As a pet owner, you want to ensure your furry friend is healthy and happy. One of the things that most pet owners wonder about is whether their dogs can eat bones. In contrast, bones are a natural part of a dog’s diet but can pose some risks. This article provides a comprehensive guide to help you understand the types of bones dogs can eat, the potential risks, and alternatives.

Can Dogs Eat Bones? Types of Safe Bones:

Dogs can eat certain bones, but knowing which ones are safe is crucial. Here are the types of bones that dogs can eat without any issues:

  1. Raw Meaty Bones: These soft and pliable bones still have some meat attached. Examples include chicken wings, turkey necks, and lamb bones. These bones are a great source of protein and calcium for dogs.
  2. Raw Recreational Bones: These are larger bones that dogs can chew on but not necessarily eat. Examples include beef knuckles, femurs, and hip bones. These bones are great for keeping dogs’ teeth clean and providing mental stimulation.
  3. Dehydrated Bones: These are bones that have been dry to remove moisture, making them harder and longer-lasting. Examples include dry chicken feet and duck necks.

Can Dogs Eat Bones? Potential Risks:

While some bones are safe for dogs to eat, others can pose potential risks. Here are some of the risks associated with feeding dogs bones:

  1. Choking: Bones can break off into smaller pieces, which can get lodged in a dog’s throat, causing choking.
  2. Dental Fractures: Some bones are too hard and can cause dental fractures or tooth damage.
  3. Gastrointestinal Obstruction: Dogs that swallow large pieces of bones can experience gastrointestinal obstruction, which can be life-threatening.
  4. Salmonella or E. coli Contamination: Raw bones can carry harmful bacteria such as Salmonella or E. coli, which can cause dog illness.

Alternatives to Feeding Dogs Bones:

If you are concerned about the potential risks associated with feeding your dog bones, there are alternatives you can consider.

Here are some options:

  1. Commercial Dog Treats: Plenty of commercial Dogs treats are specifically designed to promote dental health and provide mental stimulation.
  2. Rawhide Chews: Rawhide chews are a popular alternative to bones. They are made from the inner layer of cowhide and are often flavored to entice dogs.
  3. Rubber Chew Toys: Rubber chew toys provide mental stimulation and promote dental health. They are also virtually indestructible, making them a safer alternative to bones.

Also Read: Why Do Dogs Lick Their Paws?


Can Cooked Bones be Given to Dogs?

No, cooked bones should never be given to dogs. They can splinter easily and cause choking or gastrointestinal issues.

How Often Can I Give My Dog Bones?

Limiting the number of bones you give your Dog is best. Once a week is a good rule of thumb.

Are Bones Necessary in a Dog’s Diet?

Bones can provide some nutritional benefits but are not essential to a dog’s diet. There are plenty of other sources of protein and calcium that dogs can consume.


Dogs can eat certain types of bones, but knowing which ones are safe and which to avoid is essential. Feeding your dog bones can provide nutritional benefits and mental stimulation, but it is crucial.

Consider the potential risks and explore alternatives such as commercial dog treats, rawhide chews, and rubber chew toys. Always supervise your Dog while chewing on bones or other options, and consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns. You can keep your furry friend safe and happy by knowing the risks and making informed decisions. So, can dogs eat bones? Yes, but with caution and careful consideration.