Safe Bones For Dogs

I have written a number of times about bones for Dogs but quite regularly I will either get a comment on an old Dog Blog post or I will receive a personal email asking me if it is safe to give a Dog:

  1. Cooked bones
  2. Boiled bones
  3. Chicken bones after a roast
  4. Pork bones
  5. Small cooked bones
  6. Large cooked bones

And on the list goes.

This is for anyone who is unsure about what bones they can give to Dogs and to dispel some of the myths about the realities of feeding bones for Dogs.

In a nutshell the only thing you need to know is that:

You should never give a cooked bone to a Dog.

That is the single most important factor that all owners of Dogs need to be absolutely clear on. Cooked bones are not natural for Dogs, they never learnt how to make fire and in their natural state barbecue was not something they were ever too hot on grasping. Raw meaty bones are natural and good for Dogs for all manner of reasons.

Before we get in to that the only other thing you need to be aware of is that raw pork bones may pose a health hazard, but if they are put in the freezer for a few weeks this danger is totally bypassed and pork is as safe as any other raw bone for a Dogs.

Now, many people are loathe to give their Dog a bone but basically all raw bones are safe bones for Dogs.

Dow owners seem scared to give raw bones to their pets, and to be honest I used to be one of those people. The result was that our poor old Dog Sam suffered from bad breath, decaying teeth and had to undergo serious (and costly) dental work.

Oh how I wish that I knew then what I know now.

Many think it is natural but it is not natural for Dogs to have bad breath.

None of our three Dogs, or even the Cat for that matter, have bad breath at all. They can be right in your face, and who has a Dog that isn’t on occasion, and there is never a whiff of bad breath unless we have been lax and not given them a raw meaty bone for an extended amount of time.

How do raw bones clean Dogs teeth?

The mere act of chewing, grinding and trying to decimate a raw bone will scrape away any plaque, tartar and the like from a Dogs (or Cats) teeth. The result is a set of teeth many of us would be proud of. The more regular they get them the cleaner their teeth and the better their breath.

But aren’t raw bones dangerous? Won’t it pierce their

  • Mouth
  • Stomach
  • Intestines

The only significant chance of a bone causing damage to a Dog is if it is cooked. Then they can splinter easily and cause major damage. Raw bones are soft, no matter how hard they seem to us. Dogs will eventually eat through almost any bone. Some are tough and these will be the ones that they will never get a bit chunk of in one go. Softer bones they can go through very quickly but they are easily digest-able and about the nicest treat a Dog can have.

Introducing Safe Bones For Dogs

If your Dog has never had a raw meaty bone then begin slowly. Get some small pieces so they can begin the magical transformation to clean teeth, lovely breath, a shinier coat, small stools and general healthiness. Better yet go to the butchers and ask them for a really hard bone with some meat on. Many Dogs will be able to grind on them but never really eat them.

An yes, that’s right. If you feed your Dog bones on a regular basis, at least 2 or 3 times a week their stools will be small, compact, pale and never runny. A true boon in itself and reason enough for many owners of Dogs to make the switch.

And, one of the most important reasons to give safe bones for Dogs:

Dogs love Raw meaty bones.

Whenever we go to town we go to our local butchers and for what amounts to about $5 we get a shopping bag full of bones, beef, ribs and anything else that is slightly passed suitable for human consumption, or bones that the butcher knows will not be sold for making stocks.

One thing I have learnt is that the meat and bones may whiff slightly but unless it is seriously over it is not in any way a problem for Dogs. Their digestive systems are nothing like ours. They are designed to feed off old meat and carcasses of animals in the wild that we would run a mile from. Just stop thinking of your Dogs stomach as anything like your own.

And this may also be the jump start you need to begin visiting a local butchers and actually supporting your local economy rather than the supermarket. But, if you do only use a supermarket then ask there, you will probably be pleasantly surprised.

Now, I am not saying there is no risk to a Dog if it eats a raw bone. I am sure there are cases of bits getting stuck and the like. But how about the dangers of commercial Dog food, the fact that they can die prematurely from a rubbish diet. The fact that they can be ill or even die from problems associated with severe tooth decay.

If you could only see my three Dogs when we arrive home with a bag of raw bones. If you could see them lying in the grass for hours on end munching away on a health giving and nutritious bone.

