Most people think of bones as a harmless treat for your pup. Plenty of owners consider it totally normal to give their dog a bone to keep them busy and to help their teeth. It's true, your dog does love them, but bones have actually been found to be very dangerous for our pooches.
Here are the four main risks in giving your dog a bone.
More and more veterinarians consider bones directly responsible for serious injuries to the digestive system in dogs.
While all bones are potentially dangerous, it's the ingestion of small ones that carry the most risk for our furry friends. For that reason, chicken and rabbit bones should be avoided at all costs!
Smaller bones are generally sharper and can easily perforate your dog's digestive organs (especially the esophagus, stomach, or intestines). An internal tear requires immediate surgery, and it can even be fatal in certain cases.
Besides just causing tearing, bones can easily get stuck in the esophagus, trachea, or stomach of your dog. Simply swallowing the small shards of bone can cause an obstructing which might have dire consequences. If one of your dog's organs are obstructed, your pup will, again, require emergency surgery.
Without necessarily having as serious of consequences as those listed above, your dog could still break one or multiple teeth while chewing on a bone. They could also cut up their gums, palate, or tongue which can result in intense pain and heavy bleeding.
Ingested bone fragments can cause constipation in your canine and irritate his rectum to the point of causing bleeding or even peritonitis (inflammation of the lining around the organs in the abdominal cavity). If peritonitis is not treated extremely quickly, it could be fatal.
In addition to all the risks, the nutritional benefits commonly associated chewing bones- notably calcium intake- are considered erroneous by the grand majority of vets. Certain supermarkets in the U.S. have started to remove natural bones from their shelves because of the significant number of deaths associated with their consumption.
Only large bones (beef bones, for example), should be considered for your dog- and that's only if they're meaty, unbroken, and without any sharp ends. However, it is encouraged to forgo the risk all together and avoid giving your pooch any bones. Make sure to keep your eyes open in case he or she finds one when you're out and about. If that's the case, calmly try and take it away.
If you want to give your pup something to chew on, stick to the toys and treats designed for this purpose in your local pet store. Your dog will thank you!