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Soup Bones

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Member Since
04/20/2010
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 12:47pm PST 
I just got a 2 month old black lab mix on Sunday smile She is adorable and sweet and loves to chew on EVERYTHING! My dad suggested getting large soup bones from the food store and cooking them for her to chew on. I did some research and am finding all different answers. Some people say to cook them to remove bacteria, others say keep them raw so the bone doesn't splinter and others say do not give them at all. I would love some advice on this as I'm really trying to find something healthy that my pup can chew on that will keep her occupied. Thanks!
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 1:17pm PST 
All of the above.

If you cook them, the bone becomes brittle and can splinter. I do not feed cooked bones at all.

If you leave them raw, there is an increased risk of bacterial growth - however, meat for human consumption is closely regulated AND dogs are created to handle huge bacteria loads without harm.

Soup bones are the weight-bearing bones of livestock. Weight-bearing bones are the densest in the body, and the larger the animal the harder they are. Thus beef soup bones (the most common) are completely inedible (minus the marrow). If you smash two objects together hard enough, eventually the softer one will give... So yes, your dog can break teeth chewing soup bones.

Your other options are knuckle bones, which still have a hard and inedible piece but are covered in softer joint tissue and meat. Or fully edible raw bones (if you go fully edible bones MUST be raw!!) that would count as part of your dog's diet.

As I tell my puppy classes, bones are wonderful but there ARE risks. They are mostly negated by educating yourself, watching your dog closely and adapting as needed. If you are too nervous or don't want to put in the time watching and learning, bones are not right for you. I've watched my dogs, I know what works for us, and I give raw soup bones, knuckle bones and fully edible raw bones.

You can come off bones entirely and stick with things like bully sticks, Himalayan chews, split elk antlers (all fully edible), stuffed frozen Kongs, treat-holding toys, Nylabones or hard rubber toys (all toys will wear down eventually and need replacing).

Edited by author Thu Sep 6, '12 1:23pm PST

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Member Since
04/20/2010
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 1:32pm PST 
Thank you very much. That was great advice! I did buy bully sticks, but am holding off on giving them to her until her current bout of diarrhea has passed. In addition to the sticks, I have various toys for her to play with and chew on, but they don't seem to keep her attention very long. I will keep experimenting!
I have also heard mixed things about pig ears and hooves. Do you have any advice about those?
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 2:02pm PST 
Good idea, not introducing anything while her belly's upset. If you need entertainment in the meantime, you could get a kibble-dispensing toy and feed portions of her regular meals out of that.

Personally, I'm not crazy about pig ears because they're mostly fat and don't provide much chewing time at all (unless you have a very small dog). So no nutritional value AND little entertainment value. There's nothing wrong with them, I just don't see the point.

If your dog tries to swallow them whole or in large pieces, they can be dangerous. I worked with a Rottie who swallowed one whole - it softened in her stomach and settled over the exit to her stomach. She was very sick for most of a day as bile, water, and her breakfast was all trapped in her stomach. Surgery was being discussed when she finally digested and passed the ear on her own.

I don't like hooves because like cooked bones, they can splinter. Also, they STINK! Haha I had one years ago for my Belle and it was the most disgusting chew I've ever given a dog. I think, because they aren't easily edible, bacteria collects in the textured inside part as it kicks around. I remember it being a complete rug lint magnet too.

That being said, if you do get into the more extreme end of the raw bones and food thing, you can buy whole, raw cow feet from certain dealers and websites. They are enormous and you have to have the stomach to handle a whole raw cow foot - but the dogs love them!
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Member Since
04/20/2010
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 2:16pm PST 
Yikes, okay. I think I'll stay away from the ears and hooves for now. And I definitely can't handle the raw feet idea. I'm a vegetarian myself and have a hard enough time looking at all the animal bones and food as it is!
My father is arguing with me about the cooked soup bone. He thinks that because my puppy is only two months old, she would not be able to break off any of a cooked bone. I am trying to explain that it splinters when cooked, but he thinks that would only be harmful to a dog, not a puppy. Ugh. I may go the raw soup bone route, though, and make sure to carefully monitor at all times!
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 4:27pm PST 
I also give raw soup bones and bones from smaller animals like lamb femurs are fine. Another thing that kept my puppies entertained and helped during teething as well was tying a rope or towel torn or cut into strips in knots and soaking them in fat free sodium free beef ,chicken,or turkey stock and freezing them,when they thaw you just resoak and refreeze,I still use these as a summer treat for my now 5 and 2 year old Akitas.hugwisheswelcome to your new family member.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 6:00pm PST 
For me my favorite chew bone for pups and dogs alike is a nice meaty lamb shank from the super market. Plenty of meat to chew, the bones tend to be soft, and you can always take it away if teeth start scraping on bone.

As dogs get older, I also like to give a lamb neck, usually sliced lengthways. Always supervise the chewing session.
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 7:08pm PST 
See, my guys can't do lamb. They'll rip all the meat off, then crush the femurs or shanks and make them splinter. Occasionally, as a treat if I find really cheap lamb I'll do it and sit right there with a high-value trade item to swap as soon as they're done with the meat. It's a lot of work when I could just give them something they won't try to shatter - like beef ribs, which in turn, I know a lot of dogs who can't have beef ribs because they'll will try to eat them whole... It's all about your dog when it comes to raw bones.
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Farley

Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 7:16pm PST 
Definitely don't give any cooked bones. Soup bones don't have very much meat on them anyway, so they certainly wouldn't be first on my list to give a pup.

Look for meatier bones and make sure they are raw, and ALWAYS supervise and try not to give anything smaller than your dog's head.

Other items for chewing that work great for us are bully sticks. They're expensive in most places but they provide a nice long healthy, natural chew and most dogs LOVE them.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Fri Sep 7, '12 4:07am PST 
That's a shame about the lamb bones, Ember. My butcher gives me lamb flaps (rib cages) and they are awesome, so soft and meaty. I cut them up and substitute them for chicken. But they are from very young animals too. Mutton is a whole different matter. I got a sheep spine once and I ended up taking it away because I feared for his teeth. I would never feed a 'lamb' shank from an adult.

It really is a know thy dog thing.
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