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When it comes to bones and whether or not they can be eaten by dogs, the internet is full of contradictory statements. As a dog owner I find this confusing. However, I tend to give more credit to doctors and qualified vets who advise introducing limited quantities of specific raw bones into a dog’s diet.
So, can dogs eat lamb bones?
My answer is yes, your dog can eat RAW lamb bones, but as there seems to be no general agreement when it comes to bones, I’ve put together some information to help you make an informed decision.
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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.
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.
Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Raw Bones
According to Dr. Peter Dobias, a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine with more than 20 years of practical experience, when fed in limited quantities raw bones provide some benefits (they should only make up a maximum 10% of your dog’s diet):
- they help to maintain clean and strong teeth and jaws;
- they’re a good source of calcium and phosphorus;
- they can prevent bloat and anal gland problems.
For a better understanding of why dogs can eat raw food, including bones, watch this video by Dr. Karen Becker.
What About The Risks of Feeding Your Dog Bones?
Not all specialists are so positive about feeding bones to dogs. Some of them are in fact totally against it, no matter what your dog’s age, size or breed. On Petmd, you can find some interesting arguments that maintain that bones can damage your dog’s health:
- they can break your dog’s teeth;
- there’s a risk of choking, if the bone is too small and easy to swallow;
- they can cause pancreatitis or constipation;
- they can splinter and pierce your dog’s stomach or intestines.
Science-Based Medicine also states that there’s no reason why you should risk your dog’s health with bones, as dog food already provides all the vitamins and minerals a dog needs to stay healthy and in perfect shape. There are also some cases when bones can do your dog more harm than good, so don’t feed raw bones to your dog if:
- she’s had teeth problems, and has dental crowns or similar works;
- she suffers from periodic constipation;
- she’s prone to pancreatitis (in which case you should discuss options and diet with a veterinarian);
- she tends to eat in big chunks.
Now What About Lamb Bones?
Lamb is a good choice if you’re looking to complete your dog’s meals. It’s rich in Omega 3 acids, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is considered among the most hypoallergenic meats out there. However don’t feed your dog just lamb, because she needs to have a balanced diet containing various types of food. Give her lamb at most twice a week, as it has a high fat content.
When it comes to bones, some parts of the lamb’s body are better than others. Raw lamb ribs, flaps, and tail bones are recommended for your dog’s teeth. Your dog should receive no more than one or two bones per week to avoid constipation.
So can dogs eat lamb bones? It seems that they can, as long as they’re in good health. But at the end of the day, you know better than anyone else if your dog can handle raw food, as it depends entirely on her eating habits and medical conditions.
Do you have any tips on feeding dogs raw meat or lamb bones? Leave a comment and tell us what food you give your dog, and how you choose what to give her.