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Discussion Starter #1
I bought our dog a rib bone (I think, plastic wrapped from a supermarket) and she loves it. She is 40#. Recently when biting it, we heard loud cracks and part of the bone was missing from the end she chewed on. Then a few more loud cracks and she walked away from it. I took it away and noticed a little blood on it and quite and bit of the bone is missing but not on the floor.
Did she eat the pieces from the end of it?
 

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Probably. I quit giving rib bones (as well as a lot of other things, like rawhides) for that very reason. Raw knuckle bones might be a better option, or something like Benebones or Nylabones, if she really likes to chew.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Leo. We got her a Bully Bone but she doesn't chew on it much at all. We tried a Nylabone but she never bothered with it. I wish there was something else she liked she liked to chew besides my fingers.
 

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I would stay away from large, dense smoked bones. Some dogs just don't care if something is too hard to eat. They will go at it anyway instead of slowly gnawing on it. My boyfriend's dog is like that and unfortunately she cracked a tooth chewing on an antler. We found out that it is a pretty common occurrence. Lesson learned. If your dog is a slow chewer, they are unlikely to have any problems but most dogs I know don't really fall under that category.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Sanne. She is definitely an "all in" eater. I'll get rid of it.
After finding a bit of blood on the bone and hearing the loud cracking noises, I fear she may have cracked a tooth. Is there a way to tell if she has? She still loves chomping on ice cubes.
 

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If you can, just open her mouth and take a look around. You can also run your fingers along her teeth, to see if you can feel any sharp edges that could indicate a broken tooth.
 

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Was the rib bone cooked by any manner?

Never give a cooked or smoked or boiled bone to a dog. The cooking process make the bone brittle and more prone to splinter. Then a splinter can be swallowed with a likely digestive track penetration or blockage.

If you give bones, they must be raw. Also, avoid the heavy weight bearing bones. These bones are very strong and are likely to crack teeth.

Always watch the dog as they work on the bone. Remove the bone when it is too small, it cracks or splinter. Monitor the dog for choking or gaging on a bone fragment.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Knute.
I don't know if it was cooked or not. I bought it at the grocery store in the pet section. It was wrapped in plastic. She bit off some pieces of it and I don't know what happened to them.

Was the rib bone cooked by any manner?

Never give a cooked or smoked or boiled bone to a dog. The cooking process make the bone brittle and more prone to splinter. Then a splinter can be swallowed with a likely digestive track penetration or blockage.

If you give bones, they must be raw. Also, avoid the heavy weight bearing bones. These bones are very strong and are likely to crack teeth.

Always watch the dog as they work on the bone. Remove the bone when it is too small, it cracks or splinter. Monitor the dog for choking or gaging on a bone fragment.
 

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ok...it was likely processed in some manner. I don't believe there is a method to preserved a raw bone in plastic without it spoiling.

If you need to offer the dog a bone, please talk to the butcher to get a raw bone. Many times you can order a bone from the butcher, possibly a neck bone or tail.......
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How long do those raw bones last before going bad? Do dogs end up eating them or just chew on them? Sorry for the dumb questions.


ok...it was likely processed in some manner. I don't believe there is a method to preserved a raw bone in plastic without it spoiling.

If you need to offer the dog a bone, please talk to the butcher to get a raw bone. Many times you can order a bone from the butcher, possibly a neck bone or tail.......
 

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I can't really answer how long the bone lasts. Depends on the size, type of bone, the dog chewing..... Use your nose and common sense. If it smells bad, looks bad, cracked, chunks missing......toss it. Talk to your vet for bone suggestions. The vet will likely say NO BONES, if they are steeped in the kibble market. Do some research on the interweb about bone feeding. Then try a bone, but always always always monitor the bone session.

I feed a raw skinless chicken leg 1X each week. My dog crunches up the whole thing and eat all of it. Only evidence left is a wet spot on the tile floor. I monitor the crunch session for any problems. He is able to digest the leg bone without issue. I've been feeding chicken leg like this for 2+ years.
 

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My dog is a 13 lb miniature schnauzer. You can see a picture of us in the Dog Pictures Forum...... look for My Shadow

He consumes the chicken leg in about 5 minutes. I have been considering a larger bone, but have not found a suitable bone for a trial. The leg makes up part of his 2nd meal of the day. He gets the whole leg minus the skin. So a good portion of meat is included, not just bone.
 

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With big raw bones (eg anything much heftier than poultry for our two <10 kg boys), we've taken to letting the dogs work all the meat scraps off and do a little gnawing, but then trade it off for something before they actually consume much. This is partially for tooth protection (raw bones do dry out eventually and become more risky to teeth) and digestion. Our last experiment with lamb rib resulted in a VERY constipated poodle (despite him being a good chewer and experienced with raw and bones) and required several vet trips. That doesn't mean lamb ribs are bad, just not appropriate for him specifically to eat in a single sitting.

Guess I'm saying to be a little conservative and watch how she chews and what her poops are like if you want to try raw bones. Not trying to scare you - they're a GREAT chew option and give dogs a real workout and a lot of good enrichment, you just have to figure out what works best for your dog. At 40lbs she can probably handle bigger bones than my boys, but you may have to be careful not to feed something so small she's tempted to swallow it whole without any chomping at all. Chicken quarters may be a good start vs. drumsticks, for example.
 

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Oh.....good point. The bones do have a tendency to bind up the sidewalk treasures. Error on the conservative side. Watch the dog while chewing and then for the next movement.

DS, I'm pretty sure your poodle will do well with a lamb rib bone over a couple of sessions. I can understand how an entire bone would act like Immobile BM for the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the great replies guys.
So they do actually consume the bone itself? I can't see how the sharp edges of it would be good passing through.
 

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Unless the bone is cooked (and smoked bones sold as dog chews count), dried out, or very dense (think cow femur), it's actually quite safe - not prone to splintering or sharp edges. One of the reasons we suggest feeding a bone with meat on it is that this can cushion the bone going down and also helps mitigate the constipating effect bone can have, but dog stomachs are perfectly well equipped to digest most raw bones. In our case with the lamb rib, it wasn't chunks of bone causing the issue, but rather very dry and hard feces - the actual bone was digested in the stomach, but the excess calcium really bound up his poops. He does fine with smaller bones with more meat on them, like chicken legs.

Definitely make your own choice about what you're comfortable with and what you think would work for your dog. Honestly any edible, long-lasting chew has some risk of causing tooth damage and/or impaction, so it's up to each owner to judge what those risks are for their individual dog and where their comfort level is.
 

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Yes, the dog is equipped to digest raw bones. IIRC, a dog's stomach pH is around 1, very acidic.

Too much bone will make give the dog immobile BM or have them working hard to pass a granite statue. Always give the bone with plenty of meat.
 
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