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Why Do Dogs Like Bones? Are They Good for Dogs?

Bones are tasty to chew and contain bone marrow, a highly nutritious treat for dogs. They also help dogs maintain proper oral health.

One of the most recognized pictures in the world is a dog holding a bone between its teeth. If you own a dog, you must be aware of how much dogs love chewing bones. Dogs bite almost anything they can get their mouths to. These canines love chewing on things that are tough and enjoy their chewing time a lot.

Dogs love chewing bones the most. Give a dog a bone, and it will be busy for a long while. But why is there such a strong bond between dogs and bones?

This article explains why dogs love bones and whether bones are good for them.

Why Do Dogs Like to Chew on Bones?

Dogs like bones because they are fun to chew, nutritious, strengthen their jaws, and remove plaque from teeth.

Dogs are active animals. They love interacting with their owners, engaging in playtimes, or keeping themselves busy. One way of doing that is by chewing on bones.

Dogs like bones for several reasons:

  • They are fun to chew and play with.
  • They help dogs maintain oral care.
  • They contain nutrients that keep dogs healthy.

Most importantly, it serves as a form of exercise and helps them relieve excess energy. 

Bones are tough and sturdy, which makes them ideal chew toys for dogs. Pups also chew on hard substances to relieve teething pain. 

Chewing bones is in their instincts. Wolves, dogs’ ancestors, are pack animals that hunt for food. These animals surround their prey and tear apart their bodies. These wild canines would then eat the meat and bones of their prey.

Wild canines still practice this, and dogs have inherited this instinct from their wild ancestors. They have a natural soft place in their hearts for bones.

Apart from the pleasure of chewing bones, dogs get several nutrients from bones.

Why Do Dogs Like to Chew on Bones

5 Reasons Why Dogs Like Bones

There are several reasons why dogs like bones. Bones are full of the bone marrow, which is an excellent source of proteins. They are also great to chew toys and provide an interesting activity for dogs.

Dogs love chewing on things. It is in their nature to chew bones. Young pups chew on bones to find comfort when teething. Adult dogs chew bones for many other reasons.

Bone Marrow

Bones contain ample amounts of macronutrients such as calcium[1] which help keep dogs healthy and fit. Bones also contain bone marrow which is like an energy bar for dogs. It is a delicious substance that is full of nutrition.

Bone marrow is the blood-producing part of the body. Dogs love eating bone marrow as it is an excellent source of fat and protein.

Bone Marrow

Dental Care and Jaw Strength

Dogs love chewing on things. Chewing bones help them maintain proper dental care. It reduces plaque buildup in their teeth. Bones also scrape against dogs’ teeth to remove residual food.

If your dog has discolored teeth or plaque, you can give them a bone and let them chew on it. It also helps produce saliva in dogs which is good for their gums and teeth.

Chewing also helps strengthen the jaws of dogs. Biting on tough things is great for dogs as it makes their jaw muscles sturdier and stronger.

Dental Care and Jaw Strength


Exercising stimulates the production of endorphins[2]. These are hormones that relieve pain and make you happy. Chewing is a form of exercise for dogs that releases endorphins. Dogs can relieve stress and depression via this activity.

In the absence of a bone, a dog will chew anything to keep its mind occupied. You should train your dog to only chew bones or chew toys when they are bored.

Meat Bits

Giving raw bones to your dog for chewing helps them enjoy the delicious small pieces of meat attached to the bones. Dogs love chewing bones as they receive the rewards of fresh meat along with the bones.

Meat is rich in protein and is a vital nutrient required by dogs. You can give your dog a femur that is covered with meat so they can enjoy the pleasures of chewing a bone and eating meat together.

Meat Bits

A Form of Exercise

Chewing is a form of exercise. It keeps them busy and helps them relieve excess energy. Dogs require plenty of playtime to keep them satisfied.

Chewing bones is a great way for dogs to pass the time and remain occupied. You should give your dog a bone to let them burn some calories and get some nutrition while doing so.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Like Bones?

All dogs like bones. Chewing bones is a fun and interesting activity for them. It keeps them busy and provides various nutrients that dogs require to remain healthy.

It is completely normal for dogs to like bones. This is a trait they inherited from wolves. Dogs like bones as it provides them with proteins and fats. They also love chewing bones as it is a fun activity for them.

You can give a dog a bone and chances are they will chew on it for a long time.

Dogs also love burying bones to save them for later. This is a trait dogs have inherited from their ancestors. Burying valuable things helps hide them from prying eyes. The ancestors of dogs relied on burying to survive in the wild.

Are There Any Health Risks of Bones for Dogs?

Yes, there are some health risks associated with chewing bones. The biggest concern is that dogs can break the bone and choke on it.

Dogs and bones go hand in hand. But are bones safe for dogs?

Yes, as long as you take certain precautions:

  • Never give tiny pieces of bones to dogs as they can be a choking risk.
  • You should avoid giving your dog rib and pork bones as they are soft and easily breakable.
  • Always give your dog raw bones.
  • Cooked bones are soft, and dogs can break them with a single bite.
  • Giving bones that are too big can hurt your dog’s jaw.
  • You should discard the bones after a couple of days as they can lead to bacterial infections.
Are There Any Health Risks of Bones for Dogs

What Type of Bones Are Safe for Dogs?

Big and strong bones can be given to dogs. Bones that are too small or too soft can pose a choking hazard and should be avoided.

You should give your dog bones to chew as dogs love them and enjoy them a lot. There are certain types of bones that you should avoid though.

Pork bones and rib bones are soft and small and should not be given to dogs. Dogs can easily bite their way through these bones and can choke on them.

You should give your dog bones that are slightly larger than their mouths but not too large.

Here are some of the different types of bones that are good for dogs:

  • Chicken necks
  • Turkey necks
  • Lamb’s necks
  • Pork ears
  • Femurs [3]
  • Marrow bones
  • Beef Knuckles

Alternatively, you can also give them tendons, bully sticks, antlers, and chew toys.


Dogs love chewing bones. They are a source of fats and proteins. Chewing bones also helps them relieve stress and makes them happier.

You should give your dogs bones that are big and tough to reduce the chances of your dog breaking the bone and choking on it.

If your dog is choking on bones, you should take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.


Can You Give Dogs Small Bones?

No, small bones are a potential choking risk and can be hazardous for dogs. You should only give your dog bones that are bigger than their mouth and tough so that the dogs can enjoy them without choking.

Why Do Dogs Like to Bury Bones?

Dogs bury bones so they can save them for later. Dogs have a strong instinct to bury precious things to hide them from others. Even if you don’t have a yard, your dog will still try to bury it under the rug or in their bed.

Why Do Dogs Like to Chew Bones?

Chewing bones is a great form of exercise for dogs. Dogs love chewing bones as it helps them release endorphins and makes them happy.

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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