Raw Meaty Bones

Some of you area going to be a little worried about giving a Raw Meaty Bone. It’s no question that there can be some concerns. These might include ingestion, getting stuck in the mouth / over the jaw, breaking a tooth, or even a resource guarding issue with some dogs / multiple dog homes.

Never feed your dog a cooked bone of any kind. Bones should be Raw.

You can use beef, pork even chicken bones.

It’s important that your dog be appropriately sized for your dog and that you understand your dog’s chewing style, and that you supervise. Examples:

  • Short Rib / Spare Rib bones may be good for many small, mid-size dogs if they gnaw and do not crunch through them quickly.

    • As any bone is reduced in size due to crunching or gnawing, take it away from the dog when it appears to be small enough to swallow.

    • As bones are reduced in size, they can often get caught across the pallette of the upper mouth between the teeth. This MUST be supervised to avoid, but it does happen. If you can’t remove it, it becomes a medical issue.

    • If your dog is crunching through them, the shards can be problematic for ingestion.

  • Leg bones/ Femur of large are extremely hard. These are the one’s most likely to break teeth, though any bone could. You could also break your tooth on a piece of candy. Still with Femurs, have them cut.

    • Cutting long ways would give you an opportunity for a marrow bone with some knowing, but you will be missing the meat, tendons, cartilage, etc that requires your dog to gnaw, tear, strip and shred. Which is really the whole point.

    • If they are cut into “circles” be sure that when the marrow is removed that it is not large enough to slip over your dog’s lower jaw and get hung behind the teeth. That would become a surgical procedure.

If your dog hides bones, you need to know where, so that you can supervise chewing it when he gets it out next.

Generally speaking, take bones away after about 15-20 minutes for most dogs. If it’s unfinished, freeze it for using tomorrow. Keep them only 3-4 days before throwing away.

If you have never given your dog a bone before and do not know his chewing style, you may want to introduce the bone to him slowly and also teach the “out” command. When I give a new dog a bone, we are in a smaller space that he can’t run off and hide from me. I hold the bone to start and let him sniff, start to lick, or gnaw with me holding it. I’m looking for any signs of behavior I should be concerned about, and the ability to teach the dog I will take the bone away. (Be SAFE and do ONLY what you are comfortable and confident with for your dog!) Where needed the dog is crated or gated when they are given a bone.

Dana Brigman