Feeding your pet bones

We are often asked about bones. "Am I supposed to feed my pet bones?", "What sort of bones are best?", "How often should I feed my pet bones?" We answer these questions and give you some handy tips on feeding your pet bones.

"are you supposed to feed your pet bones?"

Yes, bones are just one of the ways your pet's teeth can get dental exercise. Raw meaty bones are great for cleaning teeth. Dogs and cats have to chew them causing scraping on the teeth and most importantly gum massage, aiding in the removal of plaque. Alternatively, the same type of dental exercise can be achieved by feeding large hard products such as pig's ears, noses or trotters, rawhide bones and Dentabones. If you are unsure what is best for your pet, please speak to your veterinary healthcare team.

"What sort of bones are best?"

For large, medium and small dogs, ask your butcher for “dinosaur bones”, or bones for a large dog. For very small dogs (toy breeds) and cats, raw chicken necks and chicken wings do a great job. The concern with feeding large breed dogs and puppies small bones like chicken necks is that they could swallow them whole, so it is recommended that you supervise while your pet is eating these.
Raw beef strips for cats and pig ears for small dogs can also give gums a good massage.

"How often should you feed your pet bones?"

If you decide to feed your pet raw bones they should be given 2-3 times per week.

Tips on feeding bones ...

  • If the bone is cut it should be cut across not lengthways. This is to avoid the ‘fattening’ bone marrow being exposed.
  • The bone should always be bigger than the dog's head so it cannot be swallowed.
  • Bones are for chewing on not “through”.
  • Dispose of chewed bones promptly.
  • Bone chewing should be started as kittens or puppies. It is inadvisable to start later in life as incorrect chewing action may lead to tooth damage.
  • Never feed your pet cooked bones as they may splinter and cause intestinal damage

Pets should always be supervised when chewing on bones. NEVER LEAVE YOUR PET UNATTENDED WITH A BONE.

Pet type(s): 
Life stage(s): 
Young
Adult
Senior
Pet library topic(s): 
Basic health and care