The saying that bones are natures toothbrush, is indeed true.
However, there are some misconceptions out there about the
safety of bones.
Chewing bones is not only healthy for your dog’s teeth, it is also
valuable for their mental health. Have you ever watched a dog
‘zone out’ while chewing a bone? It is in their DNA to chew bones,
it can calm an anxious dog, entertain an energetic or bored dog.
I’d much rather have my dog chew a yummy bone than the leg of
my Grandma’s heirloom antique table!
Raw bones do not splitter. We all know to never feed your dog
cooked bones, or say never feed chicken bones. BUT, raw poultry
bones are soft and they do not splitter. When I give my 2 little
Min Pins raw chicken necks, they run away with them like they just
won the lottery! It cleans their teeth so well and their breath is clean
Types of Bones:
Recreational Bones – they are bones you will give to keep a dog
occupied, stimulated and clean their teeth. Examples of recreational
bones are: knuckle bones, shank bones, rib bones, etc. Recreational
bones should be given as a reward or for a limited time allotment
(IE: chew for 40 minutes and then take away and put in fridge or freezer
for another day). These types of bones are not meant to be fully consumed.
Meal Replacement Bones – these are bones that the dog can
consume completely, like poultry/fowl neck bones, poultry/fowl feet
or wings, poultry/fowl whole backs, poultry/fowl carcass bones, small
mammal carcass (like rabbit) or larger mammal bones with plenty of meat
left on the bone for them to consume. Small meal replacement bones are
the best bones to offer your cat. I recommend avoiding Turkey Necks from
this category, as the diameter of the neck bone could potentially be a
choking hazard for an overzealous dog.
Style of Bone – Natural bones can be purchased in a few different forms,
such as: Fresh Raw, Frozen Raw, Dehydrated or Smoked.
Rule of Thumb for Bone Chewing:
The Recreational bone should be big enough that it cannot fit in the
dog’s mouth at one time. Another super safe measure is, the bone is bigger
than the dog’s head.
Whereas, Meal Replacement bones can be fully consumed (ie: poultry
neck) or given until all the meat has been pulled off (raw meaty bone like
a joint bone).
Note: Supervision is required with feeding of any bone type.
Pros & Cons of Different Types of Bones:
Dehydrated Bones – These bones can be convenient to feed as they
are not messy. You can buy them bagged and in a variety of protein types.
They are more readily available in novel proteins so the dog with food
sensitivities can still have a fun & functional chew. Poochie Moochie
carries dehydrated treats such as Hero Kangaroo Bones, Hero Rabbit Feet,
Hero Duck Wings, Asado Rib, Asado Esophagus, etc.
They are crunchy and easily consumed by dogs of all sizes.
Raw Fresh Bones & Raw Frozen Bones – Raw bones are the premium
of feeding bones to your dog or cat. Any size dog will benefit from
chewing on raw bones. Raw bones can be recreational like a large knuckle
bone or a meal replacement bone like a chicken neck. Raw bones give
the added benefit or natural enzymes to break down plaque and tartar,
plus chondroitin & glucosamine. Not to mention a great natural source
of Calcium. Raw bones are also your safest alternative because raw bones
do not splitter. The most common way to purchase bones is frozen, like
Big Country Raw Rib, Big Country Raw Beef Neck Bones, Carnivora Chicken Necks, Big Country Raw Duck Feet, etc.
Smoked Bones – When it comes to smoked bones, this is where I am
more cautious. You have to be certain of the sourcing and technique of
smoking the bones. Some manufacturers are not in North America, and
even some of those use salt brine. Both not positives in my opinion. Dogs
love the smoked flavour but it does make them very thirsty and their snouts
will smell like a campfire. When feeding a smoked bone, look for local
responsible suppliers that slow smoke and add nothing in the way of preservatives. Poochie Moochie only endorses Dear Dog Smoked Bones
for these very reasons.
Bottom Line about Bones:
Offering your dog raw bones is one of the most natural things you can give
your dog. They will love you for it and you will safe a ton on dental cleanings.
Raw is best in my opinion followed by Dehydrated bones.
Whether you are a Raw Feeder or a Kibble Feeder, bones can be a great
addition to your dog’s diet. We have lots of dog bone choices for you at
Poochie Moochie Edmonton.
By: Lori Cameron, Poochie Moochie Pet Boutique Edmonton