Give Your Dog a Bone – Doggy Dental Health.

Lola & Buster enjoying their bones.

Lola & Buster enjoying their bones.

So I planned to write a nice post on the benefits of raw bones for your dogs teeth for the month of February. February is National Canine Dental Health Month. But here it is the 1st of April. Many people think that bones need to be cooked. This is NOT the case for dogs! In fact, cooked bones can often be very dangerous for dogs. They can splinter and cause tears in their intestinal lining. So when feeding bones make sure they are raw! And yes, you can feed your dog chicken bones, IF THEY ARE RAW! Bones such as rib, spine and neck bones are wonderful for your pooches health and contribute the the 10% bone ratio suggested for a healthy RAW diet.

Recreational bones such as knuckle and marrow bones do not count as the 10% bone in their diet. These bones are meant more for recreation and gnawing rather than as food. This is because they are too dense for your dog to eat. Feeding your dog one recreational bone a week however, is like the equivalent of you brushing your teeth twice a day for a week.


Nakia’s teeth. Never had a professional cleaning and haven’t been brush since she was a little puppy. BTW she will be 7 in July!

Nakia has never had her teeth cleaned and I don’t brush them…I personally HATE brushing my dog’s teeth. That and vacuuming. Such a pain in the butt. Our vet is always impressed by Nakia’s pearly whites and says she has teeth like a one year old pup. It has also helped clean up Rosie’s teeth quite a bit. When I first started fostering her she had one of the things Chihuahuas are notorious for. No, not yipping…OK, yes there is yipping but I’m talking about really bad teeth. Through weekly bones and her new raw diet her teeth are looking loads better.

Rose inspecting the new box from Meiers.

Rose inspecting the new box from Meiers.

My favorite place to get recreational bones for the dogs is Clay Meier Game Processing in Draper, Utah. They sell 10 pound boxes of free range deer and elk leg bones for only $10! They also sell meaty bones boxed in 40 pound boxes for $80. You can also pick up beef marrow bones from your local butcher. They are fairly inexpensive too.

So, go on, give your dog a bone!

Rose and Nakia enjoying their raw deer and elk bones

Rose and Nakia enjoying their raw deer and elk bones

Cindy Lou going to town on her bone

Cindy Lou going to town on her bone


8 thoughts on “Give Your Dog a Bone – Doggy Dental Health.

  1. So I’m guessing your raw diet supporting vet also recommends bones? Back home in Australia, our vet was fine with us giving bones to our dogs but said if you want them to do any teeth cleaning then chicken were too soft. But over here (Pacific Northwest) every vet I’ve spoken to says they’re too dangerous. I wonder if that’s just the vets covering themselves legally? Because dogs have been eating bones for years and as long as I don’t give my two cockapoos bones that are out of their league then they have never had any troubles.

    • My vet does recommend them but I feel it is important to listen to your own vet as well. I think they are trying to cover themselves legally. There is also the danger of your dog cracking or breaking a tooth when chewing on something hard like a bone. While I have never had an issue with that, the benefits out way the risk in my opinion. The AVMA, or American Veterinary Medical Association also does not support RAW or BARF diets for dogs, so that could also be why those vets say that.
      I feed my dogs chicken bones mostly to get the bone ratio in their diet fulfilled. I feed them recreational bones such as deer and elk leg bones for dental purposes. Thanks for commenting!

      • Thanks, I was just wondering why the directions were so different between the two countries. They are always supervised with what you called the recreational bones, so if something were to happen then one of us would be right there. Maybe their teeth need to get used to the stronger bones, so if you just went out and got a dog a huge maryland or something then it might not be ready for it? Not that ours would get anything much bigger than a lamb shank, a beef bone might be too much for them to handle haha.

      • My Odin had a couple cracked teeth from bones. I’ve tried to steer clear of them since. It did happen when he was a senior dog. That may have made him more prone to teeth damage.

      • I am hearing more and more that, cracked teeth can be a problem when giving your dog a raw bone. Nakia has always been such a heavy chewer that I am not too worried about her but little Rose I will have to be more careful with.

  2. My vet reluctantly advised knuckle bones only for the dog if we want to give her any bones. But she would rather we not give bones at all, besides the reasons you gave in the post above, she also said it can cause constipation. It is quite confusing how different vets can advise different things!

    • Unfortunately, there is a lack of research in this area. I am assuming your vet told you knuckle bones only to reduce any chance of your dog choking. Bone does work as a stool hardener so when on the days I give my dogs bones I also give them an offal, which acts as a loosen-er, or something like pumpkin. I try to avoid letting my dogs swallow recreational bones like knuckle or leg bones though.
      I too wish vets would get on the same page. It took me a long time and I went through many vets before I found one I was happy with and who I felt spent the time doing his research. Thanks for commenting!

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