Many dog owners feed animal bones to their pets because it helps clean their teeth and provide mental stimulation. However, there are some conditions to be met for safe feeding.
First, cooked meat bones should never be given as these become brittle and can break into jagged little pieces. The shards can block his airway, injure his mouth, throat, and esophagus, or be left in his stomach. In addition, the ingredients used to cook the bones may be poisonous for him. Salt, onion, and garlic are some toxic examples.
Giving your pooch raw bones is a better option, but there are risks that come with serving them. These include bacterial contamination such as salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli, clostridium perfringens, and yersinia. If you are really keen on feeding your dog raw bones, it is advisable to get them from trusted sources.
How to feed bones to your dog: Choose a raw bone that’s about the size of your dog’s head. This lessens the chances of your pooch breaking off a chunk of the bone and swallowing it by accident. Always keep a close eye on your dog as he gnaws on the bone.
Avoid letting him munch on round bones as these can cause broken teeth, root infections, abscesses, and other health problems.
What to do if your dog accidentally eats cooked bones: Find out how many pieces your dog ate and how big the bones were. Observe him closely for the next 24 hours. There might be something blocking his airway if he displays these symptoms: difficulty in breathing, coughing, gagging, drooling, and distress. Take him to the vet immediately if any of these signs manifest. Similarly, call your vet if your dog vomits, becomes lethargic, loses his appetite, has dark-coloured stool, and shows difficulty in defecating.
In summary: Consult with your veterinarian before feeding your dog raw bones such as lamb, ham, chicken, and pork. Find out if your canine will truly benefit from having it in his diet, and if so, discover which type of animal bone provides him with the best nutritional value.
Explore our “can dogs eat” category to discover which human foods you can safely feed your pet dog.