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If you are like many people, you have come across conflicting information regarding giving your dog bone treats. Some reports claim that chewing on bones is beneficial for dogs while others insist bones are simply dangerous for any pup.
The warning from the FDA concerning the topic is perhaps the fear-inducing report of the century. According to the report, tens of dogs have become injured or fallen sick after chewing on bones with 15 of them dead already.
In all honesty, however, the warning is not new but an emphasis on an already released report on the importance of taking precautions before giving dogs bone treats.
The truth is that bones have quite a number of benefits for your furry friend, including:
- Bones help dogs keep a healthy mouth. From breaking tartar down to reducing gum disease and stimulating saliva production to general cleaning teeth, a bone is important for any pouch’s pout.
- Bones are also a great source of important minerals such as phosphorous and calcium, which helps strengthen muscles, foster healthy bowel movements, and prevent bloating.
- Alongside the physical benefits, bones can help dogs reduce anxiety and ultimately reduce the chance of suffering blood pressure and heart disease.
- Chewing bones has also been proven to strengthen dogs’ stomach muscles, prevent bloating, foster healthy bowel movements, and curb anal gland issues.
- Finally, it is better for your pooch to chew bones instead of your shoes! Remember that dogs will always chew on something.
Best Raw Bones for Dogs
- 1.Pet ‘n Shape Natural Beef Bone for Dog
- 2. K9 Connoisseur Dog Bones for Small and Medium Dogs
- 3. Pawstruck Meaty Shin Femur Dog Bones
- 4. Baxter Boy Roasted Beef Knuckle Bone Dog Treat
- 5. 123 Treats Bone Knee Caps for Dogs
- 6. Smokehouse Meaty Mammoth Bone Dog Treat
- 7. Jack & Pup Roasted Meaty Pig Femur Bone
- 9. Grillerz Scott Femur Wrapped for Pets
- 11. Good Lovin’ Hickory Smoked Knee Bone Dog Chews
- 12. Butcher’s Bones Canine Ham Bone
- 13. Whole Paws Grain-Free Bully Bone Dog Chew
- 15. Nature Gnaws Roasted Rib Bones
- How to select high-quality and safe bone for your dog
- Are Bone Treats Safe For Dogs?
- What about Raw Hides?
- What about recreational Bones?
- Are Ground Bones The Best Alternative?
- How much bone should you give your dog?
- Top Do’s and Don’ts of giving your Dog bone Treats
- What should you do if your dog swallows a bone?
15 Best Smoked Bones for Dogs
One of the biggest concerns that dog parents have when it comes to giving their pooches bone treats is where to get smoked bones for dogs. Well, you can order bones from your local food co-op or Amazon. We love the latter option because retailers on Amazon have done the hard work of choosing the best bone and parts for your dog. Most of the bones that they stock have been professionally roasted for better taste and maximum nutrition for your dog.
Here is our pick of the best smoked bones for dogs:
Chewing is a natural dog behavior. Even if you have the most behaved dog, he will develop an urge to chew often. The Pet n’ Shape dog bones treat is made from grass-fed beef so you are guaranteed nothing but the best for your pup. It is also devoid of all the toxic stuff- preservatives, chemicals, colors, and artificial flavors. If you have an allergy-prone dog, this is a huge deal. The best part about these bones is that they are hollow on the inside, so you can stuff them with peanut butter or whichever snack your dog loves.
Made from free-range, grass-fed cattle, born and raised in the USA, this knee cap will make your fur baby go nuts. The bone is smoked enough to invoke a good flavor on the treat. It is also not overly dried, so a dog can chew on it for ages without feeling bored. Trust K9 Connoisseur dog treats to have zero artificial flavors and preservatives.
Dental hygiene is just as important to canines as it is to you. As the name suggests, the Pawstruck meaty dog bone is effective in keeping your dog’s mouth healthy. It will help fight tartar and plaque build-up all the while cleaning the teeth. This bone treat is also packed with flavor that your pooch will absolutely love. Plus, it is all-natural and safe for any dog to indulge in. Surprise your pup with it and see the difference you’ll make in his life.
