Deer bone is nutritious and delicious, but should you be feeding it to your dog? At your first thought of deer bone, you may be thinking that it’s bad for dogs. Bones can be a choking hazard, especially for small to medium dogs, but does that mean you shouldn’t give them any deer bone at all? Can dogs eat deer bones? The answer is yes, dogs can eat deer bone, but there are many things you need to consider.
Before you buy deer bone to feed to your pet canine, you need to read this before doing something you’d regret. While there are a lot of benefits to eating deer bone in dogs, it’s not always the safest thing for dogs to feed on.
Here is everything you need to know about deer bones and why they can be good or bad for your dog:
What is Deer Bone?
Deer bone is basically bone that comes from slaughtered deer. There are many kinds of deer bones, and not all can be edible for dogs. Some of the bones still have meat, cartilage, tendons, or marrow that dogs love to eat, making deer bones a healthy and delicious treat for dogs.
The most common deer bones to feed your dog are deer legs, knuckle bones, knee caps, flat bones, and hooves. Let’s talk about each one and what makes them great for dogs to eat or chew on:
- Knuckle Bones or Epiphysis
Knuckle bones are great for medium to large dogs who love to chew. These bones are dense and tough, making them a great type of bone for bigger dogs to chew on.
- Kneecaps or Patella
Patella bones are great for dogs of all sizes. The back of the deer kneecap bone features plenty of cartilage, which contains a lot of glucosamine, which is a compound commonly used in joint supplements.
- Deer Legs
Deer legs are long and smooth, with tendons and marrow. They’re great for medium to large dogs since they’re good to chew on. Some deer legs also have meat on the outer bone.
- Flat Bones
Flat bones are the pelvis, ribs, or spine. They don’t contain as much marrow as the other kinds of bones, but they’re great for smaller dogs because of their flat surface.
Hooves are made of keratin and are tough, making them great bones for small to medium dogs. Since they’re made of keratin, they’re great for boosting your dog’s hair and coat health.
Deer Bone Marrow Nutritional Facts
Since dogs don’t eat or swallow deer bones, they do consume the bone marrow inside the deer bones. For this section on nutritional facts, we’ll talk about the nutritional value of bone marrow.
One tablespoon or 14 grams of deer bone marrow includes the following nutritional value:
- Calories = 110
- Fat = 12 grams
- Protein = 1 gram
Bone marrow also contains vitamin B12, riboflavin, iron, vitamin E, Vitamin A, thiamine, and phosphorus.
Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat deer bones, as long as they’re raw and the right kind of deer bone is given to your dog. As mentioned earlier, some deer bones are ideal for smaller or bigger dogs, so you need to know about the different kinds of deer bones before you purchase one at the store to give to your dog.
Avoid cooking deer bones because the heat process will make the bones brittle, which can make them easily snap. Snapped bones can be as sharp as shrapnel and can cause choking in dogs, and can even potentially cause perforations on your dog’s esophagus or intestines when ingested. When the splintered bones cause internal injuries, it can be fatal as it can lead to life-threatening conditions that include sepsis.
Benefits of Giving Deer Bones to Dogs
While there are risks involved in feeding deer bones to dogs, the benefits outweigh the risks. You only need to be careful and equip yourself with the knowledge on how to properly feed deer bones to your dog.
Here are the benefits of feeding deer bones to dogs:
- Boost Oral Health
Deer bones can be a dental health aid for dogs. Since dogs naturally love to chew and gnaw, chewing on a deer bone will come naturally to them, helping to remove tartar and plaque buildup in their teeth. Deer bone also has a firm consistency, making it a great dog chew for strengthening your dog’s jaw and teeth.
- Boosts Bone, Joint, and Hair Health
Deer bones contain high amounts of collagen and cartilage that add more of these compounds to your dog’s body. Glucosamine, for example, which is found in the bone’s cartilage, is known to moisten the joints, reducing pain from movement in dogs with arthritis and other joint issues.
Collagen is also a building block of the body associated with the skin, hair, ad nails, making your dog’s hair and coat healthier and shinier.
- Alleviates Boredom
Dogs can get stressed and anxious but chewing or gnawing on deer bones can help lower their stress levels. Your dog can spend hours playing and chewing on deer bones, most especially deer legs that are long and firm, giving them endorphins that reduce anxiety and bring about feelings of happiness.
Risks of Feeding Deer Bones to Your Dog
Like with any human food, deer bones do come with their own set of risks. Here are the things to consider when feeding deer bones to your pup:
- Raw Bones Can Have Bacteria
Any raw food can have bacteria and parasites that are extremely dangerous to dogs. Though their stomach enzymes do have more bacteria-killing properties than human digestive systems, dogs can still suffer from Salmonella or e.coli poisoning, which can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
If you give raw bones to your dog, make sure your clean it as thoroughly as you can.
- Cooked/Boiled Bones Can Be Dangerous
The natural tendency would be to cook deer bones to get rid of bacteria but please avoid giving cooked deer bones to dogs of all sizes because the bones become too brittle to chew on and when they break, can cause injuries to your dog.
How to Feed Deer Bones to Dogs
Always begin with a gradual introduction of human foods to your dog, with deer bones included. Monitor for any adverse side effects, such as vomiting, itching, sneezing, wheezing, and diarrhea before giving another serving of deer bones to your dog. If there are no side effects, continue giving deer bones to your dog as a treat.
It’s also not safe for dogs to consume all the bones. Tendons and marrow are okay but don’t leave your dog unattended for more than 30 minutes when chewing or gnawing on the deer bones, as even raw deer bones can cause problems in dogs.
Dogs can eat deer bones since they’re not toxic or dangerous for dogs to eat or chew on. However, it must be noted that only raw deer bones are safe for dogs to eat, as cooked bones get brittle and can snap into smaller pieces that can cut your dog’s mouth or even the stomach.
Not all deer bones are made the same as well, so you must know about the different parts of deer bone to know which are ideal to give to different-sized dogs.
Overall, deer bones are a nutritious, delicious, and fun occasional treat to give to your dog, but never make it a regular staple in your dog’s diet.