Some pet professionals do not recommend feeding of bones to dogs. However if the certain rules are followed the benefits of giving bones can outweigh the risks. Dogs love bones especially large knucklebones, which they will gnaw on for hours. They provide calcium in the best form, keep teeth clean and are good for the digestive tract.
Some good rules to follow are:
- No cooked bones. Cooked bones have a tendency to splinter and can get stuck in the mouth and easily tear through the throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines and more and they are also nutritionally inferior to fresh raw meaty bones.
- Introduce your puppy at an early age to raw meaty bones. This will allow you to safely control their chewing habits.
- You should be able take the bone safely from your dog without him becoming aggressive.
- If you have more than one dog, separate them to ensure they do not fight over them or competitively cause them to be eaten too quickly.
- Make sure your dog does not consume too much at one sitting – little and often is the rule.
- Choose bones that are bigger than your dog can swallow and discard bones when they get smaller than your dog can swallow.
- Discard any small pieces that break off.
- Always supervise your dog when chewing on any bones.