Bones for dogs: benefits and risks of feeding
Can dogs eat bones?
Yes, dogs are allowed to eat bones. However, not all bones are suitable for dogs and there is also a lot to consider in the quantity, otherwise there is a risk of oversupply with calcium as well as constipation. Here we have collected at a glance the most important points on the topic of “feeding bones”:
- Bones should always be given raw and never cooked
- Bones should best be fed only under supervision
- The risks associated with the administration of bones include missupply of minerals, painful bone feces, tooth fractures or other injuries
- Dog owners should check whether bones are suitable for their dog, which bones may be fed and in what amount
What bones are dogs allowed to eat?
Bones should always be fed raw. With boiled or heated bones, the structure changes – they become brittle and can splinter when eaten.
This also applies to the bones of older animals, as they are more porous. Therefore, bones of young animals such as calves or lambs should be fed. The size of the animals also plays a role: While the bones of poultry and small animals are very small and can break or get stuck in the dog’s neck when chewing, bones from larger farm animals are more suitable.
Can dogs eat pork bones?
Many dog owners are still unsettled when it comes to the issue of pork for dogs. This is due in particular to the Aujeszky virus, the so-called pseudo-rage, which is deadly for dogs. However, the notifiable disease has been eradicated in Germany. However, no bones or raw meat from wild boar should still be fed to dogs.
But not only the Aujeszky virus makes raw pork controversial, also threadworms and salmonella can be contained. That is why pork must be boiled. Since this increases the risk of the bones splitting, the gift is discouraged. Processed pork and pork in dried fodder, on the other hand, are harmless.
Benefits of the administration of bones
Some dog owners want to do their dog something good by giving a bone. Maybe just as a reward, but also to relax the dog by chewing or for tooth cleaning by mechanical abrasion of the dental plaques. However, it is not necessary to resort to bones. For example, bovine scalp is suitable as a chewing article.
Risks of bone feeding
Bones are mostly composed of connective tissue, but also contain large amounts of minerals – especially calcium in very large quantities, but also phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Marrow bones and fleshy bones also contribute to the energy supply. Bones are often used to supplement low-mineral feed rations, but also for dental care or employment of the dog. It should be noted that it is not possible to estimate exactly to what extent minerals can actually be removed from the bone and absorbed into the metabolism. The exact supply of, for example, calcium is therefore uncertain.
If too large amounts of bone are consumed, there is an increased risk of oversupply of minerals and of blockages caused by the so-called “bone feces”. Hard or splintering bones also increase the risk of tooth fractures and injuries in the oral cavity and internal digestive organs. How much bone a dog tolerates depends essentially on its size and age, on the type of bone, but also on the composition of the remaining dog food it receives.
With bone feeding to meet the calcium requirement?
Assuming that the amount of bone fed should complement a low-mineral ration – for example, a fresh ration of meat and vegetables – for a full-grown dog, a daily amount of 0.5 to 1 g of bone per kg of body weight of the dog is recommended to meet the calcium requirement.
Starting from a complete recovery and absorption in the intestine, for a large dog with 45 kg body weight, for example, 35 g of calf bone are sufficient daily, a smaller dog with 10 kg body weight would already be adequately supplied with calcium with 8 g of calf bone per day. This is not much, considering that a calf bone of about 30 cm in length weighs more than 1 kg. Head to app developers uk if you have an app idea you want to be developed.