If the question is about the practicality of dogs eating cooked lamb bones, then yes – yes, they can. However, the aggregate opinion is that cooked lamb bones should not be given to any type of dog. The opinion is backed by the fact that the bones become dangerous when cooked. Cooked bones are likely to splinter, and these splinters are likely to cause damage in terms of obstruction.
In the place of cooked lamb bones, the recommendation is that you give raw meat bones like lamb ribs, flaps, and tail bones while avoiding lamb cutlets and large marrow bones. These will help the dog’s gums and teeth to remain healthy. However, if too many raw bones are given, the dog is likely to develop constipation. Generally, dog owners should only offer not more than two raw bones a week. Also, one should be careful not to give a dog a small bone that can be swallowed. Whenever the dog is eating the bone, you should be there to supervise.
This article will give keen attention to dogs and lamb bones before it gives you the ultimate guide on feeding your dog with raw bones. See yourself to the end!
Questions About Dog And Lamb Bones
For humans, lamb meat is one of the most delicious meals. But, is it so for dogs? On a few occasions, you may have noticed your dog going for the lamb bones you put in a bin. In those scenarios, you may want to know the best, and frankly speaking, the worst that could happen if the dog chews the bone. You should know that for dogs, raw bones are so tasty.
As implied in the kicker, avoid cooked lamb bones as they may splinter and cut the tongue, palate, gums, and even the digestive tract. If your think a dog has consumed a piece of cooked lamb, read on and know how to work your way around that kind of situation.
The What Part
If your canine friend just swallowed down some lamb bones without your instruction or knowledge, you have no reason to panic. You should now up your observation skills – monitor the dog to see if the lamb bone fragments will pass into its fecal matter. Also, pay attention to the contents if your furry canine friend vomits.
That notwithstanding, you should prepare to rush the dog to the vet. Here are the overt signs to look for, and once noted, you should get ready for a vet exam: little play (depression), lack of appetite, and excessive vomiting.
Letting your dog sniff pieces of cooked lamb meat – especially with bones – is like flirting with a fatality. You should treat cooked lamb as you would with cooked chicken. The general advice is that you give the dog raw lamb meat, and raw lamb bones should be given, but get this – with caution and reservations.
The Toughness Of Lamb Bones
Compared to other bones, lamb bones are hard and challenging. However, that should not be a point to rule them out for splintering. If your dog is an enthusiastic, energetic, and strong one, it can chew the bone a little too hard, and within minutes, it splinters.
Dog teeth are tougher, and therefore, they should not be underestimated. So, always go for large bones – forget the raw-cooked binary.
The Real Reasons Why
As reiterated up to this point, serving cooked lamb bones present the canine with the risk of serious injury, or even worse, death. Here are some three reasons why you should always avoid – at all costs – feeding the animal with such bones:
1. Since cooked lambs are subjected to a lot of heat, the material that holds the bone together becomes weaker. When the dog closes its jaws on a cooked lamb bones, it will break down within no time. The sharp-edged splinters will injure the inside of the dog’s mouth, making it difficult to engage in mastication.
2. Also, fragments may make their way to the throat. Worse still, they could meet with soft tissue lining along the esophagus. Just the thought of the splinters going down the throat is gruesome.
3. If the splinters make it to the stomach or the intestines, they are likely to cause a lot of damage. What happens is that the stomach acid and the intestinal bacteria may be spilled onto the abdomen. This eventuality creates a series of reactions that can lead to a fatality.
Are There Any Safe Bones For Canines?
The thought of a tragic outcome from a simple, pleasurable consuming and chewing of a dog bone can be scary. However, we should not deny dogs the chance to exercise that love. In the wild, they would be chewing on bones vigorously.
I will highlight the main bone types, but that will be detailed in the section that follows. The main types of bones that many people consider dog-safe are chewable and edible bones. The chewable kind ensures that the dog’s jaws and teeth are strong. On the other hand, the edible ones are rich in minerals like calcium and other vitamins. These bones are usually powdered and are given as part of the dog’s meal. As you may have already guessed, chewable bones are tougher than edible ones.
Feeding Your Dog Raw Bones – The Guide
Up to this point, you have heard all you need to hear– warnings, warnings, and warnings. You have highly been discouraged from feeding almost all kinds of bones. This section changes tone to the entire read; you will learn how to feed raw bones to your canine friends safely.
You will know about the benefits as well as the risk of giving raw bones to your dogs.
Dog love gnawing and chewing. For them, actually, it is a great pastime. However, you should know that each bone has its safety details – not all of them are safe. Additionally, the benefits that raw bones give do not apply to all bone types. If you are working on improving your dog’s health by giving it bones, your first need to know the bone, which will benefit the dog.
