Guest Blogger, Dr. Greg Martinez Dvm, provides a veterinarian's point-of-view on feeding raw meaty bones to our dogs.
In general, the dogs at greatest risk of cracking their teeth are the ones that chew their bones especially aggressively, crunching the bones between their molars and cracking them open to eat the marrow inside. Dogs who are new to bone consumption may also damage their teeth due to enthusiasm over their new favorite food. Most dogs, especially those who have regular access to bone, chew much more speculatively.
Choking can be a concern with dogs who gulp bones without chewing them thoroughly. And a dog can chewing on a bone or . That can mean an expensive repair or extraction by your veterinarian.
So pay attention when you buy and prepare your dog’s raw bones:
At the , they don't recommend bones for dogs either.
Cooked bones are quite dangerous. Cookingchanges the structure of the bone, making it indigestible and easilysplinterable. Raw bones rarely splinter and are fully digestible, eventhe collagen proteins that some people claim are "indigestible." It ismostly the byproducts of the digested bone that form the bulk of araw-fed animal's feces. Dogs and cats do not need the fiber from grainsand vegetables, and feeding such foods only results in the big, soft,malodorous stools everyone complains about.Yes, problems can occur with raw bones, just asproblems can occur with feeding the "safer" kibble (bloat, choking,telescoping bowel, aspirated kibble leading to pneumonia, etc.). Theseproblems typically occur in dogs that gulp their food or are fed smallthings like chicken wings and necks (the prime suspects of chokingincidences on raw). Other culprits are the large weight-bearing bonesof herbivores, things like knuckle bones, femurs, etc. These,ironically, are the kinds of bones pet food manufacturers and some vetsrecommend dogs receive regularly to help keep teeth clean! These boneschip or break teeth and can have pieces of bone flake off.Rawhide dog bones allow dogs to chew safely indoors without dirtying the floor or furniture. Rawhide dog bones exercise the jaw, stimulate saliva flow, and help keep the mouth healthy. Because rawhide does not dissolve in the intestines, make sure your pet doesn't swallow large hunks. Remove the rawhide once it is small enough that your pet might swallow it whole.We’ve all heard that we should never feed our dogs chicken bones. We have also heard that eating bones can cause fractured teeth, constipation, and bowel obstructions. Some of us have heard that feeding bones to dogs is just a bad idea. In fact, Carmela Stamper, Dvm of the FDA, has adopted a stance against feeding “bones” to dogs. The recommendations are based on a general warning of not feeding bones without really specifying what kinds of bones cause the most problems. I agree that feeding some types of bones can be dangerous, but I feed my dogs raw meaty bones and advise my readers and clients to do the same.