Bones are a big part of your dog’s world and are essential to providing a happy, healthy life. Since most bones for dogs are derived from turkey, chicken, beef, lamb and pork, they provide important nutrients such as phosphorus and calcium.
There are a variety of different types of bones for dogs that provide a wide range of benefits.
Table of Contents
Types of Dog Bones
- Natural Beef Bones – Natural bones are heat sterilized, long-lasting and provide dental benefits as well as jaw exercise for your dog.
- Rawhide Bones – Most rawhide bones adhere to high quality standards and are made from premium beef. They come tightly knotted in order to provide your dog with hours of chewing and keeping his mind occupied.
- Dental Bones – These bones will help maintain your dog’s dental health by keeping gums and teeth clean and healthy. In addition, dental bones will keep your dog’s breath fresh.
- Nylabones – These nylon-based bones are almost indestructible and are a great option for dogs that tend to go through rawhide bones quickly.
- Bone-Hard Chews – Not only do these bone-hard chews provide dental benefits for your dog, but they are long-lasting. They are specifically designed to slowly break down and lessen the risk of splintering.
- Healthy Chews – These bones are a healthy choice for your dog. They are low-calorie, made of natural ingredients and are easily digestible. Healthy Chews are a wise selection if your dog is trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Choosing the Right Bone for Your Dog
Your dog’s chewing habits and chewing rate will determine what type of bone is best suited for him.
Rawhide bone that easily softens will be best suited if your dog only chews for a short period of time. If your dog is an aggressive chewer the Natural Beef Bones are a beneficial choice. Some dogs are picky when it comes to what flavor, texture, hardness and size of the bone. You may have to try a few different varieties before you find the perfect one for your dog.
In the end, the dog bone you choose should captivate his mind and keep his attention, as well as provide health benefits.
Possible Risks of Rawhide Bones
Due to the popularity and amount of rawhide dog bones sold and given to dogs each year, the risks are low. However, there are times when a serious situation may arise. Learn the symptoms and signs to look for when your dog consumes rawhide bones.
- Digestive Upset – Your dog may be allergic or sensitive to the substances in a rawhide bone. The symptoms will appear within 24 hours after your dog consumes his first rawhide treat. Diarrhea is one of the main symptoms that will alert you that your dog is experiencing sensitivity to a rawhide bone.
- Blockages – Blockages within your dog’s digestive tract usually happens if your dog swallows large rawhide pieces without fully chewing it. If your dog tends to eat the rawhide bone quickly, there is a possibility of this happening. Large pieces of rawhide can get stuck in the throat as well. If your dog experiences choking, abdominal swelling or lack of appetite, you will want to contact the veterinarian immediately. Depending on the placement of the rawhide piece it may require surgery.
- Contamination – Occasionally, rawhide bones can have small traces of Salmonella, E. coli or chemicals that can lead to contamination. If your dog experiences symptoms such as an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea or becomes lethargic after consuming a portion or an entire rawhide bone, contact the veterinarian immediately.
Although the risks of your dog experiencing contamination, blockages or digestive issues are low, you will want to take measures to prevent them from happening in the first place.
There are a few simple rules to follow:
- Choose the Right Size – The general rule is if your dog is a toy or small breed, choose a small dog bone, if your dog is a medium to large breed choose a larger size. This is a great starting point. The reason you will want to begin with this rule is to prevent your dog from consuming a rawhide bone that is so small that he can swallow the entire bone at once and choke.
- Observe Your Dog’s Behavior – After offering your dog the right size bone, keep a close eye on his behavior while chewing it. If your dog tends to chew the bone in large pieces, remove it from him immediately and replace it with a soft treat until you discuss this with the veterinarian.
- Get Immediate Veterinarian Assistance – If your dog is experiencing symptoms such as lack of energy, fever, weight loss, repeated swallowing, gagging or regurgitation, seek veterinarian assistance immediately. These are signs of possible gastric irritation.
Provide your dog with his favorite flavorful bone when he is in a relaxed state. This will allow him to calmly chew on the bone and keep him occupied. Avoid providing a bone to your dog when he is in a hyper state and full of energy. This type of excited state of mind will cause him to chew the bone aggressively and quickly, which can cause digestive discomfort or other symptoms.
Bones for dogs caters to your dog’s natural urge to chew. Remember to provide the right type of bone for your dog and also to take preventative measures.