While eating a steak dinner with your family, your curious rottweiler might peek his or her nose in looking for some delicious steak for his dinner as well. You might be tempted to throw your bones in the backyard and let him or her go at them. However, this might not be the safest treat for your pup. This post can answer any questions you might have about feeding bones to your rottweiler.
While bones might trigger rottweilers salivation, most are not very safe for dogs to chew on and eat. It is wise to stay away from feeding rottweilers bones aside from raw or certain store-bought bones for safety reasons.
Bones do provide a lot of health benefits for your dog, which is why many people give them to their dogs. However, there are many risks that accompany the tasty treat. Understanding the do’s and do not’s when feeding your rottie a bone can be extremely beneficial for their safety.
How are Bones Harmful to Rottweilers?
The main bones to stay away from include: cooked bones and store-bought bone treats such as rib bones, ham bones, and pork bones. These bones can lead to a lot of health problems and can be very unsafe for your rottweiler.
Cooked bones and table scraps are usually harder and more brittle than uncooked bones. The most common problems are that they break really easily and can lead to splintering in your pup’s mouth.
Other problems include:
- Esophagus blockage
- Broken teeth
- Mouth injuries
- Rectal bleeding
- Peritonitis (a bacterial infection in the stomach that is a result of punctures to the stomach or intestine from the broken off pieces of bones)
Some of these safety concerns can even lead to the need for surgery for your rottweiler to remove bone pieces.
Store-bought bones have different, but just as severe complications associated with them. They can cause:
- Gastrointestinal blockage
Rottweilers have the bite strength equivalent to 328 pounds of pressure, which is more powerful than many other breeds of dogs.
Due to this, many of the risks associated with these bones can be amplified because of their ability to tear these bones into very small pieces leading them to swallow the pieces.
Bones have been proven by the FDA to cause these problems. In recent years, there have been many cases reported of dogs suffering from these conditions which can only be traced back to bones, specifically commercially produced bone treats.
What Bones are Okay for My Rottweiler?
There are a few safer options to consider if you would still like your rottweiler to have bones to chew on.
There are bones that you can buy from the store that are made of a nylon material. These bones aren’t harmful to your dog. They are made to look like bones as well as taste like them. For a dog as large as a rottweiler, it is important to buy the strongest nylon they have so your dog will stay safe.
It is also a good idea to buy the biggest size they have because rottweilers are very large dogs. They sell a lot of different flavors, sizes, and styles on Amazon, but one of the more basic ones can be found at this link.
Another bone you can give to your rottweiler isn’t a bone at all. Dogs love chewing on deer antlers. Make sure when giving your pup antlers that they aren’t sharp or too pointed that it would cause a problem in their mouth.
Antlers are very strong and do not break easily, which makes them safer for many dogs.
Finally, feeding your dog raw bones is okay. Raw bones such as chicken, lamb, turkey, and beef are softer and less breakable when pressure is applied. If you let your rottie chew on these, there is much less risk. There is still a chance of them choking or getting splinters in their mouth, but the odds are lower.
Bones of all kinds have safety risks. So, choosing these bones or bone replacements will not eliminate the problem altogether, they are a safer option.
What Benefits Come from Bones?
Although bones have safety risks, they are can be very good for your pups health and hygiene.
Bones act as a toothbrush for dogs.
The substances in the bone clean teeth as he or she chews on the bone. This can help to prevent gum disease that comes from a lack of dental hygiene. Not only do these bones do this, but when your dog salivates (because of the bone) plaque that has settled in their teeth gets cleared out. Salivation prevents buildup from occurring in the future as well.
Aside from dental benefits, bones have a lot of natural minerals in them that are really good for a rottweiler. They are a good source of calcium and phosphorus. These minerals help to strengthen muscles in your pups stomach.
Many veterinarians will err on the side of caution. They will say to avoid bones all together because of the safety risks, but if you can learn to be careful and choose wisely which ones you give to your pup, bones can actually be very good for them.
Safety Tips for Bone Chewing and Eating
Like mentioned above, all bones present risk, some much more than others, but each has its own risk. Heeding these safety tips can ensure your pup has a very safe and pleasant bone experience.
Do not give bones to dogs that are going to just break them in half and swallow them.
You know your dog. If he or she is known to be a fast eater who inhales their food when they eat, maybe bones aren’t the best treat for them. You want to keep your dog safe, and if he or she eats fast, a bone is probably going to be too much of a risk. He or she will likely swallow the bone or bite down too hard, causing harm.
Watch your dog while he or she chews on a bone.
Many safety issues that arise as a result of chewing on bones, could likely have been avoided if their owner would have been watching them as they were eating.
Watching to ensure the dog doesn’t bite off too much or gnaw on it so long it splinters can really prevent a lot of the issues listed above.
If your rott has weak teeth, don’t feed him or her bones.
Even though there is the chance that your pup could break through the bone, the bone is still hard, and it can cause his or her teeth to break. If your pup has had dental work done to repair their teeth, they likely cannot handle a bone to chew on.
Use bones as a treat after a meal
If you use the bone as a reward after your rott finishes his or her meal, he or she will likely eat it slower and not hurt themselves.
Make sure you use the right size of bone:
Size of the bone is so important. If the bone is too small there is a chance that your rottweiler could try to swallow it and choke. It is better to have a bone that is too big rather than too small.
Once the bone finished, throw it away.
If you are choosing to give your rott raw bones, bacteria can collect on the bone if it sits out for too long which can make your dog sick. So don’t let the bone just sit around day after day.
Along with that, once your rott has finished the bone, don’t let him or her continue to chew on it, throw it away.
On average, only let your pup chew on the bone for 10-15 minutes. If he or she continues to chew on it, it can cause the bone to become brittle and splinter in his or her mouth. After the 10-15 minutes have passed, if the bone isn’t finished, you can put in the fridge and save it for another day, or just throw it away.
Bones do have many nutrients in them that are beneficial to rottweilers, but so do many other treats and foods.
If you do choose to give your rottweiler a bone to chew on be sure to follow the safety tips, but a bone isn’t the safest or wisest treat to give to your rottweiler because of all of the risks associated with them.