Raw Bone Benefits: What Your Dog Gets
Before we jump into this portion’s business, you need to know that there are many reasons for feeding your dog with raw bones. The recommendation is that raw bones be given to dogs that are on a strictly raw diet. However, that does not mean that they can’t benefit other diets – they can, and that is what you’re about to find out.
In this bony subject (all pun intended), many people believe that dogs cannot digest bones as well as they do with, say, meat, for example. The types of bones, which I have already alluded to, are known as edible bones. These bones are usually nutritionally rich, and they help in digestion, dental care, and overall growth.
For bones to be broken down, they need a highly acidic environment. Fortunately, that is provided by the dog’s stomach. If the dog is raw-fed, its stomach-acid content is higher than that of dogs fed on kibble.
If your dog is strictly on a kibble-diet, you should feed it will small, soft bone pieces, like chicken necks. This is the kind of option that will allow the dog’s body to start adjusting acidity levels. Then, the stomach will start working on breaking down the bone. In good time, your kibble dog will be able and ready to break any edible bone that comes along its way.
If you’re looking for something for the dog to chew lastingly, you can offer them recreational bones. These are tough bones that are in no way meant to be eaten. With recreational bones (or chewable bones), the benefits are downed, and the risks are upped.
Let’s get through the raw bone benefits:
1. Bone Density Maintenance
The one mineral vital to the form and structure of bones is calcium. In the many commercial diets available in stores, the calcium included should meet the AAFCO regulations for a balanced and complete diet. Calcium requirements differ with differences in dog breeds. This means that a portion of food that suits one dog breed may be deficient if given to another breed because of the calcium levels. Hypocalcemia is the name given to refer to calcium deficiencies. Although they are not a common issue, the deficiencies can get severe and even life-threatening.
Apart from strengthening the bone structure, calcium plays other roles. For example, the mineral is needed for muscle contraction and blood coagulation. Also, it has an immense effect on the heart and visual function. This means that it is vital for you to supplement the dog’s diet with extra calcium in larger breeds and during growth stages. However, you should do it moderately.
The reason why moderation is important is because of the too-much-calcium phenomenon. Like many minerals and vitamins, you need to strike a balance. If you are giving the done a bone-diet or a calcium-diet, the additional raw bone you bring in should be served less frequently and in small portions.
For a large to medium dog, giving it bones several times a week is plenty. You should try rotating the calcium supplement from one week to another. If the dog has enjoyed and eaten several bones, you can give it something else to chew one – something like a yak chew or a bully stick.
As you supplement the calcium, you must strike a balance with another mineral – phosphorus. These two minerals will work together to maintain and strengthen the dog’s skeletal structure. You don’t have to look for supplements – phosphorus is abundant in muscle meat.
2. Proper Dental Health And Better Gums
For dogs, one way to ensure that their dental care is taken care of is by chewing. These days, however, we have dog toothpaste and toothbrush that help prevent any kind of dental issue that may come. If you give the dog a consistent dental routine, you may save yourself some money in terms of vet care bills.
When dogs chew on connective tissues and bones, they help prevent the buildup of plaque, meaning that their gums will remain very healthy. Whichever diet you feed your dogs, adding raw bones will help in dental care.
Dogs – seniors and puppies – whose dental health is compromised should not eat hard bones. Their teeth – which are weak and fragile – have a higher damage risk. Do not feed any hard chew to a puppy until they shed their teeth.
If you’re dealing with a delicate dog, you can try something soft, like a cow’s ear or a tendon. These soft tissues will deliver the same dental care effect without toying with the dog’s teeth’ fragility.
3. Stimulation Of The Mental Faculties
If your dog is bored, you can get their mood up by just tossing a bone their way. For most dogs, chewing is a great pastime, helping them stay mentally and physically alert. Instead of a pup chewing on your baseboards or shoes, it will stay out of trouble by munching on a healthy item.
As mentioned before, the ‘pastime’ bones are known as recreation bones, like marrow bones or beef femurs. These are excellent for your dog to use in exercising its jaw, but they should never be consumed. If your dog love chewing and does it thoughtfully and powerfully, avoid these bones. If – by any chance – they get broken, the bones may have detrimental effects.
4. Coat And Skin Improvement
Bones are rich – they have minerals that can help improve the dog’s coat and skin. The cartilage and marrow are good collagen sources, and the bone with connective tissue provides coat and skin benefits.
If you want to prepare some broth for your dog, consider using recreational bones. Ensure you pick bones with connective tissues and marrow – these will give the dog the most nutrition.
Once you boil down a bone, discard it. The boiling heat makes it brittle, and a simple bite by the dog may get splintering. The broth you prepare can be used as a meal topper, treat, or supplement.
