Your dog's nutrition is important for a healthy & happy life. petMD experts help you to know what to feed your dog, how much food to feed, and the differences in dog foods, so your dog gets optimum nutrition.

Can Dogs Eat Bones? Raw & Cooked Bones for Dogs


Are Bones Nutritionally Beneficial?


When a dog gnaws on a raw bone, any nutrition that is derived comes primarily from the attached soft tissues such as meat, cartilage, fat, and connective tissue...not from the bones themselves, which shouldn’t be swallowed, after all.


But bones can be a wonderful source of calcium and phosphorous when fed as part of a nutritionally complete, home prepared diet. Following some simple guidelines will maximize the benefit and minimize the risk of feeding bone to dogs:

  • Consult with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that you offer the proper amount of bone. Too much can be just as dangerous as too little.
  • Source your raw bones from a respected, local butcher and follow meticulous food hygiene to minimize the chances of food-borne illness.
  • Thoroughly grind the bones before including them in your dog’s meals. Softer options like chicken necks tend to work best.

Are There Options to Feeding Bones to Dogs?


If after reading about the potential dangers of feeding your dogs bones you’ve decided that the practice is not for you, don’t worry, you have options. There are many ways to satisfy your dog’s desire to chew. Toys made out of twisted rope fibers or dense rubber are good choices. You can keep your dog’s teeth clean by brushing them daily or by feeding dental diets, treats, and chews. Those that are approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) have been scientifically shown to be safe and effective. And when it comes to food, commercially available diets that are made by reputable companies provide the complete and balanced nutrition dogs need to stay healthy.