Are bones bad for dogs teeth?

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Booldawg | 17:32 Fri 29th Jan 2010 | Animals & Nature
19 Answers
Our vet has advised us not to give our dog a bone to chew as he says it can damage the teeth. We've only had him since November and not given him any. I do like the idyllic image of the dog knawing on a juicy knuckle end (the sort you get from pet shops) out on the patio in summer.

He's a staffy and a hard chewer and I know he'd love to partake but how risky is it? We've had dogs before and they've all chewed 'real' bones to no ill effect.


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The only bones ive never given my dog are chicken bones, but that's only because they can splinter.

No doubt some doggy person will come along and tell you otherwise, but I honestly have never heard of not being able to give a dog a bone to gnaw on before.
I don't think you should give little dogs bones, but i dont know if staffys are too little.
yeah, no dogs should have chicken bones but bigger dogs can have all other kinds.
Out of curiousity Mollykins, why not? It's not because they wont be able to lift their heads from the ground with the bones in their gob is it? ;-)
I was informed by my vet that bones and sticks were bad but not for the reason of teeth but because shards can damage their insides! I think dogs have survived for years eating sticks and bones for years so who knows?
Well you can listen to what people say on here........or you can listen to the expert the vet..................
raw bones are ok , but cooked one can splinter ...foxes survive
and they eat anything ...
My dogs and puppies (from 3 weeks old) have both cooked and raw knuckle and marrow bones to chew on. They help the puppies to get rid of their baby teeth and strengthen the gums when the adult teeth come through. They also keep them occupied when left or travelling. Obviously not cooked poultry or chop bones though.
If I ever have puppies they all go with bones, pigs ears etc to help them settle in.
boo, they splinter and little dogs are more likely to choke as their throats are thinner.
no comments about the health or otherwise for the dog, but that idyllic image cam quicly be shattered by the appearance of blowflies and their eggs :-( on the bone (personal experience)
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Thanks for all the replies. I guess with a dog with powerful jaws he's more likely to break off large shards than a dog that will just grind the bone down slowly.

I do listen to vets advise but like doctors etc they get drawn towards particular trends or methodology that they tend to agree with, hence getting 'the peoples' concensus.

Woofs' blow fly story sounds truly disgusting! I think I'd lose the contents of my stomach witnessing that...
I would more go for pigs ears or raw hide chews, denture sticks are ok , But I could not come to terms with raw bones beeing given, i have not ever gave mine them so i could not tell you how long is safe before they go off or if they had tape worm eggs in them.....yuck
My lot have bones hanging around for ages and they will go and get one to chew on when they feel like it. Once they have chewed all the meaty gristly bits off they will keep for ages. My last litter (nearly 7 years ago) had a 'postmans leg' for years and I only threw it out about six months ago.
I only feed raw knuckle bones about once a month to keep their teeth clean. TBH my one bitch is not at all keen, and we really have to tempt her with it, usually by scraping out the marrow and smearing it on the outside of the bone, which she promptly licks off and will leave the bone for one of the others. I take them off them after an hour or two, as the older one in particular, will have stripped it in a very short time, and becomes bored of it, standing over the others waiting for their leave offs.
Congratulations Booldawg you got a reply from the vet which you didn't like so decided to come on here for expert advice.
Next time the doctor gives a diagnosis I don't like I must come on here for a second opinion................
Craft, there are some of us who have long practical experience of dogs.We haven't just read some paper about what may have happened to some dogs in a sample or reasoned backwards from those cases of dogs who we deduced (correctly or otherwise) had damaged their teeth on bones and concluded that all dogs would damage their teeth,. or were at risk of so doing, from any bones or all bones.
Show us the scientific papers and research upon which this vet based his or her opinion and we'll see how valid that is to support what is, supposedly the conclusion drawn.
My own vet has never given that opinion,though she's had ample opportunity over the years, given the number of dogs I have now and have bred, nor have I encountered any reported research to support such an opinion.
okay fred....and you're a vet?.......who people pay for their opinions, which I assume must come via training and qualifications.......
Not all vets are dog owners, and , like workers in human health professions (I was one) they only see patients when something goes they will see dogs whose teeth have been worn down by bone chewing and might, just might therefore assume that "most" dogs who are given bones get tooth damage. Its not even like you do that thinking with the front of your brain which makes it harder to identify in yourself.
I worked with older people in the community, so all I ever saw was people who had illness and or disability and had problems coping at home. I have never forgotten going to a lecture on the experience of old age and being told (proven statistics) that only six percent of people who live to old age actually have any significant long term disability or illness. All the rest live reasonably independently to a reasonable old age then have some kind of short illness and fall off the perch. I found this amazing as to me the whole world of older people was one of frailty and disability.
Sorry for the witter but do you see my point? Vets may not be the best people to have a view on what is "normal" in a dog, especially if they aren't dog owners!
Have to add here that my vet wont recommend 'all' types of bones, only knuckle bones. A vet is the one who has to perform surgery on dogs bought in with bones stuck in dogs mouths, chest cavity, abdomen etc, and I can see that when speaking to a novice owner, they may suggest they steer away from bones altogether as some people owners would think, oh ok, if a knuckle bone is fine, a cooked chop bone would be ok as well (which it definitely isnt). I had a butcher who tried to palm me off with some bones that I know would splinter.

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