I am amazed that there are still people who do not realize how dangerous it can be to give their dog a bone to chew on as a “treat” – because it can be life-threatening and send their dog to the emergency clinic. I fondly recall the childhood ditty “With a knick knack, paddywhack, give the dog a bone” – but I hope we now know to never really give our dog any of our bones!
Despite what our grandparents may have done with their chicken and steak bones after they were finished with them (toss them out in the yard for the pooch) we now know how seriously dangerous it can be to ever let your dog get his paws on such a bone, which can splinter and wind up puncturing any part of his digestive tract. A dog’s jaw is so powerful that it can generate several hundred pounds of pressure in a bite – pressure which can cause a bone to shatter into small splinters. These can lodge in the dog’s esophagus going down, or get stuck anywhere in the digestive system or puncture the intestines.
The rule of thumb should be that you never give bones from your plate. Avoid all cooked bones, but especially chicken, turkey, beef rib, steak and pork bones, which are the most likely to split into sharp, pointed pieces that your dog can swallow. No cooked bones from baked, broiled or barbecued meat because they are too dry and brittle, likely to splinter.
Bones from lamb chops and steaks may look tempting to you for your pooch, with delicious bits of meat and fat attached, but these bones can be deadly inside your dog’s intestinal tract. Cooked chicken bones are the most dangerous because they can splinter and pierce the dog’s intestines or stomach – although raw poultry bones can also splinter into needle-sharp points.
Halo now offers Spot’s Chew as an alternative to real bones. These chews come in different sizes and flavors and are sure to satisfy your dog’s urge to chew on something natural and healthful. My dogs love them!
Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.