Smoked bones are healthy and should be Mandatory in dog diets.
This blog has been inspired by a recent email I received from a person who claimed that their rescue shelter told them that smoked bones were bad for dogs. Well, firstly the bones we sell are oven dried. Secondly, some companies actually smoke their bones to increase palatability for dogs.
The other reason other companies use smoked bones is because of the anti-bacterial nature that smoked bones provide to digestion – a health boost. And thirdly, they are plain wrong.
The proper use of bones for dog treats 101
Dogs are carnivores. Dog Food does not provide enough meat protein. You don’t always know what manufactured ‘dog food’ calcium sources are either (so they might not be as bioavailable as dog bones). BONES are the most natural balanced (with phosphorus) calcium source for dogs.
Dogs eat bones in the wild, as part of the whole animal that they have caught and are eating. That is their main calcium source in the wild.
Besides nutrients, and nourishing bone marrow, in domestic dogs bones also serve as a great tooth cleaning and gum strengthening NATURAL tool for a dog.
Any artificially compressed vegetable matter, pretending to be a bone, is UNNATURAL and should be avoided at all cost. The compressed vegetable matter is just cheap and nasty and making the manufacturer rich – it is completely inappropriate to use for any dog purpose. Very rarely (ie never) does man improve on nature when it comes to feeding dogs natural (ie meat based) dog treats or dog food.
Bones serve as a healthy distraction and help reduce separation anxiety. Treats have been used for a long time to occupy dogs, but don’t always last a long time. that is why many people buy dog bone treats for their dogs to use while they are away. As long as they are aware of their dogs chewing habits and supervise their dogs the first few times all will be fine.
Note bones and treats should not be used INSTEAD of vigorous off lead dog walks in the morning. Pent up energy and anxiety might have dogs consume more bone than a healthy balanced exercised dog would do – because they too can eat out of boredom and excess energy.
The wrong use of bones as treats
Small dried bones should be avoided. they can splinter into sharp fragments if dried too much.
If you have a large powerful dog they can eat the whole large bone. If they are very hungry or motivated, they may try and eat fragments that are too big and this could potentially cause concern for their digestion. Some dogs choke on kibble and drinking water, so this argument is mute.
The oven dried bones we sell, with drying methods perfected over years, strike the perfect balance between being too wet and being too brittle.
That said, in the wild dogs eat large bones of their prey in a hurry (to avoid being prey for other carnivores) or they bury large bones and dig them up later – and the bone is full of bacteria. YET, the dogs survive – mostly because of the high stomach acid content of the dog. Sometimes owner’s forget that under that cute fluffy exterior, is a real wild dog animal, that enjoys natural foods.
There are very few dogs around that will be sick from eating natural dried large bones as dog treats. I have never heard of a dog being allergic to the bone, but I am sure they exist.
Some people feed their dog’s too many bones as part of their diet. if you were to feed your dog half their energy requirement by way of bones, they would be oversupplied with calcium and phosphorus (there are upper table limits for most elements) and this can cause medical issues.
If you have a small dog that can ‘t actually chew much of a dried large bone, then you can substitute shark cartilage as a way of them getting adequate calcium, plus Omega 3, and pain relief chemicals (to relieve joint pain).
If your dog has trouble digesting bones, there might be larger health issues involved. Just as many large dog breeds can have issues or even die from eating regular grain-based dog kibble (causing bloat), you would not ban all dog food using grain (the vast majority on the market).
Bones created for dog treats from reputable sources are one of the most natural beneficial things you can provide most dogs.
Always supervise your dog eating or eating dog treats or bones the first few times to see how well they cope with eating a new treat.
I have witnessed far more dogs having jaw and teeth issues (having the majority of them extracted at vets well before old age) because of lack of chewing of bones and harder treats that they would naturally get in the wild than I have heard about any large properly dried bones causing problems.
The vast majority of dog today are given very soft dog food, with unnaturally boosted flavoring to increase palatability – leading to obesity when the dog’s default cut off mechanism is tricked.
Contrary to any grain-based dog food manufacturers claims, pellets and kibble do not brush teeth or strengthen gums, they instead lead to weak gums and tooth decay.
As any food article ever written seems to have to say by way of disclaimer, if you are unsure about any food or dog treat, make up your own mind or consult your dog treat (or vet) professional.