In spite of some dog owners saying they feed their dogs bones all the time and have never had a problem, here at the WoofPost we have a hard and fast rule: NO animal bones of any kind, whether those be beef, deer chicken bones or anything in between.

Why?

Because bones can cause serious injuries and illness in your dog. Both cooked and raw bones are quite dangerous for dogs. In fact, cooking the bones makes them quite brittle and they are even more apt to splinter and cause injury.

Here are just some of the problems feed bones to your dog can cause:

Chipped and fractured teeth. These are very painful injuries and in many cases the fractured teeth will need to be extracted under general anesthesia.

Injuries to the dog’s mouth, tongue and even the hard and soft palate.

Damage to the teeth and gums from a piece of bone getting caught between the teeth, causing pain and stress to the dog.

Larger ham bones have been reported to get caught around the dog’s lower jaw. The dog puts his lower canine teeth through the hole in the center of the bone and the bone then gets caught behind the teeth and loops around the lower jaw. Sometimes general anesthesia is required to remove the bone.

Bones can become lodged in the esophagus (the tube which transports food from the mouth to the dog’s stomach) causing pain and must distress. This is an emergency and potential life-threatening situation as the esophagus is subject to puncture.

Even worse is when a piece of bone is accidentally inhaled into the dog’s windpipe. This is an immediate emergency as the dog cannot breathe well. If the windpipe is completely blocked, the dog will die in only a few minutes if the bone cannot be dislodged.

Bones can also get lodged in the stomach or the intestinal tract. Again, these are painful life-threatening situations and must be treated immediately, as the bones can penetrate the stomach or GI tract and cause an infection. If this happens, immediate surgery is required but because the situation is so serious, even with treatment, the dog is likely to die.

Yes, dogs need to chew but there are much safer alternative “bones” from which to choose. Discussing these different options with your veterinarian for your particular dog is the wisest thing to do.

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