Your dog needs constant stimulation, whether it be playing with toys, playing with you, or playing outside in the park. When your pup is home alone or you don’t have time to play with them, the best bones for dogs can be the perfect thing to keep your dog occupied. Not only do these bones ensure your dog is busy and mentally stimulated, but they can also be a great way to help your dog exercise their jaw and keep their teeth clean in a healthy and safe way. Even better, with something to chew on, they’re not going to be chewing on your furniture!
But with so many different dog bones out there on the market it can be difficult to know which one is going to be the best bone and safest bone for your dog. Do you go for a natural or synthetic bone? Does it matter? Below we have compiled a buying guide for you, answering all your questions on bones for dogs so you can pick the one that’s right for your doggo.
The Benefits Of Dog Bones
Dog bones have a wide range of benefits for your dog and if you have a pooch, you should certainly consider buying them a bone. Here are some of the main benefits.
Bones can be extremely beneficial in the dental health of your dog. No matter what bone you choose, the chewing motion of the bone helps to clean your dog’s teeth and gums and this leads to a healthier overall mouth. By chewing at the bone, any large pieces of food that are stuck in your dog’s teeth can be worn away. You can also purchase bones that have extra bristles, ensuring your dog’s teeth are really scrubbed. This helps to decrease the chances of tooth decay and gum diseases.
Bones for dogs can be a great way to keep them stimulated. When you give your dog a natural bone with meat still attached, they have to work out how to get the different tendons and ligaments off the bone, almost like a puzzle, and this helps to keep them active and engaged. Even if you decide to opt for a synthetic bone, your dog will be interacting with the feel and taste of the bone and this will help with their cognitive development. It also gives them something to do while you are away from home or you are busy and do not have time to play with them.
Your dog has a natural desire to chew. This means that if you don’t give them a bone to chew on, then they will find something else to chew on — something around your house such as your furniture! Giving them something to chew will keep your house intact and will ensure they don’t get bored and start looking for something else to chew.
Natural or raw bones can be an essential part of your dog’s diet. These bones have a lot of nutrients and minerals for your dog, including phosphorus and calcium, as well as protein. The bones that contain marrow have aded extra nutrients too. Your dog will also love the taste of these natural bones and it mimics what they would eat in the wild.
Different Types Of Bones For Dogs
There are many different types of dog bones and they all have different benefits. You will need to decide which one is going to be the best for your dog.
Raw Dog Bones
Raw dog bones reflect your dog’s ancestral diet and usually still have tendons and ligaments attached to them that your dog has to work to get off. Not only do these dog bones contain a lot of nutrient-goodness for your pup, but they also keep your dog mentally stimulated as they try to work the meat off the bone. It is recommended that you give your dog raw natural bones rather than cooked natural bones — raw bones are softer and less likely to splinter in your dog’s mouth, which can be dangerous if you are not careful. Raw bones are also more nutrient-rich than cooked bones.
Natural Bones For Dogs
Natural dog bones are perfect for pet parents who worry about the germs in raw dog bones and whether they are likely to contaminate their dog. Quality natural dog bones have been slowly cooked, almost roasted, helping to steralize them. However, as we mentioned above, this can decrease the nutrient content of the bones and also make them more prone to splintering, which can be dangerous.
Rawhide Dog Bones
Rawhide dog bones are actually not bones, but are made from other parts of the animal. They are usually made from the inner layer of the skin or hide of cattle and horses and so can still be considered a meat product. However, they can lack flavor and nutrients too, so you will want to check that the rawhide bone you purchase has been enhanced with a natural flavor and still contains a good amount of nutrients.
Dental Dog Bones
Dental dog bones are the bones you should buy if you want to keep your dog’s teeth and gums extra healthy. They help to freshen your dog’s breath as well as scrubbing at your dog’s teeth to remove food particles and generally keep your dog’s mouth cleaner. They can also be great at preventing gum disease and tooth decay.
Synthetic Dog Bones
Synthetic dog bones do not contain any meat. The most common type of artificial bone is one made of nylon. This is extremely durable and great for big chewers. These bones can mimic the exact feel and taste of real bones, but can be safer while still giving your dog something to chew on. They also don’t usually leave a residue when your dog chews on them, so can be much easier to clean up.
