As any dog owner will know, dogs love treats. Giving your dog a tasty chew or bone as a reward for good behavior will teach dogs discipline and can also incorporate healthy chewing and nutrients into their diet. However, dog owners must learn what bones are the best to give their pets.
The benefits of bones
Besides being a source of entertainment, bones provide dogs with a healthy chewing outlet to stop them from chewing on items and furniture within the home. Chewing can be a form of stress relief and a way to release excess energy.
Gnawing on dog bones on a regular basis can help remove plaque from teeth and control the level of tartar in the mouth. This also stimulates gums which helps stave off gum disease. For puppies who are still developing, chewing can help relieve the pain and discomfort of teething. Routine chewing on bones and other toys is a healthy dental habit that can prevent costly visits to the vet.
What to look for in a dog bone
When selecting the types of bones to give your dog, it is important to remember that not all dog bones are made the same. Always give your dogs bones from verified sources and are specifically meant to be given to dogs. Raw bones will need to be given fresh and consumed quickly to eliminate the chance of bacterial growth, whereas baked bones will last longer. If you’re not sure about a specific bone, talk to your vet before you give it to your dog.
Finding the right bone for your dog
There are a number of different dog bones on the market. Most dogs will possess a specific chewing behavior, meaning that some types of bones may not be suitable for them. If your dog tends to devour their chews, you may want to invest in a long-lasting, durable dog bone that will stand up to their aggressive chewing. In this case a nylon-based dog bone is sturdier and will be harder for them to consume quickly. You can also purchase a number of specially made long-lasting bones. Jumbo dog bones and knuckle bones are well-suited for large dogs and aggressive chewers and are meant to last a long time.
If your dog is not an aggressive chewer, beef scapula bones, which are slightly smaller than larger femur and knuckle bones, are a good choice. Made from the shoulder blade of a cow, they are naturally rich in protein and calcium.
Similar to humans, dogs can have days where they are disinterested in a certain type of flavor one day and love it the next, so it is a good idea to purchase a number of dog bone types. Not only will the frequent chewing of a dog bone help dental health, but it will also keep your dog entertained and engaged.