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The Ultimate Dog Bone Guide – (Do You Know What is Safe or Not)

August 02, 2018

dog with a bone

Let’s give the dog a bone.

Well, the next time you say that, give a thought whether the bones are safe for your furry friend or not. Yes, many dog owners are unaware that some kinds of bones can be harmful to dogs.

Though bones are dog’s prized possession, it is wise to know all the answers regarding which bones can be safely given to him.

Factors to Consider for Choosing Bones

Cooked or Raw

Do you think that dogs can eat raw bones? If you speak to your vet, you will know that raw bones are safer than cooked bones for dogs.

On chewing, splintering and softening risk increases once bones are cooked, which is not the case for raw bones. More minerals and vitamins are also present in the raw bones.

Size of Bone

Choose thicker and larger bones for your dog. Smaller bones carry the risk of breaking into small pieces which can be mistakenly swallowed by your friend resulting in tummy troubles.


Bone marrow can have an adverse effect on dogs who are suffering from irritable bowels, stomach ailments, or diarrhoea.

It is due to the bone marrow being very rich in food quality and can potentially increase tummy troubles for dogs with weak digestion.

Types of Bones

Beef Bones

Beef rib bones are suitable for dogs if they are large. Since they are usually harder than other animal bones, it will not break down so easily.

Avoid smaller beef bones, or steak bones as they are prone to breaking down and come with a risk that dogs may swallow it up as well. Cooked beef bones are fine as long as they are thick and large.

Chicken Bones

Chicken bones are totally off the radar as they easily break into small pieces. Cooked chicken bones are even softer and splinter very easily.

Choking from bones stuck in the throat is a painful reality you would rather not face.  Did you know that splintered bones can even perforate the gastrointestinal tract of your dog? If not treated promptly, this can lead to infection, excruciating pain and even death. 

Turkey Bones

Turkey bones are treated similarly as chicken bones. Stay away from turkey bones as they splinter easily while raw or cooked.

Pork Bones

Pork bones are like chicken bones, and dog experts are in consensus that dogs shouldn’t have them. Pork chop, ham or pork ribs bones are not safe as they can cause choking in dogs.

Lamb Bones

Lamb's bones are pretty much similar to beef bones. Since they are dense, they can be eaten by dogs. Prefer to give your furry friend thick and large bones, preferably raw than cooked.


My dog has eaten a bad bone, what can I do?

Many times, even after being careful, it is possible that your dog sneaks a bone from the kitchen counter. If you see something like that take place, do not panic and immediately follow the below-outlined steps:

  • Take away the bones, before he can eat more of them.
  • Make sure that your friend is not getting choked by any chance.
  • You should call your veterinarian to implement their advice.

Closely Watch Your Dog

To make sure your dog is not facing any issues from ingesting the bone, watch him closely to detect any signs of discomfort. There are a few obvious things you can keep your eyes open for:

  • Bone fragments passing in the stool
  • If no bones are seen in the stool, contact your vet right away to ensure that bones are not stuck in the GI tract

If bones are found in the GI tract, surgery may be needed to take out the bones from causing major danger.

For any of the below symptoms, you should contact your vet immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • abdominal bloating
  • lack of eating
  • constipation/ difficulty in defecation, or bloody stools


Be Aware

Taking pet insurance is a right way of combating these emergencies and keeping your pet safe from any unforeseen circumstances.

Keep yourself aware of what is safe for a dog and what is not. Knowing will help your furry friend stay safe and avoid any unpleasant accidents.



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