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Does Chewing Bones Make Dogs Tired?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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Are you wondering if regular chewing on bones can make your dog tired? As it turns out, there is more to this question than one might think.

In this blog post, we will be exploring the potential effects of giving a dog bones to chew on and whether or not they actually result in increased fatigue.

We will also look at some tips for choosing the right type of bones for your pup and how to ensure that they are safely consumed.

Key Takeaway

  • Chewing bones can tire dogs as it is mentally stimulating and physically engage them, notably in the jaw area, which can result in a sense of exhaustion.
  • Chewing bones provide dogs with mental stimulation, help clean their teeth and gums, satisfy their natural urge to chew, and can aid in their overall dental health.
  • Alternatives to bones for chewing include products like Pegetables, bully sticks, dental chews, frozen marrow bones, Himalayan yak cheese chews, collagen sticks, beef tracheas, cod skins, Wolffish skins, sweet potato chews, and various specially formulated dog treats such as SmartBones SmartSticks Chicken Chews Dog Treats, and DreamBone Mini Chicken Chew Bones Dog Treats.

Does Chewing Bones Make Dogs Tired?

Does Chewing Bones Make Dogs Tired

Yes, chewing bones can make dogs tired as it engages them mentally and physically, stimulating their brains and working their jaw muscles.

Chewing is an activity that requires both mental and physical exertion from dogs.

When dogs chew on bones or other chew toys, they are not only exercising their jaw muscles but also focusing their minds on the task at hand. This dual engagement can indeed tire them out over time.

It’s important to note that while chewing does provide necessary mental stimulation and physical exercise, it’s not a replacement for other forms of physical activities like walks or playtime.

It should be part of a balanced regimen of physical and mental stimulation.

Why Do Dogs Need To Chew?

Dogs need to chew because it is a natural behavior that aids in dental health, provides mental stimulation, and helps alleviate boredom or anxiety.

Chewing is an instinctive behavior in dogs that serves multiple purposes. First, it aids in maintaining their dental health.

When dogs chew, it helps to scrape off the plaque from their teeth, promoting better oral hygiene and preventing dental diseases.

Benefits of Dog Chewing Bones

Chewing bones offers dogs a range of benefits from dental health, and stress relief, to provide essential nutrients.

Dental Health

Chewing on bones can be beneficial for a dog’s dental health. The act of chewing helps in the removal of plaque and promotes healthier teeth and gums. Especially for puppies and young dogs, chewing encourages the development of their teeth.

Stress Relief

Chewing is a natural way for dogs to relieve stress and anxiety. It provides mental stimulation and helps dogs release pent-up energy. The act of ripping, shredding, and tearing at bones works the jaw and neck muscles, using up energy and helping to reduce anxiety.

Nutrient Provision

Bones can provide dogs with key nutrients they need for good health. Beef bones, for example, offer calcium and phosphorus, both of which aid in maintaining strong bones and teeth. Bones may also have traces of meat and fat attached to them which can provide protein and other essential nutrients.

Skin and Coat Health

Raw bones can contribute to better skin and coat health in dogs. They contain a variety of minerals that help to improve the quality of a dog’s skin and coat.

Safety Considerations

Despite these benefits, it’s important to note that not all bones are safe for dogs. Some bones may splinter and cause internal injuries, and large bones can pose a choking hazard. Always supervise your dog when they’re chewing on a bone and choose bones that are appropriate for your dog’s size and chewing habits.

How Long Should a Dog Chew On a Bone

Most experts suggest that a dog should chew on a bone for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Chewing on a bone can be a beneficial activity for dogs, providing them with mental stimulation and aiding in dental health. However, it’s crucial to ensure this activity is done safely.

Most experts recommend allowing a dog to chew on a bone for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

This duration allows your pet to enjoy the benefits of chewing without the risk of overindulgence which could lead to potential hazards like choking or gastrointestinal obstruction.

After the chewing session, the bone should be removed and stored safely. This prevents the dog from chewing the bone down to a size that could be swallowed, posing a choking risk.

It also prevents the bone from becoming too worn or brittle, which could lead to splintering and subsequent internal injuries.

