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Can dogs eat bones?

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Quick Answer

Not all dogs can eat bones. Certain breeds of dogs can't process bones because of the structure of their jawbones, which limits them from gaining the benefits other bone-chewing dogs get from bones.

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Full Answer

If you have a dog, such as a boxer, bulldog, pug or Shih Tzu, you have what is called a brachiocephalic breed. Brachiocephalic breeds are breeds that simply aren't made to chew bones effectively and safely. Instead of feeding them bones, rawhides, jerkies and chew toys are safer alternatives.

If your dog isn't a brachiocephalic breed, then he can eat bones. It is important to make sure that the bones you are feeding your dogs are the correct size for them. Feeding your dog a bone that is too small for him increases the risk of him swallowing it whole, which can lead to choking or digestive problems. You shouldn't feed your dog a bone that is smaller than his muzzle. An example of a properly-sized bone for a larger breed is a beef shank bone.

As with giving your dog any kind of bone or chew toy, it's important that you supervise him while he is chewing on or playing with it. Proper supervision limits the chances of your dog choking or getting hurt during playtime.

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