I don’t know about you, but my kitchen looks like a bomb has hit it when it comes to clearing up after a roast.
Every saucepan and roasting pan has been used and there isn’t an inch of space on any of the work surfaces.
A simple place to start in the mammoth task of clearing up would be to give the bones from the joint straight to the dog.
But is this the right thing to do?
In today’s article I will be thinking specifically about lamb bones.
And I want to start by looking at some pretty fundamental rules when it comes to your dog and bones.
And the first rule is whether a bone should be raw or cooked…
Should dogs eat cooked bones?
Cooked bones are considered more dangerous to dogs because after a bone has been cooked it becomes harder and more brittle than a raw bone.
This means that a cooked lamb bone will be more likely to break your dog’s teeth..
more likely to break into sharp pieces and get stuck in your dog’s throat or further down in their body.
So, from that standpoint alone, some raw lamb bones will be safer for your dog than cooked bones.
And the important point here is that not all raw bones from any animal are safe for your dog to eat.
And in the next section, I will talk about another guiding principle.
The size of a lamb bone matters
Giving our dog’s raw bones is only part of the story if we want to keep them as safe as possible.
Two other important considerations are the size of the bone and the shape of the bone.
As dog owners, we need to make sure that any bone that we give to our dogs is the right size.
In particular we want to make sure that the bone isn’t so small that it could become a choking hazard.
Bones are there to be chewed, not swallowed whole.
And the right size will vary depending on the size of your dog and also on your dog’s table manners.
If your dog chews his food and takes his time he will be less at risk than a dog who inhales food rather than eats it.
So having established that the raw bones are best and that size does matter in the next section I will talk about the shape of a bone.
Why lamb chop bones aren’t ideal
Lamb chop bones tend to be slender with sharp edges.
And it is these sharp edges that we need to be careful of with our dogs.
Because once again, these bones can be choking hazards.
Because of this lamb chops aren’t a great choice of bone to give to many dogs, even if they are raw…
If you are getting a little bored by me telling you which bones aren’t ideal, don’t worry because in the next section I will tell you which is the best lamb bone for your dog.
What is the perfect lamb bone for your dog?
A final piece of sensible advice to follow when it comes to bones, is to provide your dog with the weight bearing bones from any animal, a lamb’s bone included.
Earlier I talked about how cooked bones are more prone to splintering than raw bones.
Weight bearing bones such as the leg and shoulder bones are stronger and therefore denser than other bones in the body.
This makes them less likely to splinter and therefore more dog friendly.
All of which leads us back to where we started in the article in my kitchen.
The perfect lamb bone for your dog will probably be from the leg of lamb that you roast occasionally.
Unfortunately, it is not ideal for your dog when the bone has been roasted.
And it isn’t ideal for you or your family if you try to take the leg bone out before you roast it.
This is partly because roasted joints have more flavour if they are roasted on the bone.
Secondly, it is very tricky and takes a lot of time to remove the bone from a leg of lamb before you cook it.
I have tried to do it on a couple of occasions and I got myself into a right pickle!
How to debone a leg of lamb
For those of you who are determined that your dog will have a raw leg of lamb, then here is a video that shows you step by step how it can be done.
Well this video is only four minutes long and the chef who is narrating the video believes that deboning a leg of lamb is a very simple skill.
Having explored lamb bones in quite some detail, I want to discuss another closely related issue
Can dogs eat mutton bones?
Although lamb is a more popular meat than mutton, a few people do still like to eat mutton or they feed it to their dogs.
And the same rules that we discussed above about lamb bones, also apply to mutton bones.
And if you aren’t sure what mutton is, it is sheep meat.
And dogs can eat raw mutton bones and the best ones to feed your dog are the leg and shoulder bones.
The perfect (slow) cooked lamb bones for your dog
I will finish this article on a positive note.
I think that for many of us deboning a leg of lamb isn’t practical and so I’m going to suggest a “hack”.
A workaround for those of you who are desperate to feed cooked lamb bones to your dog.
And the safest way to do this is to make a simple, plain lamb bone broth.
Don’t add all of those fancy seasonings that you might add to a bone broth that you will eat.
Lamb bone broth is created by the cooked bones being heated for hours (it can be as few as eight hours or as many as twenty four hours) in a pot of water with some vinegar added.
Don’t be tempted to add other ingredients.
It is best done in a slow cooker but it can be done in a traditional oven on a very low heat.
By boiling the bones for such a long time, they begin to dissolve and release lots of powerful nutrients which are beneficial for your dog.
And although the process takes forever, it is very easy.
This article breaks down the process into six simple steps.