The Benefits of Feeding Raw Bones to Your Dog
As a pet owner, you may have heard some rumours spreading over the years about the dangers of feeding raw bones to our dogs. These warnings may be depriving you the pleasure of seeing your lovely dogs gnawing with pleasure on raw bones and depriving them of the many benefits of eating raw bones. So, are bones really dangerous for our furry friends? Apart from the myths, this article will help you to understand more about the benefits of feeding raw bones to our dogs.
Why bones are beneficial to your dog?
Feeding raw bones has many benefits for our canine friends. Veterinarians suggest raw bones as a great addition to your dog’s diet. Dogs can easily digest all types of bones, and these bones comprise a huge amount of nutrients that help promote good dental health, growth, and overall development. Here are some more benefits of feeding your dog raw bones:
- Dental Health: The chewing action is an important part of dental care in dogs. In addition to the presence of bacteria-fighting enzymes in raw bones, chewing helps to remove dental plaque and keep their teeth strong and healthy 1. Raw bones are a great and simple way to maintain a dental care routine of your dog. Avoid giving large and hard bones to your puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with poor/weak teeth. Softer bones like brisket bones or chicken necks are more suitable in this case.
- Recreational Activity: Bones are an excellent way to keep your dog happy and occupied. Raw meaty bones prevent boredom in adult dogs and act as a great chewing outlet for puppies. Besides providing a fun activity to distract them and hold their attention for long periods of time, raw bones help to strengthen a young dog’s jaw and fulfil physical and psychological needs.
- Nutritional Source: Raw bones, and the bone marrow inside them, act as a great source of nutrition. They comprise of an abundant source of proteins, fats, calcium, minerals, phosphorus, etc.2 Calcium usually acts as a vital constituent of bone and for dogs, calcium helps to make their bone stronger and performs its action in blood coagulation and muscle contraction. Poultry bones contain wet glucosamine that helps strengths a dog’s own bones. Usually, a dog’s raw diet should comprise of at least 10-15% edible bone content.
- Healthy Coat and Skin: A variety of minerals inside the bone helps to improve skin and coat health. Bone marrow and cartilage usually contain collagen, an abundant protein that makes your skin and coat shinier and healthier 3. You can choose raw bone with marrow and connective tissues to give more nutrition to your dog.
How to source raw bones affordably?
You can easily purchase raw meaty bones from your nearest local butcher shops, farms, or local grocery shops. You can also find and order bulk bones from several online sites. While searching for affordable raw meaty bones, you can easily compare the price between online raw dog food retailers and other grocery stores. One thing you need to keep in your mind that these online shops will charge you a shipping fee that will be added to the actual price. The shipping fee usually depends upon the distance between your home and its warehouse. Several retail stores offer free shipping costs if you spend a minimum amount, which is a great chance to reduce your total cost. Also, if you’re living close to their warehouse, you may be able to pick the products in person and minimize your costs.
What kind of bones is best for certain ages or sizes of a dog?
Every pet owner should know about safely feeding raw bones to their canine friends by picking the right bones. Since dog safety is our first priority, you need to consider your dog’s size, chewing style, and age before feeding just any raw bones.
- While choosing the right bone for your dog, you need to think about the density of the bone 4. Thick bone will make it difficult to break when chewing and can cause choking in your dog. Avoid giving a large-sized bone to your puppies. Some dogs are very choosy about the size of the chew bone you give them. If the bone is too big, they might not touch it. Usually, smaller dogs prefer smaller bones.
- You also need to consider the surface of the bones, whether it is smooth or rough. Bones with smoother surfaces are usually considered a safer option because they are less likely to splinter and cut the mouth of your dog. Bones usually comprise of a lot of small pores across the outer surface. Numerous small holes are the sign of weak bone which makes it vulnerable to fracture when your dog chews it.
- Veterinarians recommend avoiding beef, bison, or buffalo shank bones due to their hard appearance. These may cause injury and crack one or more teeth of your dog.
Finally, the right-sized bones can save you and your dog a lot from trouble. Many veterinarians suggest feeding bones like soft beef bones, lamb or goat bones twice a week. Feeding chicken bones are also safe and perfect for keeping your dog’s teeth without any risk of dental fracture.
1. Freeman, L. M., Chandler, M. L., Hamper, B. A. & Weeth, L. P. Current knowledge about the risks and benefits of raw meat-based diets for dogs and cats. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 243, 1549–1558 (2013).
2. Schlesinger, D. P. & Joffe, D. J. Raw food diets in companion animals: A critical review. Can. Vet. J. 52, 50–54 (2011).
3. A Guide to Feeding Raw Bones For Dogs. https://blog.homesalive.ca/dog-blog/raw-bones-for-dogs.4. How To Safely Give Your Dog a Bone | Redbarn.com. https://www.redbarn.com/blogs/blog/how-to-safely-give-your-dog-a-bone.