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Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

It's a common misconception that dogs and bones are a perfect match, much like peanut butter and jelly. However, not all bones are safe for your furry friend to chew on. In fact, some bones can put their health and safety at risk. Our vets at North Providence are here to educate you on bone safety for your dog.

Cooked Bones:

It is common knowledge that feeding dogs cooked chicken bones can be detrimental to their health. Cooked bones, regardless of type, have the potential to break and splinter into sharp and small pieces that can cause harm to your dog's mouth and digestive system. Such bone fragments can result in a variety of health issues, 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 surgery

Raw Bones:

Typically, giving your dog raw bones is a safer option than cooked bones. However, there are specific types of raw bones that you should avoid feeding your canine companion. 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 selecting a raw bone for your furry friend, it's best to choose one that is approximately the same size as their head. This is because a larger bone provides more chewing surface area while minimizing the risk of your dog accidentally breaking off and ingesting a potentially harmful piece. If you have a particularly large dog, consider giving them raw beef or bison knuckle bones as an enjoyable and safe chew.ece. If you have a particularly large dog, consider giving them raw beef or bison knuckle bones as an enjoyable and safe chew.


Some pet owners choose to give their dogs bully sticks instead of bones. These sticks are fully digestible and won't splinter, making them a safe alternative. While they are long-lasting chews that can keep your furry friend occupied, it's important to remember that they should only be given as treats and not used to replace a balanced and nutritious diet.

Whether you give your dog a raw bone, a bone-shaped treat, or a non-digestible chew toy, you should always supervise their chewing. Dogs will chew for hours if you let them, so make sure you remove the chew after 10-15 minutes

Any bone can cause a choking hazard when chewed into small pieces. So, you should always supervise your dog while they’re chewing a bone and take it away once it’s worn down to a size 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 North Providence for further details.

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