What Is A Safe Age To Give My Puppy Bones To Chew On?

Aug 17, 2023 | Dog Behavior, Dogs

When it comes to dogs, chewing is a natural behavior that owners are well aware of. We often associate dogs with bones, just like peas and carrots. Chewing on hard items like bones helps relieve teething discomfort, keeps their jaws strong, and provides mental stimulation. However, not all objects are safe for them to chew on, including certain types of bones. And while we recommend choosing safe chew toys specifically designed for heavy chewers instead of real bones, we understand some dog owners prefer a natural bone for their pups.

While some bones can be beneficial for dogs, others such as chicken bones can pose serious health risks such as broken teeth, choking hazards, or intestinal blockages. Understanding the benefits and risks associated with giving your puppy dog bones is crucial in ensuring their safety and overall well-being. But when is it safe to give dog bones to your puppy?

Generally, puppies who are 12 weeks or older can safely chew on a raw bone. Raw bones not only provide calcium to your pup’s diet but also help in maintaining their dental health. However, it’s important to be aware of potential health risks, such as intestinal blockage, which is the most common. You can prevent this by making sure the bone you give your puppy is too big to be eaten whole. Additionally, remember to choose raw bones instead of cooked ones. Cooked bones tend to be more fragile and can easily splinter, posing a significant risk to your furry friend.

Why Do Puppies Love Chewing On Things?

very cute little hungry labrador retriever dog puppy eats the meat on a bone

Puppies absolutely adore chewing on things because it’s like a doggy version of ‘finding comfort in the little things.’ Chewing is a natural instinct for puppies, and it serves multiple purposes:

1. It helps with teething. Just like human babies, puppies go through a teething phase where their baby teeth are replaced by adult teeth. Chewing on objects provides relief to their sore gums during this process.

2. Chewing is a way for puppies to explore their environment and relieve boredom. It keeps them mentally stimulated and engaged.

When it comes to choosing what your puppy can chew on, it’s important to prioritize their safety and dental hygiene. Opting for puppy-specific chew toys is recommended as they’re designed to withstand the strong jaws and sharp teeth of young dogs. These toys help redirect your puppy’s chewing behavior away from destructive items like furniture or shoes. Additionally, they promote good oral health by cleaning the teeth and massaging the gums as your puppy gnaws on them.

Dog bones are also commonly used as chew toys for puppies, but it’s crucial to ensure they’re safe and appropriate for your furry friend. Avoid giving your puppy cooked bones as they can splinter easily and cause serious injuries when ingested. Instead, opt for rawhide or specially made dog bones that are specifically designed for chewing purposes.

Remember that while chewing is perfectly normal behavior for puppies, supervision is necessary to prevent any accidents or choking hazards. Always provide appropriate chew toys and rotate them regularly to keep your pup interested and engaged while promoting healthy dental habits from an early age.

The Benefits Of Giving Bones To Your Dog

Giving bones to your dog can provide several benefits:

Dental Health

Dental health is crucial for your puppy’s overall well-being, as poor oral hygiene can lead to a variety of health issues later in life. Chewing on dog bones can actually be beneficial for their dental health. When puppies chew on bones, it helps stimulate their gums and promotes the development of strong and healthy teeth. It also aids in the removal of plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease and tooth decay if left untreated.

Growing dogs will have two sets of teeth as they age: puppy teeth, and permanent teeth. Chewing on bones during their early stages helps puppies with the teething process by providing them relief from discomfort as permanent teeth come in. Plus the act of chewing strengthens their jaw muscles and encourages proper alignment of their permanent teeth as they grow in. Additionally, gnawing on bones helps remove any loose baby teeth that are ready to fall out naturally. This ensures that the adult teeth come in properly without any obstructions.

Regularly monitoring your puppy’s oral hygiene and providing appropriate chew toys or bones will contribute greatly to maintaining their dental health throughout their life and help them maintain clean teeth.

