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 Post subject: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:11 pm 
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I'm thinking of giving my non-cocker terrorist a bone to help with tartar on his teeth. On the "old" forum there was a discussion of what type to buy - and I didn't print it. (I think it was one of Julie Hydro's posts).

Can anyone refresh me on what to ask the butcher for? I know I shouldn't cook it, but how do I "care" for it once I have it, LOL? Can he chew it until it's gone (if it lasts more than a couple of days?) Is it too messy for inside? Does it really keep their teeth clean enough that they don't need dentals?

Thanks for any and all info.

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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:40 pm 
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I have purchased soup bones (marrow bones or the long bones, such as femur) for my guys. I keep them frozen until they get them, and usually let them gnaw away for an hour or two. Much longer than that and I find they get upset tummies from the richness of the bones. I return them to the freezer in between chew sessions. Once all of the meat/ligament/stuff is off the bone, they're fine to leave out. I only give my dogs bones outside because they can be messy. If you have lino or tile, it might not be such a big deal to clean up, but I wouldn't let them have bones on the carpet.

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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:38 pm 
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My vet recommended beef leg bones, so that's what I buy from the butcher. The butcher will slice up an entire leg bone into dog-friendly pieces which I freeze and give out occasionally. I let them chew on them until they get to a size I worry is too small that they might accidentally choke on then throw away. They love the bones, and it definitely helps clean their teeth. I prefer they eat them outside, but I have a dogflap, so unfortunately the bones always end up inside somewhere... :bang


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:26 am 
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Jeepers Grace - I would think the leg bones would be so hard that they could break a dogs teeth - remember those leg bones have to hold up that heavy cow. I would go with ribs instead if I were you. JMO


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:01 am 
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Haha, don't worry. Usually they just chew out the marrow and meat and gnaw on the bone, leaving most of the bone itself. They carry the bone around for awhile until it's just a dried out shell, then it usually ends up in the garden somewhere as just another toy. But, saying that, you do have to be very careful with the smaller bones. Lottie choked once on a raw chicken wing (I think she tried to swallow it whole)...luckily I was there to remove it by swinging her upside down. It was truly scary, which is why I don't leave small bones around and always watch them now when feeding them things like raw chicken wings.


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:08 am 
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Yes - when I was feeding raw to Atticus and Scout, I never gave them any wings just chicken backs or fronts. I also gave them pork riblets, beef ribs and smashed turkey necks.


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:32 am 
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I never tried feeding ribs or necks before, but that sounds like a good option so I'll keep a lookout next time I'm at the butchers, thanks! I like the cow leg bones too though, as the butcher will slice one up for me for just like £3-4 and it will last in the freezer months since it's so huge and divides into so many pieces. I only feed them occasionally, every few weeks or so, as special treats.


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:32 am 
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The trick with any bone is it must be raw (no cooking, smoking, etc.) so if the dog does ingest some it will digest. Cooked won't do that and are so brittle they are more like broken wood to their digestive system and can be very sharp. They also need to be big enough so a dog won't just swallow it whole.

You will have to see what your dog does. Some are chewers, some are gulpers and never quite get what bones are about. The beef leg bones are the hardest of all the bones (and weight bearing bones from large animals are) and can break teeth depending on how the dog works it. Some dogs chew the bones, some gnaw off bits, others just lick the marrow out and don't deal with the bone part at all. The marrow is what can cause some poop issues if the dog isn't used to having that richness and fat. The dog I have now is a marrow licker (but she gets whole chicken bones in her meals) so that meets her needs for something to keep her busy (doesn't clean her teeth just licking the bones though).

Anyway, if you can find soup or leg bones that are fairly large (you don't want them swallowed or so small they can get into trouble with them jammed in their mouths or whatever), try and find ones with a bit of meat on them. They can be a bit messy but dogs can be trained to eat them on a mat or towel so carpets aren't stained at all (and I've found enzyme cleaners like Nature's Miracle solves that problem if it happens). I let my dog have the bone until I see it getting sharp edges or dying out (which means it's getting brittle) so it can stay out a couple of days while she works on it. My last dog devoured them so there was often nothing left even if she had a big knuckle to work at. No bone lasted a day with her so taking them away was never an issue.

For cleaning purposes, better to have bones that can be chewed like ribs or turkey/chicken necks. They do the job (as will a good ol' whole raw carrot). Even the littlest mouths can do necks. My dog loves hers frozen solid for some reason while others like them thawed. What you want to avoid is giving a dog a rib or neck that has been cut into bite sized chunks as that doesn't help their teeth cleaning and could be gulped. They need that gnawing action to get the plaque off.

If you have a pet store that carries raw food they can show you the type of bones that are used as food and the ones that are used for recreation and give you some ideas of what might work best for your dog. Then you can speak with a butcher or know what to ask for.

Also when you are starting out, keep an eye on the dog until you are sure they are handling the bone okay. You may even have to hold it for them to get the idea they can't just bite off pieces and swallow. They need to understand chewing or just gnawing bits off is the way it's done.

Jean


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:16 pm 
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I have friends who are deer hunters and get the legs from them.Dogs seem to really love them and they last quite a while. they are seasonal, so it's a special treat for my dogs.


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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:26 am 
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My guys get marrow bones; beef or venison. And ALWAYS raw!

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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:52 am 
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We have switched to Bully Sticks here for the time being. Once I get my strength and focus back we will most likely go to uncooked as well.

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 Post subject: Re: What type of bones?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:53 am 
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Stephen wrote:
We have switched to Bully Sticks here for the time being. Once I get my strength and focus back we will most likely go to uncooked as well.


It's only bones that I feed raw... as they are dangerous if cooked.

Vera

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