Updated: Mar 1
Choosing the Right Bone for Your Pet: Tips and Benefits
This is a very hot topic. Some say never give any type of bone while other argue that dogs need bones. So why would we even want to give our dogs a bone?
The most important is Dental Health. Chewing on a real bone can help to scrape plaque and tartar off your dog's teeth, which can help keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy. This can reduce the likelihood of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.
Nutritional Value. Real bones can contain important nutrients like calcium and phosphorus that are important for your dog's overall health and wellbeing. However, it's important to make sure that the bones you give your dog are appropriate for their size and breed, and that they are cooked properly to avoid any potential health risks.
Physical Exercise. Chewing on a bone can also provide dogs with a physical workout that can help to build their jaw muscles and improve their overall strength and endurance.
It might surprise you to learn that real bones are beneficial in their mental state as well. For example, chewing on a real bone can provide dogs with a mentally stimulating activity that helps to relieve boredom and anxiety. This can be especially important for dogs that spend a lot of time alone or indoors.
Let’s not leave out behavior management. Giving your dog a real bone to chew on can be a useful tool for managing their behavior, especially if they tend to be destructive or disruptive. Chewing on a bone can provide a healthy and productive outlet for your dog's natural chewing instincts, which can help to prevent them from chewing on furniture, shoes, or other household items.
It's worth noting that dogs are naturally designed to chew on bones. After all, they are 98.9% related to the Gray wolf, and chewing is a natural activity for carnivores. Chewing on bones releases serotonin, which can have a relaxing effect on your pet, often leading to a nap. Raw bones are one of the only things hard enough to scrape tartar and plaque off their teeth. In short, giving your dog a real bone to chew on can be a great way to promote their health, happiness, and wellbeing.
When it comes to choosing the right bone for your pet, there are many questions to consider before you can give a definitive answer. One of the first things to consider is the size of your dog and their chewing habits. Are they aggressive chewers, or do they prefer a bone to keep them occupied while you work from home? Additionally, you need to determine what your goals are in giving your pet a bone. Are you looking to help clean their teeth, or do you just want to provide them with a tasty treat?
Many people don't realize that raw bones are also good for small breed dogs and cats. They're great for those little mouths since their teeth are so small, and there are many places where plaque and tartar can hide, causing a mouthful of bacteria and very stinky breath. Chewing bones on a regular basis can be such a game changer for little breeds that typically struggle with tartar, plaque, and bad breath. Cats can also benefit greatly from raw meaty bones. If you've ever seen a cat catch and eat a bird or a mouse, you know that their jaws and teeth are built for chewing up raw meaty bones. Some good choices for cats are chicken necks, chicken wings, and chicken thighs.
Now, let's look at the different categories of bones. There are a couple of different ones to consider:
Raw meaty bones: These are bones that still have some meat attached to them. They're great for cleaning your pet's teeth and providing them with a tasty treat. Some good options for dogs are beef ribs, chicken wings, and turkey necks.
Marrow bones: These are bones that are filled with marrow, which is a tasty treat for your pet. Marrow bones are great for keeping your dog occupied, and they can also help clean their teeth. Some good options for dogs are beef femur bones, beef knuckle bones, and beef shank bones.
Antlers:These are bones that are made from deer or elk antlers. They're a great option if you're looking for a long-lasting chew that won't splinter or break. Antlers are also a great source of minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, which are important for your pet's health. Some good options for dogs are elk antlers, deer antlers, and moose antlers.
You can also give your dog bully sticks, they dog help with some oral health but arent great at actually removing plaque. However these are great chewing options to help keep new plaque from forming in between raw bones
Feeding bones to dogs can be a controversial topic for many pet owners. However, bones are actually a natural and healthy addition to a dog's diet when fed correctly. There are two main types of bones: recreational bones and raw meaty bones.
Recreational bones, such as femur bones from cows, pigs, or lambs, are harder and not typically consumable. These bones are designed to hold up heavy animals, and can sometimes chip or break a dog's teeth, especially for aggressive chewers. If feeding recreational bones, it's important to look for bones with a good amount of meat on them. Once the dog has cleaned up the meat and marrow, it's best to discard the remaining bone.
Raw meaty bones, on the other hand, are covered in meat and are completely consumable. These include chicken necks, chicken backs, turkey necks, turkey backs, chicken and turkey wings, chicken leg quarters, pig feet, pork shoulder, pork ribs, beef ribs, and more. The point is that these bones have more meat than bone, and the bone is softer and consumable.
Many pet owners are concerned about giving their dogs bones, and here are some of the most common concerns:
Raw bones can splinter and cause damage to the digestive tract: The truth is, cooked bones are the ones that can splinter and cause perforations in the throat and the digestive tract. Raw bones are completely digestible and soft enough that they do not pose a risk of splintering.
Dogs can choke on bones: Dogs can choke on anything they put in their mouth, including kibble, toys, sticks, etc. To reduce the choking hazard, it's always best to give your dog a bone that they have to work on versus gulping it. It's also important to choose an appropriate size bone for your dog.
Raw bones have bacteria: Carnivores have all the enzymes necessary in their saliva and stomach to handle any bacteria that could be present. Therefore, there is no reason to be concerned about bacteria on raw bones.
When choosing a bone size for your dog, it's best to give them a bone that they have to work on versus gulping it. For larger dogs, a good raw meaty bone would be a turkey neck, and a good recreational bone would be a large beef kneecap. For smaller dogs, a chicken neck or tiny breed marrowbone is a good place to start. A good rule of thumb for recreational bones is to give the dog something about the size of their head to keep them from gulping or swallowing them whole.
Here are some dos and don'ts when it comes to feeding bones to your dog:
Monitor your dog while they chew and eat the bone.
Feed meaty bones with more meat on them.
Feed bones that are large enough to prevent swallowing without chewing.
Consider giving your dog a raw meaty bone one to three times per week as a meal replacement.
Never feed cooked bones as they are likely to splinter.
Avoid feeding recreational bones that are bare with little meat on them.
Don't feed any bones that have been cut, such as steak and chops, or that are broken into sharp or jagged ends.
Don't feed too much bone as this can cause constipation.
Don't feed items that are too small for your dog to chew, but too big to be safely swallowed.
In conclusion, feeding raw meaty bones to your dog is a healthy and natural addition to their diet. So next time you're wondering what to give your furry friend, consider giving them a real bone to chew on. By following the dos and don'ts mentioned above, you can ensure that your dog stays safe and healthy while enjoying the benefits of chewing on bones.
Here are some great brands that habe bones for every size and shewer.
For my favorite all around online bones for a variety of bones