What Are the Benefits of Bones for Dogs?

As a dog owner, you know how much your dog loves to chew on things. But do you know why chewing on bones or treats is so important for dogs?

When your pet gnaws on a bone, the chewing removes the accumulated plaque and tartar from the teeth. It also stimulates the production of saliva, which cleanses the mouth and reduces plaque.

So, chewing is essential for preventing dental disease. While you might think that gum disease is no big deal, untreated bad teeth lead to organ damage and kidney failure.

Besides their cleaning properties, bones are full of essential nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus. These minerals benefit the digestive system, help maintain proper growth, and promote healthy bowel movements.

Moreover, bones keep your dogs and puppies busy and provide mental stimulation. The repetitive action of chewing can reduce anxiety and stress in dogs.

Which Store-Bought Bones Are Good for Dogs?

While raw bones are good for dogs, they might not be easy to find. You also might not like the idea of handling them. Then you’ll probably consider getting some commercial bone treats for dogs.

You’d think that all store-bought bones would be safe for dogs. However, companies often add preservatives, flavoring, and seasoning to make the bones last longer or be more tempting for the dogs.

Unfortunately, a lot of these artificial ingredients are harmful to your pet. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and even cancer.

Always check the ingredient list of any bones or dog food you buy. Look only for natural treats for dogs and natural chews for dogs with high meat content. Stay away from any that aren’t 100% meat, have a funny color, or contain artificial preservatives.

What About Rawhide Chews?

Rawhides are one of the most popular “bones” for dogs. They’re made of dried animal skin, which makes them one of the long-lasting chews for puppies and dogs alike. However, how their safety depends on several factors.

For starters, rawhides might not be a good choice for heavy chewers. While these bones should break into small pieces, some dogs might tear large chunks and choke on them.

Moreover, dogs don’t digest rawhide treats easily, and swollen pieces will have to pass your dog’s digestive system. That’s why any big pieces can cause intestinal blockage or stomach discomfort.

The biggest concern, however, is how rawhides are made. While animal skin is a natural product, companies use leftovers from the leather industry. The process of tanning the hide and turning into rawhide often involves chemicals and preservatives.

Some companies don’t take enough measures to clean the hides well before they fashion them into rawhide bones. So, rawhide might have traces of chemicals, and you should rinse them in water before you give them to your dog.

Nevertheless, rawhides are excellent large/small dog chews for soft chewers as long as you supervise your dog.

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