Marley is our new puppy and she is in a chewing stage. If we don’t give her bones then she goes for clothes or furniture. We were thinking about just getting her rawhide bones but I’ve heard mixed opinions about these. I decided to do some research and this is what I found out….
Rawhides are not the greatest thing in the world, and there are slight risks to feeding rawhides as there are risks to giving any other type of chew or bone. Millions of dogs consume and digest rawhides with no issues. They eat small pieces at a time. The potential problems occur when a dog swallows large chunks, “knots” or soft, unraveled strips of rawhide. In rare cases, dogs are unable to digest or pass these large chunks. Safety tip: Choose rawhides that are large for your dog and take them away when they become soft or small enough to swallow. Read more here
According to Tom Lonssdale, BVSc, MRCVS, a veterinarian in New South Wales, Australia and author of Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health, raw bones are but a natural, healthy food for dogs. Bones for dogs, especially those that contain some meat, provide your canine pet with protein. What’s more, they contain a balance of essential minerals which your dog needs. “They also serve as nature’s toothbrush,” Lonssdale adds.
According to Lonssdale in his book, providing your canine friend with bones for dogs helps prevent periodontal disease and can even reverse its effects. Lonssdale further states, “My No. 1 safety warning would be to read up about dietary needs before taking on the responsibility of keeping a carnivore.”
On the other hand, another veterinarian, Ed Sullivan, DVM, of Animal Medical Center, a 24-hour emergency clinic located in Bellingham, Washington, says the exact opposite about bones for dogs. In fact, he outright advises against bones. He says, “The potential for complications is always there, including bones lodged in the mouth or throat, intestinal obstruction, fractured teeth, and digestive upset.”
Then again, Sullivan adds that he rarely encounters dogs with injury or illness due to eating bones for dogs. He says, “We see way more complications with toys, rocks, plastic bags, clothing, and string than with bones.” Read more here
The important thing to remember then is to distinguish between the good bones and the bad. Based on the discussion above, it appears that your dog stands to gain more by eating the occasional bone than not avoiding it completely. Accidents involving bones are rare so it should not stop you from trying to provide your dog with as many nutrients and minerals as only a bone can provide.
Just make certain that the bones you get from the butcher or the grocer are not sharply angled or sawed. Instead, try beef tails and ribs, necks of lamb, chicken, turkey, and beef. And get bones for dogs that contain lots of meat attached to them but the fat removed.