Dogs are predators, so the bones are an integral part of their diet. Another thing is that the question of choosing such a product must be approached very carefully. Otherwise, you can cause irreparable harm to your pet.
Why do dogs love to gnaw bones
Scientists after much research have been able to figure out why all dogs love to gnaw bones.. Once these predators lived and hunted in groups or so-called flocks. The process of adapting wild dogs to schooling occurred about eight million years ago, but under the influence of evolution, the jaws of the ancestors of domestic dogs gradually changed due to the lifestyle and habits of the animal.
For animals with the largest and strongest teeth, as well as the most sturdy jaws, a successful hunt was characteristic, allowing it to survive even in very difficult natural conditions. Thus, the gene responsible for a well-developed jaw apparatus was passed down from generation to generation, and also helped animals to tear and grind even very heavy meat food. Domestic dogs managed to keep such features of wild ancestors, so four-legged pets and to this day just love to gnaw bones.
It is interesting! As a result of numerous studies, it was found that the formation of strong and powerful jaw muscles, as well as fairly large teeth, had to occur during the predator group hunt.
How are bones useful or dangerous?
It is known that the stomach of a domestic dog is sufficiently adapted to the process of bone digestion, but, as practice shows, such products do not have high nutritional benefits, but, on the contrary, can harm a four-legged pet. Quite often, when digging bones, the gastrointestinal tract, as well as other organs of the digestive system, receive serious injuries that adversely affect the quality and longevity of the animal.
Elements of bone fragments often injure the oral cavity, get stuck between the teeth, dig into the gums and get stuck in the throat, causing obstruction or choking.. Splinters stuck in the intestines often cause intestinal obstruction, as well as constipation, alternating with bloody diarrhea. In some cases, the only way to save a pet is surgery.
It is interesting! For show dogs, natural bones are strictly contraindicated, because their crushing often provokes excessive grinding of teeth, damage to the tooth enamel and the development of caries, as well as a change in bite.
What bones should not be given to the dog
Categorically it is impossible to feed a dog tubular bones to a dog of any breed. Gnawing causes the crumbling of such bones into small and very sharp fragments that can pierce the intestinal membrane fairly easily.
Another reason why such bones should not be given to a pet is the risk of bird diseases of an inflammatory or infectious nature. The use of raw chicken bones significantly increases the likelihood of infection with various infections, which can be accompanied by severe poisoning.
Similar requirements apply also to pig bones. Consumption of raw bones with leftover meat to animals can be the main cause of infection of various worms in the home dog. Despite the pronounced softness, even welded bones can cause very great harm. In such bones, a significant amount of gluten is formed, therefore, when it comes into contact with the crushed bones in the digestive tract, a very dense and practically non-digestible lump is formed.
The uncomplicated result of the formation of such a coma will be the appearance of constipation, as well as gastric spastic pain. In severe cases, surgery may be required and a long follow-up rehabilitation period.
Important! As the practice and experience of veterinarians show, it is impossible to feed a pet to a chicken, rabbit and pork, as well as lamb bones, so the acquisition of special chewing bones will be a worthy alternative to such products.
What bones can be given to dogs
Of course, it is absolutely impossible to include natural bones in the daily diet of a pet. This food is classified as very rough products that can overload the jaw and chewing muscles. Nevertheless, it is very useful for a dog of any breed to periodically gnaw the bones during a tooth change, which allows a four-legged pet to receive additional quantities of such important mineral components as calcium and phosphorus.
Only knowing exactly what specific bones are recommended to give to a pet can you diversify the dog’s diet with this product about a couple of times a week. Chicken heads can be a very good alternative to bones.. This affordable and extremely healthy type of food is fed exclusively to adult dogs, necessarily after pre-cutting the beak, which can severely injure the oral cavity, esophagus or gastrointestinal tract.
The dog can easily feed raw beef ribs and meat trim with a large beef thigh. The ribs at the cartilage stage are usually fed to the pet as a whole, but after they gain firmness, their use is required to be abandoned. Small puppies can be given out large beef bones, from which the pet will nibble the remnants of meat. For an adult animal, calf cartilaginous ribs will be optimal, which are almost completely consumed by such a pet.
Important! Remember that even well-cooked beef bones are extremely undesirable to give the animal, since it is such a food that becomes the main cause of indigestion and prolonged constipation.
Consequences of eating bones
As a rule, with limited use of bones of the permitted type, there are no serious consequences. However, the pet owner should be wary of the complications presented:
- Poisoning by pathogenic microflora, toxins and bacteria that accumulate in animal products;
- Violation of the integrity of the enamel on the teeth;
- Damage to the oral mucosa;
- Digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea and indigestion;
- Abundant and prolonged vomiting provoked by bone fragments stuck in the stomach;
- Asphyxiation caused by ingestion of insufficiently chewed bone plates and fragments into the throat.
It should be remembered that chicken tubular bones located on the thighs and wings of a bird are particularly dangerous.. It is also necessary to abandon the bones of the turkey. Such a large bird is slaughtered at the age of two to three years, so the bones are very hard, capable of fairly easily injuring the gastric tract or esophagus. The same problems arise when using goose or duck bones derived from fully adult birds.
At the first sign of a pet’s discomfort after consuming the bones, it is very important to deliver to the nearest veterinary clinic as soon as possible. Very often there is a need for surgery, so any, even slight delay can cause the death of the dog.
Important! Experienced breeders categorically do not recommend feeding boiled bones to dogs of any age, since prolonged heat treatment can destroy almost all useful components in the product.
Draw conclusions – for or against
Some types of such bones not only help to satisfy the natural needs of the dog, but also help to keep the pet’s teeth in perfect healthy condition, removing even very persistent plaque on the tooth enamel.
It is interesting! Among other things, many four-legged pets treat chewing bones as a fun and exciting toy that can effectively stimulate the growth processes of teeth, which is especially important for puppies and age dogs that have already lost their former activity.
Chewing bones differ in several parameters, including the degree of hardness, size and material, therefore, the choice of such a product should be approached very carefully and responsibly. The bones made of pressed leather possess considerable density and sufficient hardness. For large breeds it is required to acquire rather impressive models, and medium and small breeds prefer not too large sticks made on the basis of rawhide. Thus, if there is a desire to treat your pet with a bone, then it is best to choose a safe and useful option – chewing bone.