Bones are beneficial for dogs and dog owners alike. They taste great and are super entertaining for our pups, but more importantly they’re good for them, too. Chewing bones strengthens jaws, cleans teeth, reduces bad breath, and supplies both physical and mental stimulation thereby helping manage destructive behaviors. Natural bones are also a good source of nutrients, such as calcium and other minerals. But these many benefits are only enjoyed if the bone is the right fit for you pooch. Choosing the incorrect type and size for your dog’s unique needs could do more harm than good. Here’s three simple tips to help you select the right bone for your dog.
Go Natural and Raw
When selecting a bone, we suggest only natural, raw options. Artificial and processed chews like rawhide bones are notoriously unsafe and often contain toxic chemicals and preservatives (more info that here). That leaves you with cooked or raw natural bones. Cooked bones have fewer nutritional benefits and are usually quite brittle. If a sharp splinter breaks off during chew time, your pup could suffer damage to their teeth, gums, throat, intestines and more. Raw natural bones are the only way to go.
Pick the Right Size
The right bone is neither too small nor too big. A bone’s that too small could easily be swallowed, becoming lodged in the throat or stomach; and bones that are too large can damage teeth, and may contain too much fat content for smaller pups. As a general rule, aim for a bone that’s bigger than the length of your dog’s muzzle, but nothing much larger than that.
Consider Your Pup’s Age, Health and Personality
Is your dog an aggressive chewer? Do they still have puppy teeth, or did they recently have dental work? Do they have a sensitive tummy? Are they prone to allergies? Your dog’s unique health profile and personality should be considered when choosing the correct bone.
To prevent choking, give bones only after feeding, which will curb the temptation to swallow bones or bone fragments whole. It’s a good idea to supervise chew time also, so you can take away small or finished pieces before they become a choking hazard. Additionally, separate dogs when offering bones, as even the friendliest pups can become territorial when tasty bones are involved.