Healthy chews are something you should consider if your dog is not eating their regular food properly and you are worried they are not getting a sufficient diet. These healthy chews are enriched with nutrients and give your dog a fun way to get all the essential goodness they need.
Chew toys are designed for those dogs who love to chew. These toys are normally very durable and will last a lot of chewing by the biggest of dogs with a powerful chew! These chew toys last longer than your regular bone and are much less likely to break, ensuring they are the safer option.
Natural Vs. Synthetic Bones For Dogs
Whether you go for a natural or a synthetic bone is really up to you as a pet owner. We have listed the types of bones above and their benefits and it is your decision whether you choose natural or synthetic.
A natural bone chew is going to replicate the diet your dog’s ancestors ate a lot more closely and gives them great nutrients from the ligaments and tendons that may still be attached to the bone. This also give them something to “do”, working at the bone to get all the remaining meat off and keeping them stimulated.
A synthetic bone is the safer option if you are worried about germs or the bone splintering. Your dog can chew away without getting hurt and there is a lot less debris left when they are finished. However, these synthetic bone chews don’t have the same nutritional value as natural bones and have been known to contain artificial flavorings. You will need to check the packaging of the chew you buy to ensure it is healthy for your dog.
No matter what bone you go for, it is important that your dog is chewing something because this can have great effects on their overall health.
Things To Consider When Buying Bones For Dogs
There are a few things to consider when buying a dog bone to ensure your dog gets the most out of their bone.
First of all, you want your bone to be durable. As we mentioned above, dogs are natural chewers and a bone is going to be useless if it breaks very easily. This is especially important if your dog is a big chewer or has a large jaw on them. Synthetic bones are much less likely to break than natural bones. However, if you want to go for a natural bone, raw dog bones are better than cooked dog bones, because they are less brittle and less likely to splinter, which can cause harm to your dog if they swallow the splintered pieces. You should also look for bones from strong animals, such as cows.
The bone size that you choose directly relates to your dog’s size. If you have a small dog or a puppy, they will need a smaller bone because they have smaller mouths. Similarly, if you have a larger dog, they will need a larger bone. If you buy a small bone for a large dog they could actually risk swallowing it, so it is always better to go for a larger bone if you are in doubt.
As we said above, natural bones are far more nutritious than synthetic bones because they come from animals. Bones with marrow in are extra nutritious, because this is the part of the bone where the nutritional ingredients are held.
You want to be sure that you buy a bone made of natural ingredients, especially if you are buying a synthetic bone. This will ensure your dog is not exposed to any artificial ingredients which can be unhealthy for them.
Synthetic bones are often flavored to interest your dog in them. They can be flavored with your dog’s favorite, such as bacon, chicken and beef. This will ensure your dog continues to chew on the bone and they don’t decide to give up and chew on the furniture instead! You will want to make sure that these flavorings are natural and not artificial, to ensure they are healthy for your pup.
If you’re ready to find the perfect bone to keep your dog occupied, take a look at the list of the most popular dog bones below. They are all available on Amazon.
The Best Bones For Dogs Reviewed
The interesting wishbone design of this Benebone dog bone ensures that your dog can easily pick the bone up and get chewing. This dog chew is made from nylon and not designed to be eaten, but it comes with a bacon flavor made from 100% real food ingredients to ensure it is completely safe for your pup. Even better, all the ingredients come from the USA so you can buy without worry. This bone is hard and designed for dogs who chew a lot, although Benebone still recommends replacing it when it has been considerably chewed.
This medium sized chew is designed for dogs under 60 lbs, but there is also the option to buy a smaller or larger version of this bone to accommodate your dog. It also comes in a peanut and chicken flavor.
The K9 Connoisseur bones are made from one ingredient — free range, grass-fed cattle from the USA. This means there are no hard to pronounce ingredients or any questionable sourcing and these bones are produced with human grade food standards to ensure your dog gets only the best. These bones are nutrient packed and filled with marrow and also hickory smoked to lock in the flavor of the bits of meat hanging off the bone. This pack of six bones should last your pup a while as they are very dense and thick and stand up to even the most aggressive chewers.
They are also odor-free, ensuring your dog can chew this next to you without you being put off by the smell. These bones are designed for dogs up to 50 lbs. If you need more than six of these bones or have a multi-pup household, they also come in packs of twelve.
