Saturday, March 14, 2015

Dogs and Bones - A Dangerous Combination

There is nothing more cliche than a dog with a bone. However, in reality, bones are one of the most dangerous things a dog can get their teeth into. Brittle bones have the potential to splinter and present a choking hazard, They can also be detrimental to your dogs teeth and cause intestinal obstruction and stomach lacerations that can be life threatening.

Crunching and chewing will help keep your dog's teeth healthy by helping to keep tarter at a minimum. However, very hard, dense bones can result in broken teeth, especially for enthusiastic chewers. Splintering bones can cause gum and mouth lacerations resulting in pain and possible infection.

Sharp splinters of bone can also cause serious health problems if swallowed. These pieces can cause lacerations in the esophogus, have the potential of becoming embedded in the stomach or intestines causing internal bleeding or obstruction. Serious conditions can result causing your dog severe pain, the need for emergency surgery, and possibly death.

How do you keep your dog safe and satisfy their need to chew?

Dallas enjoying her Whimzee!

  • Provide healthy alternatives: Look for chew alternatives that are made of natural, easily digestible, ingredients and are not chemically processed. Whimzees are wonderful dental chew treats made from all natural ingredients including vegetables and rice.
  • Offer inedible chew toys: Choose toys that cannot easily be torn and avoid those with pieces that could be pulled off easily. For aggressive chewers be aware of embedded squeakers that could be a choking hazard if accidentally removed.
  • Keep kitchen garbage out of reach: Dogs don't know what bones could be harmful, they just know they smell good, and may sniff one out of an open can or bag. 
  • Be aware on walks: If your pup sniffs a bone from spilled garbage along the way on a walk, they may grab and chew it up before you are aware of what happened. If this occurs, be sure to monitor your dog and look for signs bone splinters may be causing them distress. Symptoms include vomiting, bleeding, gagging, and/or refusing to eat.
Offer your dog a variety of safe and healthy chews and they will let you know which ones they prefer. What are some of your dog's favorite treats or toys to chew?


  1. This is a great post - us dogs are super fast, so when people take us out on walks they have to be aware of everything…including what's on the ground! We like spilled garbage - so it's really awesome that you brought special attention to the issues of bones!

  2. We do use some raw bones. Small ones, such as turkey necks in meals and some "entertainment" bones. Always supervised.

  3. Very interesting. I never really thought about the damage that a real bone could do to a dog. I don't have any dogs right now, but this is great information to remember.

  4. Great reminder ! Many of your advice can apply to cats too. Purrs

  5. Such fab advice - we need to have eyes in the backs of our heads sometimes as conscientious pet parents.

  6. Great advice - Laika doesn't get bones very often because it requires my full attention when she's chewing. She's chews way too rough for me to feel comfortable leaving them out for her.

  7. Such an important post! Chuleta was chewing a Greenie recently and began to choke! It was terrifying. Now I'm on the hunt for something a bit softer for her. I will give Whimzees a try!

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog (a Bench with a View). If you have a blog in the challenge (couldn't find it) send me a link :)

    So true about dogs not eating bones like this. Too dangerous with the size of some of the bones. When we had our corgi, we would give him a chewy type of thing to eat which he thoroughly enjoyed. We used to give it to him on Saturday nights, he seemed to know that was treat night :)