Raw Bone Safety: The Details
Up to this point, you know about the good things and the benefits a dog gets when it is fed with raw bones. Now, it is time to talk about potential risks that come with giving dogs raw bones, and on a warmer note, the safety precautions you should adopt. I would love to say that everything will go well with the raw bone feeding, but that may not be the case.
As mentioned elsewhere in this read, some raw bones are better than others in terms of safety, and others bones should never be given to dogs. Let’s talk about the edible bone type and everything about it.
The Edible Bone
This bone is usually soft. It is also covered with meaty or connective tissue, or even cartilage, and is usually hollow. When the phrase edible bone is mentioned, the examples that should come to your mind are poultry bones. This does not mean or imply that there are no non-poultry edible bones – the ones available are quite costly and may be hard sourcing them.
As you think about poultry bones, know that not all are safe, especially the weight-bearing ones. These are likely to splinter and damage the dog’s inside – intestines, esophagus, and stomach.
Some of the dog-safe, edible poultry bones include wingtips, feet, necks, and backs. It goes without saying that these bones are exceptionally soft. They will give your dog a crunchy experience, calcium, and dental benefits. However, it won’t be long before the dog chews them thoroughly. As you offer poultry backs and necks, keep in mind that they are meatier – more than feet and wings – and thus, will be higher in fat and calories.
As you go for the edible bones, the first thing to do is choose an appropriate size. Of all poultry bones, chicken bones will definitely be the smallest, and they will best suit medium sized-to small dogs. Your cat – if you have one – can also benefit from the chicken bones. If your dog is of a larger breed, the option to go for is turkey. These will seem to the dog as a little too large, thus discouraging them from getting swallowed.
If you count calories and watch weight when dealing with your dog, do not regularly feed the edible bones. Alternatively, you can reduce the number of calories in the dog’s regular diet while maintaining the edible-bone supply.
If your dog experiences allergic reactions when it comes to poultry, you can go for pork and lamb ribs. These will give the dog calcium amounts closer to poultry. Otherwise, feed the edible bones with reservations to limit the dog’s calcium intake.
Feeding Raw Bone: The Tips
There is a little grossness that comes with feeding dogs with raw bones. The dog may carry its chews to the carpet or on the furniture, meaning that all those places may end up soiled. Also, moving the raw bone around the house is a health risk because of its constituent bacteria.
To ensure that your dog does not spread germs, here are some of the best safety practices:
1. Get A Good Spot
The dog does not need free reign to walk from one corner to another while having the bone with it. So, you need to select a designated spot where the dog will chew. Ensure that the place you choose is easy to clean when the dog is done chomping down on their treaty treat.
You can do it outside, on linoleum or tiles, on a washable carpet or mat, or in the kennel. When you pull out the bone, do not give it to the dog until it settles in the area of choice.
2. Frozen Bones Are The Best For The Summertime
During hot summer days, the most refreshing thing is a nice cold treat. On those days, therefore, you should offer your dog frozen bones to help them stay cool. Frozen bones will engage the dog longer in terms of chewing and will give the pup the much-needed hydration.
3. Bones Provide Excellent Training Opportunities
Your dog may not be focusing well on somethings such as baths. To improve their behavior, give them the bone once they settle in the bathtub. The dog will associate the shower or the tub with the bony treat, and you will get a chance to clean them up. On top of that, it will be easy to clean after the mess.
While the dog is in the tub, pour tiny water amount to their feet so that you help them in getting used to the tub’s wetness. The one thing you shouldn’t do is feed or serve the bone while the dog is bathing. I’m sure you don’t want the bathwater to have raw meat juice, and you also don’t want the dog to eat up some soapy water. If the dog behaves well during the bath, feed the bone after all the cleaning business is done.
4. Sanitization And Cleanliness Should Follow
If you used a towel or a blanket to feed the dog, wash it immediately. If everything happened in the kennel or on the tiled floor, you should wipe those places. Use vinegar, which is a natural disinfectant, and when diluted in water, it can clean surfaces well. It is safe and non-toxic such that the dog will not suffer if it licks the cleaned places.
Importantly, ensure that your hands are washed if you touched the bones. Also, ensure that the dog does not kiss or lick you after it is done chewing. This is a way to prevent bacteria in the bone from getting to your system. Get a washcloth or a wipe and use warm water to clean the dog’s paws and muzzle.
5. Bones Should Never Be Left Out
Treat all types of bones like you would with raw meat – some of them have tissues. When the dog does not finish one in a sitting, you should get it refrigerated. Storing the meat will ensure that the meat does not spoil, and it will also reduce the number of bacteria around your house.
Leaving out any bone – edible or recreational – is likely to make it dry and, thus, easy to break or splinter. If you cannot refrigerate the bone for one reason or the other, discard it to prevent the spread of pathogens.