Guidelines for Feeding Recreational Bones Safely
The following are do’s and don’ts for feeding recreational raw bones (and yes, they have to be raw, not steamed, boiled or baked):
Do supervise your dog closely while he’s working on a bone. That way you can react immediately if your pup happens to choke, or if you notice any blood on the bone or around your dog’s mouth from over aggressive gnawing. Do not allow your dog to chew it down to a small chunk he can swallow.
Do separate dogs in a multi-dog household before feeding bones. Dogs can get quite territorial about bones and some dogs will fight over them.
Do feed fresh raw bones in your dog’s crate, or on a towel or other surface you can clean, or outside as long as you can supervise him. Fresh raw bones become a gooey, greasy mess until your dog has gnawed them clean, so make sure to protect your flooring and furniture.
Don’t give them to a dog that has had restorative dental work/crowns.
Don’t give them to your dog if she has a predisposition to pancreatitis. Raw bone marrow is very rich and can cause diarrhea and a flare-up of pancreatitis. Instead, you can feed a “low fat” version by thawing the bone and scooping out the marrow to reduce the fat content.
Don’t give a recreational bone to a dog that’s likely to try to swallow it whole or bite it in two and eat it in huge chunks.
Store them in the freezer and thaw one at a time before feeding, or give frozen for a chill treat. Experts also recommend giving your dog a bone to chew after she’s full from a meal. Hungry dogs are more tempted to swallow a bone whole or break it apart and swallow large chunks. This increases the risk of an obstruction in the digestive tract.
- Don’t feed small bones that can be swallowed whole or pose a choking risk.
- Don’t feed pork bones or rib bones. They’re more likely to splinter than other types of bones.
Adapted from: The Animal Keeper