Psychological Benefits

Experience the amazing psychological benefits of providing your furry companion with appropriate bones to satisfy their natural instincts and keep them mentally stimulated. Giving your puppy dog bones to chew on can provide them with mental stimulation that’s essential for their overall well-being. Chewing on bones not only helps relieve boredom but also exercises their brain, keeping them engaged and mentally sharp.

For a puppy who’s an aggressive chewer, giving them the right kind of bones can redirect their chewing behavior from destructive items in your home to something more appropriate. Puppy bones are specially designed to withstand heavy chewing and can help satisfy their urge to chew without causing any harm. This not only keeps your furniture safe but also promotes healthy dental hygiene by aiding in the removal of plaque and tartar buildup.

In addition to providing mental stimulation, giving your puppy dog bones can also prevent behavioral issues such as excessive barking or digging. When puppies are left alone for long periods of time without any form of mental stimulation, they may resort to destructive behaviors out of boredom or frustration. By offering them a bone to chew on, you’re providing an outlet for their energy and preventing these unwanted behaviors from developing.

If you’re concerned about safety, it’s important to choose appropriate bones that are specifically made for puppies. Avoid giving them cooked or small bones that may splinter or pose a choking hazard. Always supervise your puppy while they chew on a bone and remove it if it becomes too small or worn down.

Remember, a bone shouldn’t replace interactive playtime with your furry friend or other types of mental stimulation such as puzzle toys or training sessions. It should be seen as an additional tool to keep your puppy mentally stimulated and satisfied. So go ahead, give your furry companion a proper puppy bone or dog toy and watch as they enjoy hours of mental engagement!

Nutritional Benefits

Indulging your furry friend with appropriate bones can provide them with a nutritious and satisfying treat, nourishing their body from the inside out. One type of bone that is often recommended for dogs is marrow bones. These bones are filled with nutrient-rich marrow that can be highly beneficial for your pup’s overall health. When your puppy chews on a marrow bone, they not only enjoy the taste and texture, but they also receive essential nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, which are crucial for developing strong and healthy bones.

Incorporating marrow bones into your dog’s diet can offer numerous health benefits while keeping them entertained at the same time. Remember to always supervise your puppy when they are enjoying a bone to ensure their safety and prevent any potential choking hazards. Additionally, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new treats or food items into your puppy’s diet to ensure it aligns with their specific nutritional requirements.

The Risks Of Giving A Puppy Bones

large white black dog color gnaws bone lying on grass

Giving bones to a puppy can pose several risks that you should be aware of:


Bones Can Be A Choking Hazard

Chomping on bones can pose a choking hazard for puppies. While it may seem like a natural instinct for dogs to chew on bones, it’s important to consider the potential risks involved. Bones, especially those that are small or brittle, can easily break apart and get lodged in your puppy’s throat. This can lead to serious breathing difficulties and even be life-threatening.

To keep your furry friend safe, it’s best to avoid giving them bones to chew on altogether. Instead of giving bones, there are safer alternatives for your puppy to satisfy their chewing needs. Look for specially designed chew toys that are made with durable materials and have been tested for safety. These toys are specifically created to withstand the strong jaws of a growing puppy and help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Additionally, offering frozen carrots or ice cubes can provide relief during teething while minimizing any potential choking hazards. Remember, when it comes to the safety of your puppy, it’s better to be cautious than sorry. By avoiding bones as a chew toy option and opting for safer alternatives, you can ensure that your furry companion stays happy and healthy without any unnecessary risks associated with choking hazards.


Bones Can Cause Severe Digestive Problems

Instead of bones, there are other options that can lead to severe digestive problems for your furry friend. While it may seem like a natural choice to give your puppy dog bones to chew on, it’s important to understand the potential risks involved.

Bones can splinter easily and if swallowed, they can cause blockages or tears in your pup’s digestive system. This can be extremely painful for them and may require immediate medical attention. Additionally, bones can also cause constipation or diarrhea in dogs, leading to further discomfort and potential health issues.

