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We often get the question about keeping our dogs safe, and more specifically, the safety of giving bones to our dogs. Since we have furry friends of our own, we find this topic extremely important and want to share a few tips to keep in mind.
If you search the Internet you’ll find a lot of jarring “bones can kill your dog” or “beware of what bones can kill your puppy” blogs and articles. The truth is, however rare this may be, sharing a tasty bone treat with your beloved dog is, much like a young child, inherently risky. But the good news is, this is only to a point.
What we know about safety and dog bones
Studies have shown that high-temperature cooked and otherwise extensively processed dog bones can become brittle, causing a sleuth of potential pet emergencies from dangerously small bone shards from breaking off while a dog consumes a bone.
If your dog happens to get a hold of a low quality and potentially cooked bone, watch out for:
Coughing or choking
Cuts in the mouth
Even the FDA, among other dog-caring outlets, makes it clear: don’t provide your dog with heavily processed, imported dog treats. Many recalled dog bones and dog treats come from this unsafe trend of outsourcing (e.g. products from China) pet products.
Why do we note imported specifically? Manufacturers of pet foods are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for their products, so issues arise with poor quality products, improperly prepared bones, and more. This is scary, because not knowing where your treats come from could be a big mistake.
All of Safe Bones Company dog bones and treats are certified annually under the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) by a 3rd party auditing firm, meaning that they adhere to the highest quality safety measures possible. Our products are Made in the U.S.A. and never overly processed or imported from foreign countries.
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What are the different types of dog bones and dog treats?
We can generally break down the types of bones and treats we see into a few main categories:
Edible bones, as noted in this popular article by Dr. Becker, are commonly referred to as the hollow bones of birds; often times wing bones. Think about the rotisserie chicken dinner you had last week, or a turkey consumed over Thanksgiving holiday with family. These edible bones are rather soft and contain small amounts of nutrients. Be aware that such chicken bones can be dangerous, so we don’t recommend feeding them to your dog.
Treat bones, or larger bones that typically come from parts of beef, bison, and other wild animal sources, are meant to be given to your dog in a “recreational” sense. In other words, these bones are intended as treats for your dog to gnaw and chew on, but not necessarily to fully consume and digest. As Dr. Becker also points out, and we agree with, these larger treats provide great mental stimulation for your dog. They offer up a healthier mouth, too!
Meat jerkies, commonly seen as pizzle sticks, beef jerky, and meat tips, are the dog version of the human beef or turkey jerky. These products are packaged as some form of dried meat and offer your dog a quick treat that is intended to be fully digestible, and high in protein. Be careful with overly processed and brittle jerky products, however, and always know where this treat originates from. Jerky can be a great reward for good behavior or a successful doggy bath.
Processed treats, or really anything that’s been shaped, molded, or overly processed to get in its final form, should be avoided if possible. Often times these “cheap” treats are found near the checkout counters, but they’re made up of a whole lot of nothing! Generally speaking, these treats are created from what’s left of animal parts at processing plants, and provide little nutritional value, including a high volume of grain filler.
What to watch out for when your dog consumes a bone or treat
As you might expect, your dog loves bones! Perhaps dog treats even more! But the most important part of a successful experience is to learn your dog’s habits and make sure monitoring is a part of his or her pup reward. Does your dog rush to gobble up and swallow a treat, or will he or she take time to work through it and enjoy the experience?
Being present with your dog to understand these habits will enable you to be more aware of any warning signs as quickly as possible. For example, if your dog wants to swallow something whole, or in large pieces, it’s time to find another treat that better suits current habits.
What to do if your dog eats chicken bones
This question comes up very often, and we wrote an article specifically on this topic. Check out our separate article on what to look for and what to be prepared for if your dog consumes chicken or turkey bones.
Warning signs and what to watch for
Giving your dog a bone or treat should be fun, but make sure you keep these thoughts in mind as topics you will want to avoid:
Make sure you aren’t giving a single bone to a dog in a multi-dog group. Dogs like their treats and often don’t want to share, so keep all dogs separated as they enjoy their bones.
Size your bones and treats appropriately. Puppies shouldn’t be gnawing on a large knuckle, just as a large breed shouldn’t be chewing up small pieces that could be hazardous.
Avoid giving bones to dogs with a dental history that could cause further aggravation, or even damage to dental work.
Beware of aggressive eating, as it can lead to potential problems as the bone is being consumed. Remember that a full belly in your dog means he or she is less likely to attack the bone in a hungered frenzy.
A happy dog is a chewing dog
At the end of the day, remember that your dog is an animal of the wild at its core, and naturally wants to be chewing. Not only for mental stimulation, healthier gums and jaws, but for the fun of it. By giving your dog the best possible bones and treats, you’re keeping safety, enjoyment, and fulfillment top of mind.
All of Safe Bones Company dog bones and dog treats are 100% Natural and Made in the U.S.A. at our facilities in the beautiful state of Nebraska.
You’ll never need to be concerned with low quality imported products, or overly processed dog bones, jerky, or other treats. Shop now and treat your dog to something special.
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