Designed for dogs between 45-70 lbs, this Devil Dog Pet Co elk antler bone is ideal for breeds such as German Shepherds, Labradors and Golden Retrievers. These elk antlers are organic, non-synthetic, all-natural, clean and odorless, giving them an edge to rawhide bones and other natural dog bones. These elk antlers are also long lasting and great quality, making them perfect for very aggressive chewers. They do not splinter so there is no possibility of them harming your dog, and they also help to remove tartar from your dog’s teeth as they chew.
The bone is also very nutrient dense and wild sourced from the grounds of the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. This particular elk antler is 6 inches long, but if you have a smaller or larger dog you can buy a bone that is proportioned to their size.
The Dog Treat Outlet rawhide bones are made solely from beef rawhide, which is the inner layer of the hide of a cow. They are very thick and long-lasting, making them perfect for aggressive chewers or dogs that chew everything. These bones are very safe, made with one ingredient and without any fillers or added by-products. Made in the USA, the rawhide is cut then shaped and then dried, before it is smoked and packed ensuring there is nothing added that could harm your dog in the process.
These bones come in packs of three and there are three sizes to choose from — small, medium and large — based on your dog’s size and weight. The medium size gives bones that are roughly eight to nine inches long.
The Jack&Pup Beef Shin Bone are first roasted and then naturally smoked along with pieces of tendon and meat to enhance their flavor and provide a savory treat for your doggo. 100% natural and healthy, these bones are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium and manganese. They help to boost energy and help to maintain a healthy body and immune system.
These bones are also full of calcium rich marrow and they are very strong and thick, especially great if your dog is a very strong chewer. Sourced from grass fed, free range cattle, and raised without any added hormones or antibiotics, this bones are 100% digestible and safe without any additives or artificial ingredients and very protein-rich. In this pack you get three 11 inch bones, perfect for medium to large dogs.
This nylon dog chew toy from EETOYS comes in a beef flavor and is shaped just like a real bone. Although it is made from nylon, it is very safe and non-toxic for your dog — they will be able to chip off small pieces and may swallow them but they will pass safely. The patented “Smooth Scrape Technology” process that this bone goes through makes the polymer material extra firm and durable, ensuring it is not brittle and doesn’t break when chewed on. This means that the bone is designed for the most aggressive chewers as it is tough to destroy but easy on your dog’s teeth.
This bone also helps with dental hygiene and controls plaque and tartar, effectively cleaning teeth to promote oral health and soothing discomfort from teething. These bones come in a range of other flavors too, including lemon, and there are different sizes based on your dog’s size and age. EETOYS recommend you pick a size larger than the width of your dog’s mouth and proper supervision is advised.
Made from a natural black rubber formula, the KONG Extreme Goodie Bone is created to be tough and durable for power chewing dogs. If your dog is one that chews everything in sight, this KONG bone might be right for them as it gives them something difficult to chew. With patented Goodie Grippers that turn this entertaining toy into a fun treat dispensing challenge that can be stuffed with your dog’s favorite kibble or dog food, your dog will be kept entertained for a long time, encouraging mental stimulation and interactive play.
This will help them stay engaged even when you can’t play with them but they won’t resort to chewing your furniture. This bone comes in two sizes — medium, for dogs size 15-35 lbs, and large, for dogs size 30-65 lbs. It is made in the USA with globally sourced materials.
With the Pet Parents Gnawtlers, you will receive one elk antler for medium sized dogs between 20-40 lbs, such as Beagles, Bulldogs and Dachshunds. The length of the medium Gnawtler elk antlers is 4.5-5 inches, making it a great choice for aggressive chewers or large breed dogs when they are teething. These antler bones are packed with calcium, phosphorus, manganese and zinc, so perfect bone marrow dog treats. Gnawtlers elk antler chews have no odor, no mess and the gnawing won’t leave residue or coloring behind, making them great for indoors and outdoors.
The bones are also great for dental hygiene as the gnawing removes the build up of plaque. The antlers go through a very rigorous selection process before being chosen, making sure their weight and density is right. This means you can buy in confidence that they are safe and of high-quality. Even better, these bones arrived vacuumed packed, eliminating the risk of them becoming contaminated during the shipping process. They also come in three other sizes.
