Nick knack, paddy whack, give your dog a bone??? Are bones good for dogs? A consumer update from the Food and Drug Administration suggests no bones for your dog . Veterinarian Carmela Stamper who works for the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine states, "Bones are unsafe no matter what size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your vet's office, possible emergency surgery, or even death." The FDA is referring to cooked bones such as pork and rib bones. They can break and splinter. Some of the risks involved in giving your dog cooked bones are: 1. Mouth and tongue injuries 2. Broken teeth 3. Bones lodged in esophagus, windpipe, stomach, intestines 4. May cause constipation 5. Rectal bleeding 6. Peritonitis It is pretty obvious that offering your faithful friend a cooked bone would not be wise. But, what about raw bones? Are they safer or just as risky? Let's see what raw bones have to offer. Dogs were made to chew and they love to chew on bones. Their canine predecessors ate bones and were healthier for it. Raw bones are safe and healthy according to Dr. Karen Becker DVM. Chewing a raw bone stimulates the brain, cleans teeth, and strengthens jaw muscles. Dogs need minerals that raw bones provide to balance their diet. Raw bones contain calcium and phosphorus. With that said, here are some rules to follow to help keep your pet safe while enjoying chew time. 1. Never give your dog small bones or bones that could splinter. 2. Offer large raw soup (knuckle) bones about the size of your dog's head. 3. Watch your dog closely during chew time. Remove any small pieces that may break off and throw them away. 4. Take the bone away when if gets small and replace it with a new one. 5. If you have a multi-dog household separate your dogs. They may become possessive and aggressive when chewing a juicy bone. Take the bones up when your dogs are finished chewing. 6. Raw bones are usually frozen and can be messy as they thaw and are chewed. Offer them on a cleanable surface. 7. If your dog has Pancreas issues remove the marrow from the bone. Its' fatty content may trigger a flare-up and diarrhea. Another alternative to raw bones is edible dental bones. They can be found at your local pet supply store in many varieties. Pay close attention to ingredients. Edible dental bones should be of high quality, 100% natural, no corn, soy, gluten, extra fat, sugar, and no animal by-products. They will help keep your dog's teeth clean and tartar-free while satisfying your pooch's gnawing nature. There are also organic edible dental bones that are a healthy choice for your pet. Do some homework and search online for the best and safest options for you and your pet. Ingredients are easily accessible online. Armed with the information you have gained here, and by following the above sensible bone rules, your loyal companion can enjoy a good chew safely. No bones about it!