Nutrition is a pretty complicated subject. Us – humans constantly debate, argue, agree and disagree over many opinions regarding nutrition. We often disagree in terms of what foods should we eat or avoid. The same applies to our opinions regarding what foods our animals should and shouldn’t eat. One of those foods that are very controversial is simple animal bones. So, Should You Feed Your Pet Bones?
Well, like I said, many people disagree over this issue, but I think that most of us can agree that we should listen to scientists and doctors when formulating our opinion about this.
Potential Positives of Bone Meals
Let’s start this off with this: bones are actually very nutritious. They contain large amounts of various minerals like: magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Bones and bone meals are especially very abundant in calcium, which is required for maintaining strength and health of bones and teeth.
On top of that, calcium also increases the bioavailability of other minerals and vitamins, meaning that it helps the body to absorb and use certain other important nutrients like: copper, zinc plus A, D and E vitamins. So calcium indirectly helps with all the functions that these nutrients help with like: brain development, bone, muscle and organ growth and overall health improvement and maintenance.
Chewing the bones could also help your pet to clean his or her teeth from plaque and strengthen the jaw muscles.
Potential Negatives of Feeding Your Pet Bones
However, despite their nutritious and, potential, plaque cleaning value that chewing bones that bring to one’s pet, they can also be harmful. When a dog or a cat ir chewing bones, they tend to splinter and, if not properly fragmented, they can be ingested and travel through the digestive tract causing potentially dangerous or fatal injuries, internal bleeding and pain in the intestines and certain other organs.
Plus, bones can sometimes get stuck in the throat of the animal and choke him or her, potentially to death.
Differences Between Bones
It’s also important to note that there are significant differences between different bones. Some are more appropriate to be used as food, others are more dangerous.
Raw bones are generally accepted to be safer than cooked bones, when it comes to pets’ food. I’ve mentioned that some of the potential dangers is that bones can spliter causing sharp fragments to travel throughout the digestive tract and also that they can get stuck in the throat – causing the animal to choke. Both of these risks are increased with cooked bones because they’re more fragile and less flexible.
On top of all that, cooked bones have less calcium and are overall less nutritious than raw bones. So they’re more dangerous and less beneficial.
If you are going to give your pet bones, many experts would agree that your best bet are probably raw bird bones that are hollow and without marrow.
While carnivores tend to eat the bones of their prey, and bone tissues are nutritious and potentially helpful, and while just chewing bones can improve dental health of our beloved pets, eating bones can also be dangerous and many health professionals recommend to not feed your pets bones, however some say that raw bird bones seem to be relatively safe, nutritious and help to clean the plaque from pets’ teeth. So there simply isn’t a very comprehensive and widely agreed upon opinions when it comes to feeding your pet bones amongst health professionals. And that is all for the Should You Feed Your Pet Bones article.