Can Dogs Eat Lamb Bones

The popular idea that dogs love chewing on bones is universal for a reason. Animal bones contain marrow and grease that provide dogs with much-needed fat in their diets. Dogs don’t just chew bones, either — using special teeth inherited from their wolf ancestors, they gradually grind the bones down and eat the dust.

Raw lamb bones, with most of the meat removed, are a great choice for your furry friend. That said, you can’t just finish eating your lamb chop and toss it on the floor for your dog to snatch up. There are several crucial steps to follow in order to make sure your dog enjoys its lamb bone in a safe, healthy way.

We would always advise against giving your dog any kind of bones. Lamb bones in particular can be really dangerous for your dog as, due to their size, pieces can be broken off when your dog is chewing, which can easily cause obstruction and damage to their gastrointestinal tract.

Which Are the Right Bones to Feed Your Dog?

Dogs have been eating raw meat and bones for thousands of years, and according to many vets, this shouldn’t change just because men invented kibbles. A dog’s digestive system is strong enough to process raw bones and meat, and at the same time, it fights the bacteria that comes with it.

You can feed your dog any kind of meat that you’d buy for yourself, such as chicken, beef, turkey, pork, and lamb, and most of these bones as well. However be sure to avoid pork bones, because they splinter easily, and the heavy bones of larger herbivores, because they’re difficult to break and may harm your dog.

To avoid such incidents, you should consider your dog’s size when giving her a bone. Choose bones that can’t fit entirely in your dog’s mouth, because swallowing the whole bone could kill her. And watch her every time she’s chewing on her bone, as you normally do when you feed her, just in case.

You’ll notice that all specialists state that dogs should eat raw bones only. Cooked bones can cause severe health problems, and can even kill a dog, especially the ones coming from lamb and chicken. So never let your dog have free access to dinner leftovers.

Are Lamb Bones Bad for Dogs?

So, the answer to “can dogs eat lamb bones” is yes, but there are some risks. The risks of lamb bones aren’t specific to this type of bone. In fact, they apply to all large bones given as dog chews, including beef, oxtail, and more. The major risks of lamb bones as a chew, or even as a part of a raw diet are:

  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Broken teeth/dental injuries
  • Internal blockages/injuries
  • Potentially harmful bacteria
  • Increased guarding behavior
  • Let’s take a closer look at each of these in turn.

    Lamb bones can offer our dogs some important nutrients. But, if your dog is already eating a commercial kibble diet, or a commercial wet food diet, they will already be receiving the correct balance of nutrients. So, offering them a lot of bones and additional raw food can upset this. Generally, treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. And, studies have suggested that homemade diets, including homemade raw diets with bones, are at higher risk of nutritional imbalances than commercial diets.

    So, if you’ve decided to give your dog lamb bones, either as part of their diet or as an occasional treat chew, you should do so under the guidance of your veterinarian. They will be able to monitor your dog’s health, and to ensure that your pooch is getting the right amount of nutrients.

    We’ve already learnt that chewing on bones can help dogs by reducing dental calculus buildup. But, bones can also pose a threat to our dog’s dental health. The bones we give to dogs as chews are often thick and very hard, such as thigh bones, shanks, shoulder bones, and so on. These hard bones can lead to broken or chipped teeth, both of which can be very painful and require expensive veterinary assistance.

    Dental problems caused by bones don’t just include broken teeth. Sharp pieces of bone can puncture or scratch the inside of your dog’s mouth, small pieces of bones can become stuck between teeth, and more. To minimise this risk, you should supervise your dog whenever they are chewing on a bone. Or, look into softer dental chews with your veterinarian.

    Raw bones are less likely to splinter and break than cooked bones. But, there’s still a small chance that raw bones can break. Especially if your dog is chewing on them over long periods. And, it’s likely that your dog will consume any pieces they do manage to chew off. These pieces can be sharp, and small enough to present a choking hazard. If any are successfully swallowed, their sharp edges can scratch or pierce your dog’s internal organs and digestive system. This can be extremely dangerous, even life-threatening.

    Signs of internal injuries from swallowed bone can include:

  • Vomiting and/or retching
  • Lethargy
  • Whimpering/signs of pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • And more. If you think your dog has suffered internal issues from swallowing a small piece of bone, you should take them to the veterinary surgeon straight away.

    Because bones must be given to dogs in their raw state, there’s a natural concern about the bacteria present on their surface. This isn’t just a concern for our dogs, but also for us and any other family at home. For instance, young children. There’s a lot of debate about whether or not this potential bacteria can harm our dogs. But, if you decide to give your dog lamb bones, make sure you’re vigilant in your personal hygiene and cleaning routines to reduce the risk of this bacteria harming you and the rest of your family.

    The final risk to note is not related to our dog’s health, but instead to their behavior. Since most lamb bones are not consumed all in one sitting, but rather over several, your dog may become possessive over the bone whenever someone attempts to take it away. This is particularly problematic in homes with young children that might not be able to properly read dog body language, and that could really suffer from dog bite injuries.

    Of course, not every dog will become possessive or aggressive when given a bone to chew on. But, it’s something to consider as one potential risk. Especially if your dog has ever shown possessive behavior around their other food or around toys.

    How to Safely Feed Your Dog Bones

    The FDA has expressed serious concerns about feeding dogs raw food, as this can carry bacteria and could contaminate your dog and your family.

    So pay attention when you buy and prepare your dog’s raw bones:

  • buy only fresh products, preferably from a local butcher;
  • freeze bones in individual portions to kill any potential bacteria;
  • remove your dog’s bone after 30-45 minutes of chewing – never let your dog chew on a bone that’s been at room temperature for too long;
  • always wash and sanitize all kitchen tools you use for preparing your dog’s raw food;
  • clean all surfaces that have been in contact with any raw bones.
  • FAQ

    Can a dog eat a cooked lamb bone?

    Never feed cooked bones as these can splinter and cause internal damage or become an intestinal obstruction. Always supervise dogs when they are eating raw bones.

    What happens if dogs eat lamb bones?

    1. Choking and dental hazards: If your dog eats a small piece of bone, it can be a choking hazard. If swallowed, small lamb bones, such as lamb chop bones, can lodge in a dog’s throat or cause blockages in its digestive system. Large bones, like knucklebones, are too thick and can damage your dog’s teeth.

    Can dogs eat lamb bones any kind?

    Cooked bones can splinter and cause severe internal damage to dogs. Lamb bones from table scraps are absolutely off-limits, along with any other cooked bones. Dogs’ strong stomach acid helps break bones down, and kills potential bacteria.