Should You Give Bones to Your Dog

Should You Give Bones to Your Dog

Author WDF Staff


Many dog owners have an association connecting dogs and bones. Sure, dogs seem to love bones, but should you give bones to your dog? Is it the best option out there? Opinions in this matter are very different, but some universal rules apply. If you want to give your dog a bone, here’s what you should know.

Are bones safe for dogs?

The correct answer to the question, “Are bones safe for dogs?” is - it depends. Bones can be safe for dogs, but you need to be sure you have taken some safety measures. Here are a few rules you should follow if you want to give your dog a bone;

1. Raw bones

If you want to give your dog a bone, make sure it is a raw one. Cooked bones become soft and can splinter easily. That means they can get lodged in your dog’s throat or cause a rupture in the dog’s intestines. Make sure you give your dog only raw bones to chew on.

boxer chewing a bone

2. Short chew time

Taking a bone away from your dog might be challenging, but you should do exactly that after they chewed it for 10 - 15 minutes. Dogs can break the bone down with their powerful jaws, and you don’t want your dog to eat too much of it.

3. Keep it in the fridge

After taking the bone away from your dog, make sure you keep it in the fridge. If the bone is left in the open, different bacteria can develop, and the dog can get infected the next time they chew on that bone.

4. Size and supervision

If you give a bone to your dog, make sure you keep an eye on them while they chew it. They can break it into pieces that can choke them. Also, make sure you give your dog an appropriately sized bone. Large dogs should get large bones, so they don’t swallow them whole.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you want to “sweeten” your dog’s life with some bones, make sure you talk to your vet about it. They can give you great advice regarding your individual dog.

Can bones be bad for dogs?

A few things could potentially harm your dog if you give them a bone to chew on. You have to be sure where the bone comes from, what kind it is, and your dog has to be healthy. Here are a few things to avoid;

1. “Fat” bones

There are different kinds of bones, and some should simply be avoided. One of the worst kinds of bones to give your dog are pork rib bones. They have a lot of fat on them, and dogs simply cannot handle them. The most likely result will be painful pancreatitis. You should also avoid poultry and pork bones.

dog and bone

2. Chunks and pieces

If your dog chews on a bone, you should take it away if you notice they broke it down into chunks. Also, never give your dog small pieces of bone to chew on. Both things present a choking hazard.

3. Contaminated bones

If you are not sure where the bone comes from, it is best to not give it to your dog. Bones can contain bacteria and other harmful pathogens that could hurt your dog. Make sure you give only uncontaminated bones to your dog.

In conclusion

Bones can be an excellent way to reward and keep your dog entertained. However, veterinarians have mixed feelings about giving dogs raw bones. If you’re on the fence, it’s best to play it safe and avoid giving it to your dog. Talk to your vet and if you are adamant about giving your dog bones, make sure you give them only the safest bones.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo