A white dog and a red dog run through water, one nipping at te other's tail as they run.

Bones are Unsafe

A tiny white chihuahua sits in the grass and holds a large raw bone in his mouth.

While conventional wisedom tells us that it's natural for dogs to chew on bones, the practice is actually quite dangerous and can lead to serious injury for your pet. Below is a list of possible, and often costly, issues thast can arise from letting your pet chew on bones.

Possible Injuries

  1. Broken teeth - This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
  2. Mouth or tongue injuries - These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
  3. Bones can get looped around your dog's lower jaw - This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
  4. Bones can get stuck in your pet's esophagus - Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
  5. Bones can get stuck in your pet's windpipe - This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to a veterinarian immediately!
  6. Bones can get stuck in your pet's stomach - It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone's size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
  7. Bones can get stuck in your pet's intestines and cause a blockage - Surgery is likely needed to get things moving again.
  8. Constipation due to bone fragments - Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they're very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to the vet.
  9. Severe bleeding from the rectum - This is very messy and can be dangerous. It's time for a trip to see the veterinarian.
  10. Peritonitis - This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog's stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to the veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

Bone Alternatives

We suggest durable chew toys like Kong and Nylabone or a fully digestible chew such as Oral Hygiene Chews (available for purchase at our office) instead of bones for your pup!