The question of adding bone marrow to a canine’s diet is quite contentious. What makes it even more complex is that there are several different ways to give your pup bone marrow.
So, can dogs eat bone marrow and how? Let’s go over each way separately:
Are marrow bones good for dogs if they are cooked?
The easiest way to give your dog bone marrow is to just give him a marrow bone. If that bone is cooked, however, you’re risking your dog’s health in a very major way.
Cooked bones of any type and from any animal are much drier than raw bones and are much easier to splinter in the dog’s mouth or digestive tract. This can lead to both internal and oral problems and various emergency situations.
Never ever give your dog cooked bones, whether for the marrow or just for the fun of it.
Are marrow bones safe for dogs if they are raw?
Can dogs eat raw marrow bones, however? Technically, yes, and there are many proponents of feeding your dog raw bones.
When they are not cooked, bones are much harder to splinter and the risk is significantly lower. This, together with the many different benefits of chewing on bones (calcium, vitamins, minerals, dental health, fun, etc.) brings a lot of people on board with raw marrow bones.
The problem, however, is that even raw bones can still splinter and create problems for your dog – it’s rarer overall but it still happens quite often. And it only takes one splinter in your dog’s stomach or intestines for often irreversible and tragic consequences.
So, while raw marrow bones are safer than cooked ones, it’s probably still not worth the risk, especially since there are risk-free alternatives to all the benefits of raw marrow bones.
Is bone marrow safe on its own?
Can you give your dog actual bone marrow without the bone?
Yes, you can. Once removed from the bone, cooked bone marrow is perfectly safe and even beneficial for your dog thanks to all the minerals and vitamins in it.
That being said, it’s a type of food that’s very high on fat so you should use it in moderation. In small doses, cooked bone marrow can be served as a side dish to your dog’s standard meal or as an afternoon treat. However, it should never be the main course, especially if your dog already has some health concerns.
So, while bone marrow on its own is healthy, it should always be served in moderation, never through cooked bones, and rarely if ever with raw bones. At the end of the day, there are safer sources of those same vitamins and minerals that are present in bone marrow anyway.