If you could only hear the birds chirping and the crickets hopping. You can’t do that when you have a bored Dog or a barking Dog. Give a Dog a big raw bone and you will have peace. They will be about as content as you have ever seen them and you will wish you had done it years ago.

I have said it before and I am sure I will do it again. Buy The Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health Book it is a true eye opener and the best book to buy for anyone who has a Dog.Training books may be important but their Diet is even more so.

More and more of us are giving our Dogs medications for all types of conditions. I know, I have seen the pet meds business grow and have seen sales soar, Discount Rimadyl for Dogs, Cosequin, Deramaxx, any number ofย  meds to ease pain and treat for arthritis and other conditions that are now all too common. Dogs given a more natural diet and one that naturally promotes healthy joints and tissue can mean there is a significantly lower chance of you needing to buy these type of medications.

They will certainly not do any hearm to a healthy Dog. Do your Dog a favor and give them some raw meaty bones. They promote health, promote strong health bones, keep their teeth clean, cure bad breath in Dogs, keep them occupied and out of trouble and on the list goes.

Ask the butcher what they recommend. You will be surprised (or not) how knowledgeable they are and how helpful they are. You should be able to get a good and regular supply of raw bones for Dogs for a low price. And if your butcher is less than helpful then go find another one.

Hopefully this has cleared up a few misconceptions for those that may have not read some of the previous articles or are still uncertain about whether Dogs can really have bones.

18 Responses to “Safe Bones For Dogs”

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  1. Dino Dogan says:

    Thanks for this post. I find that there is so much confusion and lack of common sense out there regarding what we should be feeding our dogs. Someone asked me last week “is it true that we shouldnt feed leftovers to our dogs”, the implication was that only store-bought dog food should be fed to dogs. I’m thinking dog-food companies love this kind of confusion in the marketplace but I digress…my answer was little snarky “what do you think dogs ate before dog food came in a bag?” ….

    Another thing I find interesting is that people think chicken bones are inherently bad for dogs. I remember dogs chasing (and catching) chickens when I was growing up…not one of them had an issue with chicken bones. The problem occurs when we cook those bones, thats when they can get splintered and injure the dog (a point you so eloquently drove home in this article ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for a great article..keep up the good work.

    Long time reader, first time commenter ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Nice to hear from you Dino. You make some good points. I agree about Chicken bones, they are great as well and Dogs love to eat the necks.

  3. Jana says:

    Thank you for writing this great article. It is true that people often get confused about these things.

    Couple questions:
    1) we were talking with our vet about bones, and he mentioned that he is seeing a lot of dogs with broken tooth from chewing on large raw bones. What is you experience with that?
    2) and of course the notorious question of salmonella. Personally, I would be wary of raw poultry bones in particular. But apparently salmonella can creep into anything (including fruits, vegetables and peanut butter of all things). I do appreciate that a healthy dog should be able to deal with that without problems. But what if the dog’s immune system isn’t all that healthy?

    There has been a study that showed that many household dogs do have salmonella present in their feces, even though they might appear completely healthy. It seems that highest occurrence was found in dogs who are fed raw diets.

    Even though these dogs are basically carriers, should that be something to worry about?

    I’m thinking that if the dog isn’t sick, the fact that there is some bacteria present in the system doesn’t have to mean anything. But is that right? Plus how does that translate to safety of human members of the family?

    It is something I am still trying to make my own mind about. To be or not to be overly paranoid about salmonella?


  4. Kate says:

    Thanks for writing this very informative article. I was also confused on what particular kind of bone should I give my dog. I am very much concerned that raw bones may not be that good for him but reading your article has taught me so much. Thanks again ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Lamb says:

    Thank you for this. Pica and Biscuit will be thrilled! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Three Dog Blogger says:


    Glad that you found it helpful. Your pooch will be very happy indeed too.

  7. Three Dog Blogger says:


    I simply look at the fact that it is natural for them to eat bones. I have not heard of Dogs breaking their teeth. But if your pet does not have healthy teeth to start with I guess really hard bones may be an issue.

    As to salmonella etc I simply think the hype is exactly that. Just use good sanitary practices. I always wash my hands after handling any raw meat product. From bones to chicken etc and I think this is sufficient but we must make our own informed decisions.