This Purina Busy Bone Mini dog chew is designed for small dogs, giving them something tasty and chewy to keep them occupied. These chews are 100% rawhide free and have a center made from real pork. They are long-lasting, keeping your pup entertained, although they should only be fed as a treat to your dog and, based on their size, shouldn’t be fed more than a certain amount every day, as set out on the back of the packet. They also help to keep your dog’s teeth clean.
Made in Purina-owned facilities in the USA, there are no artificial flavors or colors in these chews so you can buy with confidence that they are safe for your doggo. They also come in a small/medium size as well as a tiny size, and you can buy them in different pack sizes based on how many dogs you have at home.
The Fido Belly dog bones are mini treats designed for dogs weighing between 4-18 lbs. Each pack contains 100 treats with a unique v-groove design that is not only easy to hold but massages gums and cleans teeth as your dog eats them. These bones are yoghurt flavored and are made with prebiotic and probiotic to help support a healthy digestive system and live cultures found in yoghurt to reduce plaque and tartar formation. They are made in the USA and contain only natural ingredients, including antioxidants, omega fatty acids and essential amino acids that are easily digestible and highly palatable.
They will keep your dog entertained and can be given as a treat or as a reward in training. These treats also come in different pack sizes and are available in small, medium and large sizes too, based on your dog’s size.
The Nylabone Dura Chew is a textured dog chew bone with raised bristles that, during chewing, help clean teeth and control plaque and tartar build up, ensuring great teeth and gum health for your pup. The extra strong bone is made from durable nylon and is designed to satisfy powerful chewers, providing long-lasting enjoyment and encouraging positive chewing habits. If you are worried your dog is too much of a strong chewer that other bones do not work, then this bone may be worth trying.
The dog chew is bacon flavored for a taste your dog will love and it is made for large dogs over 50 lbs. There are other versions of this dog chew available in different chew strengths and sizes, based on your dog’s personal needs. They are all made in the USA.
These large bones from Blue Buffalo are dental chews that help clean teeth, freshen breath and maintain healthy teeth and gums. Made for large dogs over 50 lbs, this jumbo pack includes 24 bones. It is advised you give your dog one bone a day to help keep up with their dental health. These natural dog treats are enhanced with added minerals and they don’t contain any chicken or poultry by-product meals and are free from corn, wheat and soy. Plus, they’re free from artificial preservatives and colors like red dye 40.
The shape of them make them easy to chew and included is parsley to help freshen breath and peas and blueberries to aid in gentle digestion. There are also mini, small and regular bones available in different amounts, perfect for a multi-pet household.
The Deluxe Naturals elk antlers come from brown elks and are naturally shed, meaning there is no harm caused to the elks that these chews come from. These bones are designed for dogs sized between 30 to 70 lbs, such as Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers. They are a good choice for moderate to aggressive chewers and each pack has at least 1 lb of elk antler included. The antlers are an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus and protein for dogs, with crude protein at 38%, calcium at 18% and phosphorous at 9. 9%.
They are also low in crude fat and calories. All these elements are great for your dog’s bones and teeth and the chewing motion on the uneven texture of the antler helps with general dental health. A product from the USA, the antlers are natural and full of nutrition with no growth hormones, antibiotics or preservatives. They are also odor-free, long lasting and do not make a mess.
The Nylabone Healthy Edibles dog bones are fully digestible bones that are long-lasting for dogs up to 25 lbs. These healthy and natural dog bones come in a bacon flavor your dog will love and they are made with vitamins and minerals to promote a healthy lifestyle. There is also pea protein present to promote a healthy heart. They contain no added salt, artificial preservatives or artificial colors and are made in the USA so you can be sure they are safe.
Because these bones last a long time they are perfect for keeping your dog entertained when you are out and they can also help to clean their teeth. It is advised you feed them up to one a day. They are also available in lots of different flavors, such as peanut butter, roast beef, chicken and filet mignon, and come in mini, petite and regular sizes based on your dog’s size.
