Can Dogs Eat Cooked Bones?

We all know the phrase 'give a dog a bone' and whilst there are health benefits to doing so, there are a couple of things to remember.

Can dogs have cooked bones? Absolutely not. You can't give cooked bones to dogs. They become brittle and would easily damage the gastrointestinal tract if it splintered or breaks into shards.

can dogs eat cooked bones


  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Choking
  • Constipation
  • Damage to the gastrointestinal tract
  • Generally uncomfortable
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

So what bones can dogs have? Raw bones, for dogs, are the only option. In terms of what animal, dogs can have lamb bones, chicken, turkey or beef.

Raw meaty bones have several health benefits for your dog, including:

  • Keep dog's gums and teeth clean
  • Cleanse your dog's digestive tract
  • Extra nutrition

Despite this, it's best to monitor your dog chewing on this delicious treat, to make sure they are safe. Even raw, there are risks, such as:

  • Large 'round' bones can result in broken teeth, infections of the tooth root and abscesses.
  • Raw food can contain food-borne pathogens, like salmonella. If you bring home raw food, it's a potential hazard (for humans or pets that take certain medications/are ill/immunosuppressed, it's even more important to be careful)
  • Preservatives, like sulphite, can be found in pre-packaged meat products. These can be fatal for your dog.

If you're feeding your dog raw food, make sure it's human-grade. Any meat with preservatives is not safe for your dog to eat. It always needs to be an appropriate size for your dog. The bone should roughly be the size of your pet's head. 

If it's too big or small, there are potential risks. For example, if it's too easy to break into chunks, it's a massive choking hazard. It's also painful for dogs suffering from any digestive upset or damage caused by these pieces. 

can dogs have cooked bones raw bones dogs

Top Tips:

  • Source from your local butchers to ensure you give your dog high-quality meat with no preservatives. 
  • Get advice from your vet before feeding raw food to make sure you are giving the appropriate size/portion to your dog. If your dog has eaten cooked bones, then you need to contact them in case your dog has digestive damage.
  • Where do the nutrients come from? The majority come from the meat, cartilage, fat and connective tissue. It's not the actual bone that's providing most of the minerals. 

Treatment Plan

Monitor - If your dog has eaten cooked bones, keep an eye on them to see if symptoms appear. The most significant risks are the shards and the potential for choking, so if you see anything that suggests internal damage, contact your vet.

Removal - If the piece of bone has got lodged in your dog's digestive tract, your vet can attempt to remove it without surgery. In severe cases, your dog might require surgery.

If your dog has eaten some cooked bones, the best thing to do is speak to your vet. If symptoms start to appear, it could mean that there's been some gastrointestinal damage. If that's the case, treatment is required immediately.