This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.
Can my dog eat bones?
Dogs and bones have always seemed to go together. But as any vet can tell you, the reality is that feeding dogs animal bones can cause them serious harm.
Bones can splinter into small pieces that can be sharp and jagged, causing damage to the dog's mouth, throat, and digestive tract. Small bone fragments can also become lodged in the intestines or stomach, leading to blockages that require emergency veterinary care.
Cooked bones pose an even greater risk to your pup than raw ones, since cooking makes bones more brittle and prone to splitting apart. Cooked chicken bones are particularly dangerous, as they tend to shatter easily when chewed.
The bottom line: It's never advisable to feed dogs any type of bone, whether raw or cooked. Instead, look for healthy treats from reputable brands that have been designed specifically for canine consumption. These will provide nutritional value while keeping your dog safe from health complications.
If your dog ate a raw or cooked bone and is showing signs of illness, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. If they require veterinary care related to eating any unsafe foods, pet insurance may help cover the cost of treatment.
It is unsafe for cats to eat bones, as they can cause serious harm to their digestive system. Bones are a choking hazard that may get stuck in a cat's throat and block their airway. Moreover, chewed bones can be rigid and sharp and may puncture your cat's mouth or stomach lining when swallowed. Cooked bones are even more dangerous than raw bones, because they're even more likely to splinter into tiny pieces when cats chew them.
The shards of brittle bone fragments often become lodged in the esophagus, causing breathing difficulties and other life-threatening conditions.
If your cat eats a raw or cooked bone and is showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. If they require veterinary care related to eating unsafe foods, pet insurance may help cover the cost of treatment.
The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian.
Pet Poison Emergency Protocol
If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).