If you want to provide your puppy with something safe and enjoyable to chew on, there are plenty of alternatives available. Look for specially designed chew toys that are made from durable materials such as rubber or nylon. These toys are specifically created with your pup’s safety in mind and won’t break apart into small pieces that could be swallowed. You can also consider giving them treats that are specifically formulated for dental health, as these can help keep their teeth clean while providing a satisfying chewing experience.

Remember, the well-being of your furry friend should always be the priority when it comes to choosing appropriate chew items. Instead of risking severe digestive problems by giving them bones, explore safer alternatives that will keep them happy and healthy. By making informed choices about what you offer your puppy to chew on, you can ensure their long-term well-being and avoid unnecessary visits to the vet due to bone-related issues.


Bones Can Cause Broken Teeth And Injuries

Bones can lead to not only severe digestive problems but also result in broken teeth and other injuries, turning your furry friend’s chewing experience into a painful ordeal.

Dogs’ teeth are strong, but they’re not indestructible. Chewing on hard objects like bones can cause their teeth to crack or fracture, leading to significant discomfort and pain. In addition to broken teeth, bone pieces can also pose a serious threat to your dog’s oral health. These small fragments can get stuck between their teeth or lodge in their gums, causing irritation and potentially leading to gum disease. Plus, chewing on bones increases the risk of bacterial infections in the mouth. The sharp edges of bones can create cuts or abrasions in the gums, providing an entry point for harmful bacteria that can lead to infections.

Considering these potential risks associated with giving dogs bones to chew on, it’s crucial to prioritize their safety and well-being over their desire for a chew toy. Instead of relying on bones as a form of entertainment for your furry companion, opt for safer alternatives. By making this choice, you’ll ensure that your dog’s dental health remains intact and prevent them from experiencing unnecessary pain or injury caused by broken teeth or bacterial infection stemming from bone chewing activities. Additionally, choosing dental chews over bone chewing activities will also help prevent bad breath in your dog and promote fresh breath, making their interactions with you and other family members more pleasant.


Unhealthy Bacteria Grows On Bones

Now that you understand the risks of broken teeth and injuries that can come from giving your puppy dog bones to chew on, let’s talk about another important concern: the growth of unhealthy bacteria on bones.

This is a crucial aspect to consider when deciding whether or not it’s safe to give your furry friend bones as a chew toy. You may not realize it, but bones can harbor dangerous bacteria that could potentially harm your puppy’s health. Even if the bone appears clean, there may be unseen bacteria present that can lead to infections or digestive issues.

Dogs have a more resistant digestive system than humans, but they’re still susceptible to illnesses caused by harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli. These pathogens thrive in warm and moist environments, which makes bones an ideal breeding ground for them. So, giving your puppy dog bones to chew on puts them at risk of ingesting these unhealthy bacteria and experiencing the unpleasant consequences associated with it.

It’s vital to prioritize your puppy’s well-being and make informed decisions regarding their chewing options. While dogs may seem happy while gnawing on a bone, it’s essential to remember the potential dangers lurking within them. By avoiding this risky practice altogether, you can ensure your puppy stays healthy and avoid unnecessary visits to the vet for treatment of bacterial infections caused by unhealthy bacteria growing on bones.

The Types Of Bones That Are Dangerous For Your Puppy

Types of bones you shouldn't give your puppy infographic

When it comes to giving your puppy bones to chew on, there are certain types of bones that can be especially dangerous to your pup and should be avoided:


Bones From All Birds Including Chicken And Turkey

If you want to keep your puppy healthy and happy, you should definitely avoid giving them bones from all birds, including chicken and turkey. While it may seem like a natural treat for your furry friend, poultry bones can actually be extremely dangerous for young puppies. These types of bones are more likely to splinter than other types, which can lead to serious injuries such as choking or internal punctures.

