June 10, 2021 4 min read

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Our dogs and their wolf ancestors would probably agree that there’s nothing better than bonesbut, for dog owners, picking a bone can quickly turn into a bone to pick. Consuming bones has been a crucial part of the carnivorous lifestyle forever. Although dogs have had evolutionary, biological, and dietary changes accompany their domestication, certain needs and instincts have not been so quick to change. 

As the popularity of raw and natural pet foods grows to accommodate this, so does the selection, and so does the confusion and concern over whether these natural food choices are still safe — but it doesn’t have to be so complicated for you and your fur baby.

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What to Look for When Purchasing and Prepping Marrow Bones 

When it comes to your easily excitable best friend, safe and efficient bone consumption relies a lot on proper bone selection by the owner. In general, marrow bones are safe. However, as with any chew or bone, they can be dangerous in certain scenarios. When choosing the best marrow bones for dogs, it’s not just as simple as small pet = small bone and large pet = large bone. It’s important as an owner to take the time to observe your dog in action and note how they enjoy their bones and chews.

  • Look for a bone big enough in a size that it can’t get lodged in their esophagus or intestines. As long as you’re supervising and you choose the right option, bones are relatively safe for your dog. But size is important. Specifically, you should never give your dog a marrow bone that’s too small for them. Not only does a bone that's too small increase the risk of choking and intestinal obstructions, but it also decreases the benefits that your dog should be gaining from the bone as well. When gnawed and chewed, marrow bones are great tools to help your dog clean their teeth — but this can’t happen if your dog just swallows it whole.
  • Giving your dog cooked/smoked bones. When giving dogs cooked or smoked bones, it’s important to always be sure that your dog is only gnawing or chewing on them. The bones should never be physically consumed as they could potentially splinter. Of course, the pieces of meat that are oftentimes attached to the exterior and the marrow inside the bones are safe (and delicious) for consumption. 
  • Look that both bones and packaging are in good condition. Product packaging shouldn’t show any signs of damage or tampering.
  • Look for keywords that point to quality. When you’re looking into new products for your dog, you want to look for keywords that speak to quality, such as single-ingredient, highly digestible, and natural.

Proper Chow Down of Marrow Bones 

Not only is it important as a pet owner to take the time to observe your dog in action while they chew to note how they enjoy doing this, but in order to understand their eating habits better and hopefully add some value to them.

How Your Dog Benefits from Marrow Bones in Their Diet 

Whether they’re a hobby chewer or a power chewer, the benefits of your dog enjoying marrow bones is even greater than just satisfying their need to chew — though, when you consider the other things they could be chewing on, that is a great benefit! Consumed safely and in moderation, marrow bones can be a fantastic way to help improve your dog’s oral and general health, as well as provide them with a great source of exercise, play, flavor, vitamins, and more.

  • They encourage and improve oral health (and, in turn, general health). Plaque accumulation and decay are prevented, gingival indices improve, and sweeter breath is noticed through the use of marrow bones.
  • They encourage and provide exercise. Though most of this exercise is being applied to the jaw and upper body, some dogs are extra excitable or energetic and give it their all!
  • They stimulate your dog and improve mental health. Whether they’re excited or calmed by their bones, this is a happy moment for your dog! This allows you to indulge in a happy moment and enjoy your free time while your dog is happily chewing, too.
  • They provide access to beneficial and vital nutrients. Minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and nutrients that are vital to your dog can all be found in marrow bones, in particular.

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Whether they’re a substantial part of your dog's diet or simply a supplement, marrow bones and chews can be an exciting and efficient way to improve your dog’s general health and well-being. 

The thing to remember is that safe and efficient bone consumption relies on proper bone selection, supervision, and knowledge of your dog. There’s a lot of information to chew when it comes to picking a bone for your dog, but the more you know, the safer they can chew.