Treats known as bones for dogs are not raw bones from real animals, which are actually dangerous to dogs. Instead, these are edible dog bones manufactured as hard dog chews that are simply shaped like a bone. They are better than regular treats because they last longer and provide more mental stimulation for dogs.
Table of Contents
- Raw Bones vs Chewing Bones
- What are the Benefits of Dog Bones for Chewing?
- Dog Bone Chews vs Other Dog Treats and Chews
- The Best Bones for Dogs to Chew
Raw Bones vs Chewing Bones
In the old days, it was common to throw a dog a bone. Today, we know that raw bones for dogs are extremely dangerous and unhealthy. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) have evaluated the evidence and listed all the reasons not to give dogs raw bones.
Most common potential hazards of feeding actual bones to dogs, whether cooked or not: gastrointestinal problems, vomiting, diarrhea, scratches, rectum bleeding, choking and even death. Other dog experts and vets have further confirmed that giving dogs raw bones is a bad idea, and edible bones are better.
In this article, we discuss the benefits of hard chews (edible bones safe for dogs), reasons to give them to your pooch, how they are different from other dog treats and review the best bones for dogs you can try.
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What are the Benefits of Dog Bones for Chewing?
Whether you choose to give your dog a chew toy, special treats or one of these top rated dog bones, know that they provide more than just some time of fun for your puppy or adult dog. There are real benefits.
Dog bone chews improve dental health. Experts have been saying, and studies have confirmed, that chew bones maintain healthy gums, remove tartar buildup and scrape the plaque away in dogs.
Dog chew bones stimulate the dog. Not only do doggy bone chews entertain your puppy, but they actually provide the benefits of mental stimulation, which is very important for the dog's brain.
Dog bone treats relieve teething pain. For growing puppies in particular, bone chews and special puppy toys, can help deal with the pain, urge to chew and comfort issues associated with teething.
Dog bones satisfy innate urge to chew. Regular dog food diet doesn't provide enough stimulation for the dog's jaw, thus best bones for dogs to chew on can help and prevent dog's destructive behavior.
Dog toys and dog treats aren't the only escape for an ailing dog, and chew bones may be a good solution.
Dog Bone Chews vs Other Dog Treats and Chews
There are many types of dog toys, healthy dog treats and chews. Hard dog bone chews are just one of the most popular types that pet owners choose. Here are a few other chews for dogs that you may look into:
Bully Sticks for Dogs. These are very similar to bone chews only they are rarely shaped like a bone, and they are usually softer in consistency. They're one of the best chews for a dog to give.
Dental Dog Chews. Some dog chew treats are designed specifically for dental purposes; however, there's little evidence that they work any different than most other dog chews.
Rawhide Dog Chews. Rawhide bones are much harder than either bully sticks or edible dog bones, and they're one of the favorites. However, not all rawhide chews for dogs are safe (see the link).
It highly depends on your dog which one he prefers the most. As an owner, it's best that you familiarize yourself with how all types of chews for dogs work and which ones are safe for them. Now, let's take a look at five of the best bones for dogs to chew on, and what exactly they are.
The Best Bones for Dogs to Chew
1Dog Dental Treats Chew Bones
by Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo is a well-known company that makes tons of delicious dog treats and foods. This is no exception. These treats are constructed to improve your dog’s dental health. Blue Buffalo Dog Dental Treats come in a variety of sizes: small, large, mini, and regular, and they also have regular and miniature bones for puppies. The size for the mini bones are breeds between five and fifteen pounds, so very tiny.
The large bones are good for any sized dog. The ingredients in these bones support immune system, dog's joint health, bone health, and contain no by-product chicken or poultry meals. There is also no corn or soy in these bones. The vitamins in these bones include A, C, and E, and there is also glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which help the immune system and digestive tract.
Customers raved over the taste and said their dogs went wild for it. It’s flavored with all-natural meat flavors. Other ingredients that are taste boosters include sunflower oil, natural chicken flavor, blueberries, alfalfa, potatoes, ground rice, beet juice, and vegetable glycerin. The potatoes provided carbs for energy and a vitamin E supplement was included. Dogs liked the chicken flavoring, especially since it was natural and not artificial or fake (it wouldn’t wear off as quickly).
