Should you feed your dog raw bones?
On the fence about whether to feed your dog raw bones or not? Let me help you. Here are 4 reasons why it’s a good idea to ‘give a dog a bone‘.
Reason #1: Raw Bones Keep Their Teeth Clean
This is not an old wives tale, it’s the God’s honest truth! Raw, meaty bones are Mother Nature’s tooth brush for dogs. When they gnaw with the sides of their teeth it scrapes off all the plaque. And when they rip and tear at a bone the strings of meat act like dental floss between their teeth. True story!
You might be amazed at how important saliva is for dogs, and here’s why…
When dogs are fed things like raw bones they salivate. When they salivate over something like a raw bone, the saliva they create is thick, mucus-y and packed with enzymes. Those enzymes actually create an immunity toward parasites, allergies and illness. But in order to create those healthy enzymes they need something extremely tasty; processed food just won’t cut it! There’s a reason they’re carnivores, it’s just how their bodies are designed. So if you want your dog to be healthier, give them a bone. I know, it seems gross. But if you consider it their own built in natural immunity, why wouldn’t you give them a bone? If you’re worried about the mess, maybe give it to them outside in the yard instead of in the house!
Reason #3: Raw Bones Hydrate Dogs
Believe it or not, for dogs there’s a difference between drinking water and hydrating. Dog’s can’t actually hydrate from just water. In order to properly hydrate, they need the moisture from meat. Reason being is that meat contains specific vitamins, minerals and nutrients that dogs need. Those nutrients absorb into a dog’s system and properly hydrate their organs. So as they ingest the meat from the bone, the moisture containing the nutrients they need hydrates and nourishes them. Huh!
And Finally, Reason #4: It Makes Them Happy
And if those reason’s don’t convince you maybe this one will. It makes them happy! You ever watch a dog chew a bone? Every fiber in their being is happy. They lick, they salivate and they work their jaw muscles. Their inner wolf feels like a stealthy hunter and their tails never stop wagging. Not to mention the enjoyment of the amazing flavor of a juicy, raw, meaty bone! They feel a genuine happiness for hours!
Never Feed Cooked Bones:
Just a reminder to never feed cooked bones. Two things happen once a bone is cooked. One, the integrity of the bone becomes brittle and can splinter. If they swallow those splinters, they can cut their esophagus and endanger their digestive system. And two, once they’re cooked they lose all those natural juices dogs need for hydration. Not to mention they no longer work to clean their teeth. So if you do decide to give your dog a bone, make sure it’s raw!
Brenda McBurnie is a professional certified dog trainer and behavior expert who has always had a deep love for dogs. She opened a dog daycare/health food store for dogs in 2002, but has recently sold her successful dog business in exchange for dog blogging.
Her blog, doggiebloggie.ca focuses on positive reinforcement dog training and dog health & nutrition. She completed her small animal natural nutrition certification and has used that along with all her years of experience working with dogs to create an educational, easy to read blog about dogs.