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Can German Shepherds Chew Bones Safely? 10 Best Bones for German Shepherd Pups (2024)

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can german shepherds chew on bonesAs a canine health expert, I’m often asked if German Shepherds can safely chew bones. With strong jaws and a tendency to bite, proper chew toys are essential. Select harder bones to massage gums and clean teeth while satisfying your pup’s urge to gnaw.

However, some bones may fracture teeth or pose digestion threats. I’ll review 10 vet-recommended bones to stimulate your German Shepherd while avoiding harm, so both of you stay happy and healthy.

Key Takeaways

  • Bones can promote dental health but pose risks like choking hazards or bone fragments.
  • Alternatives like rubber chew toys are available and safer, especially for puppies.
  • Supervision is critical when dogs chew on bones to monitor for adverse reactions.
  • Consult a veterinarian for tailored dietary recommendations on bone chewing.

Top 10 Bones for German Shepherds

When considering the best bones for your German Shepherd, numerous options provide dental health benefits and mental stimulation.

We highlight the top 10 bones that veterinarians recommend based on safety, durability, and suitability for the German Shepherd breed.

Assessing your individual dog’s chewing habits and supervision level can help determine the ideal bone.

1. Made in USA Beef Foreshank Bone Dog Treat

Bones & Chews Made inView On Chewy
You’ll find these slow-roasted, meaty beef bones from the USA both long-lasting and flavorful for your German Shepherd, though some supervision is still advised. The added meat provides appeal, and the high-density bones support extended chewing.

However, the hardness may cause some breaking into fragments, posing potential ingestion or choking hazards requiring caution and monitoring.

  • Meaty flavor dogs enjoy
  • Dense bones last longer
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Potential for bone fragments
  • Supervision advised
  • Staining possible

2. Rawhide Retriever Roll Dog Treat

Pure & Simple Pet 8View On Chewy
Check out the all-natural Rawhide Retriever Roll, a durable beef chew toy that promotes dental health and interactive play for large breeds. As your vet, I recommend this USA-sourced rawhide roll for reducing plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth.

The long-lasting chew encourages chewing and fetching, providing mental and physical stimulation. However, inconsistent durability has been reported, with some rolls not meeting stated dimensions. Monitor use, as rawhide can present choking hazards if consumed in large pieces.

  • Promotes dental health
  • Engages dogs physically and mentally
  • USA-sourced, natural ingredients
  • Inconsistent size and durability
  • Potential choking hazard
  • Supervision required

3. Nylabone Puppy Chew Bone Toy Blue

Nylabone Puppy Chew X BoneView On Chewy
Consider the flexible Nylabone Puppy Chew X Bone toy to ease your teething puppy’s gum pain and provide a softer chewing experience for small breeds up to 15 pounds. This chew toy is made of a gentle plastic designed to be kind on developing teeth and gums.

Its texture promotes dental health while the flavor encourages play. However, some pups may chew off and ingest pieces, posing a potential choking risk requiring supervision.

  • Alleviates teething discomfort
  • Textured for dental health
  • Tasty flavor encourages play
  • May be chewed into pieces
  • Poses potential choking risk
  • Requires supervision

4. Extreme Goodie Bone Dog Toy

KONG Extreme Goodie Bone DogView On Chewy
The KONG Extreme Goodie Bone is a tough, durable rubber chew toy shaped like a bone for large breed adult dogs, featuring hollow ends that can be filled with treats to make it more engaging and interactive for even aggressive chewers.

Made of KONG’s ultra-strong rubber, this bone stands up well to determined chewing, providing a good outlet for high-energy dogs.

Consider supervising use, especially with extremely aggressive chewers. Inspect after play and replace if cracks or damage are noticed.

  • Durable for aggressive chewing
  • Dispenses treats to stimulate dogs
  • Good for high-energy dogs
  • Potential choking risk from chewed pieces
  • May frustrate dogs trying to access treats
  • Requires inspection and replacement

5. Knotted Rawhide Dog Bones

Top Dog Chews Knotted RawhideView On Chewy
These 100% natural rawhide bones help reduce boredom and anxiety in your dog while supporting dental health by removing tartar and plaque. Made in Mexico from American-raised beef hide and tested for safety and quality, this pack of three 8-10 inch bones promotes active play.

Best suited for dogs 25-40 pounds, the long-lasting chews encourage chewing and fetch. Customers praise lasting power, but supervision is still advised given mixed feedback on hardness matching chewing needs across breeds.

  • Promote dental health
  • Reduce anxiety and boredom
  • Encourage active play
  • Durability concerns with aggressive chewers
  • Size suitability varies across breeds
  • Supervision still recommended

6. Pet Qwerks BarkBone BBQ Flavor Tough Dog Chew Toy

Pet Qwerks BarkBone BBQ FlavorView On Chewy
You’ll find the Pet Qwerks BarkBone BBQ Flavor Tough Dog Chew Toy provides durable nylon chew enjoyment infused with smoky BBQ flavor to keep your medium-breed adult dog happily gnawing for hours while promoting their dental health.

