Why can’t dogs eat cooked bones?
Cooked bones, including left over bone scraps from your plate, no matter if they are baked, boiled, steamed, fried or smoked are dangerous to our pooches for a number of reasons. As bones are cooked the collegean and nutrients are leached from the bone, leaving a bone that was somewhat soft and flexible now brittle. Should a cooked bone be chewed on by an eager pooch, it is easy for it splinter into jagged pieces. These jagged splinters can then become not only a chocking hazard but can also cause serious internal damage if swallowed, including:
X-ray of a chicken drumstick in a five-year-old Dachshund’s stomach
Can dogs eat cooked bones? The dangers
Can dogs eat cooked bones? Whether they are baked, boiled, steamed, fried, or smoked, they are all harmful to our dogs for a variety of reasons. As bones are cooked, the collagen and nutrients are removed from the bone, leaving it brittle. If a hungry dog was to gnaw on a cooked bone, it is easy for it to splinter into small, sharp pieces. If ingested, these jagged shards might cause choking or significant internal harm, including:
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.
QUESTION: Can Dogs Eat Cooked Bones?
I’ve worked with hundreds of different animal species over the years, and I’ve seen an unfortunate number of medical emergencies during this time.
While just about any acute health problem can cause anxiety for both the pet and its owner, choking represents an especially terrifying event, regardless of whether you are talking about lizards, cats or fish.
Unfortunately, many dogs suffer through this type of horror each year, and the offending item is often a bone.
I can already hear the pushback. Many people have fed their dog bones and have done so without any problem. It’s part of our culture – why do you think we call them “doggie bags?”
Giving your dog a bone almost always results in a happy pup, but this does not mean the practice is safe. After all, most sky divers survive their plunge from a plane, but this hardly makes the activity “safe.” The fact is, while your dog adores them, bones are a high-risk snack for dogs.
Given that the only upside to the practice is a few moments of tail-wagging and lip-smacking (which can easily be achieved with some good ‘ol fashioned haunch scratching and a carrot or other healthy and safe treat), the risk-reward algebra suggests that bones shouldn’t be given to dogs.
It’s difficult to find reliable statistics that track the number of choking-related fatalities that occur each year, but it isn’t hard to find accounts from veterinarians who have seen the problem all too often. In fact, some claim that “bones…are the most common type of foreign body found in the esophagus.”