The Pet ‘n Shape beef bone is sourced and made in the USA, guaranteeing a safe and healthy chew for your pup. Each bone is roasted to ensure optimal quality and flavor and they contain no artificial additives, colors, or preservatives and contain no wheat, corn, and soy. Perfect for medium to large-sized dogs, these bones are a great treat that can help clean teeth and exercise jaw muscles, keeping your dog entertained while you are out and stops them from chewing other things around the house.
Each bone is completely digestible and ensures your dog a lot of nutrients and protein, too. These bones come in different pack sizes, up to six bones per pack, and there are also options available for smaller or larger dogs who will need different sized bones for safety.
The same as the Purina Busy Bone Mini treats we mentioned above, these treats come in double the amount — perfect if you have lots of dogs at home. These treats are sized for small dogs, giving them the perfect treat they can manage. With a meaty center made from real pork, your dog won’t just love the taste but the shape of the bone chew will keep them entertained too, giving them something to chew other than your furniture! These chews are long-lasting with a firm texture and help to keep your dog’s teeth clean.
They are made in the USA and are therefore very safe for your dog, without any artificial colors or flavors. They are also rawhide free. These chews should only be given to your dog as a treat as a supplement to their daily diet, and can be used as a reward in training too.
These Pawstruck bones are made from white femur bones, approximately 5 to 6 inches long, that have been hollowed out for a tasty filling. In this variety pack there is one peanut butter filling, one cheese and bacon filling and one beef filling. The bone is slowly roasted to lock in the natural meaty and smoked flavor, giving your dog something they can chew on to keep them occupied for hours. These bones are perfect for helping clean teeth and ensuring good dental health, as well as removing plaque and tartar, and they are made in the USA with high-quality ingredients.
You can buy these bones in large packs — anywhere from 3 bones a pack to 50 bones based on how many pups you are feeding — and you can by a multi-pack or just one specific filling. They are also available in both large and small sizes based on the size of your dog.
The Pet Qwerks Dinosaur BarkBone is made from pure FDA approved nylon, ensuring it is 100% safe for your dog, and real bacon, giving your dog a great taste that they will love. Although this bone is not-edible, it is completely non-toxic and will not harm your dog if they swallow small granules. This bone is designed to keep your dog occupied for hours, relieving boredom, mentally stimulating them and discouraging destructive behavior. This long-lasting bone is great for heavy chewers and helps to clean your dog’s teeth as they chew and massages their gums to ensure there is no build up of food.
It is also a unique shape that makes it easy for your dog to pick up. Recommended for big dogs up to 50 lbs, this bone is large, but there are even bigger bones available for bigger dogs. Even better, it is also safe to clean in the dishwasher.
Dog Bone FAQ’s
Are dog bones safe?
Yes, dog bones are safe, but you should always take into consideration your dog’s size and needs when purchasing one. You don’t want the bone to be too small that they choke on it and it should never be too soft that they could bite and break it easily. If your dog is an aggressive chewer, you will want to look for a very tough bone. Remember, raw bones are a lot less prone to splintering than cooked bones, so these can be a lot safer. It has been recommended that you supervise your dog when they play with their bone so you can remove any parts that break off. You should also not give your dog any left over bones such as chicken or lamb bones because these can splinter very easily.
How often should I give my dog a bone?
This depends on how quickly your dog can get through a bone. Some dogs can take weeks to get through a bone, whereas others can only take a day. Dogs can eat raw bones, so you won’t want to give them to them very often because of the calories. Experts suggest one to two raw bones a week, with another synthetic bone to keep them going at other times.
How do I clean a dog bone?
For a synthetic bone, you can simply run them under warm water and use a little brush to get the dirt and bacteria off. It is a little more difficult for a natural or raw bone and, if they start to look dirty, you should probably replace them. You should also replace these when there are a lot of holes in the bone, because this is somewhere where bacteria can breed quite heavily.
If you want to keep your pup occupied and mentally stimulated, a dog bone might just be the thing. Whether you’re looking for a synthetic bone that they can chew on or a raw bone to add to their diet, these bones are a great way to ensure your dog isn’t bored and doesn’t chew the furniture, while also helping to keep your dog’s teeth and gums clean. With so many different types of bones and flavors out there, you will be sure to find one that your dog will love. Just remember to take into consideration your dog’s breed when purchasing a bone, making sure the bone is the right size so they cannot swallow it or any splintered parts.