“Give a dog a bone, and he will love you forever… but his body may not!”
The old adage that dogs love bones is probably quite accurate; however, bones can pose a serious risk to your dog’s mouth, body, and overall health. Please be careful when choosing and giving your dog a bone. While bones can be entertaining and rewarding for your dog, they can also be a one-way ticket to the emergency vet!
The following is a list of risks associated with giving your dog a bone, of any kind and form:
- Broken teeth and mouth/tongue injuries while chewing and digesting bones.
- Bones can get looped around your dog’s lower jaw while maneuvering them around the mouth.
- Bones can get stuck in the esophagus or windpipe while the bone travels through to reach the stomach.
- Bones can easily get stuck in the stomach or intestines and causes constipation or worse a blockage.
- Severe bleeding from the rectum can occur when evaluating bone fragments from the bowels.
- Peritonitis (a bacterial infection of the abdomen) is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines.
The following is a list of health and safety tips that you should follow if you do wish to give your dog a bone:
- Always give your dog a bone under close supervision, never when you are away from him or your home.
- Never allow your dog to chew or break the bone down to a small chunk that he can swallow.
- Separate your dogs in a multi-dog household before feeding bones so that they do not end up fighting over one bone.
- It is best to feed fresh raw bones in a small space like a crate, on a towel or easily cleaned surface, or outside as long as you can supervise him.
- If your dog has recently had restorative dental work, please wait until fully recovered to give him a bone.
- Do not give your dog a bone if he has a predisposition to pancreatitis, the sodium in the bone can pose a serious health risk.
- Do not give your dog a bone if he is prone to GI upset or food sensitivities of any kind.
Yes, dogs do love bones, but please consider the above information when choosing what is right for your pet. If you have any questions about bones, please ask your Veterinarian before introducing any new treat to your dog. Let’s keep our dogs healthy, happy, and safe.
Written by Breah Russell, CCR