• Are the treats you’re giving to your dogs helping or harming them? Learn what are the safest dog bones for chewing and which bones to avoid.

  • “Bones that are cooked, dehydrated, smoked, air-dried, essentially processed in any way, should never be fed to your pets due to the risk of splintering.”

  • Are there other safe dog chews that you can give? Learn what raw meat bones can be given to your dogs and if rib bones for dogs are safe.

  • Giving rawhides? Learn if this a safe dog treat.

  • Find out how bully sticks can be used as a treat, what bully sticks are made of and safe dog treat brands we recommend.

  • Watch the video to learn how to keep your dog safe and healthy with the best healthy dog treats.


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Do you know if your pet’s treats are safe?

Have you ever wondered if that bone is actually helping them or if danger is lurking and they may end up fracturing a tooth?

In this short video, I’m going to cover what you need to know about giving your dogs safe treats to keep them healthy without leading to harm.

I’m Dr. Katie Woodley, The Natural Pet Doctor. I’m a holistic integrative veterinarian who’s on a mission to help pets thrive naturally by empowering pet parents like you with holistic medicine and education.

Bones. This is a big topic and an area where many pet parents walk into the pet store and see a wide variety of options.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed when you walk into some of these big pet store chains?

There are so many pet treat options and you would think that all of the options would be safe for your pets. However, there’s a lot of danger lurking there.

Let’s start with some of the treats that you want to avoid to keep your dog safe and avoid things like choking hazards and potential GI perforations or obstructions by using safe dog treats and bones for chewing and for their teeth health.

Bones that are cooked, dehydrated, smoked, air-dried, essentially processed in any way, should never be fed to your pets due to the risk of splintering. When bones are processed, they can become brittle leading to potentially fatal injuries. Those cooked chicken wings or cooked ham bone – nope, just don’t do it.

You want to be looking for raw, meaty bones if you’re going to feed your pet’s bones.

Where do you find these?

In the freezer section of your boutique pet food stores, or ask your local butcher. You always want to ask the source of the meat and where it came from to avoid adding in potential toxins into your pet’s body.

For small dogs and puppies or your gentle chewers – raw chicken and turkey necks for dogs are a great option to add to their lives. Of course, these are frozen and raw.

For medium dogs and are medium to gentle chewers – feeding softer bones like small lamb ribs for dogs and raw chicken carcasses can be a nice treat. Remember you want long bones to be long enough that they stick out 2 inches on either side of their mouth to prevent choking.

For large dogs and more aggressive chewers – I recommend raw, meaty knucklebones that are at least the size of your dog’s head. This will help prevent swallowing them whole that can cause choking or obstruction.

Now if you have a gulper or a dog that just swallows everything whole, bones may not be the best for them or you can use these bigger knucklebones to make sure that they can’t swallow it. And as always, monitor your pets while they are eating these special treats to make sure they don’t try to swallow the entire thing at once or bite off too big of chunks.

Other treats that I do not recommend include rawhides. These are the number one choking hazards for dogs. This is because the rawhide becomes very soft, shrinks, and forms a wet sticky mass that can be swallowed whole and form an obstruction. The other problem with rawhides is how they are made. They are made from the cow’s hide and are actually a by-product of the leather industry. Numerous chemicals are used to separate the needed layer to make these products and they are not well-digested. Chemicals like formaldehyde are used to preserve alongside whitening agents.

If you decide to feed these products, I recommend making sure that the product comes from a farm where the animals are raised organically, grass-fed and the product says formaldehyde-free to ensure fewer chemicals are being used in the product that will go into your dog.

Better alternatives to rawhide include treats like bully sticks. These are dried pig or bull muscle and are single ingredients that are easily digestible. Once again it’s very important to know the source of the product.

Does the meat come from cows or animals that are raised humanely and organically?

Are the animals eating the appropriate diet, for example, grass-fed cows?

And how are they being manufactured?

One of the companies that I love is Natural Farm Pet. I love that they use a single ingredient in their products, the ingredients are sustainably sourced from free-range, grass-fed beef. They are also odor free bully sticks. They are prepared in their own human-grade food facility and are 100% free of any chemicals, preservatives, and additives. They also use sustainable packaging made with 50% recyclable sugar cane and their even planting trees on the farmlands in Brazil with each purchase.

When using bully sticks, I recommend the longer sticks to be less of a potential choking hazard. When the stick is less than 2 inches on either side of your pet’s mouth then I would get rid of them. If you have a gulper be careful with them swallowing the stick whole. If you have a gentle chewer, you can even soften these sticks to make them easier to chew.

It’s important to know what you’re giving to your dogs, because many of the treats in stores are processed, full of synthetic chemicals, and can cause harm to our dogs through tooth fractures, choking hazards, and even foreign body obstructions.

Always know how the product is made, where it comes from, and also assess how your dog is with treats before giving them something new. Don’t be afraid to try something new like a bully stick from an awesome company like Natural Farm or a raw, meaty knucklebone from your local butcher. It’ll not only help keep your dog’s teeth clean but can provide them a good source of enrichment and a tasty treat.

*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. The information contained in is strictly for educational purposes. Therefore, if you wish to apply ideas contained in, you are taking full responsibility for your actions. Please consult your veterinarian for medical advice for your own pets. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

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