Giving dogs bones to chew .

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Dave
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Giving dogs bones to chew .

Post by Dave »

I was soundly chewed out by my vet a long time ago about giving bones to my Brittanys and haven't given them any for over ten years . His explanation was that they splinter and cause intestinal obstructions and even rips that need surgical intervention :o .I almost got into quite a heated discussion once at my hunting camp A guy gave his Rottie all the bones left over from dinner including Chicken bones . I explained to him what my vet had relayed to me and said he shouldn't give her bones like that . Anyway he proceeded to tell me where to go and in this mixed company I won't explain any farther :roll: I was wondering what people's view on this subject are ? 8) Thanks Dave
Last edited by Dave on Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kat
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Post by kat »

Absolutely no bones for dogs in our house, with the exception of the "sterilized" bones we buy at Petsmart or Petco. I've always heard what your vet said too, especially chicken bones. At least you tried, I would have said the same.
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Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

Almost any RAW bone is okay for dogs. I mean, think about this for a minute.....dogs for thousands of years lived on what they could catch live, and they ate the whole thing, feathers, fur, fins, bones....eating RAW is perfectly natural and dogs are equipped to do this, their digestive system is perfectly set up to eat RAW food. And there are many, many people who have always fed raw, continue to do so, and many more who have switched over to raw feeding, to include bones.

It is COOKED bones that can be deadly :cry: Cooking changes the molecular structure of the bones, as well as killing a lot of the nutritional value of the bone. Cooking (to include steaming) makes the bones much harder, more brittle, and very much indigestible. Most of the RAW bones that dogs chew on or eat are softer than the teeth, therefore are a lot less wearing or harmful to the teeth. Cooked bones however, are VERY hard, and can cause wear and fracturing of the teeth if a dog is particularily aggressive with chewing/gnawing the bones. Cooked bones are almost guaranteed to splinter, and being now indigestible because of the cooking, the more likely to cause internal damage. Fortunately, Mother Nature usually prevails, the bones are thrown up, or if luck holds, pass on through. IMO it is NEVER worth gambling by allowing COOKED bones.

The weight bearing bones (leg bones particularily) are the ones that generally can cause digestive problems, even raw, if they are bitten off into chunks that can be swallowed. But bones from the neck, ribs, back, breast, wing (in fowl) are generally very digestible if fed RAW. It is good practice to leave some meat and cartilage on any bones as this helps clean the teeth, gives the dog lots of exercise ripping and tearing, and makes them a little less inclined to start trying to get the bone into chunks to swallow. Large knuckle bones make good gnawing bones. Neck, rib, back, and breast bones are soft enough that they crush easily and digest very well in most dogs.

A couple rules to keep in mind.....(1) dogs should not be allowed ANY bones unsupervised, and (2) when the bones are the large, gnawing kind (as opposed to the softer crunchier bones like wing and neck meant to be eaten), it is best to limit the time the dog has the bone, a half hour is plenty for a bone chewing session. Other than the bones like neck, wing, back, breast, etc. (depends on what animal we are talking about) that can be crushed and intentionally swallowed, the bigger, stronger bones (like femurs), when they get small enough to swallow, should be taken away just for safety (possible choking) sake.

Of course there are horror stories about bones both cooked and raw, but there are horror stories about a lot of other things given to dogs to ingest as well. I'll tell you right now, rawhides have killed many more dogs than any RAW bones ever did :evil:

Most important is to use common sense about the size and type of bone being fed, or those used as a recreation bone. You don't have to be a raw food advocate to give your dog a raw bone :wink: But above all, you must supervise the bone eating/chewing sessions at all times :!:

There's more, much more :roll: but I'll stop now :wink:
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Post by Lisa »

I was gonna post my opinion, then I read Barb's post and figured I'd save my fingers the typing. So, here's my opinion....Yeah, what Barb said! :D

Actually, one of Britty's most favorite treats is a nice raw beef rib. I buy the beef short rib "familiy packs" when I can find them, then package each rib individually and freeze them. Britty goes ape when I pull out that baggie and hand her a frozen hunk of rib (in the summer....in the winter, I defrost first then give to her). She trots outside, plops herself down and is occupied for a good long while. Call me crazy, but I think it's awesome to watch her sheer enjoyment of that raw meat and bone. I have to laugh when I grocery shop...9 times out of 10, all the meat in the cart is for the dog. I rarely prepare meat at home for myself.