This non-allergenic, non-toxic chew toy is FDA compliant, made in the USA without colorants or additives.

  • Promotes dental health for vigorous chewers
  • Infused with savory BBQ flavor dogs enjoy
  • Durable nylon suitable for tough chewers
  • Curved shape enables easy grip and carrying
  • Not recommended for larger, stronger breeds
  • Potential choking hazard if chewed into small pieces
  • Supervision recommended for aggressive chewers

7. Icelandic Lamb Horn Large Dog Chew

Icelandic+ Lamb Horn Large DogView On Chewy
This ethically sourced, hollow lamb horn chew made of 100% digestible keratin keeps your German Shepherd gnawing for hours while promoting dental health. As a rawhide and bone-free alternative, the keratin chew effectively reduces plaque and tartar buildup.

Its hollow nature packs in nutrients for a happy belly. Made from free-range Icelandic lambs, the horn follows stringent safety regulations. Supervision is still suggested due to potential splintering with aggressive chewers.

  • Promotes dental health
  • Nutrient-rich
  • Long-lasting
  • Potential splintering
  • Strong odor
  • Size may not suit larger dogs

8. Midwest Homes Double Door ICrate Dog Crate

MidWest Homes for Pets NewlyView On Amazon
The Midwest Homes Double Door iCrate provides a spacious yet secure indoor enclosure for your extra-large dog to rest comfortably.

This metal crate features two convenient doorways and a divider panel to customize the interior space to your pet’s needs.

The leak-proof plastic floor pan simplifies cleanup.

Once assembled, the sturdy slide-bolt latches and rounded corner clips promote safety during use.

When not in use, the crate conveniently folds flat for storage or travel.

  • Two doors allow easy pet and owner accessibility
  • Customizable interior space with divider
  • Secure latch system keeps pet safely confined
  • Folds flat for convenient storage and portability
  • Metal construction clanks noisily when doors shut
  • Confined space may increase pet anxiety for some dogs

9. Zesty Paws Omega 3 Fish Oil Chew Treats Dogs

Zesty Paws Omega 3 AlaskanView On Amazon
Supplement your German Shepherd’s diet with Zesty Paws’ chicken-flavored soft chews, which provide omega-3s and nutrients that support their skin, coat, joints, heart, and immune system. These chews contain EPA and DHA from wild Alaskan pollock to promote wellness. Customers praise the product’s ability to make coats soft and shiny while reducing dry skin and itchiness.

  • Supports skin, coat, joint, heart, immune health
  • Soft chews dogs enjoy
  • Derived from wild-caught fish
  • Can cause diarrhea
  • Possible adverse reactions

10. FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Brush for Dogs

FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool forView On Amazon
You’ll tackle shedding and stimulate healthy skin and coats in your German Shepherd when you use the stainless steel FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Brush designed for dogs over 50 pounds.

This professional grooming tool features a deShedding edge that removes loose undercoat hair without irritating your dog’s skin or damaging the topcoat. Regular use stimulates natural oil production for a healthy coat while reducing shedding dramatically.

With an ergonomic handle and easy-to-use hair release button, you’ll achieve efficient, comfortable grooming at home.

  • Reduces shedding up to 90%
  • Stimulates natural oils for healthy skin/coat
  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable use
  • May initially seem expensive
  • Requires regular use for best results
  • Not suitable for dogs under 50 lbs

Can German Shepherds Survive Without Bones?

Can German Shepherds Survive Without Bones
Despite common belief, your German Shepherd can live without chewing on bones.

Domesticated dogs no longer need to gnaw on bones to obtain nutrients, unlike their wild ancestors that relied on bones from hunting prey to survive.

  • High-quality commercial dog food formulated with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Home cooked meals including meat, vegetables, eggs and dairy
  • Supplements like fish oil capsules to support skin, coat, joint and immune health
  • Occasional treats like dental chews to help clean teeth

While chewing bones may provide some benefits, your German Shepherd can get all the nutrients they need to thrive from more dependable, safer food sources.

Safety Rules for German Shepherds Chewing Bones

Safety Rules for German Shepherds Chewing Bones
As your trusted veterinarian, I want to provide some safety guidelines around letting your German Shepherd chew on bones.

While bones offer health benefits, they also pose risks like choking and intestinal injury that you must consider.

I recommend raw over cooked bones since cooking makes them more brittle.

Select beef or lamb bones as safer options and avoid chicken or pork bones.

Additionally, always opt for large bones – longer than your dog’s muzzle – to prevent swallowing.

Give bones after meals when your dog is less likely to chew aggressively.

Also limit access to 10-15 minutes at a time.

Finally, keep a close eye on your dog, and take the bone away if you notice splintering or concerning behavior.