If you have a small-medium canine at home and are looking for a bone treat for him, this one will definitely excite him. Looking at it makes you want to take a bite yourself. The knucklebone is surrounded with smoked and flavorful pieces of meat that can make any dog chew for hours on end. Most importantly, it is safe and digestible for small and medium dogs. This one is even infused with other goodies such as minerals, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids for better nutrition.
123 treats natural knee cap bones are made in Europe from grass-fed beef. They are not only roasted for better flavor but they are also 100% natural. Your dog will satisfy his need to chew and take care of his oral health.
From the name, you already know this bone treat is massive. It is coated with a bounty of delicious fatty bits that can get a dog chewing for years. As a matter of fact, you might have to limit your dog else he will overindulge and upset his own tummy. Due to the size, this dog treat is ideal for medium to large dog breeds. A toy breed may have a hard time navigating the bone.
This high-quality product is another big dog treat made from grass-fed cattle and slow-roasted to create tender, delicious meaty pieces. It is a perfect fit for a reserved or aggressive dog. Despite the fact that it is a huge treat, this knuckle is safe and digestible. It combines vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids to promote good nutrition for your dog. Plus, it doesn’t have chemicals, artificial ingredients, and flavorings that can harm your dog.
The ChewMax roasted rib bones are one of the dog treats that utilize natural ingredients without fillers and preservatives of any kind. They comprise farm-raised, organic beef, roasted in their own juices to deliver excellent taste and maximum nutrition. They are chewy and delicious making them one of the best bone treats for dogs out there. The pack contains three 8-inch bones along with two knuckles.
Your dog will absolutely love the all-natural and insanely delicious femur from Grillerz. No doubt this dog goodie is packed with real meat flavor that strikes the right balance between health and taste. It is soft, chewy, and doesn’t contain chemicals, colors, and preservatives. Apart from giving your pup a satisfying chew, this treat is also good for oral health.
This product is made with US-sourced grass-fed high-quality beef. It is savory, prime, and mouth-watering to say the least. Complete with tasty bone marrow and smoked meat pieces, it will take a lot of convincing to make your dog stay away from this bone. To ensure it is fresh, the Savory prime ham butcher bone is vacuumed to stop any bacterial activity.
The Good Loving’ hickory-smoked knee bone is one of the tastiest and nutritious do treats available out there. Made with truly organic beef and all-natural ingredients, this is a sensational long-lasting chew that also supports healthy gums and teeth. The knee cap is smoked and has a tasty bone marrow that can make any dog go bonkers.
This healthy dog treat is a perfect definition of taste and nutrition. For one, it is smoked with real hickory to capitalize on flavor. Your fur baby will be soaked in the taste all day long. The Butcher’s canine bone is USA-sourced and made according to US food production standards. With it, you are guaranteed of no artificial ingredients, flavorings, or colors. It will certainly help your dog maintain good health and immune system.
Dogs enjoy bone treats that are not only tasty but crunchy in texture too. Throw some essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins in the mix and you have a perfectly made bone treat. Produced in the USA, Whole Paws is a household name for quality production. The crunchy bone freshens breath and thoroughly cleans teeth. This dog bone treat is ideal for dogs under 35 pounds. If yours is bigger than this, feel free to pick any other treat from this list.
These gourmet dog bones are made with extra care to keep the flavor and nutrition in. Basically, the treat is real chicken and beef hide dipped in flavored basting. You bet this is a taste of heaven for any doggie. The Good ‘n’ Fun ribs come are savory chews that absolutely satisfy your dog’s natural instinct and help clean his teeth and gums. Each rib is drizzled with a delightful artificial beef flavor that your dog will thoroughly enjoy. Plus, it has that chewy texture that no dog can resist. One pack contains 8 ribs and is this ideal if you have more than one pet in your household.
If rawhide isn’t really your dog’s cup of tea, the Nature Gnaw roasted beef bones are a good alternative. Like other bone treats on this list, these are made from real organic free-range cattle. They are oven-baked and are thus free from chemicals, hormones, and preservatives. Not only will your furry friend love them, but the nutrition that comes with the treat will promote the health of his body as well. These treats are low in calorie and high in the good stuff (essential fats and lean protein).
