Why are marrow bones not good for dogs and what are some safer alternatives?

Original Question: I listened to your show yesterday and you said that marrow bones were not good for dogs. I have a grandpuppy and when I was looking after her I had given her one of these bones. I’m so glad I heard your show! What would be the best type of toy/treats that I could give her? -

Why are marrow bones not good for dogs and what are some safer alternatives? Apr 25, 2018

Hi there,

Thanks for your question.

There are multiple reasons why hard bones such as marrow bones are not good for dogs. The bone is extremely hard and can break or fracture your dog’s teeth. This is much more common than people think. They are packed with marrow which is extremely high in fat and can stimulate stomach upset or even serious cases of pancreatitis. The hard bone can splinter into shards that can penetrate the tissue of the mouth, pharynx, stomach or the rest of the digestive tract.

An appropriate treat would be one that is low in calories and soft enough to prevent dental trauma. I assume you would also like something that your dog can be entertained by. A really great idea is buying a large ‘kong’ which is a hard rubber toy that you can pack with different food materials such as wet food, kibble, vegetables and any other appropriate treat. A treat like this will make your dog lick, chew, ingest and engage with the toy for longer.

I hope this helps.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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