What? You were probably wondering when you saw this image weren't you? This is what I did with an hour and a half yesterday while Luke and Elsa were chewing. It was bone day and I had every intention of gardening; it is in much need of attention but when I tried to move that way Luke stopped chewing. I thought that he might so I was ready for an alternative activity which was painting my toes. I hate the time that it takes to do a good job of a nice pedicure but if I can multitask? Great.
Before we talk about Luke and Elsa's chew I want to remind you that if you give bones THEY MUST BE RAW. NEVER, EVER give cooked bones to your dog. Cooked bones are dry, hard and brittle and then splinter. These splinters can cause all sorts of damage to a dog's stomach and/or intestines.
Next, make sure that the bones are long enough so as not to be swallow or choked on. Some dogs have a natural instinct to just swallow. Jessie was like this and it took her several times to the the whole "bones are to chew" thing down. I would always err on the larger size of bones for safety reasons. I had to throw a whole box of bones out once because they were only 3-4 inches long. Not long enough in my books not to be swallowed down. 6" is my minimum length.
The day started a bit out of the ordinary; I didn't do the gym and we didn't walk; I needed a break and they could surely use a change of routine. I had an early meeting so after my meeting it was bone time. The dogs had been following me around wondering what was up because I hadn't done the gym nor had they walked, but they were very happy when they saw the bones come out. Before they get the bones the preparation begins. I get out the bone sheet which is an old bed sheet; which helps to minimize raw meat spread all over the patio. It just happens to be the same color as Luke and Elsa which I didn't plan, honestly. I got my nail stuff out just in case Luke wanted me close and put the phone and camera on the table. The bones had been sitting on the counter for at least an hour; I like the dogs to have room temperature bones. Once we were ready we head out for a good chew.
These bones had a lot of meat on them.
Elsa, well into her chew.
Good technique here with Luke, using his back teeth.
Look at those pearly whites.
Sometimes Luke swings the bone around trying to get a piece off. I love those big ears as he watches it fall to the ground.
This was right after I cut into the meat for Elsa. She is checking it all out.
As you can see, she did really well with the chew.
I wasn't sure what they were going to think of this chew; these were new and different bones. Lamb shank; and although it took them a bit to get hooked they were a huge success. They cost a bit more than I usually pay; $6.00 for two so at $3.00 a piece it is a very good deal for cleaning teeth. Not only does a good raw bone chew clean their teeth; they love it. These bones were covered in meat; so I was able to make the lamb shanks their breakfast. Out on the sheet Luke gets his first, then Elsa. I didn't even know if Elsa would chew it or eat the meat, she hadn't had a raw lamb bone before and she has just gotten use to beef bones.
Luke licked the lamb shank, tossed it around a bit but Elsa just gave it one lick and then stared at it. She stood watching Luke and then paced. I tried to coax her, then left her to attempt it on her own. She seemed very unsettled as did Luke. He kept looking at her bone then moved his bone right beside hers. I typically do not allow bone swapping; I have always been super strict due to Jessie's "touch my bone and I'll kill you" attitude. But these two have no issues and it was obvious that Luke thought that Elsa's bone was better. She knew that Luke had not settled into his chew; she's pretty amazing at reading body language. Until he settled, she could not. She needed him to choose his bone and then she could have the other one. So watching all this I allowed him to check out her bone; yep, that was the one he wanted. He took it and began to chew.
That is when I headed for the garden but Luke was having nothing of it. He left his bone to be with Mom, what a guy. Back I went and pulled up a chair; nail time. So I sat and did my nails while the dogs had a good chew. It took Elsa sometime to get hooked onto her bone; she kept walking by and giving it a lick. She'd do a circle then lick it again. Finally after watching Luke eat his, she gave it a go and never stopped until it was clean. Every so often I'd get up to take a photo of them chewing or maneuver someones bone. I also grabbed a knife and fork and helped make some cuts into the meat. The whole thing was covered in sinew so it was tough for them to get going on them. They hadn't dealt with this before so they weren't quite sure how to handle it. Once I made some cuts into them they were good to go. They had a great chew, lots of tendon and sinew chewing sounds along with bone crushing. I love the sound of teeth getting clean.
During the chew Luke decided that he was not close enough to me. He stood staring at me and I knew right away. I grabbed a towel that had dried Elsa off a few days earlier and lay it down right beside me. He immediately grabbed his bone and took up his place by my side. What a guy. Elsa was fine on the sheet, it was after all only about 4 feet away but for Luke that is like a mile. The dogs enjoyed their chew and I did my nails while enjoying the sounds of teeth being cleaned.
Call me crazy but I think I love bone day as must as the dogs do. :)