Bones and Antlers: The Dental Dangers for Your Pup’s Playtime

tan and white dog chewing on a rawhide in front of red background

Bones and Antlers: The Dental Dangers for Your Pup’s Playtime

Imagine your dog, tail wagging with excitement, eagerly gnawing on a bone or antler. It’s a familiar sight in many households, but did you know that what seems like a harmless plaything could actually be detrimental to your dog’s dental health? In this article, we’ll delve into why bones and antlers are not the best toys for your canine companion and explore safer alternatives.

The Temptation of Bones and Antlers

Bones and antlers are popular choices for dog toys for several reasons. They’re natural, durable, and seem to satisfy a dog’s instinctual urge to chew. Plus, they’re widely available and marketed as beneficial for dental health. However, appearances can be deceiving.

Despite their popularity, bones and antlers pose significant risks to your dog’s teeth. These hard objects can cause fractures or chips in your dog’s teeth, leading to pain, discomfort, and expensive dental procedures. Additionally, chewing on bones and antlers can also result in splinters or sharp fragments that may injure your dog’s gums, tongue, or throat.

Risk of Dental Disease

Furthermore, while chewing on bones and antlers might scrape away plaque, it’s not a foolproof method for maintaining dental hygiene. In fact, the rough texture of these objects can actually create tiny cuts or abrasions on the gums, providing an entry point for bacteria and increasing the risk of periodontal disease.

Safer Alternatives

So, if bones and antlers are off the table, what can you offer your dog instead? Fortunately, there are plenty of safer alternatives that still provide the chewing satisfaction your pup craves. Consider options like:

  1. Rubber Chew Toys: Designed specifically for chewing, soft rubber toys are gentle on your dog’s teeth and provide a satisfying texture for gnawing.
  2. Dental Chews: Look for dental chews that are specifically formulated to promote oral health. These treats are often designed to reduce plaque and tartar buildup while being safe for your dog’s teeth. is a great resource for products that have undergone clinical trials for efficacy.
  3. Edible Chews: Opt for natural, digestible treats like pig ears or rawhide alternatives. Just be sure to supervise your dog while they enjoy these chews to prevent choking or digestive issues.

Keeping Your Dog’s Teeth Healthy in Missoula, Montana

While bones and antlers may seem like the perfect toy for your dog, the potential risks to their dental health far outweigh any benefits. By choosing safer alternatives, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys their playtime without putting their teeth at risk. Remember, a healthy smile leads to a happy pup! 

So, the next time you’re tempted to toss your dog a bone, think twice and reach for a safer option instead. Your dog’s teeth will thank you for it!

But even when you choose the best dog toys and chews, accidents can still happen. If your dog injures their mouth in any way, don’t hesitate to contact Missoula Veterinary Dentistry & Oral Surgery.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/28/2024). Photo by Aditya Joshi on Unsplash