Bones can be a very important part of your dog’s health and wellbeing. They can entertain them for short periods and help in keeping their teeth in top condition. There are many types of bones available, in fact it can be quite challenging knowing the difference between a good bone and a bad one!
As a general rule avoid cooked bones as these can splinter and cause internal damage, ouch! Most bones that you find at pet supply stores will be smoked, and while these are not as dangerous as standard cooked bones, supervision is a must.
When selecting your bones, choose one that is size appropriate for your dog. A bone should be big enough that they cannot fit it entirely into their mouth. The bone should be light enough that they can carry it around, but large enough that they will gnaw at the ends rather than try to eat it whole. It’s the gnawing effect that will aid in the cleaning or their teeth. So the longer they chew or gnaw it the better job it will be doing.
Lamb bones are perfect for small dogs that need something a little bit tougher than the standard small bones. If your dog is a little pocket rocket go for these to slow them down! It will take them a while to finish off.
Pork bones are reasonably soft and are suitable for small dogs that are not strong chewers, they will last long enough and not make their jaw sore. If your dog is not a strong chewer they will appreciate these bones and it will not turn them off from chewing hard materials.
Chicken bones are extremely soft, and should only ever be fed to dogs raw. They are suitable for weak chewers or puppies that have yet to lose their first set of teeth. Small and easily digestible they are perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Beef bones are usually the largest bones you can buy, they are suitable for medium to strong chewers. If your dog is ‘destructive’ they will appreciate being given these types of bones. It will occupy them for a good amount of time and help stop them from chewing down the house!
Kangaroo bones are suitable for smaller dogs that need something a bit tougher than a lamb bone. They also come in different shapes to standard mammal bones which will provide your dog with something more interesting to get their teeth around.
Deer and goat antlers are the toughest of the bones available, they are exceptionally long lasting and will give your dog many hours of enjoyment. However, the downside is often these bones can be expensive.
Nylon bones are a good alternative to regular bones. There are variations that suit all sizes of dog and their specific chewing abilities. Often these bones have an enhanced flavour added to entice even the most reluctant dogs.