“Give a dog a bone,” it’s an old saying dating back centuries. And every cartoon and book people have been raised with that shows a dog usually shows the animal resting while chewing away contentedly on a thick bone. Unlike cow bones, which are much larger, a pork shoulder bone is just the right size.
And it’s no surprise dogs love them; they are practically marinated with meat flavor as well as protein inside with the bone marrow. However, what pet owners wonder today, is whether it’s safe to actually give their dog the leftover bone, especially after a thorough cooking.
Smoked Pork Shoulder Bone for Dogs
Most people assume a dog will just gnaw at a bone and be kept busy for hours. This simply is not true. Dogs have incredibly powerful teeth, especially the back molars. Regardless of size, they will go at a bone and try to break off parts where possible. Their chewing action is incredibly aggressive, and cooked bone doesn’t stand much of a chance to that kind of pressure.
Additionally, by instinct, dogs tend to try to swallow and wolf down any food they can get inside their mouth, which can be a problem with bone. While a big bone won’t immediately be swallowed, the chewing and grinding action will break it into smaller pieces.
Those, in turn, will get picked up and swallowed by a dog without a whole lot of thinking going on in their cranium. That means sizable parts of bone will end up in their stomachs and eventually the intestinal tract, and sometimes with sharp edges.
More than one dog has ended up in the veterinarian’s office due to a punctured internal organ thanks to a sharp bone piece.
For the most part, then, dogs are generally not advised to be given free latitude on a cooked bone.
Do Dogs Like Pork Shoulder Bone?
In a word, yes. The flavor, smell of meat and general organic material of a bone is highly attractive to their noses, and they will begin drooling on first smell and then sight of the bone. In fact, if there is more than one dog, they will get extremely possessive of what they have and fight over it, even if the dogs are otherwise best friends for years.
Dogs are notorious for hanging around BBQs outside and anywhere there is a strong food smell to take a chance for scraps as well. If a pork bone is left on a prep table or similar, and the dog is younger, it may even be so brave as to stand up and try to grab the bone when no one is looking.
Bigger dogs are more prone to this behavior than smaller ones, but if there’s a chair nearby, it will be put to good use by a creative canine with a nose.
Should You Give a Pork Shoulder Bone to Dogs?
Smaller dogs clearly won’t have the ability to really get their mouths around the sizable girth of a pork shoulder bone. However, larger dogs will make short work of it. Again, the safety issue of the pieces of bone once inside the dog becomes a bit of a problem.
In some cases, some people cut up the bones in parts that are blunt, and dogs tend to wolf them down pretty quick, but with fewer problems. However, ask a veterinarian for a professional opinion, and they will likely advise against dogs eating any kind of bone at all unless already ground up and turned into a dried mix, such as regular dog food.
Keep in mind, surgery on a pet dog for a stomach or intestinal tract emergency can be extremely expensive. The whole problem is entirely avoidable by just not giving a dog a pork shoulder bone at all.
Folks might seem to think it’s okay, but this is more of a cultural myth. In reality, today’s pets aren’t used to devouring and crushing meat bones to small bits, and even dogs that did generally didn’t last very long. People just simply replaced those dogs more often in the old days than trying to help them recover. Obviously, today, that’s not such a simple option nor one any reasonable pet owner should consider as a viable option.