The news piece on TV3’s Story last night “Why you should not give your dog bones” https://goo.gl/uuuNF4 was a little skewed .
Yes dogs do get terrible injuries, break teeth and even die from eating bones but it is because they are given the wrong type or wrong size of bone for that particular dog. Cooked bones are particularly lethal so do not give your dog the bone from your Sunday roast despite how pleadingly they look at you! I feel for the dog and the couple featured in the piece as the owners did ask if the bone was appropriate and were told that it was. I do understand their fear to give another bone and for them I would suggest natural chews so the dog still gets its teeth and gums worked on as well as the dogs natural need to chew.
Any long or thin or sharp bones are NOT appropriate for any dog (or cat). Even the large canon bones are not appropriate and are the type of bone that can crack teeth.
So what bones should our dogs (and cats) be given?
The size of the dog and their eating habits need to be considered when choosing the bone. The bones should be very meaty and raw.
If your dog is a fast eater or gulps its food then consider giving a bone after a meal so they are not hungry and the bone is more for recreation. Give these types of eaters larger bones such as the venison bones, duck necks or rabbit shoulders or give them the dried chews. Check the chews do not contain preservatives, colourings and are not made from rawhide.
If your dog is a more delicate eater pieces such as chicken thighs should be alright for them as well as the larger bones mentioned above. You might like to smash the thighs with a meat tenderiser or clean hammer but make sure not to leave any jagged bones.
Cats do well with chicken necks and wings.
Bones are excellent teeth and gum cleaners as well as providing a good balance of phosphorus and calcium. Of course if you are not comfortable feeding your pet raw bones then don’t, however do give them something to chew on such as natural chews that are available in pet food stores. Not giving your pet bones or chews at all may lead to dental problems.
Here are some other links you may like to read
There is an excellent book called “Give your dog a bone” written by Dr Ian Billinghurst http://www.barfworld.com/html/dr_billinghurst/books_videos.shtml