For recreational chewing, I also keep a few smoked knuckle bones and sterilized beef bones lying around. Britty doesn't really chew that often, but she'll go find a bone when she gets the urge.
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Dave
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Post by Dave »

Thanks ,good post as usual Barb :wink: It makes sense that giving them raw bones wouldn't be detrimental to them .My vet made a valid point though and cooked bones are definately dangerous to our fur kids . 8) Dave
Last edited by Dave on Wed May 25, 2005 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Gunner »

When I was a vet tech this was one of the most common things we did....clearing dogs intestinal tracts/colon of clogged bones (of course the cooked leftovers from dinner) and rawhides. Horrible experience and if the impactions are sharp enough to slice the intestines or colon, you've got a serious problem on your hands. Not to mention the risk of choking.

Gunner is only allowed the hard hard Nylabones and if I see him start to get any pieces off they immediately go in the garbage. He has about 3 at any given time and they get tossed and new ones bought about once a month.

Another thing I had a few times as a tech were dogs that could chew off pieces of Kongs. The rubber then gets stuck in the stomach and causes severe infection and surgery would be required to remove the pieces. I am very cautious of Kongs.

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how about the raw hides. Yes or NO?

Post by brbeckley »

I agree about the cooked bones. But what about raw hides? I have never really heard any stories about this and I rarely give them to the dogs but I just recently purchased some for some chew time. Should I toss or keep?

Thanks
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Post by MrsK »

I echo what Barb discussed and add that rawhides are not good

Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

Rennie: Here is a past discussion we had on rawhides:

viewtopic.php?t=516&highlight=rawhides

We covered the pros/cons pretty well. If you have more questions after reading that, just bring them on :)
Last edited by Barb Wright on Wed May 25, 2005 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dave
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Post by Dave »

Rennie ,
Welcome to our discussions . :D We did have quite a discussion about Rawhides and I quit giving them to my Brittanys . I guess I dodged the bullet and my dogs never got bowel obstructions from them . Give the boys a big pet for me :D Dave

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Post by Cindy »

I don't give bones or rawhides any more. Just not worth the risk, although my dogs wouldn't agree with me! They do get an occassional "greenie" though.

Lisa - I like the idea of buying short ribs and freezing them individually. What a nice summertime treat! I know what you mean about grocery shopping ... the checkout people often say "gee, I wish I was one of your dogs!"
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kat
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Post by kat »

So at my grocery store, they have bags of raw bones marked as "for dogs". Are those good to give? What do I need to watch for? I just have never given any bones to any of my dogs, but if those are ok, I might for a big treat.
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Post by Allison »

never gave zeus a raw bone, as far as rawhide goes, he has a bone that he carries around the house but dose not chew it. He like to greet you at the door with the bone in his mouth.

Now when you say raw bones,do they have meat on them. you just buy like a short rib?
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Barb Wright
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Post by Barb Wright »

kat wrote:So at my grocery store, they have bags of raw bones marked as "for dogs". Are those good to give? What do I need to watch for? I just have never given any bones to any of my dogs, but if those are ok, I might for a big treat.
Kat: Here's my take on it.....you want to stay away from the weight bearing bones (which is pretty much the marrow bones like leg bones) from the large animals like beef. Even the wolves don't eat those. These are the seriously hard bones that can break or fracture teeth. The large knuckle bones, are okay and yes, any bone that has some meat left on it is good for ripping/tearing which cleans the front teeth and is good exercise.

Whatever recreation bones you get, limiting chew time is a good idea, say 1/2 hour, then just plop what's left back in the freezer for another day. And when/if the pieces get small enough to possibly swallow you should take them away and toss them. This is about the big chewing/recreation bones.

The smaller bones like chicken backs/wings/necks, lamb breast/ribs/necks, turkey/duck/rabbit, etc., these bones are meant to be crunched and swallowed, so would be considered part of the food intake for the day.

Whatever, the dog should never be left alone with a bone...this should always be a supervised event. You don't need to stand there and stare at them, just be close enough so you can hear and occasionally glimpse them.

Keep in mind that dogs are equipped to do this...they have the right teeth and the right digestive system.....and they have been doing it for quite a few thousand years.....the only caveat, the must be RAW :)

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Post by Bernie's mom »

Thanks for this post!
Bernie has never tasted rawhide and he never will, I've heard too many bad things... of course, am I doing any better by giving him pork rollups, and pig ears? I seem to remember hearing that pig products are digestable where rawhide is not?
We don't give Berns any people food AT ALL and we're very proud of ourselves for not caving! He does not get any bones, but I will buy him a smoked knuckle bone once in a while. I did get him a smoked rib bone once, is that ok?
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