How to Safely Gve Bones to Your Dog

How to Safely Give Bones to Your Dog

Ensure your dog’s safety with proper bone treats. Opt for raw, non-splintering bones and avoid poultry and tubular bones. Supervise bone-chewing sessions.

Safe Bones for Dogs: A Comprehensive Guide

As a dog parent, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the sheer exhilaration your canine companion exhibits when you present them with a special treat; especially when that treat is a real bone!

Giving bones to your dog has its benefits; however, there are guidelines to follow to ensure it is done safely so your pet pal can reap the benefits. Chewing real meaty bones can help keep their teeth clean and provide nutritional value, especially calcium and phosphorus. It can also provide mental stimulation, which is a way for a dog to expend their energy in a productive way.

Types of Bones

As a dog owner, you want to give the best treats possible. However, not all bones are safe for dogs, and it’s essential to know which ones are safe to offer and which ones to avoid.

First, let’s review the kinds of bones which are safe to give your dog and how to give them. The size of your dog will also help you to determine what type of bone is suited best for them to completely enjoy safely. As a rule of thumb you should never give your dog any bone which is smaller than their muzzle length so there is no chance of them swallowing it whole.

If your dog is an aggressive chewer, the density of knuckle bones is generally the safest kind. You want to give bones that don’t easily splinter, which could cause a choking hazard. Marrow bones are another bone of choice for their nutrient density and durable chewing quality. Bones which are unsafe and not advisable to give are those from poultry such as chicken or turkey legs, whether cooked or raw. These can splinter easily and cause serious internal injury.

Cooked or Raw

Speaking of cooked versus raw, you should always give your dog raw bones. Cooking diminishes the integrity of the bone, and renders them inedible due to the fact that they will dry out on the inside and can therefore break apart. You can, however, slow cook raw bones to make bone broth, which can be a nutrient rich addition to your dog’s diet. Cooked bones should always be discarded, and the broth should be strained before adding it to your dog’s meal to avoid any possible bone fragments ending up in their food.

Edible Bones

There are certain types of bones which are editable and safe for your dog to ingest. These are the parts of the animal which are soft, like cartilage, and break down easily without splintering into dangerous fragments.

When you are looking for this type of bone think in terms of chicken wings, gizzards, and turkey necks, which are pliable and can be chewed and digested easily.


Commercially Prepared Bones

There are real bones you can buy from most major pet suppliers which are deemed safe to give to your dog. These include dense bones which are often processed by baking them dry with added flavoring. If your dog is sensitive to additives, be sure to read the full label before choosing a processed bone such as these.

Alternatively, there are bones manufactured to mimic the chew feel and taste of real bones. These are generally made of an edible type of digestible nylon, so if your dog does swallow a piece it will go through their system without causing harm. You should be aware, however, that these bones are graded by the type of chewer your dog is. If you have an aggressive chewer be sure to choose only that type of bone so you don’t run the risk of them breaking the bone apart which could cause internal injury if swallowed in large chunks. Always supervise your dog when giving this or any type of bone so you are prepared to remove it if there is a potential issue with its durability.

Meaty Bones

When choosing raw bones for your dog, it’s good to get those that have some meat on them. This provides both additional nutrition and stimulation at the same time. Just be sure the type of bone is appropriate and there is no added salt or seasoning flavors, which could be harmful to your dog. It’s also a good idea to trim excess fat, which is not healthy for a dog’s digestion and could lead to serious issues such as pancreatitis. Dogs should only ingest lean protein meats free from excessive fat.

Generally speaking, Lamb is safe and digestible. Dense Beef bones are also full of nutrients and Pork is okay, as long as it’s also plain and unseasoned. Just be sure it’s sturdy and not something that could splinter or chip. If you are uncertain, you can ask a butcher. They know which bones are safe and some even set aside bones specifically for their dog parent customers!

Bring a Doggy Bag of Bones Home?

While everyone wants to pamper their special pooch with a rare treat, bringing home the leftover T-Bone steak you just enjoyed at your favorite restaurant is not a good idea and could cause serious harm to your beloved pet.

Going back to the aforementioned information about cooked bones, it’s never a good idea to give cooked bones to your dog because cooking causes the bones to become brittle making them susceptible to splintering and a choking hazard. Furthermore, restaurant meat with bones will be seasoned, marinated or sauced with ingredients that can be harmful to dogs as well.

As a rule of thumb, if you want to share the joy of indulging in a treat with your canine companion, be sure the one you give them is appropriate both for safety and nutrition.

Always Supervise Your Dog

When giving any type of bone or treat, you should always supervise your dog while they are gnawing away. Be alert to any potential cracking or chipping sounds and remove the bone immediately if the integrity of the bone begins to break down.

Generally speaking, a raw bone can be enjoyed for up to twenty minutes and should be discarded thereafter. If you’ve bought a number of bones from your local butcher or grocer keep them refrigerated in an air tight bag or container and let them come to room temperature before offering it to your dog if they have any sensitivity to cold. Dogs can generally chew raw bones safely one to three times per week.

What Bones to Avoid

  • Cooked bones because they can easily splinter and cause internal injury.
  • Bones that are too large, such as weight-bearing bones of larger animals like deer or cows, because they can be too hard and damage your dog’s teeth.
  • Fish bones are too small and can also cause injury or a choking hazard.
  • Tubular bones because they can get stuck in your dog’s throat or digestive tract.

Give Bones Responsibly

By following safe guidelines, bones can be a wonderful treat for your dog. They can help with dental health, provide essential nutrients, and keep your pup entertained while providing an outlet to expend excess energy. However, it’s crucial to ensure you are giving the proper types of bones for the allowable time and always closely supervise their bone chewing time so your canine companion can safely enjoy their tasty treat.

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