How Do I Choose Safe Dog Bones For My Pup?

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

March 13, 2019

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Dog parents have several options when it comes to giving bones to their pups. There are real meat bones. Bones made from super-strong food-grade nylon. Even various chewable animal parts such as hooves, tendons, tracheas, and “pizzles” (we’ll let you Google that one)! With so many options, it can be difficult to choose safe dog bones for your furry BFF.

Real Meat Bones

Dog and bones

Every week there seems to be a new recall or controversy surrounding commercial dog products. Choosing all-natural real meat bones may seem like the way to go – especially if your dog is on a raw diet. After all, wild dogs and their canine cousins have been surviving on fresh raw meat, organs, and bone marrow for centuries.

Real meat bones can provide a safe, healthy gnawing experience for your pup, but there are several factors you must consider. Above all, be sure to choose fresh, raw bones. They are less likely to splinter and cause injuries to the mouth and throat.

Guidelines To Follow When Choosing Raw Bones For Your Dog:

  • When going raw, be sure to purchase FRESH bones from a reputable butcher
  • Locally-sourced bones are best for ensuring freshness
  • Beef and bison bones are tough and least likely to splinter
  • Pork bones and rib bones (of any kind) are weaker and should be avoided
  • Choose a bone about the size of your dog’s head to prevent choking
  • Store fresh bones in the freezer until ready for use

What’s So Bad About Cooked Bones?

Dog chewing bone

It may be tempting to offer your dog a savory meaty bone from your dinner plate, but even beef and bison bones can splinter when cooked. These shards of bone pose the following health risks:

  • Wounds to the mouth and throat
  • Fractured teeth
  • Choking
  • Perforations of the intestines

Nylon Dog Bones

Pit Bull with a BarkShop Benebone

Strong, food-grade nylon is an excellent choice when it comes to safe dog bones. The texture may not be as satisfying as the real thing, but as long as you choose the right product, nylon can provide a low-risk chewing experience for strong-jawed pups.

I say “low risk” because there is no such thing as “risk-free” dog bones. Anything your pup can swallow has the potential to cause choking or become a life-threatening GI blockage.

When it comes to nylon bones, be sure to choose the proper size and strength. These bones may flake off in tiny bits as your dog chews, but should never break into large chunks or be small enough to swallow.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Nylon Dog Bones:

nylon safe dog bones

Are nylon dog bones safe for puppies?

While puppies certainly need appropriate chewing options, nylon bones may not be the best choice. High-quality durable nylon chews such as Benebones are best for dogs with permanent teeth. However, there are several products specifically labelled for teething pups. Talk to your veterinarian about safe dog bone options before giving anything new to your puppy.

What is your dog’s chewing strength and style?

This is the most important factor when it comes to determining if nylon bones are safe for your dog. These products come in several different shapes, sizes and strengths to accommodate even the most powerful chewers. Never choose a soft, flexi-chew bone for heavy chewers, and never purchase a poodle-size bone for your Great Dane!

When should you replace your dog’s nylon bones?

Nylon chews may start out as safe dog bones, but become dangerous later on. Once these bones become small enough to swallow, it is time to replace them. In addition, well-worn nylon chew bones tend to pick up dirt and debris and may become a health hazard.

Never boil nylon bones or run them through the dishwasher or laundry. Instead, scrub them with a brush under warm water, using mild, non-toxic soap, and rinse thoroughly.

A good rule of thumb is: When in doubt about the safety of your dog’s nylon bones, it’s time to replace them.

Chews Made From Animal Organs & Body Structures

safe dog bone alternative

**For this category, it is important to choose products that are both manufactured and sourced in the U.S.A. 

There are countless dog bone alternatives made from animal hooves, antlers, ears, tendons, hides, tracheas, and more. While many of these organs and structures are perfectly safe, others are low quality and carry frightening health risks.

For example, pig ears are greasy and high in calories, posing a high risk for dogs with gastrointestinal problems. Pig ears and rawhides can also become choking hazards, cause GI blockages, and may even contain harmful substances from the manufacturing process.

Hooves and antlers may be safe dog bone substitutes for some pups, but should be used with caution. These body structures are high in keratin and very hard – possibly hard enough to break a tooth.

Softer internal structures such as tracheas and tendons can be a great option as long as they are safely sourced and processed. Look for items from U.S.A. cattle with no unnecessary additives.

So How Do You Choose Safe Dog Bones & Dog Bone Alternatives For Your Pup?

super chewer dog safe bones

When it comes down to it, no one knows your pooch better than you. It is up to you to choose the safest, highest quality bones for his or her personality and chewing style.

The best way to discover which options work best for your dog is to test out an assortment of safe, healthy options like those in our BarkShop. Each delicious chew is easy on your pup’s teeth and made in the U.S.A. to ensure optimal health and safety.

If the choices seem overwhelming, there is an easy way to receive a steady supply of safe dog bones and chews at your home each and every month. The aforementioned SuperChewer BarkBox is specially curated with bone-loving pups in mind. Each shipment includes two tough toys, two full-size bags of treats, and two meaty, all-natural chews!

Best of all, your (and your dog’s) satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If any of the products in your BarkBox do not live up to your expectations, email [email protected] and they’ll replace them free – no questions asked!

Looking For More Articles Like This?

What Are Dog Toys For Strong Chewers?
What Comes in a Super Chewer Box? (With Photos of Real Dogs!)
Which Is Better: Super Chewer BarkBox Or BULLYMAKE BOX?
What Is A Dog Subscription Box For Heavy Chewers?
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Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

March 13, 2019

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