Give a Dog a Bone or Not?

by on 18/04/11 at 1:09 pm

How often have you heard that you weren’t supposed to give your dog any chicken bones? If you grew up with dogs, you have probably heard it often. Horrible tales of chicken bones getting stuck in the neighbor’s poodle put the fear of death into your little head. It is actually true if you are discussing bones that are cooked. Cooking results in dry, brittle and splintering bones. Cooked bones are dangerous for dogs.

If you are discussing raw bones, you are talking about softer, flexible bones that a dog can digest easily. If you speak with someone who is feeding their dog raw diet, they will tell you about RMB’s, raw meaty bones. These include the edible bone that is half meat and half bone. Not only do dogs love the taste, they love chewing. Chewing on these meaty bones will help to keep teeth clean and their gums healthy. They are a nutritional addition to your dog’s diet. Some good choices are chicken necks, leg quarters or backs, lamb neck and breast, pork necks and breast and chicken leg quarters.

Most dogs will not have a problem with raw bones. Some will. This is true of dogs that will not chew, but instead try to swallow big chunks of this delicacy. The least safe of the bones are round meaty bones, such as marrow bones. Turkey necks have been known to cause big dogs to choke because they love to swallow whole. Chicken necks will cause problems with small dogs.

Your dog should always be supervised when they are eating. It will also be to your advantage to learn the Heimlich maneuver for dogs. It is plain to see that there are risks to feeding whole bones to dogs. If this is your concern, you can grind the bones or cut them into smaller pieces. Bones can also be cooked in a pressure cooker. Cooking them in a pressure cooker makes the bones safe to eat. Knuckle bones are also good. The dog cannot fit them into their mouths in most cases.

The bones that are mentioned above are considered soft bones. This is the case if you are a dog. Beef bones are very hard. There is the possibility that a dog can break a tooth on a beef bone. Some may give them to their dogs for recreation, but that too can break a tooth. Extra caution needs to be shown with older dogs. As dogs age, their teeth get softer.

Small and toy dogs can have some damage to the esophagus at times. It is important to consult with people who are feeding their dog a raw homemade diet. It is also advisable to consult with your veterinarian. Reading posts on the internet can get you running in circles if you read on and on. It is best to talk to the voices of experience that are in your dog circles. Responsible dog owners and breeders are great sources of information in any aspect of keeping your dog healthy and happy.

Kelly Marshall is a popular contributor at – where you can find a cute dog costumes for Halloween, dog steps, and more unique dog gear that you’ll never find at your local pet store.

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  • Thanks for this info! I just made some organic chicken stock in my pressure cooker and as I was straining the stock I noticed the bones were soft enough to crumble completely with just a slight pinch between my fingers, so my wheels got to turning: would it be safe to feed my carrot loving little Yorkie the soft bones WITH the mushed carrots?

    Your blog post was the first to pop up when I decided to search the internet for an answer as I wanted to only give him safe foods. I love stretching the goodness of wholesome foods in my home either through saving scraps for composting and now making stock from veggie scraps and carcasses. Our 10-yr. old furry kid is going to love this new treat! I'll be sharing your post with my friends.

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