To Give Bones to Your Dog or Not, That Is the Question
Okay, when it comes to caring for your dog, particularly with food and treats, you get a lot of conflicting information. In the old days, we were told that dogs need bones to chew on, to not only help them build up stronger teeth and jaws, but to prevent them from chewing on your furniture, your shoes, and your children’s toys, especially when they are puppies. But, in more recent years, veterinarians and dog experts have said that we should no longer give bones to our dogs, as they in fact were not good for them. So, we stopped giving our dogs’ one of their favorite treats, but did we have to?
This is still something that is in conflict today, with some veterinarians saying that dogs need bones, and others saying that they could be detrimental to your dog’s health, so what do you do? Do you give your dog that bone you know he would love, or not for fear of it endangering his health?
Some veterinarians say that giving bones to your dog on occasion is actually good for him, especially if you give them bones that still have some meat left on them, as they get the extra protein that many of their diets are lacking. They also have many vitamins and nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy and active. Likewise, they also say that when a dog chews on a bone, they actually clean food and debris out of their teeth, which not only improves their dental health, but also helps prevent bad breath as well.
There are also veterinarians who tell their dog owners to never, ever give their dog a bone, stating that they are far too dangerous, and even deadly to be beneficial in any way. They claim that the bones could easily get stuck in the mouth or throat, causing choking or damage, that they could lead to intestinal blockages, broken teeth, and even upset stomach. On the contrary, other veterinarians claim that they see more injuries from other items, such as rocks, plastic shopping bags, toys, string, and clothing, than they ever see from bones.
So, what should we dog owners do? Based on the above information, it looks as though bones can be beneficial for your dog when given occasionally, and when the owner makes certain the bones are safe and that the dog is monitored while chewing on them. Look for bones that don’t have sharp edges or small pieces. Some say that the best dog bones are beef ribs, beef tails, lamb necks, chicken, and turkey. You don’t want them to be bare, but you don’t want them to be covered in fat either.