My dog loves chewing marrow bones. I know she would be completely insane without them because she’s the kind of dog who always wants to solve a puzzle and keep her active mind occupied. The only problem was that, once she had chewed any meat or marrow off the bones, she would get bored and they would end up either in the trash can, or collecting dust somewhere in my house, unwanted. Luckily, I found several simple ways to reuse old dog bones to get the most possible use out of them.
One option is to fill an old bone with peanut butter. This is our favorite method for reusing dog bones, and my dog’s favorite, too! We just get some cheap peanut butter in a bulk-size jar and fill the old bones with them, making sure to get it into all the little nooks and crannies. This will keep my dog occupied for a while, but sometimes she gets the peanut butter out a little too quickly, so the entertainment doesn’t last long. Another issue is that peanut butter is very high in fat and calories and, while appropriate as a treat, it’s not a good idea to give large amounts of it to dogs all the time.
Another good filler for an old dog bone is canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is great for pets’ digestion; I have used it frequently to treat constipation and diarrhea in my little furry friends. Buy a can of pumpkin (or several, if you want to get them for a low cost after Thanksgiving!) and fill your dogs’ old bones with them. You can even combine it with the peanut butter for something more nutritionally complete!
Other soft fruits are also good to put into used-up dog bones. Banana is a favorite of my dog’s, although she doesn’t like it as much as pumpkin and peanut butter. It’s a great use for those overripe bananas that you can get for half-price at the grocery store, or for the bananas that you didn’t use quickly enough before they got bruised or browned. Combine the bananas with peanut butter for an “Elvis” bone that your pooch will love!
The only downside to filling your pup’s used dog bones with peanut butter or fruit, is that they can get very messy and may leave stains on your carpet or furniture. There’s a solution, though-and it also makes the bones last a lot longer! Pop a newly filled dog bone into the freezer overnight and the fruit and peanut butter will harden, so it’s less likely to spill out of the bone while your dog chews. A bonus point comes from the fact that freezing will also make the filling material last a lot longer, so your dog will get more use and entertainment out of it.
Don’t toss those old bones. With just a tiny bit of effort, you can turn your pets’ used treats into something enjoyable and nutritionally valuable, and you can save money by refilling the old bones rather than immediately replacing them. Once they are completely used up, you can take them to the woods for wild critters to snack on, or just toss them in the trash (not the compost, though). You’ll get much more use out of bones by refilling them simply and affordably.