A dog with a bone- what can be more cliché than that?
Almost everyone in the dog world has an opinion about whether or not marrow bones are safe for dogs.
Thankfully, we all concur that giving dogs a cooked bone is NEVER OK. But raw bones are a different thing. There’s a lot more to discuss on this topic and say whether they are “safe” or not.
Are frozen marrow bones safe for dogs? It depends. Sure, your dog can enjoy this delicacy, but it requires strict supervision on your part for many different reasons.
We’ll tell you about the better alternatives if you need something safe for your pup to chew.
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Should You Give Bones To Your Dogs?
If you’re talking about cooked bones, the answer is a big NO! Cooking dries out the bones and hardens them, which are more prone to splintering. If your dog accidentally swallows a splintered bone, it can puncture an internal organ and cause fatal complications.
Whether raw or cooked, bones, in general, are not safe for our four-legged friends because of various potential risks. Smaller bones are prone to choking hazards, while large bones cause tooth breakage, to say the least.
As for fresh or frozen marrow bones, things aren’t as simple. There are many pros and cons to giving your pup marrow bones, based on vet advice and real-life experiences.
Pros Of Giving Frozen Bone Marrow To Your Dog
Bones- from medium-sized chicken wings to large marrow bones are important in a dog’s diet. They contain many nutrients that are essential for dogs, like calcium and phosphorus.
Wild dogs can eat up an entire prey, which gives them a balanced diet and keeps their teeth clean from all the bone-chewing and gnawing.
What makes marrow bones a better option is that they contain more calories and fats than bones without marrow.
Frozen marrow bones are freshly preserved bones you can give your dog on the go. They contain a good amount of vitamin B12, proteins, and other nutrients that alleviate joint pain and improve skin health.
Since dogs love marrow bones, they keep themselves busy chewing them, which cleans their teeth.
Cons Of Giving Frozen Bone Marrow To Your Dog
On the other hand, there’s a reason why people are increasingly concerned about giving their dogs frozen marrow bones- or any bone, for that matter.
The potential problem with feeding your dog bone marrow is based on the possibility that it might harm itself when chewing the bone.
Here are the reasons why you might not want to feed your dog frozen bone marrows:
It might fracture its teeth
Many pet owners have faced complications with giving their dogs large bones because they broke their teeth.
Hard bones like marrow bones are heavy and too hard for your furry friends to chew on, especially for smaller dog breeds. They can fracture their teeth and cause severe dental problems.
This is why even those who agree to give dogs bones warn us not to give hip bones, leg bones, or similar heavy bones.
Bone Splinters Might Cause Damage Internally
Most of us don’t have the time or dedication to wait for our dogs to chew the taste out of their bone. And that can potentially lead to accidents.
As your dog chews up the marrow and the bone starts to dry, it becomes more brittle. Continuing to chew on it can cause it to break and form splinters that your pup might accidentally swallow.
These small bone bits are dangerous- they can damage the dog’s throat, oral cavity, or internal organ(s).
High-Calories May Not Be Suitable For Your Dog
Since marrow bones have higher calorie content than normal bones, they might not be the best option for dogs with kidney problems.
You also wouldn’t want to feed your dog a frozen marrow bone when it is on a diet.
Marrow bones also aren’t suitable for dogs with weak digestive systems. The high-fat content can cause an upset stomach.
The Shape Of The Bone
Most bone marrow accidents in dogs are due to its hollow tube shape that can easily get stuck in the jaw.
As your pup tries to get every bit of that marrow, the bone can get trapped in its jaw, which is impossible to remove without medical aid.
Most often, dogs with this problem undergo anesthesia and get the bone removed using special equipment at the vet.
In severe cases, the stuck marrow bone can block the dog’s airways, leading to a fatal situation.
Dog owners with more than one dog at home should be meticulous about this con. If you rarely feed your furry friends frozen marrow bones, they probably regard them as a high-value food.
Watch them closely when you give them this treat, as they might resource guard their marrow bones. Even dogs that don’t have a problem sharing might become aggressive during such instances.
Giving your dogs their frozen bone marrow treats in separate rooms is a good idea. Also, you won’t want any of your dogs to bury the bone somewhere you can’t find. Old bones are dangerous.
Some Tips If You Choose To Give Your Pup Marrow Bones
If you think marrow bones are safe for your dogs (because you would know best), go ahead and feed them! But you’d still want to take some precautions to ensure nothing wrong occurs. After all, we’re better safe than sorry.
Take It Outside
Giving raw bones to your dog can get messy. If you don’t want to scrub saliva and blood stains from your hardwood floor, furniture, or carpets, take it outside. Let your dog enjoy its treat outside in the garden or backyard, which you can easily clean up later.
Letting your dog eat outside might not sound hygienic to you. But the bone coming in contact with soil or dirt is surprisingly good for the dog.
Get Rid Of The Bone The Next Day
Your dog’s frozen bone marrow will dry out when left outside. That’s when the other set of potential hazards will occur. So, pick it up and throw it.
Dry bones are prone to breaking, which can cause internal damage to your dog if it returns for it. Allow the dog to relish the bone for a day and get rid of it the day after to prevent accidents.
Watch Your Dog Closely
Regardless of how slowly or quickly your dog eats, it is never safe to leave it on its own while eating. When you’re feeding your pup a frozen marrow bone, you know there are risks.
Ensure that your dog doesn’t become a victim of a choking hazard. Keep a close watch until it’s done eating the marrow.
Are There Better Alternatives To Frozen Marrow Bones?
If you think frozen marrow bones aren’t worth the potential risks, there are other things you can give your dogs to chew on.
Bully sticks are a great option if you want something soft enough to avoid teeth breaking yet hard enough to give it dental benefits.
They are safe and digestible. However, they might be a choking hazard if your dog tries to swallow the entire stick prematurely.
If you think something like that will happen to your pup but still prefer bully sticks to marrow bones, you can get a holder that stops it from swallowing the stick end.
Rubber Treat Holders
The dog market is filled with products to help you and your pup stay safe. One such product is the rubber treat holder. Purchase one suitable to your dog’s size, and you can stuff it with its favorite treat.
Find A Right-Size Toy
To be honest, most chews available for dogs have one risk or the other. But chewing is an essential part of a dog’s life, and we cannot deprive them of it, let alone give them the wrong thing to chew on.
Chewing keeps a dog’s teeth tartar and plaque-free, averts excess energy and keeps it busy. The best way to encourage it is to get a toy it likes in the store.
Get one that won’t break into small pieces. It should also be large enough not to swallow and hard enough to chew but not break its teeth.
The Bottom Line
Are frozen marrow bones safe for dogs? It might be best to avoid giving them to your dog to prevent potential hazards.
There are many other alternatives on the market that can serve the same purpose as marrow bones without the risks associated with them.
If you want your dog to enjoy the goodness of frozen marrow bones, you can always boil them and let it have the broth- NEVER THE BONE.
Nevertheless, deciding whether or not to give marrow bones to your four-legged friend is entirely personal. It depends on the dog’s chewing habits if you have the time to watch it eat, and so on.
Our pros and cons will hopefully give you ample reasons to determine whether marrow bones are safe for your pup.