Chicken or turkey bones are especially risky because they’re often cooked at high temperatures, making them even more prone to splintering. Even if the bone appears large and sturdy, it’s important to remember that young puppies have delicate teeth and jaws that may not be able to handle the force required to break down these bones properly.


Cooked Bones

Cooked bones can be a recipe for disaster, turning a well-intentioned treat into a potential time bomb. While it may seem tempting to give your puppy a cooked bone to chew on, it’s important to understand the risks involved.

When bones are cooked, they become brittle and can easily splinter. These sharp fragments can cause serious injuries to your puppy’s mouth, throat, or intestines if swallowed. Additionally, cooked bones can pose a choking hazard as they may break into smaller pieces that are difficult for your puppy to safely swallow or digest.


Small Bones

Small bones can be a risky choice for your furry friend, especially if you have a small dog or a puppy with baby teeth. It’s important to consider the size and strength of your dog’s jaws before giving them any type of bone to chew on. Small dogs, in particular, have delicate mouths and may struggle to break down larger bones. This can lead to dental issues such as cracked or broken teeth, which can be painful for your pup and expensive for you to fix.

Instead of giving your small dog or puppy small bones like ham bones, it’s best to opt for softer alternatives that are specifically designed for chewing. There are plenty of safe and durable chew toys available on the market that are made from materials like rubber or nylon. These toys provide a satisfying chewing experience without the risk of breaking their teeth.

What Type Of Bones And Chew Toys Are Safe?

Happy dog with chew toy on sofa chair

When it comes to giving your puppy bones and chew toys, there are a few key points to keep in mind for their safety:


Raw Bones

Raw bones are a natural option for puppies to chew on. They provide many benefits for your pup’s dental health and overall well-being. Raw bones help clean their teeth by scraping off plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay. Chewing on raw bones also helps strengthen your puppy’s jaw muscles, providing them with exercise and mental stimulation.

It’s important to choose the right type of raw bone for your puppy. Make sure to select a bone that is appropriate in size and density for your pup’s age and breed. Avoid giving small or brittle bones that can easily break or splinter, as these can pose a choking hazard or cause injuries if swallowed. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new chew toys or bones into your puppy’s diet.

Remember, supervision is key when giving your puppy a raw bone to chew on. While they provide numerous benefits, it’s essential to monitor your pup while they enjoy their treat to ensure their safety. If you notice any signs of discomfort, such as excessive drooling or difficulty chewing, remove the bone immediately.


Large Bones That Are Sturdy

Large, sturdy bones can provide a satisfying and engaging chewing experience for your furry friend, helping to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. As pet parents, it’s important to choose the right type of dog chew for your young dogs. Large bones that are sturdy can withstand the powerful jaws of your pup and promote good dental health. It’s crucial to be aware of the potential health risks associated with giving your dog large bones to chew on. Firstly, make sure the bone is size-appropriate for your dog. Giving them a bone that is too small can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage if ingested.

Additionally, never give your dog cooked bones as they can easily splinter and cause serious injuries such as punctures or cuts in their mouth or digestive tract. Always supervise your pup while they’re enjoying their bone to prevent any accidents or injuries.

At What Age Can You Give Your Puppy A Bone Or Chew Toy?

Shepherd dog puppy having a meal

Before giving your puppy a bone or chew toy, make sure they’re old enough to safely handle it. Puppies have delicate teeth and jaws that are still developing, so it’s important to choose the right age to introduce them to these items. Generally, puppies can start chewing on bones or chew toys around the age of three months. By this time, their baby teeth have started falling out and being replaced by permanent ones. This means their jaws are stronger and better equipped for handling tougher objects.

But it’s important to select appropriate bones or chew toys for your puppy’s age and size. Avoid giving them bones that are too hard or dense as they can potentially damage their teeth or cause choking hazards. Opt for softer options like rubber chew toys specifically designed for puppies. These toys provide relief from teething discomfort while being gentle on their growing teeth and gums.

