Q:

Why do dogs like bones?

A:

Quick Answer

Dogs like to chew on bones for many reasons, such as relieving boredom and anxiety, satisfying the urge to chew and accessing nutritious bone marrow. However, dogs lack the bone-crushing teeth present in their wolf ancestors, so habitual bone-chewing can grind down and damage dogs' teeth.

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Full Answer

As a result of evolutionary adaptation, dogs do not possess bone-crushing teeth and, consequently, veterinarians generally do not recommend owners give their dogs real bones to chew. In addition to the risk of tooth damage from habitual bone chewing, there is the added danger of the bone splintering, which can gravely damage a dog's digestive system.

Alternatives to real bones, such as nylon, rawhide or starch-based chews, allow a dog to satisfy the urge to chew, relieve boredom and anxiety and clean plaque that has accumulated on the teeth. Since domestic dogs generally have ready access to nutritious meals, there is no reason for the dog to chew through a real bone to meet its daily nutrition needs.

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