Benefits of Feeding Raw Bones to your Dogs

New Year’s Resolution…
Keeping my pups teeth clean!

Since the New Year is here, and many of us have set “New Year’s Resolutions”, we wanted to dedicate this entire issue to one important topic: Your dog’s Oral Health and the role of raw bones.
Do bones help keep teeth clean? Are they safe? Are there other benefits to giving a dog a bone? How do I introduce bones to my pup?
These questions and more are addressed below.

And remember, Bonnie’s Barkery offers Anesthesia Free Teeth Cleaning Clinics to help your pup (or kitty) get back on track.

What are the benefits of feeding raw bones?

Cleaner teeth: “Chewing” action and enzymes from the raw bone help break down and remove plaque.

Provides healthy chewing option for growing puppies: Puppies have a physical and psychological need to chew. It is important to provide appropriate outlets for this behavior (not your shoes!)

Provides recreation activity for adult dogs

Poultry bones contain “wet” glucosamine: The natural form of glucosamine is easier for the dog to digest and utilize.

Are raw bones safe to feed?  I’ve always heard that I should never give a bone to a dog.

Dogs should never be fed cooked bones. When bones are cooked, the structure of the bone changes and becomes more likely to splinter and less digestible. Raw bones are far less likely to cause injury to pets, however, any time a dog is given a chew toy, they should be supervised.

How should raw bones be introduced into a dog’s diet?

If the dog is already eating raw food, it is an easy introduction. Simply offer the dog the bone and watch to see that the dog chews it, instead of trying to gulp it down.

We recommend giving the bones frozen, this way the marrow is harder for the dog to remove which makes it last longer, and also lessons the chance of the dog getting loose stools from the rich marrow.

If this is the first introduction to raw food, you will want to do it slowly. Give the dog the bone for no longer than 10-15 minutes, remove it and wrap it up, refrigerate and save it for the next day.

After one or two days of this, the dog should tolerate the bone without any difficulties. As when introducing anything new into your pet’s diet, watch for signs of loose stool and adjust the schedule accordingly.

Can I give my puppy raw bones?

Yes, a puppy can very much benefit from chewing on the raw bones. To begin a puppy on bones, a very good place to start is in the bathtub. Lay a bath towel down and give the puppy the size appropriate bone, following the recommendations above. This will teach the puppy at an early age that bones are something to be chewed on in one place, and not carried around the house.

After the puppy has matured enough to understand the concept, you can then transfer them to a sheet or blanket on a hard surface floor. After one or two times of the puppy losing the bone for trying to carry it off, they learn pretty quickly to stay put.

Of course if you are giving the bones outside, it won’t be necessary to go through this method.

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