Pet owners know that dogs need constant stimulation. Special dog treats and most dog chews are perfect for active chewers that will keep them busy, mentally stimulated and their jaws exercised. In specific cases, some of these best bones for dogs may be the most optimal option. So when do they need dog bone treats, and how are they different from other chews?
Keep in mind that treats known as bones for dogs are not raw bones from real animals, which are dangerous to dogs. Instead, these are edible dog bones manufactured as hard dog chews that are simply shaped like a bone, and there are some good quality ones as well as not so good.
Why you shouldn't give your dog raw bones
In the old days, it was very common to throw a dog a bone. Today, we know that raw bones for dogs are extremely dangerous and unhealthy. Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) and Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) have evaluated the evidence and provided good reasons not to give dogs raw bones.
There are many potential hazards for dogs from feeding raw bones, 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, I will further review the benefits of hard chews, reasons to give any of these best bones for dogs to chew on, and how they are different from many other dog treats. Here's a brief look at the top five best dog bones we'll review below:
|Bones for Dogs||Price||Quality||Rating|
|BLUE Dental Bones Chew||$$$||A|
|Nylabone Healthy Edibles||$$$||A-|
|Nutri Dent Adult Chicken||$$$||A-|
|Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew||$$||B+|
|Purina Busy Bone Mini Dog Treats||$||B+|
* Click on the best bones for dogs brand for more information and prices, or scroll down below for more details and reviews.
What are the benefits of the best bones for dogs?
Whether you choose to give your dog a chew toy, special treats or one of these best bones for dogs, 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.
What are the Best Bones for Dogs to Chew?
2018's top 5 best dog bones for active chewers
1 Dog Dental Treats
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.
WHY IS IT AT #1? 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).
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.
Dog bone chew reviews from pet owners: “When Bear arrived 3+ years ago, I was a new dog Mom. I started using Blue Bones dental chews immediately to entice Bear into his crate at night. I have been pleased that these seem to be…”
2 Healthy 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.
WHY IS IT AT #2? 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.
Dog bone chew reviews from pet owners: “Let me start by describing who these chews were for: I have a 13 week old, 20 pound female Rottweiler who is playful and a chewer! (As most puppies are) The hard puppy Nylabone wasn't…”
3 Nutri 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.
WHY IS IT AT #3? 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.
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.
Dog bone chew reviews from pet owners: “I have a 3.5 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She's about 19 pounds. I got her from a rescue, and at first she wasn't too certain about chews. She had no idea what to do with a…”
4 Bacon 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.
WHY IS IT AT #4? 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.
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).
Dog bone chew reviews from pet owners: “I have a 1 yr old GSD/Black Lab mix and a 10 month old pure GSD. Until a couple of months ago when I bought 2 of these bones my dogs were only interested in deer antlers. They have a…”
5 Bone Dog Treat
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.
WHY IS IT AT #5? 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.
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 Treat and 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.
Dog bone chew reviews from pet owners: “Please be careful. Google search this product and read of some of the dangers before giving to your pets. Busy Bone received so many positive marks on Amazon that I was surprised to see…”
5 Best Cheap Dog Bone Chews as Alternatives
The above list of five best bones for dogs has some of the most popular bone chews that pet owners found to work best for majority of dogs of all sizes, breeds and ages. They've been found to last the longest and have an appealing flavor to dogs, while also being safe. However, not all of them will fit every dog.
I've researched and found five other best chew bones for dogs that may be a better fit for your dog. These don't necessarily fall completely under the name “bone” but they are perfect chews for dogs that accomplish the exact same thing as the above mentioned best bones for dogs. I recommend reading the reviews first:
6. Nylabone Healthy Edibles Petite Filet Mignon
7. Zuke's Z-Bones Dog Dental Chews
8. SmartBones Peanut Butter Dog Chew
9. Redbarn Filled Bone Peanut Butter
10. Purina DentaLife Daily Oral Care
Remember to consult with your veterinarian before you give your dog anything edible, like bone chews, treats or even toys. All dogs are different and some may not react to new things as well as others.
What Makes the Best Bones for Dogs to Chew?
For those of us with chewers for dogs, we know how much our pups love their favorite bones. They drool over them—literally—and are always chewing on their dog bones and enjoying their favorite bones with relish. However, these bones for dogs aren’t just delicious and fun, they’re also good for our dogs’ teeth and health (if you purchase the right ones). I'll show you a list of the top five best bones for dogs that are healthy and beneficial.
There are risks associated with giving your dog bones from the table versus giving them bones from food you eat. The FDA and many veterinarians are among the loudest voices who advocate that we don’t feed our dogs bones from cooked meat. The reasons are plentiful.
