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Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

Many believe that dogs and bones go together like peanut butter and jelly. However, not all bones are safe for your furry friend to chew on. In fact, some bones can be harmful to their health and safety. Our vets in Pittsboro are here to help you understand how to keep your dog safe when it comes to bones.

Cooked Bones:

Most people know that giving your dog cooked chicken bones can be bad for them. When bones are cooked, no matter what kind they are, they can easily break into sharp pieces. These sharp pieces can hurt your dog's mouth and stomach. They might cause different health problems, including:

  • Mouth and tongue lacerations
  • Choking
  • Broken teeth
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Severe constipation
  • An intestinal blockage that may require vet surgery

Raw Bones:

When it comes to bones for your dog, it's usually safer to give them raw ones instead of cooked ones. But there are certain raw bones you shouldn't give to your furry friend. These include:

  • Pork bones, which easily splinter and crack
  • Rib bones of any kind, which are small and likely to crack or get stuck in your dog's throat
  • Any bone smaller than your dog's mouth that they may swallow whole

When picking a bone for your dog, make sure it's about the same size as their head. This helps them chew better and reduces the chance of them accidentally breaking off and eating something harmful. If you have a big dog, think about giving them raw beef or bison knuckle bones for a fun and safe chew.


Some pet owners prefer offering their dogs bully sticks instead of bones. These sticks are safe because they can be fully digested and won't break into sharp pieces. They're great for keeping your furry friend entertained for a while, but it's essential to use them as treats and not as a replacement for a healthy diet.

Always keep an eye on their chewing, whether you give your dog a real bone, a bone-shaped treat, or a chew toy that they can't digest. Dogs can chew for extended periods, so remember to take away the chew after 10-15 minutes.

Any type of bone can pose a choking risk when it breaks into small bits. Therefore, it's crucial to supervise your dog while they're chewing a bone and remove it when it becomes smaller than their mouth.

If you are considering giving your dog a chew toy and have additional inquiries, please reach out to our veterinarians at Pittsboro for further details.

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