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Choosing Dog Bones that are Safe for Your Pet

Malvika Kulur May 12, 2019
Having a tough time selecting the right bone for your dog? Can't decide between a raw bone or a cooked one? Don't fret, because here we clear the features to consider while selecting the right bone for your pet.

A complete no-no!

Chew bones made of plastic, rayon, hooves―and also your leftover chicken, turkey, beef, pork, or lamb bones―should never be given to your dog, as it may lead to broken teeth, constipation due to bone fragments, damage to the intestine due to splintering, etc.
When it comes to dog bones, chews, dental dog treats, etc., one should be very careful. Dogs who have a sensitive digestive tract, or are prone to allergies, should be given bones that are hypoallergenic. There are myriad varieties of mid-meal or training snacks for dogs available in the market, that claim to have many health benefits.
So, while trying to zero-in on the best possible option, we must try to find out what is beneficial for our pet's health and what is not. Keeping that in mind, here is presented a complete discussion on how to choose the best bone for your canine.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Dog Bone

Size of the Dog and Bone

The first thing to consider while selecting the right bone, is the size of your dog. If your dog is a small or toy breed, for example, a miniature pinscher, or a chihuahua, you should buy a bone suitable for his size. Not too small, as it can cause choking. Likewise, not so big that his teeth break or chip.
If you have a medium or large-sized dog, then you could go in for a big bone, as smaller bones are not at all recommended for dogs of these sizes.

Dog's Temperament

Is your dog the impatient type? The one who is always quick with everything? When he eats, does he literally inhale his food, or does he just nibble on it, and take his own time? If your dog is a quick eater, and if you want him to be busy on one bone a rawhide bone is the best option for him. For a slow eater, try dental bones, and the edible variety.

Types of Bones

Luckily for us dog owners, the market is full of different types of bones to choose from. We have a choice between rawhide, bones for oral health, chew sticks, chews for keeping our pets busy, treats, and biscuits. When we enter a pet store, we get confused as to which ones to buy, and which not to.
Rawhide ones are made of beef, or horse hide, and are healthy. They are available in various shapes, sizes, and some have infused flavors like chicken, lamb, and turkey. They keep the dog busy for a while, and are known to relieve your pet's stress. They help in oral hygiene, by preventing tartar, cavities, and bad breath.

Nutritional Aspects

Ardent pet lovers will always want to give their dogs the healthiest possible snack, so checking the packet for information about ingredients, is something everyone must do. Usually, these bones are rich in nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, and minerals.
If you are not keen on giving your dog bones that have been made from hide, and want to stick to real animal bones, then raw bones are the best option. Raw bones are considered healthier for a dog than cooked ones, as cooking destroys the nutrients in them. The marrow in the bone, and the bone itself, have many nutrients that are essential for your pet.

Ingredients Used in Ready-made Bones

Look for bones that are made using natural ingredients, as they are the tastiest and easiest to digest. Low-calorie bones are the safest options for all dogs, as canine obesity is an issue that most pet owners face today.
Avoid treating your dog with chews made from cheese, pigs ears, and bacon, as they have too much fat and sugar in them. Real, rawhide, or even dental bones are low on sugar and fat, and help keep your dog's weight in check, by not adding on extra pounds.

Features to Avoid When Choosing a Dog Bone

✦Avoid giving bones that may cause an injury to your dog.

✦Small bones may get stuck in the mouth, throat, windpipe, or stomach.

✦Bones made from ingredients that may cause diarrhea or vomiting.

✦Bones made from artificial substances like nylon, rubber, plastic, etc.

Raw Bones vs. Cooked Bones

Many pet owners do not believe in buying rawhide bones and treats for their dogs because they prefer feeding their dogs only natural substances. So, they tend to get confused on whether to give their dog real raw bones or cooked ones. As given here, raw bones are a better and safer option.
When bones are cooked (apart from the depletion of their nutritional value), they become brittle. Thus, they end up harming your dog's mouth, teeth, gums, tongue, throat, intestines, etc. How?
Since these bones are brittle, they end up in splinters, and small, sharp pieces get stuck, causing complications like constipation, rectal bleeding, and peritonitis (a bacterial infection of the stomach caused when bone fragments make holes in the stomach and intestines).
Apart from being tasty and healthy, bones help strengthen the dog's jaws, curb destructive tendencies, and help maintain top-notch oral hygiene. Always opt for bones that are free from artificial coloring, as they would not stain your carpets, or furniture.
At the end of the day, we all have our pet's best interest in our mind, and are always on the lookout for products that are healthy for them. Supervise your dog when he is chomping on his bone, and take it away when it becomes small, and you think he might choke on it. Always consult your veterinarian before introducing something new in your pet's diet.