Submitted by Paige Kail, DVM for Olympia Pet Emergency

Family steak night? Backyard barbecue? Holiday ham leftovers? In many households it is routine to toss bones to your beloved dog. How do you say no to those begging eyes? However, raw and cooked bones can lead to many health problems for your dog. Dogs of all breeds and sizes are at risk. Bones, large or small, can result in a trip to the veterinarian, surgical intervention, or even death. 

Bones commercially purchased or from cooking leftovers may result in a variety of healthy problems. The most commonly reported complications include: gastrointestinal obstruction, vomiting, diarrhea, gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, oral cavity cuts/ bleeding, tooth fracture, intestinal bleeding, choking, etc. 

There are many other healthy alternatives to more safely indulge your dog’s chewing drive, provide mental stimulation, and promote dental health. High quality, fully digestible, dental, nylon, or other dense produced bones and toys are some of the best options. Dental products approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) that have been scientifically shown to be safe and effective are available on the VOHC website. As a veterinarian, I recommend that you monitor all play time with treats and toys to prevent the previously mentioned health issues. If you notice any unusual behavior or gastrointestinal symptoms, please contact a veterinarian.  

For more information about your pet’s care, visit the Olympia Pet Emergency website.

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