The urge is instinctual. Dogs love to chew on bones, but why? They usually have little to no meat on them and are most likely not the major source of nutrition for most dogs.
We delve into why dogs like them to give dog owners a better understanding of their furry friends.
Why Dogs Like Bones
Canines love gnawing on bones for several reasons, some going back eons. Here are some reasons why man’s best friend’s best friend is a bone.
Source of Fat
They may not look like they’re a nutrition source, but bone marrow is a good source of fat that draws dogs.
Bones have meaty flavor dogs enjoy, so why dogs like them is no mystery. One of the reasons they love them is that they’re delicious, and chances are your pet won’t care whether they’re raw or cooked.
Urge to Chew
Dogs evolved from wolves, and they kept that instinct to chew. Chewing on a bone lets a dog honor that instinct, and better a bone than your favorite pair of loafers.
Dogs enjoy gnawing on bones. It releases tension and stimulates the production of endorphins, plus dogs love the flavor.
When dogs chew bones, it scrapes their teeth of plaque, preventing tartar buildup. They also get a dose of tooth-strengthening calcium.
Can Dogs Eat Bones?
The answer to “Can dogs eat bones,” is yes, depending on the dog and the bone. Some dogs’ jaws and teeth are not strong enough to chew bones into pieces that can be swallowed safely.
Like many foods, some bones can be a danger to dogs. Pork and chicken bones can splinter, making them a danger to dogs. Sharp edges to splintered pork or chicken can puncture dogs’ stomachs and intestinal tracts, leading to serious infections.
Bones can be a choking danger, with veterinarians reporting that bone pieces are the most frequently found item in the canine esophagus.
These risks make bones a potentially harmful snack for dogs.
Alternatives for Dogs
If your dog loves to chew bones but you’re afraid of the risks involved, there are alternatives for your pet.
Rawhide chews give dogs something substantial to gnaw on that won’t splinter. They have a meaty flavor that dogs love.
Sturdy chew toys satisfy dogs’ urge to chew without being a choking hazard. Indestructible options include those made from thick rubber. They may lack that good meat flavor that dogs appreciate when chewing on bones, but you’ll be protecting their jaw, teeth, and gums.
Toys that Dispense Food
If your dog likes a food reward, a chew toy designed to let your pet get a treat is a great option. The best ones will take plenty of chewing without falling apart and will reward your pet with a treat only after some effort. Treats too easily reached can become a weight management problem.
You can also be assured that these toy manufacturers will never include any foods that are hazardous to your dog’s health, so it’s a win-win.
It’s no mystery why dogs like chewing. Chewing them tastes good, provides some health benefits, and relieves tension. Eating them can be a danger, though, so dog owners should consider alternatives for their pets. So, go on, give your dog something to chew on!