Just throw me a bone!
The thoughts regarding giving bones to our dogs differ a lot. Some say you shouldn’t do that, but some of them encourage this with BARF diets.
Carmela Stamper, an FDA veterinarian, says that it’s common for people to think that dogs love bones and therefore it’s okay to give them some. Well, of course, they love bones, they’re animals, and they like to eat. But as the vet says, “giving your dog a bone might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet.”
The first that we need to do is identify which bones are safe. To see that, we have to take in mind our dog’s age and size: it’s not a good idea to give our Chihuahua a humongous bone, bigger than her whole body, that could harm her teeth and gums.
Now that we know this, lets’ move to something fundamental: types of bones. Not all bones are the same but there’s something sure about it, they must NOT be cooked. Cooked bones can damage your dog and don’t give up to those beautiful eyes and that begging pose of your furry baby: don’t throw the leftover bones from the roasted chicken you had for dinner into those ferocious fangs.
You give bone a bad name
So, which one is a bad one? It’s surprising but bone treats –the ones you can buy at the store- can be harmful. They can get shattered at the moment you take them out of the package. Also, cooked bones in general. The cooking process, as with the bones from above, makes bones brittle and therefore leading to breaking and splinter. The dangers of your dog eating a bad bone are very severe as the Consumer Update of 2010 shows us:
1. Broken teeth. Imagine yourself chewing something so hard… Oh, did you think of Jawbreakers?
2. Mouth injuries. Remember that time a Dorito got stuck in your gum? Well…
3. Choking. The bone can get stuck in the throat and prevent your dog from breathing.
4. Severe damage to the intestines that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and bleed from the butt. This is caused by the splintered bones that get stuck in organs such as windpipe, esophagus, intestines, and stomach, damaging them.
5. Death. If your dog eats a cooked or treat bone and it splinters in its lower organs, something like a peritonitis (which is a grave infection) could affect your beloved friend and end its life.
But I still like bones…
However, fret not! Not all bones are bad. There are edible and recreational bones, and you can give to your dog without having any regrets: uncooked chicken, turkey and lamb bones. Nonetheless, avoid throwing beef, buffalo or bison shank bones to your pet, because they may be too hard then your dog’s teeth.
You will be happy to know that feeding bones can be good. Dr. Peter Dobias enlightens us about bone chewing, saying that “chewing on the right kind of raw bones is the equivalent of a good dental cleaning, it removes plaque buildup and prevents gum disease! Raw bones provide a highly digestible source of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals, however, based on the HairQ Test results of hundreds of dogs, feeding bones is not enough to provide all of the needed minerals.”
Given this, now you know what to do in the matter of feeding bones but this doesn’t mean that from now on your little critter’s food regime is going to be based on bones. Make sure to give your beloved pet an excellent balanced and healthy diet based on proteins, fats and enough minerals, vitamins, and probiotics.