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caseysmama
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we gave casey the bone from lamb shank yesterday. boy did she go nuts. unfortunately the shank had been simmering for hours so after about 10 mins it began to break down and i had to take it away.

can someone offer me some advice on what type of bones they give their dogs and whether they need to be cooked or not.

i've been surfing and find so many varying opinions.

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you'll find differing philosophies here on bones. i don't care for the way my dog acts around bones (or fresh meat) and i am very afraid of an incident with bone splinters, so i don't give them. others will say that beef bones are safe, while chicken bones aren't. i think a certain amount of cooking is regarded as softening the bone and making it less likely to splinter in a dangerous way. i hope people who use bones will come along and give some advice. my own advice is: skip the bones.

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We have used beef (knuckle bones) bones from the butcher, we would pan roast them for about 1 hour (so that the meat was done-what ever meat was left over from the butcher). Let cool, now we only let them have a bone once maybe every 2 weeks, making sure they were outside! Once we decided they had enough chewing we would take it away and throw it away. The bones that were left over would go into the freezer until we were ready for the next TREAT! We really liked the idea that the bones kept their teeth really white and clean. Never had a fight either, they would all pick their own places to chew and that would be that...of course we were always around to supervise just in case. There is a manufacturer out there that is selling roasted/coated bones, we tried these (but we have gourmet pallets) it did go as well as the ones we cooked. It is hard to find a good grocery store for bones....we would NEVER give chicken or any bone that was soft or even plyable, they are very good chewers and would really hurt their mouths, stomachs, etc. Good luck, use bones in moderation.

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We don't do a lot of recreational bones. When we do feed recreational bones it's typically a beef or buffalo knuckle bone, and always (and only) raw. Never a cooked bone of any sort. Cooking makes most bones brittle and hard.

I don't like 'weight-bearing' bones like shanks. I find them too hard. Even with knuckle bones, it is entirely possible to get slab fractures of the teeth and whatnot. There is no guaranteed safe anything when it comes to dogs, I fear.

Be aware that a fresh bone for most dogs is possibly their most treasured possession. As pkcrossley hints, they can have a rather primal and protective response to them. It's no big deal, but some people are surprised when their dog acts up to protect their treasure. I am very careful not to put either myself or my dogs in a position of having a power struggle over bones.

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I don't give recreational bones either but I do give bones they can chomp through and eat as part of their dinner, not weight bearing bones as they are too hard. Mine really like to eat roo tails which take quite a while for them to eat.

All bones should be fed raw so they can be digested, cooked bones change in structure making it impossible for them to be digested and can splinter and cause problems in the gut.

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