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The Ultimate Chew Toy - Raw Meaty Bones
Here’s something that your pet wants you to know: He/she like bones! Your pet, the one that shares your pillow at night, refuses to go out when it’s raining and only eats dinner in front of the television, secretly longs to sink his/her teeth into a nice, raw, meaty bone. Why? Although our dogs and cats get pampered and catered to, they are still animals at heart. Wait, before you get grossed out by the thought of your furry friend devouring a raw bone on your living room floor, let us tell you why raw meaty bones will make your pets happier and healthier.
The number one reason for giving your pet a raw meaty bone is for the behavioural benefits. Chewing is their natural behaviour. Many dog owners search endlessly (and in vain) for toys their dog cannot destroy. But toys are not meant for chewing! If your dog wants to chew (and most do) give him/her a bone and you’ll both be happy! Cats also chew inappropriate household items because they too instinctively look to chew. These behaviours can be remedied by providing raw bones as an outlet for the natural urge to chew. Not only do raw meaty bones help entertain pets, chewing bones is also known to release endorphins, which create feelings of wellbeing. This too helps your animal stay happy, as well as healthy!
Secondly, there are digestive benefits. Raw meaty bones are a highly digestible source of calcium. They have a cleansing/scouring effect on the digestive tract and provide bulk for healthy bowel movements, which in turn helps stimulate anal gland emptying. Raw meaty bones also help keep the digestive juices flowing and boost the neurological and immune systems. Raw bones are also a great source of vitamins, minerals, protein and fatty acids.
Finally, there are dental benefits to chewing on bones. The process of chewing the meat and bones can help clean away any food residues or tartar development. The abrasion between bone and teeth when chewing scrapes off dental plaque. Cartilage, ligaments and tendons are thought to act as a natural dental floss. The chewing and tearing action also strengthens the jaw, neck and shoulder muscles.
Raw meaty bones are appropriate for cats and dogs of all ages, including puppies and kittens. The most important thing to remember when selecting a bone is the size of the animal and the chewing attitude - larger animals usually can handle larger bones, cats and small dogs generally do better with small bones, duck/chicken necks or beef tails, however, there are exceptions to the rule and you will find that some small dogs prefer BIG bones and big dogs who prefer to happily pick away at smaller bones. In any case, avoid bones that might tempt pets who have a tendency to swallow anything whole without chewing. As with any bone, chew or toy it is highly recommended that you supervise your pet while it is chewing.
Raw bones are not dangerous. If you pet has never chewed on a bone, especially raw and you know that they have a sensitive digestive system, you will want to introduce any type of bone gradually, however, please remember, your pet is built to chew and break down raw bones and their digestive system knows how to process them.
NEVER give your pet a cooked or boiled bone! Cooked bones become brittle and will splinter and break easily, which could result in choking or your pet swallowing pieces too large to digest. Raw bones are easy to digest, but cooked bones are very slow to break down in the digestive system causing pain, bleeding, and constipation. Cooked bones are NEVER, EVER recommended.
Chewing on a bone is an instinctual and stimulating activity for dogs and cats. It’s true, there are many misconceptions about giving bones, especially raw, but we encourage you NOT to let these misconceptions, or your own distaste, prevent your pet from enjoying the pleasures and benefits of raw bones! Why deny such a simple, healthy, delicious and beneficial treat? As the old song goes: “Give your dog a bone”… and let it be raw. He/she will love you for it!