The Short Answer is:
When it comes to puppies and marrow bones, there are a variety of opinions. It is not until your puppy has his full set of adult teeth that he should be given a marrow bone. In the U.K., one of the largest commercial suppliers suggests giving marrow bones only to puppies who are at least 10 months old. In the public forums, however, you’ll find people who are against it.
The purpose of this article is to explain the “What Age Can You Give a Puppy A Marrow Bone?“.
- What age can you give a puppy a marrow bone?
- What do I mean by marrow bone?
- At what age do puppies get their permanent/adult teeth?
- What age can you give a puppy a marrow bone?
- Build up slowly to giving your puppy marrow bones
- Supervise Your Puppy When They Eat Marrow Bones
- Small marrow bones for dogs
- What Age Can You Give a Puppy A Marrow Bone? (Watch Video)
Have you noticed that your puppy chews everything he sees? Or that he shreds everything he sees in seconds?
Are you looking for something they can chew that keeps them occupied for a while and is healthy for them?
Maybe you have heard that dogs are given marrow bones and you’re wondering if puppies can get them too?
Then I guess. Please read on because that is the main focus of my article today.
What age can you give a puppy a marrow bone?
Since they tend to be the weight-bearing bones of large animals usually cows marrow bones tend to be extremely hard.
Although chewing such hard bones can be hazardous to dogs of all ages puppies should be particularly cautious due to their hard teeth.
What do I mean by marrow bone?
Those who have already begun looking for marrow bones to buy online have probably noticed how many choices there are.
When I refer to marrow bones I mean the raw kind- those that look as if they were recently taken off an animal after it was slaughtered. I mean those with the marrow in the middle.
The marrow in the middle is real too!
You will find marrow bones on some sites that are so white that they look bleached. I do not mean that. The filling of these marrow bones is some kind of meat substitute.
Marrow bones do have their place and are very popular with some dog owners but they are not the focus of this article.
The same can be said for roasted marrow bones- they have a yellow color but they are filled with a substitute for marrow.
Cooked bones on the other hand should never be given to dogs because they are much more likely to splinter and cause damage to your dogs throat or stomach lining.
After letting you know what I will and would not be talking about lets return to puppies.
What is the best time to introduce marrow bones to them?
Lets start by looking at their teeth during their first few months of life.
At what age do puppies get their permanent/adult teeth?
It is common for puppies to be born toothless and they may not develop their full set of puppy teeth until they are five weeks old.
When puppies are born they do not need teeth since they are eating their mothers milk by sucking on her nipples.
By the time a puppy is five weeks old it usually has a set of puppy teeth.
This razor-like tooth has twenty-eight points.
Playing with a puppy will make you realize just how sharp these teeth can be!
The reason they are so sharp is that they havenot been worn down by eating solid foods or chewing sticks.
Its not long before these teeth are gone.
When a puppy reaches the age of five months adult teeth will start appearing or even a full set may be in place.
In the mouth of an adult dog there will be forty two teeth instead of twenty eight.
Most dogs should have their full set of adult teeth by the time they are six months old. However this can vary based on breed and some dogs will not have a full set of adult teeth until they are eight months old.
We can answer the question of at what age you can give a puppy a marrow bone now that we have tracked the development of puppy teeth into adult teeth?
What age can you give a puppy a marrow bone?
As I write more articles about marrow bones I am more aware of how contentious the topic of bones is among dog owners.
This is one of those “Marmite” topics.
There are two schools of thinking: either chewing bones is in a dogs DNA or all dogs should have the occasional bone.
It can also be argued that bones are lethal objects that will break teeth at the very least so dogs should not be allowed near them.
Therefore when it comes to puppies and marrow bones there are a variety of opinions.
It is not until your puppy has his full set of adult teeth that he should be given a marrow bone.
In the U.K. one of the largest commercial suppliers suggests giving marrow bones only to puppies who are at least 10 months old.
In the public forums however you’ll find people who are against it.
There is no good reason to give marrow bones to puppies but there are some alternatives that are recommended.
I think there are two important issues to consider when giving your puppy a marrow bone.
Taking baby steps and supervising are the first two things to do
Build up slowly to giving your puppy marrow bones
As a result of studying all of the evidence and reading peoples comments on forums I think that if you want to give your puppy a marrow bone you should do it gradually.
Basically you should introduce softer and smaller bones for shorter periods of time.
According to my previous comments marrow bones are very hard when compared with other bones.
However a lot of bones are softer and would be more suitable.
Your dog should also have a section of bone that would not choke on as well as softer bones.
The bones should be chewed not swallowed whole by your dogs!
Lamb ribs and chicken wings are included but no lamp or pork chops.
A second aspect of this small step approach is limiting the length of time a puppy can chew on a bone.
A puppys teeth are more likely to be damaged or broken the longer they gnaw on a bone.
When a puppy is limited to chewing a bone for a limited amount of time there is the problem of getting the bone back off them if they do not finish it within the time.
Dogs of all ages find bones extremely attractive and some may be very reluctant to relinquish their bones to humans.
It does not matter if the person they are taking it from is the one they love the most.
I have experienced having a puppy (now a four-year-old dog) that is highly possessive and aggressive around bones.
Using a tennis ball to distract her works for me.
It did not work to gently plead with her to drop the bone for me nor did it work to demand that she drop it more forcefully.
There was far too much confrontation in both approaches.
I now just bounce a tennis ball at her to distract her which she can never resist catching.
In that moment Sylvie drops the bone and runs after the ball and I grab it throw it in the bin and give her lots of praise.
As soon as you have decided what kind of bone to give your puppy to chew and how much time he or she should spend with it it is time to consider supervision.
Supervise Your Puppy When They Eat Marrow Bones
For the first few times that your puppy chews on a bone you will need to supervise him.
There seems to be a consensus among dog owners that dogs should always be supervised when given a bone regardless of their age.
My guess is that it is the level of supervision that changes.
Most likely your puppy will seek out a quiet space where it can gnaw the bone without being disturbed.
You should keep a very close eye on them by checking in on them every few minutes.
You should do this to make sure your puppy isnot choking because they swallowed the bone whole that the bone hasnot gotten stuck on their teeth (canines) and that they havenot broken any teeth.
You can relax the supervision as your dog ages and gets more “bone” experience so you do not have to check on them every two minutes.
As you leave the house on your way to work your supervision should never become so relaxed that you give your dog a bone to occupy them.
It is too easy for things to go wrong when your dog is chewing a bone so you should be home if they are doing so.
Small marrow bones for dogs
The next step is to find a marrow bone that is the right size for your puppy if you decide to give it one.
Do dogs have mini marrow bones?
There are several types of marrow bones but can you get small marrow bones for puppies?
The easiest thing to do is to talk about sizes first.
An online search shows that most marrow bones for dogs are about 10 cm (4 inches) – 20 cm (8 inches) long which is too long for a puppy or small dog.
There are some suppliers that do stock smaller marrow bones which are generally about 5cm (2 inches) which would suit puppies and small dogs.
A marrow bone can be cut into two types: a pipe or a half-cut.
“Pipe cuts” are marrow bones that are shaped like sausages or bones: the marrow is visible only at one end.
By contrast a half-cut marrowbone is one that has been cut along its length. The marrow is visible along its entire length and it has a semi-circular shape.
Puppies prefer half-cut marrow bones because they can get at the marrow with a little less effort and chewing.