The key to true safety when it comes to bones is to monitor your dog while it's chewing. There's always a risk that your pet could bite off too large a piece and choke. It's never advisable to leave your dog home alone with a bone. That being said, some dogs may have adverse reactions to certain ingredients, so it’s important to try out a few options and see how your dog reacts. Finally, there’s no such thing as a 100 percent risk-free bone, but finding the one that best suits your dog is the key to keeping its chew time safe.
These bones are great because they’re durable and won’t break off into pieces that could cause your dog to choke. Rubber bones can last for months, though frequent chewers could easily wear them down much sooner. If you notice your dog is chewing it to the point where flakes are coming off the rubber, it’s time to get a new one or try a more durable brand. Kong is one brand known for its durability.
Rawhide bones are very popular among dog owners. They’re completely digestible, so there’s a very small risk of intestinal obstruction. But not all rawhide is created equal. Rawhide chews with knots can pose a choking hazard, because they can be chewed off and swallowed. Make sure you choose ones with knots too large for your dog to swallow. Compressed rawhide is largely safe, just be sure to monitor your dog and to discard the bone when the dog is able to chew off chunks at a time. You don’t want your dog choking.
You’ve probably heard the warnings against feeding your dog any kind of poultry bone, but there is an exception to the rule. While load-bearing chicken bones (legs and thighs) can splinter and pose a choking or intestinal perforation risk for your dog, the softer neck bones are safe and highly digestible.
Cooking changes the consistency of beef and lamb bones, making it more brittle and easier to break off. It's safest to stick with uncooked bones. In addition, bones with marrow are discouraged for vigorous chewers because they’re hard and can break teeth. Raw bones are great because they’re softer and mimic the bones your dog’s ancestors would have eaten.
These natural chew treats are made from beef penises (yes, you heard that right). They’re rich in flavor, come in a variety of sizes and are completely digestible. They also come in a braided variety that will last longer for aggressive or larger chewers. The only downside is they tend to be stinky, so you may want to keep your dog’s bully stick chewing off the furniture or in a well-ventilated room.
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