Ripping into a nice big bone is not only a pleasure for most dogs, it’s also actually good for their health. Bones are nature’s toothbrush! Chewing on one helps dogs remove plaque and tartar from their teeth and freshens their breath. However, it’s important to know the right bones to offer… Because making the wrong choice could mean ending up in the emergency room. Let’s learn more about recreational bones!
What are recreational bones and what are they for?
Recreational bones are big, raw and natural bones that can (and should) contain some flesh, tendons or cartilage.
The main goal is for these bones to be chewed and not swallowed! They are very good weapons to remove tartar accumulation and prevent new tartar from appearing. Plus, they are perfect to provide entertainment, mental stimulation, and to strengthen some jaw and neck muscles.
Any dog can enjoy recreational bones, whether they’re being fed with kibble, BARF or home-cooked food.
How much do recreational bones cost?
It depends – they can even cost zero! These bones are considered “garbage” in most butcheries… So if you talk to someone who works in one, they may be able to put some aside for you. It is also possible to buy recreational bones at some pet stores.
What kind of bone should be used?
The most important thing is that the bone should be big – always bigger than the head of your dog, so that they won’t be able to swallow it. There aren’t any bones “too big”, but there are definitely some that are too small.
Flesh and other tissues around the bone (such as cartilage and tendons) is a good thing! Both to make the bone more nutritious and interesting, and also to pad the bite.
Be careful with dogs who are too aggressive biting in the bone. For this type of dog, it’s best to offer lighter bones (avoid hard bones, like leg bones) and with more meat, to avoid any teeth fractures.
Three “don’ts” to keep in mind: don’t offer bones cut lengthwise; don’t offer bone marrow bones to dogs with pancreatitis; and never cook the bones!
How often should you give recreational bones to your dog?
1 to 2 times per week.
How should you offer them?
Here are some tips on how to offer these bones:
- They should be frozen at least 3 days before you offer them;
- Those that are not being used should be kept in the freezer all the time;
- Choose an area where you can wash the floor very well (for example, balcony or garden);
- If you have more than one dog, it’s best to separate them in different areas;
- Offer the bone and let the dog chew on it for about 35/45 minutes; make sure you supervise the entire process – always keep an eye on your pup!
- After chewing, the bone should be discarded immediately and the area should be cleaned.
Still have any doubts? Maven’s vet team is here to help you anytime!
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