Rawhide, Dental Chews, Antlers, Recreational Chews and Load Bearing Bones Are Not Good For Your Dog's Health, Find Out Why and Learn About Appropriate Health Supporting Alternatives

 
★ 4.5 min read
In this article:
  1. Species Appropriate Chews Support Your Dog's Overall Health
    1. Raw Meaty Bones 
    2. Single Ingredient Air Dried, Dehydrated or Freeze Dried Pure Animal Protein Chews
  2. Examples of Bones you Should Not Give to Your Dog
    1. Recreational Bones - Load Bearing Bones (Smoked, Dry, Raw), Antlers, Rawhide
    2. Dental Chews

1.0 Species Appropriate Chews Support Your Dog's Overall Health

Species appropriate chews support your puppy and dog's overall health and well-being. Appropriate chews are:
  1. A source of essential nutrients.
  2. Exercises teeth, gums, and jaw.
  3. Helps remove plaque and keep teeth clean.
  4. Satisfies a dog’s natural need to chew.
  5. Provides an outlet to expend energy.
  6. Helps prevent boredom.
  7. And for puppies, helps sooth itchy gums during teething.
There are many different types of chews that you can select from. Your dog may pick their own naturally available items to chew. My dog’s love to pick their own sticks to gnaw on while we are on out trail walks together…tree twigs actually contain some very good natural oral care properties - volatile oils that stimulate blood circulation and tannins that tighten and clean gum tissue.


You can choose from a wide assortment of chews available at most pet supply stores and on-line HOWEVER most contain species inappropriate ingredients and toxic additives. Make sure when you are selecting a product you understand the pros and cons of using each product and what to look for to identify good product from poor or down right dangerous product (ingredients that include toxins and carcinogens). The information below provides a guide to choosing quality product and the right product.

And one other thing to keep in mind,  you won't know the quality of the item, much like the meat used in dog kibble - unless the labelling states that the chew (whether bone, dental chew, etc.) is from an animal that was;
  1. Antibiotic free
  2. Steroid free
  3. Not intensively farmed (factory farm- raised)
  4. Not from a 4D animal (dead, diseased, disabled or dying prior to slaughter)
I point the above out primarily to make you aware of how many things your dog may ingest in the course of a typical day that may contribute to a toxic load. The more you are aware of, the greater opportunity you have to prioritize and make informed choices. 
 

1.2 Raw Meaty Bones

Nature's toothbrush for dogs, and a source of essential nutrients in the canine diet.
 
Chewing on raw bones will definitely help to keep your dog’s teeth clean. Raw meaty bones are nature's toothbrush, and an essential component of a species appropriate diet.

My dogs eat raw meaty bones every day.
For example, raw chicken and duck necks, chicken, duck, turkey feet chicken wings, turkey necks, poultry heads, chicken backs, goat necks and ribs, are safe for dogs. 
 
Raw meaty bones should be included in your dog and puppy's daily diet.

However, not all raw bones are appropriate for your dog. 
 
For a Guide to Raw Meaty Bones for Dogs and Puppies:
  1. Nutritional value of raw meaty bones.
  2. How to select appropriate raw meaty bones for your puppy and adult dog.
  3. How to introduce raw meaty bones to your puppy and dog's diet. 
  4. Additional tips and important information.
Go to this article.  

1.2 Single Ingredient Air Dried, Dehydrated or Freeze Dried Pure Animal Protein Chews

Pure animal protein muscle meat, organs, etc., air dried, dehydrated or freeze dried chews
 
Single ingredient pure animal protein muscle meat, organs, etc., air dried, dehydrated or freeze dried chews make a good 'treat' and can be an entertaining chew. Examples include: pure poultry breast, tendons, heart, liver, pizzles, etc.

These are not a replacement for raw meaty bones, but can be given as an additional chew item.

Always be present when your puppy of dog is chewing on or consuming these chews.

3.0 Examples of Bones you Should Not Give to Your Dog

Hip and femur bones of large animals such as cattle and bison are great for your dog to chew on, but beware the cautions noted below.

Marrow bones can lead to GI upset and acute pancreatitis due to the rich marrow found in large animal bones. As well, marrow bones are load-bearing bones, meaning the bone is very dense, not supple. This type of bone can cause tooth fractures and other oral cavity injury. I don't recommend marrow bones.

Chewing on any type of load bearing bone too intensely can cause tooth fracture.
 
Bone splinters from load bearing bones can rip a dog’s stomach and/or intestines causing serious and sometimes lethal damage if swallowed - if you see that your dog is chipping and fragmenting the bone take the bone away, always make sure you pick up and discard the fragment. 
 
Don't give your dog cooked bones as cooking increases the fragility of the bone increasing risk of splinters and fractures.
 
For more information on what to avoid, which raw bones are best for your dog, nutritional value and other important information go to this article.
 

3.1 Recreational Bones - Load Bearing Bones (Smoked, Dry, Raw), Antlers, Rawhide

Not recommended




I do not recommend smoked, load bearing 'natural' bones or rawhide for dogs to chew on.
Load bearing bones (natural or smoked) and Antlers:
  1. Splinter and can cause serious internal damage.  
  2. Are the most common cause of tooth fractures and oral cavity injuries.
  3. Smoked products are carcinogenic.
Raw Hide, plain, smoked, etc.
  1. Raw hide is bleached. Bleach is a carcinogen. 
  2. Raw hide products are treated with food coloring, additives, and other toxins 
 

3.2 Dental Chews

Not recommended

Dental chews are available at most pet supply stores, grocery stores etc. and on-line. Remember don’t fall for advertising. There are NO good dental chew products. I recommend you not give these to your dog. 
 
Give your dog raw meaty bones. Raw meaty bones are nature's toothbrush for dogs.


Holistic Diet, Nutrition, Wellness Services Tailored to Your Individual Dog and Cat

For information about my holistic diet, nutrition and wellness services, visit my holistic wellness services page.

Maintain good health | Address acute and chronic health issues | Pre and post surgery support and recovery

My holistic wellness services are available worldwide via video consultation.

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For information about my holistic behavioral services, visit my holistic behavioral services page.

For dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds.

My behavioral services are available worldwide via video consultation.

🌎 USA | Canada | UK | Europe | Australia | New Zealand | Asia | South and Central America | Africa | UAE

πŸ“±FaceTime | Facebook | Skype | WhatsApp

To set-up your holistic behavioral session get in-touch via email, go to my contact me page. 
 
Affiliations to Companies  
✓ None. 
✓ I don't sell food, supplements, or other products.
I'm not aligned with any companies. 
 
Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld.

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