Sugar bone: can dogs be given bones?
From fairy tales, cartoons and books, one stereotype is imposed on us all about feeding pets. A dog must be fed with bone, and a cat with milk. But is it safe for your pet? Can dogs only grow bones or only adults? All these important questions will be answered by veterinarians.
What’s Good for Bones?
The stereotype about feeding is so firmly entrenched in the minds that it even exists in the form of a saying: “Throw a bone like a dog.” It’s best not to experiment with your pet, though. Moreover, there is nothing useful in bones.
Nutritional value of bones (100g) Proteins Fats Carbohydrates
|Nutritional value of bones (100g)||Protein||Fats||Carbohydrates|
For normal growth and activity, a dog needs per 1 kg of live weight: protein – 3-4 g, fats – 1-2 g, carbohydrates (the main source of energy) – 5-6 g. There are no carbohydrates at all in the bones. How will a pet be energetic and active only when feeding on bones? Unclear.
For a person far from veterinary medicine, when asked “can a dog be given bones”, one answer arises: “Yes.” It is believed that this food:
- cheap. Even pensioners can afford a kilogram of bones. Such compassionate grandmothers “pamper” their dog, and after a couple of days they go to the vet;
- convenient. Nothing to boil or steam. They stuffed the freezer with bones and give it to the dog one by one.
Alas, this is all the advantages of such food. It has no high nutritional value, rich vitamin content, or easy digestibility. On the contrary: gastric juice softens the bone tissue, turning it into a rubbery substance.
Under a categorical ban: fish, chicken, rabbit, turkey bones. Sharp edges of bone fragments scratch and injure the esophagus, stomach, intestines, get stuck in the throat, causing suffocation.
If you have a strong desire to chew something hard and crunchy, then buy a gelatinous bone or pork ear. The animal will enjoy it, and there will be no negative consequences.
This is important: There is a stereotype among owners of dog breeds with large muzzles. Like, you need to give bones to pits, staffs and Rottweilers for the development of chewing muscles. From such food, it seems, the muzzle becomes more expressive, the signs of the breed are more clearly traced in the specimen. Experienced breeders, breeders, and veterinarians refute the myth. The development of bony and chewing muscles depends on the dog’s genotype and general fitness. If a Rottweiler puppy chews bones for days, it will only get problems with the digestive system. Therefore, do not experiment with puppies and adults, feed only specialized dry or wet food.
The negative effects of feeding dogs with bones
Practicing veterinarians most often face such problems in animals, whose owners practice feeding dogs with the remains of jellied meat with small bones:
- Injury to the soft tissues of the pharynx. Sharp edges scratch and cut the mucous membrane, lead to profuse bleeding, damage to the trachea. The dog cannot eat normally; in advanced cases, a lethal outcome is possible.
- Suffocation. A piece of bone blocks the windpipe. The animal cannot breathe in and dies from asphyxiation.
Jamming of bones in the stomach. Bones are not digested. They are crushed by the teeth and, in the form of small bone fragments, are pressed into a mass under the influence of gastric motility. It does not pass into the intestine, causing the animal to feel discomfort. To get rid of discomfort, the body provokes vomiting. In this state, the pet loses a lot of moisture and electrolytes, the normal functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems is disrupted. If you don’t take action, your dog will die of dehydration.
Bowel obstruction. If it gets into the small or other parts of the intestine, bone fragments get stuck in a certain segment and do not move further. Veterinarians record this in animals with impaired metabolism, improper or irregular nutrition. The acidity of the gastric juice drops, the bones do not soften and turn into a ball of needles. The accumulation of bone tissue irritates the intestines, scratches the mucous membrane, provoking severe pain in the dog. In such cases, surgery is indicated.
This is important: It is intestinal obstruction caused by feeding the bones that is the main cause of death of stray dogs. If you feel sorry for the animal and want to feed it, then instead of cheap chicken heads and paws, it is better to give inexpensive sausages, cereals from budget cereals, cooked on meat and bone leftovers. But the bones themselves do not need to be fed.
Intestinal perforation. In a simple way: cutting the intestine with a bone fragment. An acute condition is accompanied by bleeding, pain in the animal, and vomiting. A fever develops, the pet refuses to eat. If the operation is not performed, necrosis develops, and the dog will die.
Blockage of the colon. If the accumulation of bone fragments has passed the entire intestine, then in the rectum it may stop. In this part of the digestive system, the body absorbs the remaining water from undigested food residues. If the bones were softened with mucus along the entire length, then in the colon we get dry, sharp needles that form a cork. A dog with a blockage cannot go to recover. Attempts to defecate are accompanied by whining, bleeding from the anus, or mucus from the anus. If the pet does not go to the toilet, then intoxication develops and the animal dies without treatment.
Having become familiar with all the risks, a responsible owner is unlikely to feed the dog with such food raw.
What kind of bones can you give your dog?
If you have not convinced you of the dubious nutritional and energy value of this feed, then select the safest options for it:
- beef grits and round joints. They have bone marrow inside – a nutrient with a lot of unsaturated fatty acids;
- spongy bones of beef and lamb;
- chicken bones boiled to a pasty state.
These are exceptions that can be used in feeding healthy adult dogs (but not pregnant and lactating females).
Can a puppy be given bones? No. Veterinarians strongly advise against experimenting with feeding a growing organism. Moreover, puppies have a higher chance of death from the negative consequences of injury from bone fragments.
There is only one conclusion: do not save on the food of your pet, and he will delight you with longevity, activity and mutual love.