Australian Shepherds love bones and will always hurry to chew on them. However, many people still don’t know if this practice is safe for them. Due to that, I researched all the pros and cons of an Australian Shepherd to chew this object. So, can Australian Shepherds chew on bones?
Australian Shepherds can chew on bones, but with extreme supervision. Depending on the bone, it may harm your Aussie. Chewing on a bone in excess can generate serious health issues. Make sure to study this topic in-depth to avoid any damage.
If a bone is going to hurt your pet and what will be the consequences may vary. It depends a lot on your dog. To avoid adverse outcomes, make sure you are taking the right precautions. In this article, you will know what to do and not to do in those situations.
Can Bones Be Harmful to My Australian Shepherd?
Yes, they really can. It mainly depends on what kind of bone you are giving to your friend. Some of them have toxic elements, while others are too hard. What you want to do is stay away from these characteristics.
Also, your Australian Shepherd can swallow the bone or parts of it by accident. If this happens, it will be an even more serious case. Recovering him from this situation and preventing his death will be a nightmare.
Here’s a list of the possible issues an inadequate bone can cause to your Australian Shepherds:
- Mouth or tongue injuries
- Bone gets stuck on his body
- Broken teeth
- Internal bleeding
What Kind of Bones to Avoid?
First of all, know what you are giving to your furry friend. Giving the wrong bone to your Australian Shepherd is the main threat to his health. Here I show you what you definitely should not give to your Aussie.
Cooked bones: Well, how can I start with this… The kind of bone you must NEVER think about are the cooked ones. When you cook food with bones, this process makes them harder, but easier to shatter. This increases its chances of breaking in your dog’s mouth and cause injuries.
As you can imagine, these particles are pretty hard. In fact, in this form, the bone looks like little stones. Passing through the digestive system of your Australian Shepherd’s body, they will be extremely harmful.
Due to that, serious injuries may occur. The bone can get stuck in various parts inside him, like the esophagus, windpipe, stomach or even the intestine. The majority of the issues may require surgery. So, don’t feed your Australian Shepherd cooked bones.
Store-Bought Bone Treats: This may sound contradictory, but you should not allow your Australian Shepherd to chew on them. Even though manufactured bone treats are made for dogs to chew, they can harm your pet. That’s because they present similar risks to the ones shown by cooked bones.
These kinds of bones include artificial flavors such as ham, pork femur, ribs, among others. To do this, companies dry them by smoking or baking the bones.
Needless to say, these products are almost the same as regularly cooked bones. Obviously, they will present similar issues to your dog.
Rawhides: Although this is not a “real bone,” it may harm your Australian Shepherd as well. Rawhides may cause similar problems as store-bought bones.
First of all, they may contain chemicals. This is part of its production process, which can leave the final product with toxic elements. Also, they have a high chance of bacterial contamination, such as Salmonella. If your dog chews on it, he may get a disease.
Besides, these artificial bones can contain gelatin, artificial sweeteners and other preservatives. These ingredients can be toxic and may harm your Australian Shepherd’s organism.
Potential problems include digestion problems, blockages or even cancer. Stay away from rawhides as well.
Good Bones for Australian Shepherds
The best kind of bone to give to your Australian Shepherd is raw bones.
This option is straightforward to understand as well. Think about their origins: what would wild dogs do to survive nature? Prey, and eat every bit of his kill. Raw bones are the most traditional and natural bones for dogs. Chewing on them is part of their essence!
A raw bone triggers a delicious taste and stimulates your friend’s mind. Chewing on them will also exercise his jaw’s muscles. In summary, this type of bone is completely safe and healthy. It’s the one you definitely have to look for.
Bones can be either edible or only for recreational purposes.
Edible ones will provide calcium, phosphorus and minerals to your Australian Shepherds. They need to be soft, small and can even be used in a meat grinder. These are the non-weight-bearing bones found on little birds, typically on chicken or turkey wings.
Recreational bones are used for Australian Shepherds to chew on to exercise their jaws and clean their teeth. These are the common bones found on big chunks of bison femur or hips, for example.
They don’t have any nutritional value and can’t be swallowed. As the name suggests, they are only for your Australian Shepherd to have fun.
How To Use Bones Safely?
Raw bones are safe, but as I said before, you need to take some precautions. If you don’t establish restrictions, the same problems for cooked bones can also happen in this situation.
Since you are a great owner, never let him alone while chewing on a bone. If you are close to them, you can monitor his activity. That way you are able to react if something wrong starts to happen. If he accidentally swallows the bone, you need to have a quick reaction to bring him back to safety again.
Also, make sure the bone has the right size. You definitely don’t want to give him way too small pieces. That way, he’s more likely to swallow the whole bone. Besides, ensure your Australian Shepherd isn’t strong enough to break it into pieces and the bone has good resistance.
Actually, this next tip is for your comfort. Make sure to give him the bone on a surface you can easily clean. Raw bones become a big mess after your dog finishes working on it.
Due to that, take every possible action to make your life easier. My suggestion is to give him the bone in his crate or in the yard. That way, it won’t mess around with everything.
Benefits of Eating Bones for Your Australian Shepherds
If you follow all the safety steps, chewing on a bone is a health booster for your dog. Here I show you all the benefits this practice can provide your Australian Shepherd.
Exercise: Aussies are active dogs. They are incredibly energetic and love to exercise outside the home. If you show a bone to him, he will also go crazy to put his jaw into action. This is an excellent practice to his mouth muscles and for him to use his energy.
Happiness: Nothing triggers an Aussie more than a bone. As I just mentioned, he loves when you show him one. Allowing your friend to chew a bit on his favorite toy will make him extremely happy. That’s because it is one of the funniest activities he can do when home.
Dental benefits: This habit can also improve his teeth. Chewing on hard objects, like bones, will help to scrape away plaque. That way, it avoids bad breath or any other dangerous health problems. Besides, it helps to combat the yellowing of teeth, which will give your Australian Shepherd a nice appearance.
My Final Thoughts
To summarise everything, let your Australian Shepherds chew on bones in a controlled situation. Leaving him alone or for several hours of chewing can be very hazardous.
Also, make sure you are providing an adequate type of bone to him. That way, you will avoid bad events that could injure your Australian Shepherd.
Once you take the needed precautions, chewing on a bone will be extremely healthy for him. It is one of the best ways to improve his mouth muscles and to strengthen his teeth.
I can’t forget to mention how happy he will be in this situation. If you want a smile on his face, definitely let him chew on a bone. I guarantee you, that’s one of his favorite activities. He will be extremely relieved if you give it to him!
People Also Ask
Is there any alternative for raw bones?
Yes, there are edible dental bones on the market. Unlike manufactured bone treats, this product isn’t dangerous for your Australian Shepherd. They have high quality and will also help to control plaque and tartar and have basically the same effect as eating raw food in the wild, which is natural.
What if my dog had already eaten an unsafe bone?
If he is OK now, there’s not much of a problem. The major risks were if he swallowed the entire bone or had broken his teeth. The next time you go to a veterinary, just tell them what happened.
They can check if he is contaminated with anything toxic, which could be an effect of chewing. Apart from that, everything normal.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.