A dog and his bone: an image that we've all come to accept as a perfectly safe and normal pastime for our canine friends. The conventional wisdom has always been that all bones, with the exception of those from chicken and other types of poultry, are safe for dogs to enjoy. As it turns out, that is not entirely the case. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that any bone, whether it be cooked, uncooked, large or small can cause serious problems for your pet’s health. Here are a few of the safety concerns related to giving bones to dogs:

Broken off pieces

Even though your pup may have chewed a thousand bones, it could still be his next one that may cause problems. While most people know that chicken bones have always been dangerous, other types can still splinter, and the shards could lodge themselves in the roof of your dog’s mouth or in the esophagus.

Pieces too big

Just as small splintery pieces can be a concern, the larger ones that break off can also be a danger. This could lead to an obvious choking risk or you dog's difficulty in passing the large object through his system.

Broken teeth

This is a painful injury that could also result in expensive veterinary dentistry.

Peritonitis

This is a difficult to treat bacterial infection in your dog's abdomen that is caused by sharp bone fragments that poke holes in the stomach and intestines. This is rather serious and will require a trip to the veterinarian.

Solutions:

Ask your veterinarian about alternatives to giving bones to your dog, as there are many bone-like products made with much safer materials to chew on. There are chew toys, dental chews and dog treats, just to name a few.  These are other options that your dog will love and most importantly, be safe with.

Source: FDA