Note that the difference between the bones for dogs I'll show you below and the dog bones being warned against is the quality of them. Bones pulled from the butcher’s block or a hunk of meat are very different than bone dental chews for canines.
What Are Dog Bones and Why Our Dogs Need Them?
Bones that come from a hunk of meat can splinter. When pulled from their source, they can shatter. They’re not meant to be eaten—remember, bones can be broken in live animals, and in dead ones, they can still break just the same. No one’s bones are indestructible, neither humans (look at Derrick Rose, for example) nor animals.
Bones from meat which you're not supposed to give to your dogs can shatter and block your dog’s digestive tract, causing severe gastrointestinal harm. The sharp edges can lead to lacerations in your dog’s mouth, throat, and tonsils. Bleeding from the rectal area, vomiting, diarrhea, and choking are other hazards of feeding your dog a bone torn from a hunk of meat. Eight dogs die per year of choking to death on a bone—that’s eight too many. Other hazards revolve around illnesses.
Dog food poisoning, as the unlucky among us know, is a really, really unpleasant thing to go through. The FDA received many reports from veterinarians of dogs suffering illnesses from meat bones. The butcher bones packaged for sale as doggy treats are no better; remnants of bacteria and food-borne illnesses can still be lurking on the surface of the bone. There was a study done on that.
Pigs’ ears for dogs, another favorite of pet owners, don’t have any dental benefit for dogs and have also been found to be contaminated with germs and bacteria as well. Also, if your dog is an aggressive chewer, he or she might gnaw through the ear and cause it to break into pieces. These best bones for dogs aren’t meant to be digested like certain regular dog treats and their ingestion can lead to serious stomach problems in dogs.
I'm not telling you these facts to terrify you, but so that you’re aware and don’t make a costly mistake for yourself and your pooch. Luckily, there are some best bones for dogs you can buy for your Fido that aren’t from the butcher’s shop. They’re flavored with meat and formulated to help your dog’s teeth. Many also have vitamins and nutrients necessary for dogs in them that help your pet’s immune system and internal dog health.
Dogs, especially adult dogs or dogs that lead an active lifestyle, need to make sure that they’re keeping up their nutrient count and are staying in shape. In the list of best bones for dogs below, we’ve analyzed and researched the various aspects and characteristics of these dog bones we’re advising you on.
We’ve read customer views on Amazon and other online retailers thoroughly and listened to what people had to say—likes, dislikes, advantages and disadvantages of these bones for dogs. The list below contains our top five picks for the best bones for dogs currently available on the market. Some are from the same doggy bones brand, others are different.
How to Select the Best Bones for Dogs
Choose the best bone for your dog based on their habits and their breed size. Often, dog bones are marketed for certain types of breeds so that the dog doesn’t feel overwhelmed or overstretched by the bone.
Choose a bone that has no preservatives, artificial flavorings, artificial substances, or dyes. These fake synthetic ingredients can harm your dog’s health and should not be present in an item that he or she will be snacking on throughout the day.
Your dog’s gum and teeth health should be a main driver in getting your dog the bone he or she needs. Dogs can suffer from dog gum disease and tooth decay like humans, and bones (as well as professional cleanings) can help upkeep your dog’s dental health. Studies have shown that dogs who are active chewers have less plaque build-up than dogs who don’t chew regularly.
Dental treats, in some dogs’ cases, reduced their dental disease probability by 70%. The reduction of plaque will improve your dog’s breath and keep him or her from getting “dog breath.” Bad breath comes from a buildup of bacteria in the mouth and chewing helps break up that bacteria and get air flow in there to prevent the dog breath.
Oral problems that dogs can suffer from are akin to those of humans: bad breath, food buildup, plaque, gum disease, pain, and tooth loss. All of these problems can also be improved upon or prevented by proper dog care and if the help of best bones for dogs. If your dog has bad breath or yellowed teeth, consider getting him or her chewing bones to help the dental care.
However, you’re going to also want to make sure that you take him or her to the vet to check if there’s any underlying issue that could be causing their teeth problems. Doggie bones can greatly help your pup if they’re bought correctly.
Dogs like chewing and those that don’t might find themselves more amenable to the idea if you get them something flavored in a taste they enjoy. Choose a bone flavored with something that your dog likes or has been proven to like. That way, they’ll look forward to it and will take up the chewing happily.
If you have a dog that already chews on everything, these bones will help get them away from your furniture and onto chewing in a more productive way. Read our list above to make sure that you know the facts and the product aspects of the recommendations we’ve give you.