Sugar pit is a dog’s favorite treat, even children know about it. But why do dogs have such a fondness for bones? Dog breeders notice that even a well-fed dog that has eaten plenty of meat will not refuse a bone, will still gnaw it and play.
That is, the addiction to the bones has nothing to do with hunger. Bones contain a lot of calcium, but there are not many organic nutrients in them. Why do dogs need so much calcium, and where does the animal body use it? Many people ask this question.
Historical roots and genetics
Dogs are predatory animals that began to hunt in packs as early as 8 million years ago. Hunting in organized groups, they received large plentiful prey, and under these conditions their jaw apparatus actively developed. The teeth became larger, and the jaws became more powerful.
Like any other tool, the dental apparatus requires care, and it also needs training to enhance its qualities. Just as cats scratch objects to sharpen their claws, so dogs gnaw bones, and sometimes sticks, tree rhizomes, to clean and sharpen their teeth, give their jaws the necessary load, and train them. After all, at home they eat mostly soft boiled food, and they lack such loads. Gnawing bones, and in their absence, other objects, is a purely instinctive action.
In addition, dogs are not only predators, but also scavengers. Canids pick up the remains of other animals, they can dine with what is left of the meal of a larger predator. Neighboring with a man, the dog got used to eating leftovers from his table – this happened historically. Bones have become one of her usual trophies, and the body has learned to process them, digesting them completely, both boiled and raw. This is another reason why dogs love bones – they are also food, they can be put aside for a hungry day, or they can be chewed right away for pleasure.
The dog’s body perfectly digests the bones, taking all the organic matter and nutrients from them, and directing calcium mainly into the coat. The dog’s coat changes regularly, shedding takes place several times a year, and excess calcium is shed along with the old coat.
So, the dog is perfectly adapted for eating bones, it digests them perfectly. She tends to play with them and chew them on an instinctive level, because nature requires her to keep her dentition in good shape. But should you feed your dog bones? Can you give them every day? Beginning dog breeders often think about these questions. It is not worth giving bones every day, and even more so, it is not worth forming a diet based on them. Every dog breeder should know that the dog is first and foremost a predator, it needs meat, and with or without bones it will be provided is a secondary issue. Veterinarians point out that overuse of the bones can lead to intestinal blockage. In addition, a domestic dog receives mostly boiled bones, in which there is practically nothing useful left. Raw bones are healthier
Veterinarians warn dog owners about the risk of feeding chicken bones, especially tubular bones. Their fragments can pierce the insides of the animal. However, there have been very few such cases, and not all of them have been proven. Many dog owners ignore this warning by simply boiling the same bones to the point where they are soft and providing them to the dog with cereals and other foods.
Large bones of animal origin also contribute to the grinding of teeth, the dentition of a dog that constantly gnaws is under too much stress, the teeth quickly deteriorate. On this basis, veterinarians also point out the need for moderate consumption of bones by animals.
In the process of chewing, the dog rids the teeth of the stone, undermines them. To some extent, they are necessary in any case, although small and medium breeds can be provided with cartilage, a dried vein. These products will clean your teeth and satisfy your dog’s need for chewing.
Thus, dogs need bones, this is a natural part of their usual diet, a source of calcium for the formation of dense wool, a kind of simulator for the dentition, a sharpener for teeth. But it is necessary to provide them to the animal in a reasonable amount, despite the fact that dogs almost always have a desire to gnaw. One beef bone per week, or for a few days, is a good option for medium to large dogs to diversify their diet.