Dogs are a carnivorous animal, and as such, are often associated with chewing on bones. Many pet owners give their dogs bones on a regular basis, and do not report any problems. However, some dog owners give credit to the potential health hazards associated with bones. Depending on your viewpoint, there is a lot of conflicting information available. In general, there are a few things that you need to know about dog bones.
Most pet care supply stores carry an assortment of treats, chew-toys and bones. Most of these bones are cured with a special process, and may or may not have flavor added. Most commercial dog bone companies attest to the fact that bones are not harmful for dogs, and can be chewed on without splintering or breaking into pieces. Commercial dog bone companies may or may not smoke their bones, which is said to create a more “natural” dog bone product. Lamb, Cow and Pork bones are usually used to make chewable dog bones. Some companies add an artificial hickory smoke flavor to their dog bones, in order to make them more appealing to dogs.
Some dog pet care experts attest to the potentially beneficial health effects of letting their dogs chew on bones. Allowing your dog to chew on bones has been said to promote healthier teeth, gums and much fresher breath in a dog. This is because the chewing motion a dog engages in when interacting with a bone actually helps to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. This can also help to control tartar buildup, which has been shown to be much more prominent in a dog’s older years.
Some dog bones are filled with a meat-flavored paste, in order to entice a dog to keep chewing on the bone. However, some dog bones are simply filled with the natural marrow of the bone, which may or may not be flavored with additional ingredients. Most dog nutrition bones are cut from the femur bone of an animal, since this is often the strongest bone present. A commercially produced dog bone may or may not have the knuckle bone attached.
With all of this in mind, it is also important to consider the possible dog health hazards associated with feeding your dog bones. It is generally not recommended, in any circumstances, to feed your dog poultry bones. This is because they are small, splinter easily, and can cause ruptures in a dog’s esophagus, stomach or intestines. In addition to this, you should never feed your dog bones that are not commercially distributed. Most dog bone companies have a liability policy, and guarantee that their bone products will not harm your dog’s health. However, it is impossible for you to make this type of guarantee if you are feeding your dog bones from your own table. Bone splinters can be extremely dangerous to your dog’s health, as they can cause laceration, obstruction or significant damage to your dog’s digestive system. As a general rule, it is much safer to feed your dog bones from an established commercial company.