Always supervise your puppy when they’re chewing on a bone or toy to ensure they don’t swallow any small pieces that could lead to digestive issues. Before introducing a bone or chew toy to your puppy, consider their age and choose items that are safe for them to handle. Starting around four months of age is generally appropriate, but always monitor your pup during playtime with these objects. Remember that safety should be the top priority when it comes to providing your furry friend with something to chew on as they grow and explore the world around them.

Safe Alternative Bone Treats And Food For Dogs

You can find a variety of tasty and nutritious alternatives for your furry friend’s chewing needs, such as delicious bone-shaped treats and wholesome food options. These safe alternative bone treats are designed specifically for dogs to chew on, providing them with hours of entertainment while also promoting good dental health.

Look for treats that are made from natural ingredients and free from artificial additives or preservatives. Additionally, there are numerous food options available that can serve as a safe alternative to puppy dog bones. Consider giving your pup raw carrots or sweet potatoes to chew on, as these vegetables are not only safe but also provide essential vitamins and minerals.

When choosing safe alternative bone treats and food for dogs, it’s important to keep in mind the size and age of your furry companion. Opt for treats that are appropriate for their size to prevent any potential choking hazards. It’s also crucial to supervise your dog while they enjoy their chew toys or food items, ensuring they don’t swallow large pieces that could cause digestive issues.

By providing your pup with safe alternatives to traditional puppy dog bones, you can satisfy their natural instinct to chew while keeping them happy and healthy. Remember, always consult with your veterinarian before introducing new treats or foods into your pup’s diet to ensure they’re suitable for their specific needs.

Puppy Bone Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent my puppy from chewing on things other than bones?

To prevent your puppy from chewing on things other than bones, provide appropriate alternatives such as chew toys or dental sticks. Consistently redirect their attention and reward them for chewing on the right items.

Can giving my puppy bones help with their teething process?

Giving your puppy dog bones can be helpful for their teething process. It provides them with a natural, satisfying chew and can reduce discomfort. However, it’s important to choose appropriate bones that won’t splinter or cause choking hazards.

Are there any specific breeds that should not be given bones to chew on?

Certain breeds, like small dogs or those prone to dental problems, should avoid chewing on bones. Consult your veterinarian to determine if it’s safe for your specific breed.

What are the signs that my puppy may have swallowed a bone and what should I do if that happens?

If your puppy shows signs of swallowing a bone, such as vomiting, loss of appetite, or difficulty passing stools, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately. They can advise you on the best course of action and ensure your puppy’s safety.

Are there any natural alternatives to bones that I can give my puppy to chew on?

Avoid giving your puppy dog bones as they can pose risks like choking or splintering. Instead, opt for safe alternatives such as rubber and nylon chew toys rated for power chewers or frozen carrots. Your pup will love them!

The Tail End

Giving your puppy dog bones to chew on can be a beneficial activity, but it’s important to do so with caution. While puppies love chewing on things as a natural instinct, it’s crucial to choose the right types of bones and chew toys that are safe for them.

Providing appropriate chew toys can help prevent destructive chewing behaviors in puppies. It gives them an outlet for their natural instincts while saving your furniture and belongings from being destroyed. Additionally, chewing on bones or chew toys can promote dental health by reducing plaque buildup and preventing gum disease.

But it’s essential to note the risks involved in giving your puppy certain types of bones that can splinter or cause choking hazards. By following guidelines such as choosing appropriate sizes, supervising your puppy while they chew, and consulting with your veterinarian about bone safety, you can ensure a positive chewing experience for your furry friend.

Ultimately, when done responsibly with the right knowledge and precautions in place, giving your puppy dog bones or chew toys can be a rewarding experience for both you and your pet. So go ahead and provide them with safe alternatives that’ll keep their jaws strong, their minds stimulated, and their teeth clean!

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