While chicken bones and other poultry bones may not be healthy to give dogs, there are many bones that are OK to give them as a treat every now and then. Bones can help improve a dog’s dental health by scraping plaque and food off your dog’s teeth, and give them something to keep them entertained for a few hours. Learn the bones that are healthy to give your dog for overall health.
According to Dr. Ian Billinghurst, author of “Give Your Dog a Bone”, which can be purchased at his website, bonsah.com, only cooked bones are unhealthy for dogs. Cooked bones tend to split and have sharp edges that can damage your dog’s mouth, throat, and intestinal lining, whereas raw meat bones are hardier and full of healthy marrow and meats that your dog can enjoy without risk of the bone “shattering” and your dog consuming small pieces of bone that could damage your dog’s body.
Beef bones are healthier than pork or chicken to feed your dogs, and Dr. Billinghurst even recommends that you can give your dog raw chicken bones as long as it’s a chicken wing, although if this makes you nervous you can give your dog a raw beef bone instead, which is harder and will keep your dog busier longer. You can buy dog bones in most meat departments in the local grocery store, or just shop for beef stew bones with a decent amount of meat on them to feed your dog.
If your dog buries a bone and chews on it later, that’s OK, too. A raw bone buried and then rediscovered later will still be healthy for your dog, akin to aged meat, whereas a buried cooked bone will become rotten and can actually make your dog sick.
There are a lot of minerals and proteins in the marrow and meat of the raw bone you give your dog, and the exercise they get from chewing, tearing, and gnawing on a raw bone is healthy and stimulating for them. Dr. Billinghurst claims that your dog gets all the minerals it needs from eating raw bones.
Raw bones clean your dogs teeth, too. The constant chewing and ripping and gnawing motions massages the gums and keeps tooth decay and plaque at bay, and scrapes tarter and plaque off your dog’s teeth as he chews on the bone’s hard surface.
Give your dog a bone, I guess, and if you are trepidatious upon giving your dog a raw bone, give them a large one that they cannot fit fully in their mouth, and have them enjoy it outdoors where you can watch. My dog gets many beef bones in the summer, and often buries them to rediscover them later, and my veterinarian says that is just fine so long as I stick with beef and not chicken or pork bones. I know my dog loves ’em, and giving her a raw bone keeps her entertained for hours at a time.