  8. Brett says:

    Great article, thank you for the information.

  9. Very informative and useful article. I didn’t know about the exact health benefits of raw meaty bones. Thanks for this post!

  10. Interesting post. I wonder if you wanted to switch a senior pet to this kind of diet, what can you offer if their teeth are already missing or sparse?

    Senior pets blog

  11. Three Dog Blogger says:

    Aging Pet

    Things like Chicken or Turkey necks should be ideal, and even chicken wings. Not too tough but still super tasty for a Dog. If giving Chicken just be sure to remove the sharp bone in the thigh.

  12. Dog Lover says:

    I’ve been thinking about what to give our Siberian Husky who’s a voracious chewer. A lot of people have recommended antlers.

  13. Marco says:


    Good stuff on the bones. I’ve been feeding my beasts raw food and bones for some time now. I’ve also avoided any vet “recommended” meds, like heart worm and flea stuff etc.

    I read this book from a holistic vet here in Austin that sells an ebook off his website about dogs and their link to the wild (wolves etc) and he talks about how dogs should eat the raw meat and bones and that a healthy lifestyle with that too was all the preventative needed for any “dog parasite” or illness that could affect them. He mentions about animals in the wild and how it’s not like their is a “heartworm” epidemic were wolves and/or coyotes are dying due to this.

    Usually (the book mentions)the cause of a death in a wild dog or wolve is usually its place in the pack or nature, or wether it is old, or injured or sick from some previous lack of ” survival of the fittest.” With that being said, I reckon my dogs are as close to wild as possible. They work out a lot and it’s almost if there workout is their “hunting” for meat, bc it’s usually after or at random times that they get their big raw meat/bone meal. Through out the day I may feed some wings for snack or even ground bison or buffalo (by the way what u think of that stuff?). I do like that they shouldn’t have a set meal time, there’s times when they eat very little one day or more another etc, as if in the wild. Oh and I’m sure they appreciate the freedom of never having a leash, so one more thing is I think a happy dog that’s healthy too is all the meds they need.

    So after all that I ask to you, what Do You think about heartworm preventative?


  14. Three Dog Blogger says:


    Lots of good points. But I do believe that for the small price of a heartworm pill it is best to give it monthly. We always use one all year round for our pets as it only costs $20 for a 6 month supply, why risk it?

  15. HoHo, CoCo,JoJo,Puchie & Coochie says:

    Does ANYONE recommend a hard-cover book/any book type but NOT e-book…Website on Natural Foods, Bones, treats, dog cookies, homemade dog ice cream, home remedy food/medicine ideas for dogs (I have 4 Yorkies & 1 Silkie) that I can buy to have in my kitchen for EVERYDAY use. I have been feeding my babies natural food, bones, goat milk & just want to research other ideas & be sure I’m in the right track. I have a Master Dog Chef small booklet but would like to add add’l books to increase knowledge & make my poochies happy & free of illiness & have them live a healthier and lengthly joyful life!

    All book selections Welcomed & Appreciative!

  16. Leila says:

    Thanks for this great article! I fed my dogs raw chicken bones for the first time tonight! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my small dogs happily chewing away! It was completely natural for them! I am just a little concerned for my little little one… she just weighs a little bit over a kilo. Sorry to ask but, are raw chicken bones safe even for very small dogs?

  17. jerry & betty says:

    my 3 months old male & female caucassian jerry & betty have been feeding on homemade food ( millet, groundnut,soyabeans, dryfish,local rice & asha all grounded together to form cereal and cooked daily for them also add handful of pedigree dry food into the cooked cereal is this combination safe for my puppy?) sometimes they eat left over rice & cooked chicken bones but i will stop the chicken bones now that i know its not safe. recently i give them watermelon and they enjoy it a lot.
    i want to know if the raw meaty bones is also safe for them at their age? so i can visit a butcher imediately thank you.
    sometimes the great mistake we make is knowing what to feed our dogs within the range of their age. like feeding a puppy an adult food etc.

  18. Three Dog Blogger says:

    I think they’ll be fine. At that age they will probably be gnawing rather than anything else, so it should keep them out of trouble! Just be sure not to give them anything too small that they might try to swallow whole.