Your Questions: Bones For Dogs?

Hi Katarina,
Can you please advise what are the best bones to give Chinno (choc spoodle) I have just read your article on how you give Ben a bone at that crazy time at dusk and would like to do the same.

Hi Lucy,

This is a good question that lots of people ask me, bones exercise the jaw muscles, clean teeth, and release feel-good hormones in your dog, as well as keeping them out of mischief. There are a few options for you.

Chinno is still a baby puppy, so chicken wings or chicken wing tips would be ideal for Chinno to chew on. For smaller puppies chicken necks are really good.

For the larger or older dogs, or if you need something a little longer lasting, chicken frames are great, brisket bones (this is the chest plate of the beast), and beef marrow bones work wonders.

The beef marrow can be huge, so I have my butcher cut it in to quarters for my dog. My old dog was trying to get the marrow out of a whole bone once and the suction trapped his tongue in the bone! It took two of us to unstick him from it. It was only funny because we were home at the time, otherwise I would hate to think what would have happened- another reason to have the bone quartered.

You also have the option of man made ‘bones’. Ben loves natural knot bones and these keep him entertained for ages. Plastic bones are also available, although Ben never took to these. Smoked lamb and beef bones are also an option. Pig trotters, ears and snouts will also keep Chinno entertained. With these products its all a matter of finding what Chinno likes. Many of these products are found in the pet food isle of your supermarket.

Just a couple of things to be aware of when giving your dog a bone. If it is a substantial bone it should replace one meal, otherwise your dog can become overweight. Also, some dogs cannot tolerate bones (particularly marrow bones), it is very common for these dogs to vomit and have diarrhoea for days after having a bone. Unfortunately, then you are limited to the man made bone products.

I advocate throwing the bone away after a day or two but not while your dog is eating it. Throwing the bone away ensures your dog won’t become ill from eating rancid meat, it will also keep pests (such as rats, flies and mice) away.

On a final note, leave your dog alone to enjoy their bone, no pats, no taking the bone away. If you are concerned about possession aggression, taking the bone away will make things worse. Rather than take the bone away, give your dog a nice treat while they are eating their bone- they will soon come to love your hand being close to them.

Thanks for your question Lucy. If anyone else would like to contribute, or ask a question I would love to hear from you.



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