In the wild, dogs and cats routinely enjoy feasting on fresh bones from their prey. In addition to receiving nutritional benefits from the minerals contained in the bones (calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus) and the nutrients contained from the meat attached to the bone (and the marrow in the bone,) regular chewing has additional benefits.
First, animals, both wild and domestic, need to chew as part of their normal behavior. If they don’t chew, they are being deprived of an important daily function. Pets that don’t have access to chewing bones are more likely to become destructive chewers of household objects such as furniture and clothing.
- Second, chewing provides pleasure to the pet. Pets deprived of chewing bones miss out on a pleasurable part of what should be a daily event.
- Finally, regular chewing can promote healthy teeth and gums. Since wild animals don’t brush their teeth, and since many pet owners don’t brush their pets’ teeth, regular chewing of healthy bones minimizes periodontal disorders, resulting in greater health to the pet.