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Blue Buffalo Dog Dental Treats are for supplemental feeding, not for mealtime; the label recommends you feed your dog one Blue Bone per day (there are 27 in the package, almost a month’s supply). The bones are not good for puppies and it is not recommended that you feed puppies them. Owners commented on how their dogs didn’t have to go to the dentist as often after starting on these bones.
The bones also increased their jaw strength and kept their gums healthy. Dogs with bad breath found that their condition, much to the relief of the owners, was improved upon and they also kept up a good dental regimen as well. The feeding portion most owners went with was one a day, no matter how much their dogs begged for more.
The treats were safer than rawhide or jerky and had natural ingredients, making them a favorite choice among owners who wanted to purchase organic food. However, many stated that these treats go fast and the bag is expensive. Think of these treats as an investment into your dog’s dental health.
2Healthy Edibles Dog Treat Bone
These gluten-free bones for dogs come in a variety of flavors that your dog will be excited by. There is no added sugar, salt or fake colors or artificial preservatives. These treats are organic and digestible. The formula works for dogs that have an already healthy digestive system.
The flavor options of Nylabone Healthy Edibles Dog Treat Bone include: lamb and apple, chicken, bacon, filet mignon, beef stew, sweet potato and turkey, and chicken. Or, if you want, you can get a variety pack for your dog. They are available in four sizes: petite, wolf, giant, and “souper.” They’re meant for dogs that already have all of their permanent teeth (so approximately six months or older).
The formula is long-lasting, so your dog will be chewing for a while (good for their teeth!) Nylabone has been in business since the 1950s, making dog chew toys and pet treats, and they are a well-established company with a good reputation. These best bones for dogs are made in America, not China.
Nylabone also work well if you are training your dog and need reinforcement for them. But be aware that you don’t feed your dog too many—you don’t want him or her to be gluttonous. Nylabone also provides treat dog toys that can be refillable as well as other chewing products that most pets love.
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Nylabone is second on the list because it isn’t for all dogs. Owners who had dogs that have a greedy appetite or that ate too fast found that their dogs became very sick after eating these bones.
Nylabone Healthy Edibles Dog Treat Bone are meant to be chewed on and digested thoroughly; otherwise, your dog is going to have digestion problems. If your dog is greedy and seems to vacuum up his or her food without swallowing, this is not the bone for him or her until their appetite and self-control is more tolerable.
If your dog is not like the aforementioned piglet, this bone may be something that they’ll really enjoy and won’t get sick from. The majority of positive reviews came from pet parents with dogs that had great self-control and would take a while to really chew the bone thoroughly.
These dogs had improved dental health and less plaque, according to their owners, as the chewing was able to keep the buildup from occurring. Owners whose dogs had bad breath also found that their pup’s condition was vastly improved from these bones.
3Nutri Dent Dog Treat Dental Bones
These dog bones are made by the same company as #2 and are for adult dogs. They are flavored with filet mignon and contain natural ingredients. The bone has little raised nubs on one half of it that rotate 360 degrees for, as the package says, “cleaning action.” It helps freshen your dog’s breath as well as clean their teeth.
There are no preservatives or fake ingredients and the bone’s nutrients are easy to digest. Clinical tests were done on the Nylabone Nutri Dent Dog Treat Dental Bones and it was found that they work more effectively than simple brushing. The power used to make the chews is also environmental; the factories are powered by sustainable solar energy. It’s also made in the USA.
This bone reduces tartar buildup and cleans like a toothbrush while still giving your dog a delicious filet mignon flavoring. The company advises that you calibrate your choice of dog bone based on your dog’s “dental strength” and the durability of his or her teeth, refraining from buying them if your dog has soft teeth condition or another dental ailment that might make this hard for him or her to chew.
We placed this NutriDent bone third because it’s hard to find in the mini-size, so owners with tiny breeds found them difficult to use because they were too big. For owners that were able to surpass the size constraints, they found that this product was durable and hard enough that it kept their dog’s teeth in fighting shape and removed plaque.
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It lasted for a long time and dogs were kept busy chewing for hours with them. They used to have a mint dog bone, but unfortunately those have been discontinued in many locations, which disappointed pet parents remarked on as a reason they couldn’t use these bones for dogs anymore.
