Are cooked bones bad for dogs?

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Mike Tanaka


In this article, we cover everything you need to know about what makes them unsafe for dogs, what to do if your dog ingests one and how a veterinarian visit can help and giving your pup an alternative so that they can be safe.

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What makes cooked bones unsafe for dogs?

Dogs are carnivores but they don’t have the same digestive enzymes that humans do. When a bone is cooked, it changes it’s molecular structure. A recent study by the University of Sydney, Australia found that dogs’ stomachs are not acidic enough to dissolve the calcium in cooked bones. 

Additionally, the heat from cooking makes the bone more likely to splinter when chewed. A splintered bone can cause internal damage when ingested, including bruising, lacerations, and punctures. Smaller, more fragile bones, such as chicken bones, can be particularly dangerous because they are more likely to splinter. More serious complications can include intestinal blockage, internal bleeding, and punctured organs.

What to do if my dog eats a cooked bone?

Should your dog ingest a cooked bone, the first step to do is see if they are showing any of these signs in the next few days: 

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain/Sensitivity

Keep a close eye on your pup and seek a veterinarian immediately if they are displaying any of these signs

How a veterinarian can help when a dog ingests a cooked bone 

The vet will examine the dog and may perform x-ray to decide on the best course of action. Depending on the x-rays results, the vet can help by inducing vomiting, advise you on letting the bones pass through in the next few days or performing surgery to remove the bone or any lodged pieces. 

Alternative to giving dogs cooked bones

Raw bones

Raw bones are a much safer alternative to cooked bones for dogs. They are also easier to digest and offer a variety of health benefits. The chewy texture of raw bones can help to clean your dog’s teeth, reducing plaque and tartar buildup. The minerals and nutrients contained in raw bones can help provide your pup with essential vitamins and minerals.

Raw bones can also provide mental stimulation for your pup. They can help keep them occupied and provide an outlet for their natural chewing behavior. Monitor your pup when giving them raw bones as they can be a choking hazard if swallowed whole. Supervise them for the first few times to ensure that they understand how to properly chew and eat the bone. 


Safe alternative chew toy
Nylabone bacon flavored dog chew toy

Nylabone Power Chew Bacon Flavored Dog Chew Toy


Cleans teeth, promotes mental stimulation

Bacon flavored for extra fun

Made in USA

Chew toys, such as Nylabone, are a much safer alternative to cooked bones. Unlike cooked bones, which can splinter and cause serious internal damage, chew toys stay intact and do not present the same risk of injury or ingestion. Additionally, chew toys can help to keep your dog’s teeth clean, while also providing mental stimulation. 

Nylabone chew toys come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors, designed to appeal to all types of dogs, regardless of age or breed. They are made of durable nylon and are designed to stand up to hours of excited chewing. 

Nylabone chew toys are also infused with flavor, giving your pup an extra incentive to keep chewing. When selecting the right chew toy for your pup, it is important to consider their size, age, and chewing habits. Puppies and senior dogs may prefer softer toys, while more aggressive chewers may need tougher Nylabones to satisfy their needs. 

Additionally, choosing the right size for your pup is key. Too big, and your pup may be overwhelmed and unable to finish the toy; too small and it could become a choking hazard. 

Cleaning and maintaining your pup’s chew toys is important to ensure they remain in good condition. It is best to inspect the toy before each use and replace it if it shows any signs of wear and tear. Plastic or rubber chew toys can be washed with soap and water, while nylon chews can be soaked in white vinegar and water. Overall, Nylabone chew toys are an excellent choice for providing your pup with a safe, healthy way to play, explore and exercise their mind and body.


We hope that this article has provided you with the necessary information for you to be aware of the risks of cooked bones. By arming yourself with this knowledge, you will be able to make a well-informed decision about what is best for your pup’s health.

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