You must have always wondered why there is such a strong bond between a dog and a bone.
What is it that makes a dog happy while chewing a bone? And what are the urges that make a dog do such a thing?
We all know that dogs like to bite almost everything they get their sharp little teeth on, but why do dogs like bones in particular? For some unknown reason, it seems to satisfy them.
In today’s post, we will try to give you a clear (but in-depth!) answer to this simple question. We’ve come up with amazing information that we can’t wait to share with you.
Let’s get to the point!
Why Do Dogs Like Bones?
Here is a quick answer before we go in-depth:
Dogs like bones because:
- they are tasty and full of nutrients;
- they help them clean their teeth;
- chewing bones keeps their jaw strong;
- it’s a fun activity;
- it’s deeply rooted in their nature.
Now, we can explore these reasons a bit further and see how everything works and why.
#1 – Bones Are an Additional Source of Nutrients
It may sound strange to you, but bones are extremely rich in nutrients.
Besides some naturally present macronutrients, they include minerals such as calcium. For example, bone marrow is an excellent source of calcium. We all know that calcium is an important mineral that contributes to stronger bones. The presence of calcium will also improve muscle function, blood coagulation, and even night vision.
Therefore, numerous dog diets include higher dosages of calcium, and the bone itself can serve as an additional supplement.
In addition to the mineral that bone contains, it also includes fat. The fat found in the bones binds nutrients and minerals in one place. The healthy fat found in bones has a healing effect on your dog’s skin!
Dogs get an opportunity to ingest the optimal amount of calcium by chewing bones.
Quick Tip: Take care of the way you give your dog a bone! Avoid boiling the bones and giving them to your dog. A cooked bone will be brittle! This means that dogs will be prone to swallowing tiny pieces of the bone that can jam in their throat and may even cause them to suffocate.
#2 – Bones Are a Helpful Tool For Maintaining Oral Hygiene
According to VCA animal hospital statistics, 80% of dogs have dental problems after three years of age!
Very stunning statistic, right?
The reason for this is irregular dental hygiene.
By maintaining regular dental hygiene, you will make your dog grateful in the long run. This is where a simple bone now and then could help your dog a lot!
We recommended that you give your dog 1 to 2 bones in a week. However, it would be best to make sure you take a break for a few days between the two bones.
But how is it good for their teeth?
The constant biting of the bone can act as a toothbrush!
We know it sounds funny, but in that way, the dogs additionally clean their teeth and strengthen their gums.
How does it do that?
By chewing the bone, the dog promotes the secretion of saliva. Saliva has an antibacterial effect and prevents the appearance of plaque. If the plaque is not removed in time, it can form tartar on the root of your dog’s teeth, leading to tooth decay which can be disastrous to vital organs.
In addition to the positive effects on the teeth, bone chewing can even be a great thing to prevent bad breath!
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should stop brushing your dog’s teeth completely! On the contrary, dental hygiene is incredibly important, and you should take care of it in the best possible way.
Nevertheless, it’s always good to hear that something as simple and affordable as a bone can go such a long way in helping with your dog’s overall health!
#3 – Bones Help Your Dog Keep Up the Good Mood
Just as with us humans, the mood of our dogs can vary.
The environment, the temperature, or just having a bad day is enough to make your dog feel completely deprived of energy. When such sad days occur, the dog “shrinks” and enjoys solitude.
In these situations, your dog could use some fun, and chewing bones is one of their favorite, in a way even primal activities. They help them get through those bad days and make dull situations more interesting.
Just as we release negative energy working out in a gym or going for a run, they do the same while they chew on a bone.
It’s very simple indeed – they find the activity interesting, and there isn’t much more to it!
When dogs play with bones, the miraculous hormone endorphin is released. Endorphin secretion will help your dog go from having a bad day to having the time of their life!
Next time, make sure to let them enjoy their thing and hang out with their bone. We guarantee they will appreciate it!
But Is It Safe? Should I Give Bones to My Dog?
The short answer is:
Yes, you should.
You should definitely offer a bone to your dog from time to time and see if they enjoy it.
However, you should be aware that they can be dangerous if served wrongly. For that reason, you should pay attention to the size, type of bone, and the method of serving.
Which Bones Are Safe for Dogs?
Let’s go over some quick guidelines which will help you choose the perfect bone for your dog.
How Big Should the Bone Be?
When it comes to bone size, the rule is simple:
The bone size needs to exceed the size of your dog’s mouth.
In other words, you will not get into an undesirable situation if you choose a larger bone.
We prefer larger bones because they are usually stronger than smaller bones and less likely to break into smaller pieces that could suffocate our dogs.
Which Bones Are Best – Lamb, Beef, Pork?
Bone strength depends on the type of meat. There are divided opinions about bone type selection.
Some of the strongest bones that are safe for your dog are the lamb and beef bones.
Others also classify chicken, turkey, and pork bones, but you should be careful with these, especially with poultry options! Chicken bones, in particular, splinter very easily and could be extremely dangerous.
What Type of Bone is the Best?
The best type of bones you can choose are leg bones since they are the strongest. Due to its strength, it will have a better effect on your dog’s teeth and will be more durable, which offers more playtime.
How to Prepare a Bone for Your Dog?
The next vital factor is the method of preparation.
Here is a big rule we will repeat once again: never cook a bone!
Raw bones are the best option. The reason for this is that during cooking, the bone becomes brittle, which increases the chances of your dog choking on it while playing.
Also, at high temperatures, all the nutritional value and mineral levels decrease.
However, when buying a raw bone, choose a verified place. It could be a local butcher that you trust. It is very important to know that the meat is fresh. Otherwise, the bacteria can be transmitted to your dog and create additional problems.
Bonus Tip: If you are a person who likes to hang out and often does some BBQ, never offer the bones to your dog. Otherwise, you could create a chance for some serious internal injuries.
Should I Consult My Vet?
Consulting your vet is never a bad idea, so yes!
If you are giving your dog a bone for the first time, it is best to consult a vet first.
The choice of bones is different depending on which dog we are talking about and his age. For example, a bone is still a fairly early option for your puppy. They can break their teeth easily since they are still growing and could be quite sensitive.
Nevertheless, it is important to be around your dog when they are chewing bones so you can keep track of what is going on at all times.
You can hardly imagine a dog not playing with a bone. If properly offered to a dog, it will be an excellent chewing toy!
Now, we’d like to hear your side!
Do you give your dog bones, and what are your experiences?
Let us know in the comments below.
In the meantime, throw your dog a bone and just watch them enjoy it.
See you in the next post!