Bones can be an enriching treat for your dog. Chewing can relieve boredom, anxiety, and stress, and helps keep your dog's teeth clean. However, bones can be also harmful to dogs. Today, our Glendale vets explain.

Are bones good for dogs?

The answer is frequently yes. Minerals and other nutrients are provided by bones, which also satisfy your dog's appetite. Chewing stimulates saliva enzymes, which aids in plaque buildup and gum disease prevention. In addition, a dog who chews on a dog bone is less likely to scratch or lick his paws excessively.

So can you give a dog a bone?

A better question to ask is "should dogs chew bones?"

In general, raw bones tend to be better for dogs than cooked bones. So if you ever wondered "are cooked bones bad for dogs?" the answer is yes, but again, in general.

Because both raw and cooked bones can cause splinters in your dog's mouth and digestive tract, resulting in injury and even death (though cooked bones are more likely to cause this). Some of the consequences of a dog chewing on raw or cooked bones are listed below.

  • Lacerations or punctures to the gums and tongue
  • Cuts and wounds to the throat
  • Damaged or broken teeth
  • Choking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe constipation
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Perforation of the intestines
  • Rectal trauma and bleeding

What bones are not safe for dogs?

Cooked Chicken and Turkey Bones: These bones are most likely to splinter. Small bones are also more prone to getting lodged in the throat and esophagus than larger, more solid bones.

T-Bones: T-bones, due to their shape, can become stuck in a dog's throat while the other end is down the esophagus or trachea. This can lead to severe swelling that can block the airway, preventing your dog from breathing.

Small Bones and Circular Bones: Giving your dog any bone that is smaller than its mouth or easily splinters is dangerous. Both can cause choking hazards as well as oral and intestinal trauma. Circular bones are also unfavorable because they can get stuck in a dog's lower jaw. Dogs are terrified of this, so sedation is usually required when cutting the bone to free the dog's jaw.

What bones can dogs eat?

Generally, you want to get raw bones from a reputable butcher large enough to be easily grasped and about the size of your dog's head. It should also have bulges or lumps on both ends.

Even though raw bones are regarded as a "safe" bone option, there are still dangers. Your dog still has a chance of suffering from a broken tooth, a gum injury, or a bone splinter. Constipation can result from chewing on the bone too much. Before using, the bone should be chilled, and after a few hours, it should be thrown away.

General Rules for Bone Safety

If you are considering giving your dog a bone, here are some general safety rules to follow:

  • Serve raw meat bones.
  • After 10 to 15 minutes, remove the bone from your dog and place it in the refrigerator.
  • After three or four days, discard the bone.
  • Give large bones to large breeds like German Shepherd Dogs, Bloodhounds, and Mastiffs.
  • When you give your dog a bone, keep an eye on him.
  • Be an educated consumer
Do Not:
  • Give your dog the wrong type of bone.
  • Don't give your dog cooked bones of any kind.
  • Allow your dog to chew any type of bone into small pieces.
  • Don't give your dog a bone if he has stomach problems.
  • If another dog is visiting, don't give your dog a bone to chew on.

Are you still wondering what kinds of bones are safe for your dog to chew? Contact our Glendale vets today and we'd be happy to answer any questions you have.