Q:

Are Cooked Ham Bones Safe for Dogs?

A:

Quick Answer

Cooked ham bones are not safe for dogs, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Because of the ham bone's large size, pet owners often assume they are safe for a dog to chew on, but a ham bone can cause injuries to a dog, such as broken teeth.

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Meat from bones is generally safe for dogs, but the meat should be completely cleaned from the bone before being given to a dog. Discard bones in containers that are out of a dog's reach.

Bones of any size can cause mouth and tongue injuries and lower jaw damage in dogs. Ham bones can also become stuck in the esophagus, windpipe or stomach. Bones that become lodged in the stomach or intestines require emergency surgery and, if not treated, a lodged bone can result in death. Bones can also cause less-severe conditions, such as constipation, bacterial infection or rectal bleeding.

Ask a veterinarian what chew toys are safe for dogs. Store-bought rawhides are generally safe, as well as other commercial chew toys. Human food approved for dogs includes items such as cooked chicken, cheese, peanut butter, yogurt and eggs. Apple slices and oatmeal are also acceptable foods for dogs to eat.

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