Poodles are a very popular breed of dog in the United States and have been duck retrieving dogs, show dogs, and companion dogs. They are known for their intelligence and their curly, poofy hair. Just like any breed, poodles have a want and need to chew on things, especially bones.
So, what are the best bones for poodles to chew on? The best bones for poodles are raw and uncooked. Bones, when cooked or store-bought, are soft and can easily splinter and cause harm to your dog. Raw bones are a great source of nutrients that can contribute greatly to the overall health of the poodle when properly supervised.
These are the best bones for your poodle to chew on:
- Turkey neck
- Turkey wing
- Chicken frames
- Chicken feet and legs
- Chicken neck
- Chicken wings
- Duck frames
- Duck neck
- Duck feet and legs
- Duck wings
- Lamb bones
- Non-Bearing Beef bones
- Whole quail
- Cornish hen
Chewing on bones is a natural thing poodles want to do as chewing helps stimulate their bodies and keeps them active. Being a poodle-owner, it is essential to provide your furry friend with the proper bones to keep their teeth healthy. When giving your poodle a bone, you will want to consider their size as smaller breeds can’t handle larger bones. Here is what you should know.
Are Dog Bones Safe for Poodles?
Bones are a good source of nutrients and minerals that can be a bonus to your dog’s nutrition. Also, the chewing stimulates saliva enzymes and can help prevent plaque buildup on their teeth.
However, many vets believe it is unsafe for you to feed a bone to your dog because they can cause health risks to them. Some vets say it is okay to give your dog bones if you are following specific guidelines.
Guidelines for Giving Your Poodle a Bone
To keep your poodle safe while chewing on bones, follow these guidelines:
- Give them the proper bones
- Don’t leave them unsupervised – You want to make sure your poodle isn’t breaking through the bone – which can cause damage.
- Don’t let them chew it into small pieces – Small pieces can be easily swallowed and can choke them.
- Don’t give them cooked bones – Cooked bones are soft and splinter easily
- Take the bone away after 15-20 minutes
- Throw it away after 3-4 days – Or once it is worn down. A chewed on and worn down bone is more likely to begin to splinter
- Refrigerate the bones – Cold bones are less apt to splinter
- Give the bone when they are full – If they have a bone while they are hungry, they are more apt to go crazy and try to bite right through it. It should be used as a nibble after a meal.
- Give them a bone larger than their muzzle – A bone that is too small will make them think that they can swallow it, and you don’t want them swallowing their bones.
- Don’t give them a bone if they have dental problems – Although bones can help a poodle’s teeth, if they are already experiencing dental problems, a bone can cause more harm.
What Bones are Best for Each Poodle Variety: Toy, Miniature, and Standard?
Because poodles come in different sizes, it is vital to give the smaller breed poodles bones that are suitable for them.
- Toy poodles require bones that are less dense for them to chew without causing damage.
- Miniature poodles can have the same bones as the smaller poodles but with some extra options.
- Standard poodles need more substantial cuts of bones to prevent choking. However, smaller bones can be given to them if they don’t have a large gulp.
The following chart outlines the bones allowed for each poodle size:
|Toy Poodle||Miniature Poodle||Standard Poodle|
Non-Bearing Beef bones
These bones are the strongest and don’t splinter easily but are soft enough to chew and digest. All bones given to your poodle should be raw because cooked bones are soft and can easily splinter. The best bones to give your poodle are the ones you would remove from whatever raw meat you are cooking.
However, with raw meat and bones, there is a risk of some bacterial contamination. But you can limit the risks with proper handling:
- Only allow your poodle 10-15 minutes with the bone
- Wash it after use
- Refrigerate it
- Throw out after 3 days
Selecting Safe Bones
When selecting which bones to feed your poodle, you want to make sure they are soft and edible and are entirely raw. Bones from poultry are a great choice – the wings, legs, backs, and feet, but turkey wings and legs are very dense and can splinter easily.
Lamb, rabbit, and beef bones are other great options. However, it is best to avoid load-bearing bones from cattle as those hold marrow and are strong, dense bones. The large amount of marrow in these kinds of bones can cause intestinal upset, and the bones themselves are known as teeth-crackers.