Owners whose dogs had sensitive stomachs found that Nylabone Nutri Dent Dog Treat Dental Bones was digestible for them because it contained no corn or wheat. This dog bone chew didn’t cause allergic reactions in sensitive dogs’ skin.
Dog owners who were previously hard-pressed to find an adequate product that wouldn’t hurt their dogs’ delicate systems were excited by the way that these third best bones for dogs was made and the delicacy with which the bone handled their dog’s digestive tract.
Overall, this bone is nutritious and has plenty of benefits, but if you’re looking for the mini-size or the mint flavoring, you might be in for a long haul because people are struggling to find it.
4Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy
This doggy bone chew toy is a break from the previous digestible pet treats I've shown you above. It’s shaped like a wishbone and is naturally flavored with red bacon. The wishbone design makes it easy for dog owners who want to play tug of war with their dogs to grab a side. Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy are made in America and the increased surface area means that your dog will be able to play with it for longer, as it’s more durable.
The dog toy itself is made of nylon and the company suggests that you replace it at “the first sign of wear,” meaning deep cracks, teeth marks, structural damage and similar. This dog chew toy is for pets that are seventy pounds and under. If you have a larger dog, don’t worry—Benebone makes products for your mammoth animal too.
If anyone in your family has a nut allergy, the company advises that you don’t purchase this product because it is made in a facility that also creates products containing nuts, which brings the possibility of cross-contamination.
Dog owners and their pets loved this toy. The Benebone chew became their dog’s favorite doggy bone chew toy and it was fun to use to play tug-of-war with. Many customers who ordered one were pleased with the quality and immediately ordered more for their other pets or just as backups. One feature that was especially loved was the durability.
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Dogs that chewed on this for hours were barely able to make a dent. Nylon is an extremely strong material—it’s often used in the construction of bridges, for example—and it holds its weight against even the most aggressive chewers. Their dogs were still chewing on it months after purchasing it. One customer said that this toy was a “must-have for hyperactive dogs.”
Those dogs can do a number on toys and having something as sturdy as a Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy is definitely advisable, especially in the case of dogs that can’t control themselves. If your dog is chewing on everything you own, get this Benebone chew dog toy because it’ll finally give you a break from the constant gnawing and you’ll be able to get him or her away from your furniture.
This bone for dogs was only placed at the lower half of the list of best dog bones for dogs because the flavor didn’t have variability—there’s only one: bacon, and while most dogs love that flavor, owners who found belatedly that their dogs weren’t bacon fans were out of luck. But if your dog is a chewer who likes bacon, this is the bone for him (or her).
5Bone Dog Treat (Busy Bone)
by Purina Busy
Made by Purina, this bone for dogs comes in miniature, small, regular, and large sizes. It is a heart-shaped tube with real meat in the center. You can also get Busy Bone Dog Treat with a chicken and cheese flavoring, but most owners commented that their dogs found the real meat much tastier.
The exterior is long-lasting and the flavor from the meat seeps into it, creating a delicious taste that will keep your dog busy (hence the name “Busy Bone”). The mini size works well for smaller dogs and their “Ultimate” (large) size is for dogs that weigh over 55 pounds. If your dog has softer teeth and has issues with chewing, this bone breaks apart fairly easily. It is not to be fed to puppies and should only be given to dogs at least a year or older.
This product is fifth because the reviews were split. Some owners found that their dogs reacted badly to the bones and even got sick, while others’ dogs loved it. The vast majority of owners found that these pet treats for dogs worked great and their pets loved them. They helped clean their dogs’ teeth and keep their breath from smelling badly.
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It takes 15-20 minutes to eat, so it’s not as long-lasting as some of the other bones we showed you, but dogs seem to love the taste. Owners with older dogs that have issues chewing or aren’t able to gnaw like they did when they were younger found that their dogs were able to eat these dog treats without a problem; the exterior broke apart quickly.
A minority of customers did have problems with Busy Bone Dog Treatand found that their dogs became sick from it. This could be from the outside, which contains wheat and rice. Some dogs’ systems are not set up to digest wheat and rice, and if you’re unsure about your dog eating these, please take him or her to see the vet and see what the doctor has to say. It’s better to be safe than sorry.