Bones for Dogs: Giving your dog bones provides mental and physical benefits. Chewing on bones exercises your dog’s jaws and helps scrape off tartar buildup on teeth. It also gives them an outlet for natural chewing instincts and provides mental stimulation.
Bones are also great for your dog’s digestion. The bone marrow contains healthy fats and nutrients to supplement their diet. Chewing bones helps produce saliva which aids digestion and reduces inflammation in the gut. The minerals and nutrients in bone marrow are easily absorbed.
- Bones provide calcium, phosphorus, trace minerals and other nutrients vital for your dog’s health.
- Recreational bones give dogs an activity to focus their energy and attention, which can help reduce anxiety, boredom and destructive behaviors.
- Chewing releases endorphins that make your dog feel good and relaxed.
When choosing bones, look for natural, uncooked bones that are specifically meant for dogs. Bones should be appropriately sized for your dog to prevent choking. Avoid cooked bones, as they can splinter and cause damage. Rawhide, bully sticks, and dental chews also provide benefits with less mess.
Providing bones and chew toys on a regular basis is an easy way to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated, while also promoting good dental health and nutrition. Your dog’s overall well-being and happiness depends on opportunities to engage in natural behaviors. Bones and chew toys can go a long way toward meeting those needs in a safe, controlled manner.
How to Choose the Best Bones for Your Dog
Choosing the right bones for your dog requires consider a few factors. You want bones that are safe, long-lasting, and keep your pooch happy.
Select bones that are appropriately sized for your dog. Bones that are too small can be a choking hazard, while those too large won’t keep their interest. For small dogs, stick to bones the size of your palm or smaller. Medium dogs do well with fist-sized bones. Larger breeds need bigger bones, about the size of your forearm.
Natural is Best
Look for all-natural bones made of ingredients you recognize, like beef, chicken, or pork. Avoid artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers. Real bones last longer and are better for their teeth. Rawhide and synthetic bones can be dangerous if swallowed.
Consider Your Dog’s Chewing Style
Think about how aggressively your dog chews to choose a bone that will stand up to their biting power. More aggressive chewers need extremely durable bones, like beef femurs or antlers. For moderate chewers, bully sticks, pork femurs and beef knuckles are good options. Light chewers can enjoy softer bones like chicken, duck or turkey necks.
Supervise Your Dog
Always supervise your dog with any bone to ensure safe chewing and avoid any choking risk. Take the bone away once it becomes small enough to swallow. It’s also a good idea to limit bone chewing time to around 30 minutes per session. This makes the bone last longer and prevents tummy upsets from eating too much at once.
Providing the right bones for your dog will keep them happily occupied for hours. Follow these tips and your dog will enjoy safe, long-lasting chewing satisfaction. Be sure to also speak with your vet, especially for puppies, about the best bones and chewing habits for your dog’s needs, age, size and activity level.
Top 5 Best Bones for Dogs
When it comes to choosing the best bones for dogs, there are a few things to consider. You want bones that are safe, long-lasting and help clean teeth and gums. Here are my top 5 recommendations for the best dog bones:
1. Bully Sticks
Bully sticks, also known as pizzle sticks, are natural beef tendons that make great chew toys for dogs. They’re high in protein and help scrape off tartar as your dog chews. Bully sticks come in different shapes, sizes and flavors to suit any dog. They’re digestible and last a long time.
2. Beef Bones
Beef bones, like knuckle bones and femur bones, are popular options for large breed dogs. They’re big, meaty and take dogs a long time to chew through. Be sure to choose raw, uncooked beef bones, as cooked bones can splinter and cause damage. Beef bones help clean teeth and provide mental stimulation.
3. Dental Chews
Dental chews, like Greenies, are designed specifically to clean teeth and freshen breath. They come in sizes for all dogs and have ridges and grooves that help scrape off plaque and tartar. Most dental chews are highly digestible and made from natural ingredients. They make a great daily treat to keep your dog’s teeth and gums in good shape.
Deer and elk antlers make extremely durable chew toys for dogs. They last a long time and don’t splinter like bones. Antlers provide mental stimulation and help clean teeth. Look for naturally shed antlers that haven’t been chemically treated. Antlers do tend to be quite hard, so they may not suit all dogs, especially aggressive chewers. Monitor your dog to ensure the antler size is appropriate and safe.
Nylabones are popular plastic chew toys that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and flavors. They’re non-digestible but help scrape off tartar and plaque as dogs chew. Nylabones are a good option if you want to avoid animal products. Look for Nylabones specifically designed for powerful chewers to prevent choking. Always supervise your dog with a Nylabone to ensure safe chewing and replace once significantly worn down.
Are bones safe for dogs?
Yes, bones can be safe for dogs if you choose the right ones and supervise your dog. Avoid cooked bones, which can splinter, and stick to raw bones that are specifically meant for dogs. Beef or bison femur bones and knuckle bones are good options. Always choose bones that are longer than your dog’s muzzle so they can’t choke on them.
What kind of bones should I avoid?
Avoid giving your dog any cooked bones, especially poultry bones, which splinter easily. Never give dogs pork bones, either raw or cooked, as they are too brittle and can damage teeth or cause intestinal blockages. Avoid weight-bearing bones from large animals like cows, as they are too hard and can break teeth.
How often should I give my dog a bone?
For recreational chewing, limit bone treats to 2-3 times a week. Make sure your dog always has access to fresh water to prevent choking or constipation. Take the bone away from your dog once it gets small enough to swallow whole. Only give a bone when you can properly supervise your dog. Dispose of any leftover bone fragments to prevent your dog from chipping or breaking teeth on them.
Are bones good for a dog’s teeth?
Yes, raw bones can help keep your dog’s teeth clean and gums healthy. The bone’s texture helps scrape off plaque and tartar as your dog chews. Bones also satisfy your dog’s natural urge to chew, which can help relieve boredom and anxiety. Chewing raw bones, especially knuckle bones and femurs, provides mental and physical stimulation for your dog.
Giving your dog appropriate raw bones in moderation, along with regular vet checkups, is a natural way to help keep their teeth and gums healthy for life. Be sure to talk to your vet if you have any other questions about giving your dog bones.