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Dogs & Bones - Answered by C. Robinson

May 22nd, 2001, 02:08 PM
Can you please advise> How much of a risk to her health is it to give my dog Sadie a real bone, now and again. Now it is barbecue time she just loves a pork spare rib.

May 28th, 2001, 11:11 PM

As a general rule don't give any bones to your dog to eat. When a dog breaks a bone especially the brittle or soft bones (chicken, steak, spareribs) they may break forming splinters. This can harm you dog’s digestive system and even perforate its stomach. Bones are very indigestible and have little nutritional value for your dog.

If you really want to offer a bone for your dog to chew on and not EAT, offer him a bone that is bigger than its jaw, a bone that is impossible to break or swallow. Such a bone would be a joint from the cow's knee or shoulder that you can get at the butcher's. Boil the bone and then oven dry it at 200
degrees F for 20 minutes.

You can keep this bone for the life of your dog! (wink)

Chantale Robinson AHT.Bs
Holistic and Alternative
1895 Salaberry

May 29th, 2001, 01:54 PM
Thank you for the advice. I will get the bone you suggest.

Lisa Brencis
November 22nd, 2001, 12:26 AM
That was a wonderful reply about the bones (I had learned the hard and expensive way not to give my dog a raw bone) but I didn't know that I could still use the butcher's bones if I boiled and baked them first. My follow-up question is: How long do you have to boil the bone for?

February 27th, 2012, 09:39 PM
Please, with respect, read about MY personal experiences with bones.

Bone Rules for my pup:

Rule #1: NEVER feed cooked bones. Yes you can't get away with it but this is where bones splinter.
(EDIT: I've never tried the cook/oven technique as I feed a raw meaty bone/prey model diet. My dog has an industrial strength rubber bone that he can chew on when I'm not around)

Rule #2 Always feed uncooked bones but NEVER FEED LOAD BEARING bones such as large cattle marrow bones, leg bones from elk or cattle, etc. This is in my experience and as it harmed my dog or wore his teeth down.

My dog got ahold of a load bearing elk bone and broke a tooth off on it while "chewing" on it. Luckily it was sheered clean off and closed naturally with no infection.

I've found no problem whatsoever with raw bones that are not load bearing YET you have to be careful for bone obstruction. I don't feed my aussie collie anything drumstick size because of this. I would say his favorite is ribrack as of now. He absolutely loves pulling the meat from the bones and crunch, crunch, crunching through them.

All dogs are different so please use common sense in regards to being the BEST companion your dog could ever ask for.


February 28th, 2012, 10:05 AM
Oh My Gosh. Don't we consider that Pet Dr. advice given way back in 2001 to be out of date now? Out of date then too? Raw bones only is what I've been told for about 30 years. Cooking makes a bone more likely to splinter. I know it says for bones not meant to be eaten but I find they always get bits, or hunks, off and eat them.

I've started giving bones again. Raw bones. I did eons ago with no problem but became frightened of the possibility of a fractured tooth. Then I decided that surely that must be a rare occurrence. Like being pierced through the throat with a stick, so I give bones once in a while again, recreationnally. My dog isn't a hard core chewer anyway.

Discussion on the raw versus cooked?

February 28th, 2012, 03:03 PM
Wow that advice is pretty inaccurate! ... and that's also a pretty old thread to revive albeit a good one :)

Absolutely, NEVER give your dog any cooked or baked bones. The heat process makes them hard, dry, and brittle all of which pose risks to your dog. I wouldn't even do it with a very large bone as described in the original advice post.

Millions of dogs eat and survive on raw diets of which a large component is feeding raw bones. Even if your dog is not on a raw diet and will not be injecting any bones, I would still opt for raw vs cooked when giving large bones to chew on.

If you're grossed out by that idea, and think your dog will make a mess in your house, here are a few suggestions:
- give your dog the bone while outside, in a backyard, or a driveway.. some place safe where you can also supervise. This can be done at any time of the year unless your dog gets cold easily.
- give the bone inside a crate with no bedding and close the door! Your dog can happily gnaw on the bone for hours and when he's done, or you're done, take the bone away, wipe the crate floor clean, you can even put the bone away in the fridge for another day.
- or do the above in a space with tiled floor such as a kitchen, gated off so that the dog is confined to this one easy clean area

February 28th, 2012, 07:02 PM
Never give your dog COOKED chicken bones, they get hollow inside and can splinter. However, RAW poultry bones are perfectly safe.