Dogs of every breed, age, and personality all seem to agree on one thing: there’s nothing like a tasty bone! From the moment they get their paws on one of these savory chews, most dogs can’t help but wag their tail with enthusiasm. Although we all know just how much our Cadets enjoy these rewards, the reasons why dogs like bones and other natural dog chews might not be so obvious. History reveals the origin of dogs’ love for bones and why our four-legged friends continue to appreciate them so much.
The Ancient Craving Explained
The relationship between dogs and bones dates back to prehistoric times, when dogs’ wolf-like ancestors hunted for survival. These canines typically ate the meat of animals such as deer and bison, but dry or cold seasons often left prey too scrawny to satisfy the dogs’ nutritional needs. The canines had one option: to consume the fat stored inside the animals’ bone marrow, according to Psychology Today.
So, why do pups continue to crave bones so much? Evolution makes certain activities pleasurable—particularly those that are necessary for survival, according to Neuron. That’s why the process of chewing on bones gives dogs as much happiness as the delicious flavor these chews contain!
Even though canines’ ancestors chewed on many kinds of raw bones, you should only give your furry friend bones that are specifically crafted for dogs—never offer a bone from the dinner table! Make sure you select bones and chews that are an appropriate size for your dog's weight and cooked properly to help prevent splintering and choking hazards.
A Bone-a-Fide Natural Instinct
As you’ve probably experienced, dogs chew on more than bones—socks, shoes, and furniture are just a few items our four-legged friends try to munch on. This natural instinct helps dogs manage stressful situations and learn about their world. While chewing is healthy, it’s up to you to find a safe outlet for your dog. That’s where bones come into play!
Benefits of Natural Chews for Dogs
In addition to the perks associated with chewing, bones and other animal parts provide a slew of benefits. Choosing natural dog chews can:
• Provide nutrients – Giving dogs beef bones offers them key nutrients such as calcium and phosphorous, both of which help aid muscle and bone development. Many other natural chews including cow ears and pig ears are high in protein, which supports the immune system, coat, and skin, according to PetMD.
• Discourage unwanted behavior – Most dogs would rather chew on a real animal part than your belongings. Natural chews distract dogs from inappropriate household items, helping them learn healthy and non-destructive chewing habits.
• Promote dental health – Many natural animal parts help clean teeth as dogs chew, scraping away plaque and tartar buildup and freshening breath. Although chewing should not replace regular brushing, bones and other natural chews can serve as an effective and fun way to help teeth sparkle!
• Keep dogs occupied – Long-lasting chews such as bones provide an entertaining activity that staves off boredom.
Best Types of Natural Chews
When you think about natural dog chews, long femurs and thick shin bones might be the first products that come to mind. However, giving dogs beef bones is just one way to satisfy their love for real animal parts.
Bully sticks are a time-tested favorite, offering long-lasting entertainment and savory flavor dogs’ predecessors have craved for generations. These chews are also high in protein and low in fat for a healthy, rewarding experience dogs can’t resist!
Speaking of the classics, beef hide chews (also known as rawhide chews) provide a natural texture our furry friends enjoy. They also come in many intriguing shapes and are ideal for strong chewers.
Other real animal parts such as beef tendons, piggy sticks, and pork hide chews make excellent choices for dogs of all breeds. No matter what kind of natural chew your pup prefers, always supervise chewing sessions and remove any items that are too small to chew safely.
From satisfying an age-old instinct to staying happy and occupied, it’s no wonder why dogs like bones and other natural chews. These real animal parts give pups a healthy chewing outlet and offer nutrients you might not expect—just as they’ve done for thousands of years!