Can my dog eat leftover bones?
First and foremost, if you suspect your dog has a health problem from chewing on a bone, take it into your local Greencross Vets as soon as possible.
Dr Adam Sternberg from Greencross Vets Brookvale says if you must give your dog a bone then it should always be raw.
“If they are cooked, smoked, fried or steamed then this makes the bone very brittle and hence more likely to splinter,” he says.
“Large cooked beef and pork bones are not recommended under any circumstance.”
While raw meat bones can be good for dental health, Dr Sternberg warns that “no bone is safe to give a dog”.
That's because there's still a number of dangerous risks involved, he says, including:
The bone becoming lodged in the mouth, throat, oesophagus or stomach
Dr Sternberg says if you do decide to give your dog a bone, make sure you prepare it properly by separating all the meat from it first.
“Some dogs become frustrated they cannot chew the meat off the bone and inhale the entire thing,” he says. “I do not recommend feeding bones to dogs that 'inhale' their food. If dogs eat food or bones very fast, then the bone can become stuck and cause issues.”
Dr Sternberg says if you're intent on feeding your dog chicken bones, make sure you only use parts like chicken wing tips or neck pieces – and always cut them up into small, flattened pieces.
“Chicken bones to dogs are like us going to a pub and having chips – they taste good but do nothing for us,” he says. “I do not recommend feeding chicken drumsticks to dogs, nor wishbones, etcetera.”
Puppies, in particular, love to chew . But there is a range of safer and healthier products than bones that will keep your dog entertained, its teeth clean and its jaw strong. These include flavoured synthetic bones and toys filled with dental friendly treats.