Can dogs digest bone fragments? Essential Tips

Dog Bone-Eating Basics: Can Dogs Digest Bones?

Just to be clear, yes, dogs can digest some bones. This is not a great feat in the animal kingdom; bears and hyenas consume bones, as do tortoises and vultures. Even rabbits have also been observed to feed on them too. In fact, you can even digest some bones (if you really want to).

The behavior is so common that biologists even have a name for it: osteophagy or osteophagia.

While the specific reasons animals exhibit the bone-eating behavior may vary, most scientists suspect that munching on bones typically accompanies a shortage of essential nutrients from other available foods.

This doesn’t mean that dogs who like bones have nutritional deficiencies, but it is thought to explain the evolutionary development of how dogs have acquired this skill, in the broad sense.

What is the real story about bones and dogs?

It is a myth that dogs need to chew bones. While dogs want to chew, and most would love to chew on bones, bones are dangerous and they can cause serious injuries.

Signs You Should Call a Vet

Most of the time, your dog can eat a bone without any danger. But if your dog does eat a bone that splinters in its stomach, the consequences can be very serious. You should call a vet if your dog is experiencing lethargy or bloating that seems unusual. Bloody stool or vomit can be a sign of a cut in your dog’s digestive tract. A dark, sticky black stool or vomit that looks like coffee grounds may be partially digested blood. If your dog does have a blockage or internal cut from a bone, surgery may be needed to repair the damage and remove any remaining bone fragments.

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