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Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

Dog Bone Safety: Can Dogs Eat Bones?

It might seem to most that dogs and bones are a perfect pair. However, it is not realistic that dogs can safely consume and enjoy bones. Here, our Lincoln veterinarians explain dog bone safety and whether or not dogs can actually eat bones.

Cooked Bones

It is fairly common knowledge that cooked beef and chicken bones are bad for dogs.

Cooked bones of any kind can be dangerous because they break and splinter into small, sharp pieces that can cut your dog’s mouth and digestive organs. Shards of bone can cause several 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 surgery

Raw Bones

In general, raw bones are a lot safer than cooked bones. However, there are some raw bones you should never feed your dog. 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 choosing a raw bone for your dog, look for one that’s about the size of its head. Why so big? Well, a big bone will let your dog chew while reducing the chance that they’ll break off and swallow a dangerous chunk. For extra-large dogs, raw beef and bison knuckle bones make great chews.


There are some alternatives to bones that you can give your canine companion. Some owners opt for bully bones, which are non-bone soft chewables that are meant to last your pooch a little while!

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 have more questions about food or treats that are healthy for you dog, contact our Lincoln veterinarians today.

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