Dental Health and Raw Bones

Just in time for Pet Dental Health Month, the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal shared an article on raw bone safety. 

Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA says, “The major purpose of feeding raw bones is to clean the teeth. This can only be accomplished if the pet chews the bone. Gulping is not beneficial…A variety of bone types are generally fed as part of a raw diet. In addition to eating flesh and organs, these raw-fed dogs need to ingest a variety of bone types that also contain meat, marrow and cartilage, to satisfy nutrient needs. When bones are simply fed for recreational purposes, the composition becomes less important, but has an impact on safety and enjoyment.”

Gruenstern goes on to discuss factors to consider when giving your pet a raw bone, and how to choose the right-sized bone for the right-sized pet.

“It is not as simple as small pet/small bone or large pet/large bone. Owners should be encouraged to observe how their pet chews and ingests a bone.” She then covers different types of bones and bone parts pertinent for cleaning teeth.

Reported problems include:

Too much bone can harden stool

Too much marrow causing diarrhea

 Dogs can sometimes chip or break teeth on raw bones

• Bacterial contamination is a possibility


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