Dog Bones: What You Need to Know About the Different Types of Bones


Rawhide Bones

Dog bones play a part in most dog’s lives. They provide dental health, mental stimulation, and even nutrition.

The problem is, however, that there are so many types of bones on the market and so many opinions about what is safe and what is not that it gets confusing.

So, today we are going to take a quick look at the different types of bones and which are best for your pup!

Dog Bones: A Guide to Safe and Unsafe Dog Bones For Your Dog

Rawhide Bones

Rawhide Dog Bones

What is it? Rawhide is made from the treated hide of animals (usually cows). The rawhide comes from the underside of the chemically treated hide. This material is bleached, colored, flavored, and rolled into bones.

Risks: High chemical exposure, intestinal obstruction, choking, perforation of the intestines, possible chemical flavoring.

Verdict: No good

Nylabone

Nylon Dog Bones

What is it? Nylon dog bones are made from shaped nylon, plastic, or rubber. Nubs on the bone provide dental stimulation. These are designed as NON-EDIBLE bones, but dogs frequently ingest pieces of the bones as they chew.

Risks: Cracked teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth, swallowed pieces, chemical flavoring.

Verdict: No good

Rubber Dental Bones

Rubber Dental Dog Bones

What is it? Rubber shaped bones with protrusions designed to “clean” a dog’s teeth.

Risks: Easily broken, chewed up and swallowed.

Verdict: No good

Sterile Natural Bone

 Sterile “Natural” Dog Bones

What is it? A sterile “natural” bone is also known as a “bleached bone”. These bones are cooked at high temperatures and bleached to give them a bright white color.

Risks: Cracked teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth, swallowed pieces, intestinal perforation, obstruction. Cooked bones easily fracture into           pieces and bones from larger animals are too dense for canine teeth (ever see a wild dog take down a cow or buffalo?)

Verdict: No good

Butcher Bones

“Butcher” Dog Bones

What is it? A smoked cooked and flavored knuckle bone usually from a pig or cow.

Risks: Cracked teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth, swallowed pieces, intestinal perforation, obstruction, unhealthy chemical flavoring. Cooked bones easily fracture into pieces and bones from larger animals are too dense for canine teeth.

Verdict: No good

Smoked Marrow Bones

Smoked Marrow Dog Bones

What is it? A section of smoked cooked bone (usually femur) with marrow intact. Usually from cows and often artificially flavored.

Risks: Cracked teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth, swallowed pieces, intestinal perforation, obstruction, unhealthy chemical flavoring. Cooked bones easily fracture into pieces and bones from larger animals are too dense for canine teeth.

Verdict: No good

Raw Beef Marrow Bones

Raw Marrow Dog Bones

What is it? A section of raw bone (usually femur) with marrow intact. Usually from cow or buffalo and often with meat intact.

Benefits: Depending on the animal a raw marrow bone comes from it can be used as a recreational bone for cleaning teeth and providing mental stimulation. Benefits come only from marrow bones from medium sized animals like lamb, larger mammal marrow bones are too dense for canine teeth.

Risks: Cracked teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth from larger mammal bones. Marrow in any marrow bone may also be too rich for dogs with sensitive stomachs.   Bones should always be large enough to be chewed safely, when they become too small they should be thrown away.

Verdict: Sometimes beneficial.

Raw Knuckle Bones

Raw Knuckle Dog Bones

What is it? Raw knuckle bones with cartilage and meat often still attached. These bones are most often from cows.

Benefits: IF a knuckle bone is from a medium sized animal like a lamb, these bones can provide great teeth cleaning benefits, beneficial collagen, and mental stimulation.

Risks: Cracked teeth, fractured teeth, broken teeth from larger mammal bones. Marrow in any marrow bone may also be too rich for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Bones should always be large enough to be chewed safely, when they become too small they should be thrown away.

 Verdict: Sometimes beneficial.

Chicken Backs

Chicken Backs Dog Bones

What is it? A fully edible treat usually given as part of a meal rather than a recreational bone.

Benefits: All the benefits of raw feeding as well as the dental benefits of chewing bone.

Risks: Not all dogs tolerate raw feeding well.

Verdict: Sometimes beneficial

Turkey Necks

Turkey Neck Dog Bones

What is it? A fully edible treat usually given as part of a meal rather than a recreational bone.

Benefits: All the benefits of raw feeding as well as the dental benefits of chewing bone.

Risks: Not all dogs tolerate raw feeding well.

Verdict: Sometimes Beneficial

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