How to select high-quality and safe smoked bone for your dog
When shopping for the best smoked bones for dogs, how do you know the safest pick? Well, to select the best bone for your dog, you should know what to look for in a bone. As a guide, here are a few factors to consider:
- The bone shouldn’t be easy to break or bend: If you can bend or break the bone with ease, so can your dog.
- Thickness/Density of the Bone: The thicker the bone, the harder it will be for your dog to break down, and the safer it is for your dog.
- Texture: Is the bone smooth, rough, or jagged? Bones with smooth surfaces are safe for your dog as they are less likely to cut your pooch’s mouth.
- Are there pores on the bone? Avoid bones with a lot of pores on their surfaces as they may be a sign of weak bones that are susceptible to fracturing when being chewed by your dog. Another way to check whether a bone may be weak is to scratch its surface with your fingernails. If it is chalky or has some residue on it, avoid it.
Are Bone Treats Safe For Dogs?
Yes and No.
Although some bones offer several benefits to dogs, there are some that cause plenty of harm.
Bone treats are okay for dogs. Generally, bones are not bad for dogs. In other words, they don’t have ingredients that are toxic to dogs.
By nature, dogs are carnivores and meat is important to them. As aforementioned in the introduction, bones contain a lot of nutrients that are definitely good for your dog. Plus, gnawing a bone provides a plethora of other benefits.
However, you shouldn’t give your dog any bone. In fact, the real answer to whether bone treats are good for dogs or not lies on the type of bone in question and whether it is raw or cooked.
- Raw and smoked bones are safer than cooked bones because they don’t splinter. Cooked bones (even those from table scraps) easily splinter and break causing a plethora of issues such as rectal bleeding, tongue and blood injuries, broken teeth, constipation, blockage of the esophagus, windpipe, gastro intestines, and peritonitis (bacterial infection caused by punctures in your pooch’s abdomen or intestines).
- Bison or buffalo shank bones are not safe for dogs because they are harder than your dog’s teeth. Your dog may get carried away chewing these types of bones and may crack his teeth in the process.
- Pork ribs and poultry bones are not safe for dogs as they are high in fat. Dogs’ systems are not designed to handle a high amount of saturated fat and can suffer from a wide range of health conditions like pancreatic.
What about Raw Hides: Are they Safe for your Dog?
Rawhide chews cause similar problems as cooked bone treats. They can cause blockages as well as digestion problems. Some rawhide chews also contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, additives, and gelatin that can be carcinogenic or toxic to dogs. To be safe, avoid chews with these ingredients.
However, some dogs handle rawhides so well. Instead of gulping them, they will gnaw on them for several hours or days.
So, if you choose to give your pup rawhide treat, it is important to know his chewing style, select hides that are big enough—those that he can’t swallow whole—and only serve him when you can monitor the chewing.
If he is a gulper (like Pit Bulls and Labrador Retrievers), for instance, keep an eye on him to ensure that he doesn’t break it off and swallow the pieces.
Caution: Avoid serving your dog rawhides if you cannot supervise him.
Are Ground Bones The Best Alternative?
Some dog owners advocate for grinding bones into powder and sprinkling it over food as the best way of providing the minerals in bones to your dog without the risk of choking, GI damage and other complications.
However, it is important to note that bone powder will eliminate the highlighted benefits of chewing.
So, when going over the pros and cons of bone powder, do your own research and discuss any issue with your vet before you decide to go the powder or raw bone route.
How much bone should you give your dog?
The actual amount of bone in a dog’s diet is debatable. Most nutritionists advocate for 9 to 10% of the dog’s diet although the figure varies.
To detect whether there is too much bone in your dog’s diet, monitor his stool. Too much bone will result in small or hard stools, which are difficult to pass through. The stools will also be more yellowy-white.
Top Do’s and Don’ts of Giving your Dog Bone Treats
Typically, raw dog bones from the butcher are good for your dog. These include beef bones, raw chicken, and raw turkey. They are soft and can be easily chewed and digested by just about any canine.
If you are going to give your pooch a bone treat or chew, however, there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that you need to remember so that he can enjoy the treat safely.