When picking out a bone, you want to choose ones that are the size of your poodle’s head or larger so that they aren’t a choking hazard, and they won’t try to swallow them whole.
Reputable places to get raw bones from if you don’t have any plans on making a chicken dinner are from butcher shops, your local CSA, and the supermarket. However, when buying bones, you want to avoid machine-cut bones because they can be small and tend to have sharp edges.
If you don’t want to feed your poodle raw whole bones because they have sensitive digestive systems or because they are just for mental stimulation rather than nutrition, there are bone treats you can find. When buying store-bought bones, it is hard to find some that aren’t filled with additives and harmful chemicals, but it’s not impossible.
You always want to make sure you are checking the ingredients. Avoid corn, wheat, and soy. A couple of good options found on Amazon:
- Stella and Chewy’s Carnivore crunch – Made with raw protein from meat, organs, and bone
- Ziwi Good Dog Rewards air-dried venison – Made with fresh meat, organs, and bone
Bones Poodles Should Not Eat
If you choose to give your poodle a bone, you mustn’t give them one that can cause them harm. You want to choose a bone that is strong and won’t splinter easily. Here is a list of bones you should avoid giving your poodle.
A rawhide bone isn’t a real animal bone, instead, it is made out of a leather material. Since they are human-made, they can be made out of toxic ingredients which could be harmful to your poodle. Most rawhide bones are processed outside of the United States, mainly in China.
The FDA does not regulate the processing of rawhide bones because they are not food. They go through a process that uses chemicals to preserve the hide, then bleach or hydrogen peroxide is used whiten the hide, and glue is then used to hold their shape. Lastly, dyes and synthetic flavors are used to enhance the taste and smell of the hide.
Knowing that rawhide is a by-product of leather should be enough to deter you away from giving them to your dog.
Safety risks of rawhide include:
- They are brittle
- Take longer to digest
- Swallowed broken pieces can pose as an esophageal or intestinal risk
- They contain chemicals and additives
If your poodle is a more aggressive chewer, then they run a higher risk of breaking off pieces and swallowing them. If you still choose to use rawhide bones for your poodle, make sure they are manufactured in a country that has strict safety guidelines and avoid ingredients like:
- Food color or dye
- Artificial sweetener
- Artificial flavoring
2. Most Store-Bought Bones
Store-bought bones are like rawhide bones. The FDA warns against giving your dog store-bought bones because there have been reports of pet illnesses and death associated with store-bought bones, even ones that are marked as “ham, pork, or femur bones.”
There have been cases where dogs have died and other cases where the dogs suffered from gastrointestinal problems, choking, blockage of the digestive tract, and cuts in the mouth. These are bones that are made from actual bone and are smoked or baked and covered with preservatives and flavoring.
Some of the dog treat descriptions that were listed in the reports were:
- Smokey Knucklebones
- Pork femur bones
- Rib bones
Another concern about store-bought bones is that the FDA does not screen these products; instead, they rely on reports from pet owners, veterinarians, and factory inspections.
3. Cooked Bones
Cooked bones that come from your Thanksgiving turkey or roasted Sunday chicken should not be given to your poodle. Any bones that have been cooked should not be given to your dog because they are softer and can easily splinter. These are bones that have been boiled, braised, roasted, smoked, or dehydrated.
Giving your dog cooked bones can cause several problems such as:
- Broken teeth
- Injuries in the mouth and throat
So after cooking a meal that has bones, make sure you properly discard the bones in a bag and into the trash so that your curious pup won’t try digging for them. Make sure you supervise your poodle around the food so that they don’t try to find a way to reach them.
4. Pork and Rib Bones
Pork and rib bones should be avoided entirely, whether they are cooked or not. Bones from these meats are softer and can splinter easier and are just not safe for your poodle to chew on.
Splintered bones can hurt your dog’s internal organs when ingested and injure their mouth and throat.
