Can German Shepherds Chew on Bones?

If you are a dog owner you have probably have heard people say that dogs love to chew on bones, though is it safe for a German Shepherd to chew on a bone? I decided to do some research on what kinds of bones are safe for dachshunds to chew on.

Can German Shepherds chew on bones? The safest bones you can give your German Shepherd to chew on is a natural bone chew or a synthetic bone chew. These options are safe because of the less than likely chance they will break and splinter off in your dog’s mouth.

There are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to purchasing a bone for your German Shepherd to chew on. It is important to keep in mind that these bones you decide to purchase are safe for them to digest, and will not break off in their mouth.

Is It Safe for Your German Shepherd to Chew On a Bone?

There are two types of bones you can give to your German Shepherd: edible and recreational.

Edible bones are meant to be fed to them as apart of their diet while recreational bones are meant for the chewing pleasure of your pup! Whether you want your pup to ingest his bone or simply chew on it is up to you as the owner.

Edibles are bones that hold no weight since they are hollow. An example of a few would be:

Recreational bones include:

  • Large chunks of beef or bison bones with marrow inside them
  • Knuckle bones
  • Large raw meaty bones wrapped in meat
  • Non-Weight bearing bones of deer, bison, or cows

Safe bone alternative:

With every dog comes a different chewing style, and these styles can be endless. Keeping that in mind, it is important to know that the type of bone you choose to get will need to fit best into your dog’s chewing style.

Rules to Feeding Your German Shepherd a Bone

First and foremost, the most important thing to do is follow these rules that will make the bone-chewing experience for you and your pup enjoyable!

  • Supervise your pup’s chewing. it is important to not let your dog chew on the bone while they are alone. They can bite too much of their bone and that can lead to possible choking.
  • Throw out any gnawed-down bones. If your dog is one to chew a bone down to the very core then it is best if you throw it away once it gets down to the very brittle part. Splintering can be dangerous to your pup since it can hurt their mouth and their intestines.
  • If your pup has had dental work done, keep them away from bones! You can place your pup at risk for some serious tooth breakage and dental problems if you let them chew on a bone.
  • Avoid bones with marrow if your dog has pancreatitis. Marrow can have a high amount of fat and that can cause a flare up or diarrhea in your dog.

Avoid Cooked Bones

Cooked bones are one of the biggest hazards to all dogs. Cooked bones can include some that come from table scraps, and those bones can break and splinter easily.

Breaking and splintering bones are something you do not want your dog ingesting!

Dogs that have eaten cooked bones have experienced the following symptoms:

  • Broken teeth
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Bones that are looped around the lower jaw
  • Mouth or tongue injuries
  • Peritonitis (which is a infection of the abdomen which is a direct cause of punctures in the intestines)

A few other rules to follow when concerned with the safety of your German Shepherd as they chew on bones would be the following:

  • Pork and rib bones are most likely to splinter when chewed on. Be sure to not feed them that.
  • When you choose the size of the bone for your dog make sure that it is no bigger than their head. And no longer than their muzzle.
  • (If it is larger or longer than their size, they cannot swallow the bone whole).
  • Frozen bones are also another option for any dog that may be an aggressive chewer.

Try to Avoid Store-Bought Bones

This can be a difficult rule to follow since most go to stores for their doggy needs. Though, if you care about your dog’s health a lot more than the average person than this is something you can handle.

Most store-bought bones are processed and are created to have more preservative that can make your dog sick. Some of the bone treats that can cause some illnesses in pups are:

  • Ham bones
  • Pork femur bones
  • Rib bones
  • Smokey knuckle bones

The danger behind this products are that most companies produce them by having them smoked or baked with seasonings or smoke flavorings. These add-ons have caused the following in multiple dogs:

  • Choking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Gastrointestinal blockage
  • Cuts inside the mouth or on their tonsils

Best Bones to Give Your German Shepherd

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German shepherds are large dogs and they love to chew! It is important that they are participating in healthy chewing rather than something that could potentially be harmful for them!

This breed of dog can also be prone to have some chewing habits based on their anxiety, so for your best interest and your pup’s you will want to keep the occupied with something other than your home furniture.

Natural Material Rawhide

If your pup is more of an aggressive chewer than this could be the perfect thing to keep them occupied.

This chew can be found in many different sizes and shapes, so you are able to customize what you want for your dog.

one thing great about this bone chew is that in times where your dog may need to be distracted, whether that be along car ride or a quick trip to the supermarket, you can tag the chew along.

Some might even use the chew to calm down some more anxious dogs in times where it can be a bit hectic.

Overall, this choice of chew can serve many purposes that will benefit you and your dog.

Rubber/Fetch Toys

If you are interested in something that won’t damage their mouths or cause any potential harm to them then this is a great option.

This heavy-duty rubber toy is something that can definitely stand up to your dog’s chewing habits. Especially for a German Shepherd.

One of the best things about this chew toy is that it is reusable, and can double as a toy for fetch. Let your dog get plenty of exercise, and that way you can curb their need to chew.

(Remember to get a color that is bright and stands out for the off-chance that they may ingest it).

Hard Natural Bones

An example of a natural hard bone would be antler chews! Antler chews are another perfect alternative to aggressive chewers. By giving them this it will be much more difficult for them to destroy compared to a natural rawhide.

There are plenty of flavors, sizes, and types to choose from when purchasing an antler chew for your dog.

BONUS TIPS: Is your German Shepherd a picky eater? In working with our breeder, we found our dog much preferred Royal Canin dog food over the brand we were giving her. They offer puppy food and adult food that is designed just for the German Shepherd. If you are considering a change of food, I would definitely give this one a try.

Related Questions:

Can dogs digest cooked bones? Dogs should not swallow a cooked bone since it is very dangerous for their health. Cooked bones can fragment when swallowed causing death in dogs. Raw bones are much healthier and safer for them to swallow.

How often should you give a dog a bone? You should give your dog one to two raw bones per week and you should wait a few days in between every next serving. Though, to be completely sure you can contact your vet on the exact number.

Will a bone dissolve in a dog’s stomach? Most bones do. While it is not advised for them to swallow a chicken bone since it can break and splinter within their intestine. In the end, if they do swallow a chicken bone it will dissolve over time.