Should you give the dog a bone?

December 1, 2022

Sunday roast over? Puppy-dog eyes staring up at the leftovers? This is one occasion when you really mustn’t give in – however harsh it seems. The team at Molesey Vets have shared exactly why you shouldn’t give your dog a bone below.

Contact us for more advice on treats

It might seem that a bone is the most natural treat you could give your dog, but there a few potential dangers that can come out of feeding cooked bones and it’s essential you understand what these are.

What about raw bones you might be thinking…. we have included some information on these below too, but suggest you contact us for advice  before feeding raw bones to your dog.

Dangers of cooked bones

Feeding cooked bones to your dog should always be avoided, as they pose a threat to your dog’s digestive system and intestines.

Our Vet, Darren Partridge, explains that the cooking process dehydrates bones and causes them to become brittle. This increases the likelihood of them splintering and causing serious internal damage.

Here are some of the injuries that cooked bones can lead to:

  • Broken teeth
  • Mouth and tongue injuries
  • Pieces of bone splinters getting stuck in the oesophagus, windpipe, stomach, or intestines
  • A bone splinter could puncture your dog’s stomach
  • Constipation due to bone fragments
  • Severe bleeding from the rectum
  • Peritonitis (a bacterial infection of the abdomen caused if bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines)
  • Intestinal blockage caused by gristle that could require surgical removal

Besides all of that, cooking the bones removes any nutritional value!

The debate on raw bones

Raw bones can be a good source of nutrition and it has been suggested they can improve skin and joint health. Not only that, the act of chewing can help to keep your dog’s teeth in good condition. However, it’s important you select appropriate bones for your dog’s age, breed, and size.

Never leave your dog unattended with a raw bone and, if you have more than one dog, it’s best to separate them if feeding them bones as they get very territorial over them.

There is a lot of speculation around feeding raw bones to dogs, such as whether they carry bacteria like salmonella or e-coli, so it’s best to contact us if you have any questions.

Food emergencies!

At Molesey Vets in Surrey, we know that accidents happen and some dogs will get their paws on food they shouldn’t no matter how careful you are, so remember we are always here for emergency care too.

Learn about our emergency care service


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