Giving bones to your dog remains controversial. And that is because, like many things in life, they can be helpful and they can cause problems.
The good: Bones provide good chewing stimulation for the busy or anxious dog, often with relatively low calories associated with the hours of chewing pleasure. They are often easily available and relatively low in price.
The bad: Bones are a choking hazard and a dog with a bone should be supervised. Certain bones, like turkey neck bones and chicken wing bones, can splinter and provide a choking hazard. Hard bones, like cooked shin bones, are hard enough to cause painful tooth fractures (slab fractures). Particularly pointy bones, like pork, can actually perforate the dog's stomach or intestines causing peritonitis (dangerous, potentially deadly circumstance requiring surgery). Other bones get wedged on the roof of the mouth or over the lower canines and mandible, causing the dog to panic and work at their mouth, requiring an emergency trip to the veterinarian to remove them.
The ugly: Older dogs that have eaten bones all their life may overindulge or just have a geriatric slow down of digestion, causing the bone particles to compact in their rectum and cause a bone impaction. Certain bones are rich in marrow or associated skin (chicken carcass) causing profuse, watery diarrhea.
So you decide, and monitor your pet. Bones may work for you, or you may find easier, safer ways to allow your dog some chewing pleasure.
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