5. Weight-Bearing Bones
Weight-bearing bones from cow, ox, bison are larger, dense, and filled with lots of bone marrow. These large bones can cause fractures to your poodle’s jaw and teeth, especially if they are determined to gnaw on it. If a piece of these bones were to break off and be ingested, they would likely cause a blockage.
It is okay to give your poodle a weight-bearing bone if it has large amounts of meat left on it, and you are supervising the consumption. But once they have gotten the meat off and some of the marrow and are beginning to chew the bone, you should offer something else and take the bone away.
Pros of Chewing Dog Bones
Chewing is a natural act that dogs enjoy doing. They’ll chew on bones, furniture, shoes, and whatever they can get their mouths on. Although many people choose not to give their dog a bone because of the risks, some people like to offer a bone because of their benefits:
- Provide calcium, glucose, and minerals.
- Work like a toothbrush for dogs.
- Break down tarter.
- Benefits the digestive system.
- Strengthens stomach muscles.
- Reduces the chance of gum disease.
- Helps your dog produce more saliva.
- Prevents bloating.
- Releases dopamine.
- Provides mental stimulation.
When giving your poodle a bone to chew, make sure you supervise them so that they can benefit from the pros and not run into the cons.
Cons of Chewing Dog Bones
Chewing on dog bones can have many benefits – like keeping a dog’s mouth clean and healthy. But depending on your poodle’s chewing style and the size, shape, and density of the bone, there may be some cons associated with chewing on bones.
Some cons associated with bone chewing are:
- Fractured teeth – Bones that are too dense can cause teeth to crack. This can also happen if you have an aggressive chewer.
- Oral injuries – Bones can become sharp and can cut your poodle’s gums and tongue. Bones can also get stuck between molars.
- Airway obstruction – A chewed off piece of bone can be swallowed and become stuck in the dog’s throat, causing them to not be able to breathe correctly.
- Gastrointestinal problems – Pieces of bone can become stuck in the stomach or intestines. Some raw bones can cause an upset stomach because the poodle’s stomach acid cannot handle raw food. This happens in dogs that are given a processed-food diet.
Your Poodle’s Diet and Bones
Dog’s have carnivorous traits so bones can be an essential component of their diet. However, many vets warn pet owners against giving their dogs bones because they don’t think they will be able to digest them properly. This is because many people feed their dogs with a processed food diet.
- When dogs are given processed dog food, it becomes harder for them to digest what their natural diet of animal fat and protein should be. This is caused by the carbohydrates in dog food that can alter their stomach acid levels.
- When they are puppies, they can be okay having a raw bone 1-2 times a week, but the older they get, the more depleted their digestive system becomes. So when they consume something raw, they can feel sick after and even throw up the bone.
- Feeding your poodle a raw food diet or limiting the grains they are given is an excellent way to allow their stomachs to have the ability to digest bones and animal fat and protein properly. It is beneficial to give them a bone 1-2 times a week so that they don’t become a rare treat that your poodle will want to devour immediately.
If you notice your poodle having trouble digesting the bones, try dusting them with ground oats or shredded coconut. If you are or are planning on feeding your dog a raw food diet, then bones should make up 10% of their diet.
What If Your Poodle Doesn’t Want a Bone?
Poodles can be picky creatures, so they may prefer one kind of bone over the other. If your poodle seems to like a particular kind, just stick with that one. But if you have tried several bones and it seems like they don’t want anything to do with them, it could be for these reasons:
- They may have dental disease, so chewing bones hurts them.
- They don’t have enough jaw strength.
- They are fed too often during the day and don’t have the appetite for a bone.
- They don’t recognize that the bone is food.
If you’ve addressed these possibilities and your poodle still isn’t interested, you can choose different alternatives for them to chew on. If you are introducing bones as a nutritional benefit, you can grind up the bones and mix them in with their food.
Bones given to poodles should never be cooked because they can splinter easily and cause injury to your dog. Poultry necks, wings, legs, and feet are the most common bone given to poodles. The raw bone should be the size of your poodle’s face or larger to prevent them from swallowing it whole.
When choosing a bone, you want to consider the size of your poodle. Larger breeds should not be given the same bones as the smaller breeds because they may be more apt to try to gulp it down.