.
Ingredients – Consider where your dog will spend his time chewing. If he will be in the house or car, you will want to be sure that the dog bone will not leave stains on carpet or fabric when it is wet with saliva.
Real bones – Most table scraps are not safe as chew toys. Cooked bones that have been cut by the butcher can splinter and cause serious problems in a dog's intestines. Chicken bones are especially hazardous. However, for larger dogs, an uncut beef leg bone (occasionally available at the meat counter for soap making) can be a real treat, either uncooked or only lightly cooked.
Desirable Dog Bone Features
Palatability – a dog bone should be tasty and enticing to your dog.
Indestructibly – a dog bone should last long enough to satisfy the need to chew.
Not too messy – unless your dog is going to do all his chewing in the back yard, you will want to choose a dog bone that will not create stains or leave bits and pieces around the house.
Dog Bone Features to Avoid
Avoid dog bones that chew up too fast. Not only will it fail to satisfy your dog, but it may also become hazardous to his health. Ingesting a large quantity of rawhide can cause a dog to become bloated or impacted.
For voracious chewers avoid materials or ingredients that are not digestible.
Resist giving your dog chicken bones and cut pieces of bone from your own meal. The cooking time necessary to cook meat makes bones brittle and weak so they will tend to splinter into hazardous pieces. Dogs are meant to chew on uncooked meat and bones that have not seen the butcher's saw.
Avoid chew toys that resemble household items or are household items. Don't expect your dog to discern between the old shoes that are acceptable for him to chew and your new Italian designer shoes that may cost him his hide to chew.
Ideal Dog Bone Choice
For small dogs and dainty chewers, a smaller rawhide or cloth dog bone is your best choice.
For medium size dogs and typical chewers, a larger rawhide or nylon dog bone will like provide good chewing satisfaction.
For large dogs and voracious chewers you may want to skip the rawhides all together and give them indestructible nylon or rubber dog bones. These types of dogs may also deeply enjoy a real leg bone from the butcher, so long as it is fully intact and not well cooked.
Dog Bone Safety Tips
Safety should always come first in choosing the right dog bone for your dog. Many dogs end up in the vet's office because they were left unsupervised with an inappropriate dog bone.
Choose a size of dog bone that cannot be swallowed.
Choose a material that will provide your dog with chewing satisfaction, but not break off into dangerous sized pieces.
And finally, always supervise your dog when he's busy with a dog bone, especially if you are not familiar with his chewing habits and desires. Accidents happen and if he were to choke, you would definitely want to be there to help him.
Now that you've got the facts, what are you waiting for? Give your dog a bone!