Image Credits: Pixabay
Every dog owner must have gazed in wonder at the dog chewing blissfully at its bone. For a canine, nothing can be a better sedative. It is strange that a dog will continue to chew the bone even if there is no meat on the bone. It not only chews it but also crushes it. The end of the meal will see most of the bone disappearing within its body. It is puzzling to see that an animal loves a thing which has zero nutrition value. The dog loves the bone so much that it can spend hours consuming it.
Fat is important
The answer lies in the annals of history when humans first domesticated dogs. The clue lies in the sites located in New Mexico where bison bones were discovered. The bisons concerned was hunted down around 1450 AD. The hunters, the archaeologists discovered, left the female bison alone but took away the meat of the male bison. A little more investigation found out that the kill happened not during the winter time-the customary bison hunting season, but during the spring. Female animals killed during spring does not taste well as the fat content in their body is found to be less. The female bison was probably pregnant and severely stressed resulting in a lower quantity of fat in the body. The herbivores live off their fat reserves, and the fat content of both male and females are much reduced. A diet consisting of only protein for predators is inadequate for the calories needed to sustain the body. There is also the chance of protein poisoning. This is why the hunters took away the male bison’s meat and not the female herbivore’s.
Bone marrow helps to survive All of these leads us to the answer of why dogs love to chew on bones. The changes in season affect the ready availability of plants and vegetables which are eaten as food by herbivores. The latter in turn are prey to carnivores. Bones are essentially fat reservoirs. The marrow of the bone is rich in fat, and this keeps the animal alive at a time when there is a lack of food. Bone marrows are nearly 50 percent fat in composition. There is also the presence of bone grease, the chemical which bonds the essential calcium to the bone. For a predator who caught its prey at a particularly bad time of the year, then the bone marrow becomes an invaluable fat source. This fat literally multiples the nutrition capability of the prey. For a carnivorous animal like a dog, the bone grease, to its genes, make the bridge connecting life and death. You should always give the raw bone to your dog and not a cooked one with no fat.