Will this hurt my dog?

I shot my first bear on Saturday and was looking at the Femur part of the leg and thought it looked big enough to give to my Lab. I have them in the freezer now and was planning on boiling them for about 30 min before giving him one.

My question is, will the bones splinter or give him too much calcium or anything that might hurt him. I like to use everything I can from my harvests.


fresh raw bones don’t splinter. dogs have fed raw for as long as there have been dogs.

You could occasionally buy cow legs at the grocery store when I was a kid. One Christmas we bought one for the dog. (Frozen, mostly bone and a bit of meat scraps, similar to what you’re describing)

The dog loved it, though it did get a little rank.

And I seem to recall that cooked ones are more likely to splinter, so it may be better not to boil it first.

What did the bear do to you?

I’d do a little research on trichinosis in dogs before I gave him a raw bone. Bears are now a major carrier of that parasite, now that commercial hogs are fed cooked slop. It’s the reason we’re careful about cooking bear meat until it’s done, even though I like other game meat on the rarer side. I don’t give my dog raw bear scraps for that reason, but it may not be based on factual science if dogs can’t get trichinosis.

I suspect, being mammals, that they can.

If we don’t hunt, then these animals will grow too big in number and they won’t have enough food. So you see? We have to kill animals or else they’ll die. Lookie there, Maggie! There’s some bears! Quick Maggie! Thin out their numbers! Good work! Now they won’t starve. We saved those bears from extinction. We’re environmentalists.

What did that flower behind your ear do to you? If you don’t agree with it, just hit the back button and leave. No need to troll.

Everybody else, thanks, I probably wont give them to him. I did not know about the parasite, I don’t want the risk of making my dog sick.

Cooked bones = bad for the dog

Raw bones can be great for a dog although there is a chance of them contracting a disease from the animal. Dogs have been eating bones since forever so it is not a huge risk but there is a risk.

Do not cut the bone either. Give it the whole femur.

If you’d rather not risk it you can buy cow bones processed for dog consumption. Basically a raw (leg) bone but somehow they process it so there is not an issue of disease while not actually cooked so no problem there. These are substantial bones and I can say from watching my dog something she absolutely loves gnawing on.

One more vote for giving the uncooked bone to your dog (in the future at least).

And kudos on using everything from the kill, even though some people seem to confuse you with a trophy hunter.

[Moderator Note]

Let’s not turn this into a debate about hunting. Punisher 11B, I’ll also remind you it is against the rules to accuse another poster of trolling outside the Pit. No warnings issued.

General Questions Moderator

Dogs can indeed get trichinosis, but it’s a rare cause of actual illness. Symptoms (if any) are vague and non-specific, and most cases go undiagnosed. On balance, though, I’d probably not risk feeding raw pork or bear to any animal.

Cooking kills the parasite, but as previous posters have said, cooked bones splinter and shouldn’t be fed to dogs. Trichinella spiralis, the species commonly found in pigs, is killed by freezing (-15C for 20 days IIRC, and less time at lower temperatures). However, other Trichinella species are more resistant to freezing, so don’t rely on freezing to make bear meat safe.

I really hate the concept of trophy hunting, but if you are going to actually use/eat the animal, then I have no argument. It’s probably better meat than what I buy at the grocery store. (Hey, at least the animal got to roam around, etc., and sans hormone shots, etc.)

I can tell you my previous dog (64 pounds) loooooved marrow and raw bones; my current dog (7 pounds) has not had that. But I’m betting she’d be on it like mad.

Is your dog interested in the bear bones? My dog loves cow, deer, and other herbivore bones and meat but on occasions where we have encountered the carcass of a predator she acts repulsed and shows no inclination to eat it.

I wonder if there’s a way to bake a femur at a low temperature like you would for jerky, to kill trichinosis but keep the bone’s raw integrity?

I don’t give my dogs the weight-bearing bones from large mammals. These are the main cause of chipped or broken teeth. I feed both my dogs and cats plenty of raw bones that are small enough for them to crunch up and swallow, however.

And of course raw bones are much better than cooked. Much less brittle and less likely to cause problems if swallowed.

If you want to give him bear bones, I say give them raw - after you scrape off most of the flesh. I don’t like to feed wild game meat without freezing it for a good long while first to kill parasites. I do feed it, though, and my pets have never been diagnosed with parasites or food poisoning, they never even vomit.

As I mentioned before you can buy cow bones that are essentially raw to give to a dog. They do something to it…smoke it or freeze it or something…that makes them safe without actually cooking the bone so it won’t splinter.

The femur I got my dog looked like a brontosaurs leg to me. Big thing and still greasy/slimy when I bought it although there was no meat on it. My dog loved it (she is a big dog…100 pounds). In fact she gnaws on it occasionally even a year later after all the juicy stuff is long gone.

I do not understand the one poster worrying about chipped teeth. Seems silly a dog would be programmed to chew so hard as to damage themself in this way but I dunno…perhaps they would. I have to admit seeing her go at the bone the thought has occurred to me and I worried but so far no trouble with her teeth whatsoever. Indeed I am led to believe it is good for her teeth to gnaw on this thing.

My dog can normally annihilate bones and eat them and this beef bone, while scraped up pretty good from gnawing, is still in one piece.

Well, if it’s a chihuahua, who have notoriously bad teeth, I could see it. Mine doesn’t have any of his top front teeth. I’m sure there are other breeds that might have trouble. Artificial breeding screwed up the natural selection that would phase those out.

Uncle Jimbo? Is that you?

Most dogs will not get chipped/broken teeth from chewing very large, hard bones, but some will. The instinct to preserve our teeth is there but people too get chipped and broken teeth from biting down too hard on something that proved stronger than their tooth.

Also dogs don’t necessarily have ‘programming’ to deal with extended gnawing of giant bones. Give a dog or wolf a carcass, they first go for the belly (nutritious organs), then for the muscle and fat, than for bones small enough to easily chew and swallow or crack open. Unless they are starving, there’s no good reason any wild canine would be gnawing on a cow leg bone as most have no chance of cracking it to get at the marrow.

My good friend is a tech at a vet who recommends raw feeding and giving dogs bones, and this is their experience as well. Most of the dogs they treat with a damaged tooth (not many) did it on the big bones.