- Serve your dog a bone treat after a meal because a less hungry dog is less likely to swallow or chew a bone quickly. If your dog is satisfied, he will enjoy the mental stimulation of chewing without the urge or temptation to swallow the bone.
- Check on your dog from time to time during the chewing.
- Give your pooch bones that are longer than their muzzle’s length. This will make it hard for them to swallow.
- The best smoked bones for puppies are those that have been designed for young dogs. Most options are soft in texture to protect the puppies’ sensitive mouths and are devoid of sharp edges to avoid choking risks. The best brand that is known to offer bones and edibles designed especially for puppies is Nylabone. Check their edibles out and choose what’s best for your puppy.
- When not in use, refrigerate the bone treats to reduce the likelihood of contamination. Soak the bone in vinegar before refrigerating to kill bacteria. You should discard the bone or chew after a few days.
- Whether you are looking for raw meaty bones for dogs or the best raw bones for cleaning dogs teeth, only source bones from reputable stores or butchery to ensure that you are giving your dog fresh and high-quality bones.
- Be wary of your dog’s calorie intake levels. Bone with a lot of marrow tends to have high-calorie content.
Related Post: How to prepare marrow bones for dogs
- Give your pooch a smoked bone to chew on it for about 10-15 minutes only then take it away. Be cautious when removing the bone to avoid being bitten. You can use a harness and leash around the dog, ask your dog to come or provide them a greater treat and lead him away from the bone. Put simply, it is safer to lead your dog away than trying to reach down and take the bone.
- Don’t Feed your Dog Cooked Bones: Cooked bones can break into sharp pieces that will, in turn, cause choking, fractured teeth, mouth wounds, and perforations of the intestines. If you want to utilize leftover bones, boil them into a bone broth instead.
- Do not feed bones to a sick dog: if your pup has pancreatitis or restorative dental work, it is best to avoid giving him dog treats as you will be exposing him to tooth breakage risks and other dental problems.
- Don’t give your dog bone marrow if he gets pancreatitis because marrow is high in fat and can easily cause a flare-up or diarrhea. You can scoop out the marrow until your dog has adapted to high fats. Alternatively, replace the marrow with pumpkin then refreeze the bones.
- Avoid bones that can be swallowed whole. The size of your dog should dictate the type of bone you should give him. If you have a Great Dane puppy, for instance, a small chicken bone or some of the best raw bones for small dogs that you will find in local stores might be a potential hazard. Large breeds like Bloodhounds, German Shepherd Dogs, and Mastiffs should be given bigger bones.
- Avoid bones that are cut lengthwise as they are more likely to splinter.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Swallows a Bone?
Even if you take all the precautions highlighted above, there are instances when your pup can get sneaky and steal a bone off your kitchen counter or a plate when you turn your back for a second. If it is a cooked chicken bone, for instance, what can you do?
Well, here are steps that you can follow.
- If you catch your pooch in the act, strive to take away the bone before he gobbles it down (of course, this will depend on the strength or size of your dog)
- Ensure that he is not chocking. Here is a useful video on what to do when your dog is chocking:
- Call your vet immediately.
- Some experts recommend giving your dog a few pieces of white bread to cushion his gastrointestinal tract but you should remember that every situation is different and calling a vet is your best bet.
Ingesting a bone may not cause instant problems to your dog. However, it is advisable to keep a close eye on your dog for the next few days to ensure that everything is clear.
- If your dog exhibit symptoms like abdominal bloating, lethargy, vomiting, constipation or if he is refusing to eat, call your vet immediately.
- Monitor your dog’s stool for a few days to see if he has passed the bone fragments through. If you fail to notice any fragments within 3-4 days, consult your vet to ensure that the bone fragments are not stuck in his GI tract.
- Damage to your dog’s intestinal tract could require costly surgery. So, if you love your pet, always strive to take appropriate pet insurance policy to protect you against the unexpected or to pay for other sudden veterinary emergencies.
The choice as to whether to feed your dog the above-highlighted best smoked bones for dogs ultimately rests on you. However, many vets agree that the benefits outweigh the risks by a greater margin. The most important thing to do is to exercise caution all the way. Pay attention to the Do’s and Don’ts and your pooch will be just fine.
Sable M. is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.