A treat for your dog? Be careful with bones!

A treat for your dog? Be careful with bones!

Bones … they’re loved by dogs and are a common treat as a reward for good canine behaviour. But beware, they can be dangerous.

April 14, 2020

Biting and chewing are instinctive for dogs. To help them satisfy these needs, many owners give their dogs bones—either straight from the kitchen or purchased at the pet supply store. Although a wide variety are available on the market, not all bones are appropriate for our 4-legged friends: some respond to a specific purpose while others should be completely avoided.

Rawhide bones
If you’re concerned about your dog’s dental health, you might consider a rawhide bone. As its name suggests, this type of bone is made from by-products of the leather industry. Rawhide bones aren’t edible. To limit the risk of ingestion, keep a close eye on your dog when they’re chewing one. Or avoid them entirely.

Beef bones
Your dog is tantalized by the smell wafting out of the kitchen? You want to give them a treat? Be careful because large beef bones can damage your dog’s teeth. Make these sorts of bones a rare treat and help reduce the risk of injuring your dog’s mouth.

Brittle bones
Avoid brittle bones that can shatter into fragments. Parts of bone can get caught between your dog’s teeth or even perforate their digestive tract. Note that bones from chickens, rabbits and sheep are especially dangerous for dogs.

A judicious choice
Many owners favour chew sticks as an ideal treat for their dogs. They’re appetizing, help control tartar and keep gums healthy.


  • Always watch over your dog when they have a bone. Accidents can happen very quickly.
  • Give your dog a bone that’s appropriate for their size. For instance, don’t give a massive bone to your cute little Chihuahua!
  • Keep children away when your dog is chewing a bone. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy for a dog to misinterpret a child’s movement and bite.
  • Take the bone away from your dog when it becomes small enough to swallow.

Do you know?
Dogs are driven by their instinct to bury bones as a method for storing food for future use. This behaviour is also common in wild animals, such as foxes.

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