Deciding For Your Dog: Real or Fake Bones?

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Giving your dog a bone seems like a no-brainer — because it is!

Canines obviously love them but, for safety’s sake, you should be super selective.

Can I Give My Dog Bones?While there is a seemingly endless debate as to whether dogs can handle real bones, the truth is artificial alternatives can also accommodate this inherit oral fixation.

And when the focus becomes safety you’ll find that synthetic bones are far superior.

Fake Bones Are Best For Pet Dogs

The reality is that sometimes surgery is needed to have pieces of real bones removed from the stomach.

Cooked bones in particular should not be given to your dog. They can splinter and do damage to the mouth or delicate insides. Be smart and simply avoid such unnecessary risks.

We recommend getting a BPA-free food-flavored nylon dog bone chew toy.

The Ongoing Bone Controversy

Proponents of the real thing often argue that dogs can have raw beef bones, but even this is disputed by lots of animal health professionals.

Again, the fact is there are excellent fake bones (specifically designed for dogs) which can satisfy a natural instinct to gnaw on things.

Go this route and it may even help prevent wear and tear on furniture and other items around the home.

In any case…

Finding a unanimous decision as to which bones are okay for dogs will likely always remain elusive. Critiques can be made against all sorts of bones, whether beef, pork, chicken, or otherwise.

It’s a controversial topic for sure! But, at least when the main focus is safety, fake bones are the most appropriate choice.

An Important Poultry Precaution

The worst bones tend to be from poultry and the reason for that is simple:

Chicken cartilage is too soft and can easily be lodged in your dog’s throat (presenting a dangerous choking hazard).

Secondarily, there is also a chance that chicken bones could be contaminated with harmful bacteria.


Warning: Any kind of small sized bones, which can be eaten in one bite, should be strictly avoided. These could get stuck in your dog’s throat or further down in the digestive system.


Wild Versus Domesticated Dogs

It’s worth considering whether wild dogs consume bones — though the question should be breed specific. Making a broad generalization that the canine digestive system can handle cartilage, as long as it’s raw, is not really helpful.

Sure, many owners successfully feed a raw diet and feel strongly that raw bones are acceptable.

On the other hand…

Perhaps your pet pooch is accustomed to conventional store-bought dog food. That’s okay and, if so, you probably should keep bones off the menu.

Do a Real Bone Indention Check

We asked Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa of Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital how dog owners could minimize risks when it comes to real bones. What she shared surprised us — it turns out there is useful safety test!

She stated…

“I follow the fingernail indention rule. If I can make an indention in the bone with my fingernail then that bone isn’t so dangerous for the dog. Otherwise, the bone is too hard for the dog and owners should consider other alternatives to a bone that will achieve the same purpose.”

The Bottom Line

Avoid the safety issues that come with giving your dog real bones — particularly those of the chicken variety.

Play it safe and shop around for a quality fake bone!

Get one that has been designed with your dog’s well-being in mind.

Synthetic products are safer even if they may not be equally satisfying.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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5 thoughts on “Deciding For Your Dog: Real or Fake Bones?”

  1. My family says turkey bones are good. Is this true?

  2. I’m really worried about my small dog. She ate pieces of bones from the street today. One piece was round. I don’t know why type of bones. She seems to be fine now, but I don’t know if she will be okay.

  3. Chicken and chicken bones can be given raw. Never give your dog cooked bones though as they splinter easily.

    1. I wouldn’t give any raw chicken product. Salmonella and other bacteria can make a dog sick.

      1. Vets say that dogs are not susceptible to Salmonella bacteria. Plus you can quick dip turkey necks in boiling water for 30-40 seconds to kill off any bacteria before giving them to your pooch.

        I’ve heard mixed opinions about the benefits of a raw diet; I’m neither pro or con. We have three small dogs, 3 pounds, 5 1/2 pounds and 8 pounds. One loves them, one sniffs and licks and the third one waits for me to cook it!

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