Safe Dog Bones

There are many dog bones on the market today. Knowing how to choose a safe dog bone could save your pet’s life and improve their overall health.

Why Dog Bones Are Necessary

Chewing is a natural response in dogs. If no bone is available, they will chew your furniture, shoes or whatever else they can find. Providing dogs with a safe dog bone may curb this destructive behavior. The chewing action actually has some necessary functions. It improves their dental health by scraping off plaque and tartar. It helps with doggie breath and keeps their teeth whiter. Chewing may also keep away gum disease and other serious problems.

Chewing entertains your dog and keeps him active. If you’re having trouble getting an older dog to participate in activities, giving him a dog bone will stimulate his mind and motivate him to move and play. Puppies chew to relieve pain while teething, much like a baby.

Three Main Types of Dog Bones

There are three main types of dog bones. Rawhide bones are made from a layer of hide on cattle. Natural rawhide bones are hard and have been infused with flavorings. Pressed rawhide bones are softer than natural rawhide bones and have been molded or pressed into the shape of a bone. Rawhide bones last longer and can give your dog hours of entertainment.

Manufactured bones are a safe alternative in dog bones. They are usually made of nylon or rubber. They are made so that they will not splinter or cause the dog to choke. They are long lasting and can be found in a variety of flavors that are tasty and nutritious.

The third choice in dog bones is raw bones. You can buy these bones at a butcher shop or save them from your own cooking. A new trend in dog food is the BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) diet which takes the dog back to its original diet as hunters in the wild. The FDA recently released a statement saying that raw bones are not safe for your pet because the dog may swallow pieces of the bone which may cause digestive problems. Raw bones may also splinter and pierce soft tissue in the mouth and esophagus.  

How to Choose a Dog Bone

There are many things to take into consideration when choosing a dog bone that is safe and nutritious. Choose a bone that:

  • Is the appropriate size for your dog
  • Promotes dental health
  • Has nutritious value
  • Has not been sawed or cut
  • Is hard and will not break into pieces easily

No matter which type of bone you choose, there is always some risk. Always supervise your dog when you give it a bone. If the bone becomes small or breaks into pieces, take it away so that the dog doesn’t choke. If he shows signs of choking, know the canine Heimlich maneuver to remove the obstruction. This could save your dog's life.