Dogs derive much pleasure from gnawing bones. They have some nutritional value and are useful in helping to keep their teeth clean and their gums healthy. Bones can cause some problems.
Cooked vs raw bones for dogs
Raw bones are a great way for dogs to satisfy their instinctual urge to chew while getting the nutrition they need. Raw meaty bones, such as chicken, turkey and lamb, are all good options.
The key is that they’re raw and meaty. If you give your dog a cooked steak bone, it may splinter and hurt him internally. Most raw bones that have not been cooked are edible for dogs.
Many dogs love chewing on bones and will seek them out naturally, but there are some precautions that need to be taken before you let your dog in on the fun.
With raw bones, the main concern is making sure that the dog chews thoroughly enough to avoid choking.
Cooked bones tend to splinter into sharp fragments and if these are swallowed some severe complications can result. Sharp pieces irritate the lining of the stomach and small intestine and induce vomiting. If passed further down the intestinal tract, severe discomfort can result.
Can I give my dog raw bones from the butcher?
The answer is not always simple. Many pet owners swear by raw bones for their dogs, but this practice has come under fire in recent years as research has shown that a large number of the bones sold at butcher shops are contaminated with salmonella.
What bones do vets recommend?
In general, any bone that is made of a hard material and has no small pieces or sharp edges is safe for dogs to chew on.
The safest bones are those that come from animals such as cows, pigs, and sheep. These bones can be purchased in most grocery stores.
Dogs need to chew on something in order to exercise their jaw muscles and keep their teeth healthy. It also helps them relax after they’ve had a stressful day or playtime with other dogs or people!
How long should a dog chew on a bone?
You can let your dog chew for hours if you want, but the recommended amount of time is just 10-15 minutes.
A dog’s natural inclination is to chew as often as possible. This is because chewing helps to alleviate some of the pain that comes with teething. It also helps dogs to relax, and it keeps their teeth nice and clean.
Of course, dogs don’t really know how long is too long when it comes to chewing on bones. They cannot tell time as humans can, so they don’t know when they should stop chewing and move on to something else.
This means that if you want your dog to stop chewing on his bone after a certain amount of time, then it’s up to you to figure out how long he should chew in the first place. Some experts say that you should take away any chew toy from your pup after about 15 minutes of gnawing on it.
What happens if a dog eats cooked bones?
The bones progress through the small intestines until they reach the large bowel. The muscle contractions of the large bowel are not as rapid as in the small intestine and the contents of the large bowel are not as fluid. Here the bones tend to be concentrated into a hard mass which is difficult for the muscle wall to expel.
The lining of the rectum becomes inflamed and despite frequent and intense straining the dog cannot pass the mass through the length of the rectum. Small amounts of blood-stained mucous are passed and the dog becomes depressed, refuses to eat, but often drinks water which it vomits.
By the time these symptoms become apparent to the owner, the degree of impaction can be severe. One of the physiological functions of the large bowel is to absorb water. The longer the contents of the bowel take to pass through, the more moisture is removed until the residue resembles concrete.
The treatment of the constipation of the dog is not simple. Owners often administer human laxatives, such as castor oil, which act as an irritant to the small intestine and can worsen the dog’s discomfort. Even laxatives that are designed to increase the muscle contractions of the large bowel should not be used. The bowel content is usually hard and often has protruding sharp pieces, and penetration of the wall of the bowel may result from these artificially forced contractions.
Liquid paraffin is the safest substance to administer. It is a heavy mineral oil which is not absorbed and its sole action is to lubricate the passage of the mass over the lining of the bowel.
In most cases, it is not sufficient merely to administer paraffin oil. Anesthesia of the animal is usually necessary in order to administer enemas. Solutions are used to break down the hardened mass into smaller fragments which can be removed carefully through the anus. It is not unusual to have to repeat the enemas two or three times over a period of 24 hours, to relieve a severe case of impaction.
Antibiotics are usually administered to prevent infection of the damaged tissues of the bowel and fluids are given intravenously to help combat dehydration and provide some source of energy to the patient, which might not have taken food for some days.
Dogs can become constipated without having eaten bones. Sometimes a long period of inactivity during bad weather or the eating of foreign substances, such as gravel or cat litter, can bring about similar problems.
As dogs age, their ability to cope with large numbers of bones diminishes. One large raw bone a week is probably enough to keep the teeth clean and free of scale.