Can Dogs Digest Bones? – Interesting Facts

You have stumbled upon a very controversial topic in the doggy universe

Since childhood, we have seen and watched dogs eating bones in real and on television.

It is like a preset notion that has been conceptualized as a norm.


Can dogs digest bones

But are you aware of the fact that dogs can’t digest bones?

It does not mean that they can’t eat bones at all; neither does it means that bones are a harmless food item for the dog.

It’s a grey area; let’s dig into it more.

Can Dogs Digest Bones?

A dog crushes the bone and swallows the piece.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t have their pieces digested and ground by saliva in the mouth; their digestion occurs in the stomach.

So, the dog eating a bone can get into a dangerous situation.

Some dogs can easily digest the bones, but some need special care.

It’s always the right option to consult the vet before serving.

Also, ensure that your dog buddy eats his bone calmly instead of tearing it apart and swallowing it at once, causing internal injuries.

When It All May Go Wrong?

Let’s examine some situations where you offer a bone to your dog, and the problem may occur.

  • Dogs have powerful jaws, but that does not imply that they can eat anything hard. Just like stones, bones can also be hard enough to rupture or dismantle the dog’s tooth leading it to chip or dislodge. It will be painful for the dog and expensive for the owner. It is a cautious area to play.
  • Sometimes, dogs swallow large food items and get them stuck in their throat. Any such situation can cause an emergency medical crisis. Similarly, if a bone gets stuck, it may lead to throat block, limitation of breathing, and esophagus injury.
  • Dogs’ stomach is acidic, having a -1-pH level. So even if a food item has reached the stomach, it can still cause harm. If a bone is solid and sharp, the stomach shall work with strong acids to grind it at varying speed levels, causing damage.
  • Bones themselves can cause harm if cooked and hard. The broken pieces of the bones can scrap or pierce the intestines compromising the bloodstream and so many other issues.
  • A single piece of undigested bone can get stuck in the dog’s rectum and cause trauma as it tries to pass out.

How To Know If Your Dog Is Choking?

Dogs choking on a bone are common, especially when the owner doesn’t know and gives his dog a big, cooked bone. 

If your dog ends up choking, immediately try to get hold of your dog, take his tongue out, put your hand in, and try to remove the piece.

If your dog show signs of gagging, pain, vomiting, and panic, or if you detect its gums getting pale or blue, take him to the vet immediately.

In such cases, your dog might have swallowed the piece, but it got stuck because it was big.

What Bones Are the Safest to Give?

As mentioned earlier, some bones are okay for dogs to eat.

These include raw, fresh, not cooked, and dried bones.

A fresh and raw bone is a bendy and springy one; hence it is easily digestible instead of cooked ones that are dried and hard.

Additionally, not all raw bones are healthy to eat.

Soft raw bones are the ideal form of bone to offer to your canine companion.

These are edible for the dog and easily chewable instead of having sharp edges, causing harm.

Raw chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb bones are soft enough to chew, eat, and digest.

Some more bones include chicken wings, ribs, and even minced salmon.

You have to consider the following things before feeding your dog a bone.

  • The size of the bone, the type, and the density
  • The size of your dog, health and teeth condition, eating and chewing habits.

Five Practices to Carry Out When feeding Your Dog, A Bone

  1. Never leave your dog alone while he chews on a bone. Supervise him.
  2. Instead of giving him a whole piece, chew it, gnaw down the bone first, and then give it to him. It will be easier for the dog to chew.
  3. If your dog has any dental condition, do not give him the bone.
  4. If your dog has had digestive problems or pancreatitis in the past, bones may cause diarrhea or other stomach problems, so you should avoid giving it bones.
  5. Don’t give a bone to a dog if his stomach is, naturally or conditionally, sensitive. You can consult a vet first.