Dogs drool at the sight of bones and can gnaw on one for hours. However, there are several unanswered questions about what bones are safe for dogs. For instance, you might wonder whether dogs can eat lamb bones.
The short answer is yes, dogs can eat lamb bones. They can help clean the dog’s teeth and strengthen its jaws.
However, there are some precautions to keep in mind. For instance, it is best to serve lamb bones raw. That reduces the chances of breaking, which can lead to small pieces getting stuck in the digestive tract.
Lamb Bones Nutritional Facts
High-quality lamb bones can be an integral part of raw feeding, which supports your furry friend nutritionally, physically, and mentally. As you may know, dogs are natural hunters. Therefore, feeding your dog raw lamb bones appeals to their primitive nature.
But most importantly, lamb bones are rich in nutrients like:
- Amino acids
Due to the nutrient richness, lamb bones support skin and coat health. You will begin noticing changes like your dog’s coat’s shininess, softness, and manageability.
The lamb bones also go a long way in promoting oral health. Poor oral health can subject your dog to diseases that may require serious medical intervention. Their jaws are designed to crunch through bone. Therefore, by feeding lamb bones to your dogs, you help them promote healthier teeth and gums. Raw bones can also help prevent bloating in your dog.
Notably, your dog’s digestive system is significantly smaller than that of a human being. That means they process and absorb food more quickly. Therefore, raw foods are ideal since they don’t contain artificial ingredients that are difficult to digest. Raw lamb bone is no different—the dogs can easily absorb the nutrients efficiently.
When feeding a lamb bone to your dog, it’s essential to ensure that it is too big to fit in your dog’s mouth. If it can fit in their mouth, they might swallow it, which can lead to choking. Therefore, pick big bones, like lamb ribs and flaps. Smaller bones, like lamb chop bones, are too small.
It is also essential to ensure that your dog is gnawing on the bone from a clean surface. You can serve it in their bowl or on a clean floor. If you want them to enjoy the bone outside, you can leave it on the grass.
Risks of Lamb Bones for Dogs
Lamb bones have numerous benefits for your dog. However, they have their fair share of risks. Let’s look at a number of them:
Choking and Dental Hazards
Giving your dog a small piece of lamb bone poses a choking hazard. That is also true if you give your dog cooked bones since they are more likely to splinter. On the other hand, a massive lamb bone can damage the dog’s teeth. That’s why it’s essential to be careful when selecting the lamb bone to serve your dog.
Besides choking, cooked lamb bones can cause internal damage to the dog’s digestive system. For instance, it can lead to perforations in the digestive tract, which increases your dog’s risk of bacterial infections.
Aggravating Stomach Problems
Lamb bones contain marrow. Therefore, if you feed them to dogs with stomach or bowel issues, the marrow can aggravate these problems. It will be a good idea to steer clear of lamb bones if your pet has a sensitive stomach. Moreover, you should consider trimming any fat and skin from raw lamb bones. Although a dog’s stomach acids help them digest bones, animal fat can cause gastrointestinal upset.
One way to combat these risks is to keep a close eye on your dog when it devours raw bones. Watch out for signs of choking or gastrointestinal distress.
Detecting Intestinal Blockages in Dogs
You might constantly worry about intestinal blockage if you feed lamb bones to your dog. If left unattended, intestinal blockage can lead to debilitating health problems. That’s why we advise giving your dog large bones that cannot fit in the mouth entirely. But what should you do in case the unthinkable happens?
It is worth noting that obstruction can occur anywhere along the digestive tract. Sometimes, the dog might swallow the bone without you seeing it. You might notice symptoms like:
- Painful abdomen to the touch
As soon as you recognize your dog has swallowed a lamb bone and is experiencing an intestinal blockage, seek veterinary care immediately. The vet will conduct a physical examination. They might also perform blood work to see if the blockage interferes with your dog’s health.
There are both surgical and non-surgical treatment possibilities available for intestinal obstructions. The vet’s choice depends on factors like location and the length of time the bone has been stuck.
How Much Is Too Much?
It is essential to watch how much you feed your dog—even when giving them lamb bones. So, the question is, how much is enough?
Generally, give your dog 1-2 raw bones per week. Ensure that you leave a few days between each serving. That way, your dog will not develop a dependence on the bones. Remember, human food, lamb bones included, should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s diet at any given time.
It also depends on your dog’s size, age, and level of exercise. That’s why it’s essential to talk to your vet for further guidance on how much lamb bone to feed your dog.
When Lamb Bones are a Bad Idea
There are times when giving lamb bones to your dog is not a good idea. One of those circumstances is if your dog has stomach and bowel problems. Similarly, if your dog has weak teeth, you might want to skip the bones. If their teeth hurt, the lamb bones will only escalate the discomfort. Besides, if your dog seems disinterested in the bone, don’t force it.
Healthy Alternatives to Lamb Bones
Dogs and bones is a relationship as old as time. Besides lamb bones, there are other excellent options. These include raw cow bones, bison bones, and commercially sold bones. Some of the bones you should avoid include pork or rib bones and chicken bones.