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Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones? — What Dog Owners Should Know

Can dogs eat deer bones

Deers are animals that dwell in the woods, where there is plenty of grass and leaves. They usually live in herds to make it easier to gather food and to avoid their aggressors.

Most people like to hunt deer for recreational purposes using a gun or an arrow. But others hunt deer to use as a food source. 

This is since deer meat is a highly nutritious protein. It also has medicinal benefits and can even act as food for other animals like dogs.

In particular, deer bones are among the most popular treats you can give your pet dogs. This is since deer bones are chunkier and weightier.

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones?

Yes, dogs can eat deer bones. This is since deer bones are considered a natural food source rich in nutrients that will strengthen your dog.

Apart from being conducive to your dog’s health, it can also improve your dog’s teeth. Deer bone has a component that can help clean out dog teeth well.

Deer bones are a much better choice of snack to give your dog.

Other snacks like mushrooms, for example, may seem safe, but they aren’t. Some mushrooms contain toxic substances that can kill your dog instantly when ingested. 

Are Deer Bones Good for Dogs?

Are they good

You might be tempted to throw your leftover chicken or beef bones to your dog after eating a meal. After all, dogs love bones. They’ll chew on them anyway, whether they’re raw bones or cooked bones.

But veterinarians and animal experts will always advise you to do otherwise. It is not safe for your dog to chew on leftover chicken, pig, and beef bones.

Here are a few examples of the harmful effects of giving your dog raw bones or cooked bones:

Domesticated dogs are usually characterized by being able to chew carefully before they swallow their food. This makes them less prone to the harmful effects of leftover bones. 

However, other hybrid dogs don’t chew their food as thoroughly or even skip doing so altogether! And that’s why their owners have to be more careful about feeding them chewy snacks like raw deer bones.

Dr. Ray Goodroad in Rhinelander did research back in December 1998. He was able to view an X-ray plate of a hunting dog whose owner liked to feed him raw deer bones. 

What happened was the hunting dog became sluggish, tired, and dehydrated. It also experienced vomiting and diarrhea. 

There was also another dog that he examined who experienced similar symptoms. It turned out that the second dog had rummaged through the neighbor’s trash and ingested raw bones.

It suffered from colic and grew very weak as time passed by.

Because of the worsening symptoms of both dogs, they had to be confined to the hospital. The doctor then had to conduct surgery on each of them to save their lives.

Are Dogs Able to Digest Bones?


To answer this question, you must first know that dogs can, in fact, “eat” parts of a bone. They can chew on the bone cartilage, which is a soft tissue attached to the bone’s fat and tissues.

If a dog eats the bone itself, then it won’t be able to digest that. It’s the bone cartilage that is safe for them to eat since it’s digestible.

Deer bones are mostly safe for dogs to eat because their cartilages contain protein and other common minerals. The connective tissue, meat, and fat stuck to deer bones are very nutritious when consumed by dogs.

So the answer to the question of whether or not dogs can digest bones is a NO. It is unsafe for dogs to ingest a whole bone.

But the bone cartilage is safe for them to eat since it isn’t the bone itself.

What Bones are Best for Dogs?

Best Bones

Here are what you must pay attention to when choosing what types of bones to give your dog:

Type of Animal Bone

Deer Bones

There are two types of deer bones available for your dog. These are Flat bones and Long bones.

Flat Bones

A flat bone is a bone that comes from the ribs, pelvis, or scapula of a deer. It is a kind of little spinal bone that has a rough surface.

Long Bones

A long bone can be found in the legs of a deer. This type of deer bone contains many nutrients and has a smooth surface.

Flat Bones and Food Bones

Deer bones, which are medium and small, are easily digested by dogs of large sizes but aren’t suitable for those with little mouths.

Safety First

Safety First

Chew bones, although safe, may cause problems for your dog. That’s why you need to avoid certain types of bone to prevent such problems:

Bowel Blockages

Long bones have soft ends and mostly cartilage. They’re not the right choice for your dog because they can cause dog diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, and vomiting. 

Your dog may have to go to the vet for a surgical removal jam. Therefore, you should select the type of larger-sized deer bone for your dog.

Broken Teeth

Long bones are quite hard on the surface, which may cause injury to your pet’s teeth. You should select flat bones, especially for large-sized dogs, because they’re softer and have more dear meat sticking out than simple bones do. They’re also more stimulating to chew over.

Loose Stools

When you feed new dogs their first bone or if a dog is eating bones more than usual, that can cause loose stools. Loose stools and bowels are caused by the bone marrow inside the bones, so you need the right bones for the dog’s diet.

 Also, prevent them from overeating.


Consuming large amounts of deer bone can cause constipation in dogs. A diet with too much calcium can cause health problems for your pet. 

Do not let the dog eat too much deer bone or add phosphorus balance to its meals. In general, if your dog wants to eat a lot of bones to entertain, then you should select the type of bone which has more raw meat and less bone. Feeding too many bones makes a dog anorexic.


Be careful with older types of deer bones because they can absorb toxins and pollutants. Selecting younger deer bones is best because they’re very nutritious. 

Conclusion: What to Buy


If you have a large or medium-sized dog, you should buy raw deer meat and bones, and sometimes with the larger ups, you should look to purchase raw meat or raw bones from a cow or pig.

For smaller dogs that want small dog bones, you can buy chicken or duck bones. However, deer bones are still more recommended.



April 12, 2022 - Made minor revisions to content
September 9, 2021 - Reviewed and updated article links

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