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  • Kelly Daniel

Should You Give Your Dog a Bone?

According to Google, there are a few questions people tend to search in November and December. “Are bones safe for dogs to eat?” “What to do it my dog eats a bone.” “What type of bones are safe to eat?” Whether the holidays have you in a ‘giving spirit’ or your dog snuck a bone off of the counter, this will walk you through the Do’s and Don’ts of dog bones!


What type of bones are safe for dogs to eat?


Besides animal type, there are a few factors to consider:

--Raw vs. Cooked: Dogs should always be given raw bones and are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins. Cooking softens the bone and increases the risk of splintering when chewed. The shards become choking hazards, can get stuck in the GI tract, and can cause serious damage to the mouth, throat, and intestines.


--Bone Size: Small or narrow bones are less safe due to the risk of choking or splintering. Large bones are less likely to be chewed down. The size of your dog will tell you how large the bone needs to be to be considered safe.


--Existing Stomach Problems: Does your dog do well with treats or food outside of its normal routine? If your dog has stomach issues, IBS, or frequent diarrhea, bones are not a good option.


Safest Bones to Give Your Dog:


--Beef Bones: Beef bones are naturally harder than other types of animal bones. As long as the bones follow the rules above, beef bones are typically safe for consumption.

--Lamb Bones: These are similar in density to beef bones.


Unsafe Bones to Give Your Dog:


These bones easily break and splinter whether they are raw or cooked.

Chicken Bones

Turkey Bones

Pork Bones: This includes pork ribs, ham bones, a pork chop bones.

Fish Bones


What to do if Your Dog Eats a Bad Bone

As responsible as we try to be, sometimes our dogs outsmart us and get ahold of something they aren’t supposed to have. If you believe your dog ate an unsafe bone, make sure there aren’t any shards of bone in its mouth or throat. Every situation is different, so call your veterinarian for immediate recommendations. Watch your dog closely for the next several days. If your dog is vomiting, lethargic, has abdominal bloating, isn’t eating, is constipated, or has blood in its stool, go to the vet right away. Check your dog’s stool for the next several days to see if the bone fragments have passed. Bones could be stuck in the GI tract and cause significant damage. If you don’t see bone fragments after a few days, take your dog in to see your veterinarian.

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Auburn, AL | lchs1140@leecountyhumane.org | 334-821-3222

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