Can Dogs Get Sick From Eating Cow Bone Marrow?

by Tom Ryan
    Your vet may recommend an artificial alternative.

    Your vet may recommend an artificial alternative.

    Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

    While your dog may love chewing on a marrow bone, it isn't always a healthy choice -- in fact, it can make him ill. Eating cow bone marrow in excess can cause or exacerbate health problems in your dog, and the act of chewing on the bone itself can cause serious injuries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against giving your dog bones, including those from larger animals, like cows.

    Cow bones are large and tough, which may make them appealing to your dog -- dogs love to chew and explore with their mouths. However, these bones are so dense they can actually hurt your dog, causing problems like chipped and broken teeth. Swallowing bone fragments can cause intestinal blockage, internal bleeding and deadly infections.
    Even recreational cow marrow bones can be dangerous for dogs, because the marrow itself is a fatty animal product. Too much fatty food -- like cow bone marrow -- can make your dog overweight, leading to conditions like pancreatitis. If you're interested in giving your dog a form of cow bone marrow, consult with your veterinarian first.

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    • Chris Amaral/Photodisc/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

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