Taking risks

Brian’s too young for a real bone anyway-Lily’s had one once. Fortunately, she wasn’t impressed!

Yesterday I saw a post on facebook warning people not to buy ham bones from a certain producer. A dog died after splinters from one of the bones had caused bleeding to the stomach.

‘But surely’, I thought, ‘the owners must have known all bones are high risk treats’. The producer of the fatal ham bone stated clearly on the packaging that dogs must be supervised when fed it.

All bones carry risks of chocking, a blockage in the digestive tract, cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils and internal bleeding that can cause death. Gnawing on bones might result in the cracking of the tips of the fourth premolars which can lead to root infections. Raw bones are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Even though most vets don’t recommend bones, they remain a popular treat. Dogs love them, they are ‘natural’ (but then, so is consuming undigested food from faeces or vomit) and they do have quite a few benefits as well.

I give bones to my dogs. Carefully selected, as an extremely rare treat and always under my supervision. If any of my dogs had jaws powerful enough to break them, I’d stop. If they became too obsessed or aggressive, I’d stop. If I saw any other reason they shouldn’t chew on their bone, I’d stop. Altogether, for ever.

I’m well aware that there are risks. And if something happens, I will be responsible, not the producer, not the butcher, not the vet or insurance company for not banning bones.

If you’re ready to take risks, however well calculated, be prepared to accept responsibility.



24 thoughts on “Taking risks

      1. Having trodden painfully on a shattered bone whilst only wearing socks, I pick the pieces up at once…a bit like how I still put scissors on the highest shelf I can reach, out of Alex’s way.. even though he’s taller than me now! Lol!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree it is common sense. Accidents do happen and it wasn’t done maliciously.

    I will be bold and say what also struck me…why are we no longer able to take responsibility for our own choices?! This Blame Game and suing people left right and centre has now reached ridiculous proportions. Tripped over a crack in the pavement? It used to be ‘you should have looked where you were going!’, now it’s ‘Who can be sued?’. Driven your car to the very edge of a cliff in the middle of nowhere and fallen over it? Now it is the landowners fault for not putting up barriers, signs and warnings rather than ‘It’s a cliff, don’t perch on the edge of it or you may harm yourself!’rational thinking.

    It isn’t that more things happen to us daft humans these days, it is simply more get reported in the hope of compensation whereas thirty years ago we would have laughed sheepishly at a trip and limped off quietly. It’s all gone a bit crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Part of that problem, at least in N. America, is two fold. There is an inherent desire for more and more money at any price. It is, for the most part, a highly materialistic and shallow society. Secondly, so many law firms are promoting these frivolous lawsuits with the assurance that “you don’t pay unless we recover money for you”! For anybody with no scruples whatsoever, it would seem that they cannot lose!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. hmm, ‘no win no fee’…we’ve got it in the UK as well. My issue is: either we want to be treated like idiots and take no responsibility for anything, or we use our common sense and take responsibility for our actions. If the former: we’ll see monkey nuts labelled as ‘containing nuts, remove the shell before eating’ or bananas with ‘instruction’ asking us to peel them before eating. If the latter, well, we’ll need to engage our brains sometimes. And stop blaming the world for our misfortunes.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hey… we’re already there! Lawn mowers with a warning not to cut hedges with them. Electric hair dryers that are not to be used in the bath or shower! We’re doomed by greed and materialism.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, in the UK there are no sockets in the bathroom. Health and safety. And I only realised it when someone from Italy asked how we dry our hair or shave (there are special sockets for shavers, though)…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My oldest (Collie cross) loved bones and was used to having them fairly regularly when we adopted him. We gave him them once every few weeks under supervision, but even then he once managed to swallow a HUGE shard…he almost had a trip to the e-vet because he was acting odd/poorly (we were still dog noobs at the time), then he pooped out this 4 INCH shard of bone!!!!

    Never gave him another bone after that, and stopped giving him similar things altogether…he’s a power chewer and doesn’t crunch pieces of anything down, he just swallows them. We had several huge bouts of vomiting in the first few years we had him because he’d swallowed chunks of various treats…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately none of my dogs could actually bite hard enough to break a bone-and they’ve never tried too hard either. But bones (well, real ones) are a super rare treat in our house (unlike some other things…) I’m glad that it ended up well in your case! x


  3. Ray, being a Shepherd/Rotti X has quite powerful jaws, and he is a “gulper”! He never gets large pieces of food because of the risk of choking, and he never gets real bones because of potential splintering or broken teeth. Our vet’s guideline (re substitute bones) is quite simple … hit your knee with it. If it hurts, don’t give it to your dog!
    I am rather surprised at the common “but my dog just loves bones” rationale. We are all capable of loving stuff that is not good for us, but that does not mean that we have to take serious risks and have it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What about antlers? (You know, those pieces of antler they sell specifically for dogs.) I have heard people say that antlers don’t splinter, but others say dogs can break their teeth on them, or something like that. Molly has a piece of elk antler, which she loves, and as of yet, we haven’t had any problems with it. But she’s not an aggressive chewer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Antlers are good for chewing, but as with any hard chewable treat, the dog should not be left alone with it. There’s always a risk of chocking or breaking a tooth. Big Kongs are good as well (very small risk, they are not easy to destroy)-they make super tough ones, too. Well, to be honest, life is risky, accidents will happen, we can reduce the likeliness of them, but we can’t eliminate them entirely…


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