If you’ve ever had that panicked moment, when you look down and your dog is about to swallow that last bit of bone (or stupidly large segment), then read on. Or if you’re new to dogs and want to give them bones, read on and avoid that panicky moment.
Chewing on bones is good for your dog’s teeth and gums. No vet will argue that. It can clean the plague from their enamel, help with bad breath, strengthen their roots, and by golly, it makes them crazy happy. Not to mention there are days (rainy days) where your pup may all but refuse to put their precious paws on anything but carpet or dry grass. But again, we come back to that evil last bit of bone that threatens to slip down their throat and choke them. Causing you untold amounts of terror and soaring vet bills and them pain and possibly death. I, myself, have pulled a few bone fragments from throats and I’ll tell you, it’s unpleasant for everyone. I had enough terrifying experiences, we gave up bones for years.
So what to do? Here’s an easy-peasy solution—add an inedible and solid base. My go-to solution these days? A pair of long-nose locking pliers (also referred to as vice grips). The model shown: a 6.5inch Husky. Here’s a bone my pup just lovingly decimated:
As you can see, the last three inches of the bone are caught and held by the pliers. She happily gave up when reaching the bottom. I like to use the needle nose variety because it has a convenient oval-shaped grip near the joint where the ends of these bones fit nicely. I also like these because the clamp head is long and provides a place for them to put their paws on both sides.
Depending on what kind of bones you get, you may need to use a different shape/kind of clamp or variety of pliers. Whatever you use, make sure it has these properties:
- Ridged gripping surface to hold the bone
- A mechanism for changing tension (the screw at the end of the handle)
- An easy release mechanism (on this model, the flat metal piece inside the handle)
Whatever you choose, test and retest before handing it off to your dog. I adjust my tension knob nice and tight where I have to two-hand squeeze the handle to close.