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Ask Bondi Vet - Are dog bones safe?

In every episode of Ask Bondi Vet, Pete Lazer is joined by one of our Bondi Vets, to discuss the answers to your pet questions.

Pete Lazer - Hi there and welcome to Ask Bondi Vet, proudly brought to you by Bondi Vet pet insurance. My names Pete Lazer, joined by one of our Bondi vets in Dr. Danni. Danni thanks for joining us. This is the time where we get to answer all of your questions about your pets at home and Alex has asked an age old question:

“Are dog bones safe? I always hear people talking about how you should never give your dog cooked bones because they can splinter. Is this true? ”.

The old, bone dilemma.

Dr Danni Dusek - Yes, it is a bit of a dilemma that continues to be discussed. So certainly spot on about the cooked bones, we definitely want to avoid cooked bones under all circumstances. They have an increased risk of splintering and that can lodge and penetrate through your dog's esophagus, their gut and cause a life threatening situation. So absolutely well done no cooked bones.

Pete Lazer - Cooked bones are out. What about raw bones?

Dr Danni Dusek- Raw bones certainly are a better option than a cooked bone, but they are not without risk. So it is really important that you are aware of those risks if you are deciding to feed your dog a raw bone. So things that can happen is that they can fracture their teeth, they can get a bit of bone lodged in their gut which can cause a surgical emergency. They can also end up severely constipated. There's also the risk of getting infectious diseases as well, so some gastritis or potentially even neurological diseases, that are carried in that raw meat around the bone. So there’s a lot of risks to consider, so just need people to be aware of them.

Pete Lazer - Ok so being aware of those problems, what if the heart is set on bones.

Dr Danni Dusek - If you are dead set on bones and there’s just no two ways about it then certainly knowing the safest way to give that bone is important. So my suggestion would be to make sure your bone is an appropriate size for your dog, so that’s something that maybe chatting to your vet would be a good idea. MAking sure there is a little bit of meat or cartilage on the bone for the dog to really rip off and and naw at, cause that is going to be doing all the abrasive action on the teeth. Once all that has been removed from the bone through, you really want to get that bone away from the dog. You don’t want them to actually ingest the bone itself. So that will help avoid a lot of the risks

Pete Lazer - What about other solutions? From a dental control point of view , but also in an enrichment point of view as well?

Dr Danni Dusek - Perfect! I guess if you are feeding raw bones cause you think it’s the only really way to keep your dog’s teeth cleaned, there’s lots of other options out there these days. So certainly your gold standard is brushing your dog’s teeth everyday, it’s not for everybody but that’s going to do the best job in keeping your teeth in good shape. Other options are some fantastic dental dry foods that are specifically designed to sort of fracture up the tooth so that its really abrasive on the tooth itself. As far as other options for enrichment, cause certainly a lot of other dogs just love to have a good old chew on the bone. There’s treat dispensing toys which are fantastic and they really make the dog think and have to figure out how they are going to get the food out so it can be even more satisfying to them, to use their brain at the same time. So that’s probably a good other option then bones for that enrichment purpose.

Pete Lazer - If you’ve got a questions get onto our Bondi Vet Facebook page of course on the website BondiVet.com/Questions. We’ll be back with another episode of Ask Bondi vet very soon, bye for now.