FAQs > Transition
Q: How Often Should I Feed Bones? Do They Help with Dental Issues?
Bones are awesome!
And yes, they’ve got great dental benefits for many dogs—keeping gums healthy, building tartar-fighting enzymes, and scraping plaque from the teeth. Beyond that, they act like a joint supplement, supplying calcium, cartilage, marrow, and other nutrients. And by keeping our friends busy and out of trouble, they’re good for us, too.
We recommend feeding bones once or twice a week (the fat and calcium take a while to digest) and using each one as a meal, part of a meal, or a snack after a big hike. Always watch your dogs when giving them a bone to make sure they don’t try to swallow the whole thing and if it looks like it’s splintering, take it away. Picking the right size bone for your pet is important. It’s also safest to start them with a chicken or turkey neck as these are made of spongy (cancellous) bone that is much easier to chew and digest. If possible, introduce your pup to bones between 5 and 6 months old and monitor him or her especially at the beginning, discarding the bone when the ends are chewed down to the hard central portion. Once a dog reaches 8 years old, depending on the breed, you probably want to stop the hard bones as dental issues can lead to a broken tooth.
To avoid dental injuries and digestive upset, always defrost them naturally or with warm water—please don’t use the oven or microwave! We don’t recommend giving your dogs bones that are cooked or cut lengthwise, ribs, antlers, or cow hooves, as they can be dangerous.