Dog ate Deer Bone: Is that Ok? (Usually, Here’s the 411 🍖)

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Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones? With Caution Dogs can chew on raw deer bones under supervision, as they can be a source of minerals and help in dental health. However, cooked deer bones should be avoided as they can splinter and pose a choking hazard or cause internal injury. Always supervise your dog when they’re chewing bones to ensure they don’t choke or swallow large pieces. Additionally, be mindful of the bone size in relation to your dog’s size and chewing behavior. Deer bones can cause broken teeth.  Consult your veterinarian for personalized advice, especially for dogs with specific dietary needs or health concerns.

When it comes to spoiling our canine companions, we often think of offering them a good bone to chew on. However, with various types of bones available, pet owners frequently ponder over the safety of giving their dogs specific kinds like deer bones.

They certainly seem like a natural and hearty treat, but are deer bones really safe for our furry friends? Let’s dig into the facts to understand whether these forest-found leftovers can be a part of your dog’s diet.

Are Deer Bones Dangerous for Dogs?

are deer bones safe for dogs

Deer bones may seem like a natural treat for dogs, with their raw and rugged allure, but they carry a range of potential risks:

  • Choking Hazard: A major concern when feeding any type of bone, but especially significant with deer bones, is the choking hazard. Dogs can inadvertently swallow bone fragments that may become lodged in their throat.
  • Splintering Risks: Deer bones, particularly when cooked, can splinter into sharp pieces. These splinters can puncture your dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines.
  • Dental Damage: The hardness of deer bones means they can cause tooth fractures or dental wear over time.
  • Nutritional Imbalance: While bones do supply certain nutrients, relying on them for nutrition can lead to imbalances or nutritional deficiencies.
  • Intestinal Blockage: Swallowed bone pieces can block the intestines, a serious condition that may require surgical intervention.
  • Foodborne Illness: Raw bones can harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, posing a risk to both dogs and humans in the household.

Safety comes first when choosing treats for your furry friend. Alternatives to deer bones, such as certain chew toys, can provide a safer chewing experience.

What to do if your dog ate a deer bone

what to do when a dog eats a deer bone

If your dog has consumed a deer bone, it’s important to act promptly and responsibly to ensure their safety:

  • Monitor Closely: Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of distress, such as choking, gagging, or struggling to breathe.
  • Check for Fragments: Look inside your dog’s mouth for any bone pieces that might be stuck, but be cautious to avoid getting bitten.
  • Don’t Induce Vomiting: It’s not advisable to induce vomiting as the bone fragments could cause further damage on the way back up.
  • Contact Your Vet: If you notice any concerning symptoms, or if the bone was large, call your veterinarian immediately for advice.
  • Observe for Complications: Over the next few days, watch for symptoms of intestinal blockage, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, or abdominal pain.
  • Offer Soft Diet: If your vet advises, feeding your dog a bland, soft diet temporarily may help to prevent any sharp pieces from causing harm as they pass.

Remember, prevention is better than cure. To avoid such emergencies, consider providing safe dental chews or explore other dietary options designed to keep your dog healthy and satisfied without the risks of raw bones.

Are Cooked Deer Bones or Raw Deer Bones Better for Dogs?

The choice between cooked or raw deer bones can greatly impact the safety and health of your dog:

  • Cooked Bones Risk: Cooking changes the structure of the bone, making it more brittle and prone to splintering. This increases the risk of oral injuries and intestinal blockages.
  • Raw Bones Caution: While some advocate for raw bones claiming they’re less likely to splinter, they aren’t without risk. Raw bones can still break into sharp shards and potentially carry bacteria like Salmonella.
  • Veterinary Advice: The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) discourages the use of any kind of bones, whether cooked or raw, because of the risks they pose to dogs.
  • Alternative Treats: It’s often safer to resort to alternative chewing options such as dental chews or synthetic bones that are specifically crafted to be safe for dogs.

Are there safer deer bone alternatives for dogs?

safer alternatives to deer bones for dogs

Finding a safer alternative to deer bones for your dog may seem challenging, but there are plenty of dog-friendly options that can provide similar satisfaction:

  • High-Quality Chew Toys: Opt for durable chew toys designed specifically for dogs. These toys can help satisfy the chewing instinct without the dangers associated with bone splintering.
  • Synthetic Bones: Consider vet-approved synthetic bones or dental chews that are made from non-toxic, digestible materials. These items can also help clean teeth while being safe for your dog to gnaw on.
  • Rawhide Chews: Although somewhat controversial, some pet owners choose rawhide chews. Make sure you supervise your dog with these chews as they can pose a choking risk if large pieces are swallowed.
  • Edible Chews: Items like bully sticks, beef tendons, or lamb ears are edible and generally safer than hard bones. These chews break down more easily in the digestive system.

Remember, regardless of the alternative you choose, supervision is key to ensuring your dog’s safety. Always monitor your pet’s chewing behavior to intervene if necessary, and consult with your vet about the best chew options for your specific dog. 

Speaking of food safety and pet care, you may also want to explore whether certain household items pose risks; find out if things like sticky mouse traps are poisonous to dogs, or get insights on managing your dog’s interaction with the outdoors by checking if pine cones are bad for pooches.