Weighing risks versus rewards will help ensure bones benefit your German Shepherd’s health.

Benefits of Chewing Bones for German Shepherds

Benefits of Chewing Bones for German Shepherds
You’ll now explore the benefits beyond nutrition that bones offer German Shepherds. As their veterinarian, I want to highlight how chewing bones assists oral health and mental stimulation. However, these added advantages still require weighing safety precautions when feeding bones.

Nutritional Value Debated

Two common benefits you’ll hear about giving bones are added nutrition and promoting dental health, but experts debate these claims. While bones provide protein and minerals, nutritional needs can be met through commercial dog foods.

Bones mainly offer behavioral enrichment. Yet despite benefits in dental care and mental stimulation, bone risks mean alternatives may better promote overall health.

You’re right to carefully weigh bone risks and benefits. Commercial foods provide complete nutrition. Still, bones stimulate instincts in enriching ways, promoting natural behaviors. Vigilant supervision allows these rewards while minimizing dangers that exist. Prioritize safety, but bones can play a supervised role in supporting total wellbeing when used prudently.

Safety Rules Critical

When giving your German Shepherd a bone, you must follow certain safety precautions to avoid potential choking hazards or damage from splintering.

  • Supervise chewing sessions.
  • Provide appropriately sized bones.
  • Remove splintered fragments immediately.

Consider safer alternatives like rubber toys or antlers for dogs with aggressive chewing habits.

Digestive issues or injury may still occur with bones, so vigilance and caution helps promote your dog’s oral health and behavioral wellbeing.

Additional Health Benefits

Beyond nutrition, chewing bones provides your dogs critical additional health benefits like stronger teeth, healthy gums, and mental stimulation.

Gnawing cleans teeth and gums, removing plaque and tartar while exercising jaw muscles.

Chewing also provides mental engagement, satisfying innate needs to chew while alleviating boredom through independent play with suitable toys.

With some risk, the dental and enrichment benefits merit consideration. Discuss options at your next dental evaluation for the safest way to incorporate chewing into care.

Potential Risks of Bone Chewing

Potential Risks of Bone Chewing
Despite the range of benefits, you’ll face two key hazards if letting your German Shepherd chew on bones.

First, improperly sized or prepared bones pose serious choking and digestive issues.

Second, behavioral concerns arise around food aggression or obsessive chewing. Consider your dog’s temperament before introducing bones, and remain alert to negative changes.

Alternatively, rotate various chews to promote dental health while mitigating hazards. Digestive upsets like pancreatitis also warrant attention if feeding fatty bones.

Ultimately, thoughtfully assessing risks against potential gains will empower the right chew choice for your Shepherd’s welfare. Adjust course as needed, but don’t rule out bones completely without first trialing potential satisfaction of chewing instincts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some alternatives to real bones for German Shepherd puppies?

Consider rubber chew toys designed for puppies instead of real bones.

These provide a safe alternative for teething German Shepherd puppies to satisfy their chewing instincts without the risks posed by bones.

Supervise use and replace chew toys if they become damaged.

How can I make sure the bone is the appropriate size for my German Shepherd?

Choose a bone that your German Shepherd can comfortably lift, but not swallow whole or choke on.

Select larger bones to minimize risks, remove smaller bones to prevent hazards.

Supervise closely when first introducing any bone, monitoring for safe chewing and playing.

Discard promptly if inappropriate for your dog.

Focus instead on durable chew toys specifically designed for larger breeds.

My German Shepherd tends to gulp down bones quickly. What tips can help slow down their eating?

Consider offering bones after meals when your dog is less likely to gulp them down quickly.

You can also try chew toys instead of actual bones to reduce choking risks.

Engage your dog in play first to curb their initial excitement over getting a special treat.

Are bones okay for senior German Shepherd dogs to chew on?

As dogs age, their teeth become more fragile.

Hard bones may splinter or break weakened teeth.

Offer softer chews instead to protect aging teeth and gums while still providing mental stimulation.

Prioritize safety for seniors.

What steps should I take if my German Shepherd chokes on a bone fragment?

Remain calm.

Check your dog’s mouth and throat for obstructions.

If choking, perform canine Heimlich maneuver by placing hands below ribs, thrusting forcefully upward several times.

Seek emergency veterinary care immediately.

Regularly monitor bone chewing to reduce risk.

Focus on your dog’s wellbeing.


Ultimately, you can allow your German Shepherd to chew bones safely.

Select harder, durable options that satisfy their urge to gnaw without splintering.

Rawhide and nylon bones massage gums while occupying time previously spent on destruction.

However, supervise chewing sessions, provide dental care, and remove fragments immediately to circumvent digestion threats.

With thoughtful selection of vet-recommended bones and attentive monitoring, your German Shepherd can indulge their natural chewing instincts without endangering their health so you both stay happy.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.