If you are thinking about rewarding your dog with a bone from the pet store or a leftover bone from your steak dinner, consider the health risks. Despite popular tradition, bones can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Not only can bones make dogs sick, bones sometimes lead to life-threatening conditions.
The biggest risk arising from feeding your dog a bone is the potential for internal injuries. Swallowed bone shards can become lodged in a dog’s esophagus, creating a dangerous choking hazard, and cooked bones are prone to shattering and splintering. Ingested bone pieces can lead to intestinal blockage, which may require surgery. Bone fragments can puncture a dog’s intestines or rectum, causing life-threatening internal bleeding. The health risks associated with bones are so severe that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urges all dog owners to completely abstain from feeding bones. Plenty of safe alternatives to bones can satisfy a dog’s desire to chew without posing the same risks real bones do. Rubber chew toys and synthetic bones are safe substitutes for traditional bones.