The Connection Between Chewing and Mental Stimulation

Chewing ActivityMental Stimulation
Teething ReliefChewing provides puppies with relief during their teething phase, which can be a stressful time. This can reduce anxiety and promote a more positive mental state.
Dental HealthRegular chewing helps keep a dog’s teeth clean and healthy, reducing discomfort and stress associated with dental problems.
Physical ExerciseChewing is a form of physical activity that engages not only the jaw but also the brain, providing mental stimulation.
Behavioral EnrichmentChewing on bones or toys can provide dogs with sensory and mental stimulation, helping to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
Stress ReliefThe act of chewing releases endorphins in a dog’s brain, which can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Problem-SolvingChewing items like puzzle toys or bones with hidden treats can engage a dog’s problem-solving skills, providing mental stimulation.

Potential Risks of Chewing Bones

Chewing bones can pose potential risks to dogs, including dental injuries, choking hazards, and digestive complications.

Dental Injuries

When dogs chew on hard substances like bones, there’s a risk of dental injuries. If a dog bites down too hard on a bone, they could chip or fracture their teeth, exposing more sensitive areas and leading to oral pain. Over time, these injuries can result in significant dental health problems and discomfort for the dog.

Choking Hazards

Bones, particularly small or splintered ones, can pose serious choking hazards to dogs. If a piece of bone becomes lodged in a dog’s throat, it can cause distress and may require immediate veterinary attention. In severe cases, choking on a bone can be life-threatening.

Digestive Complications

Bones, especially cooked ones, can splinter into sharp pieces when chewed. If swallowed, these fragments can cause damage to the dog’s digestive tract, leading to complications like perforations or blockages. These conditions are serious and can be fatal without prompt veterinary treatment.

Contamination Risks

Bones, particularly raw ones, can carry pathogens that may pose health risks to both dogs and humans. These pathogens can cause illnesses ranging from mild gastrointestinal upsets to serious conditions like salmonellosis says Daily Dog Drama.

Alternatives To Bones For Chewing

There are several safe and healthy alternatives to bones for dogs to chew on, including vegetable-based chews, bully sticks, Himalayan yak cheese chews, and more.


Pegetables are dental dog chews that are made from nutritious vegetables. They provide the same satisfaction as bones but are safer and healthier, offering additional nutrients beneficial to a dog’s health.

Bully Sticks

Bully sticks are popular rawhide alternatives that are fully digestible and less likely to cause choking or blockages in dogs. They offer the hard texture that dogs enjoy chewing, while also being safer than bones.

Himalayan Yak Cheese Chews

Himalayan yak cheese chews are an all-natural alternative to rawhide that have no harsh odor. These chews are made from yak milk, offering a unique flavor that dogs love. They’re also hard and long-lasting, providing dogs with plenty of chewing time.

Frozen Marrow Bones

Frozen marrow bones are commercially available and can be a safer alternative to rawhide chews. The freezing process helps to kill any pathogens, and the marrow provides additional nutritional benefits.

Collagen Sticks

Collagen sticks are another safe alternative to rawhide. They’re highly digestible and can help to support a dog’s skin, coat, and joint health.

Beef Tracheas

Beef tracheas are both chewable and edible, providing dogs with a source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are beneficial for joint health.

No-Hide Chews

No-hide chews are a safer alternative to rawhide, made with digestible ingredients. They offer the same satisfaction as rawhide without the associated risks.

Frozen Kongs

Frozen Kongs can be filled with a dog’s favorite treats or kibble, providing mental stimulation as well as a satisfying chew.

Sweet Potato Chews

Sweet potato chews are a natural and nutritious alternative to rawhide. They’re hard enough to satisfy a dog’s urge to chew, while also providing beneficial nutrients.

Cod Skins and Wolffish Skins

Cod skins and wolffish skins are natural, edible chews that provide dogs with a source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for skin and coat health.

Fruitables BioActive Raw Hide Alternative Chews

Fruitables BioActive chews are made with real meat and vegetables, providing a healthy and digestible alternative to rawhide. They’re designed to clean teeth and freshen breath, while also satisfying a dog’s natural urge to chew.

Does Chewing Burn Dogs’ Energy?

Yes, chewing does burn dogs’ energy as it engages both their physical and mental faculties.

Chewing is a physical activity that requires a dog to use their jaw muscles.

This can be a significant source of exercise for dogs, especially for those who are less active or have mobility issues.

The physical act of chewing helps to keep these muscles strong and healthy, while also contributing to a dog’s daily calorie expenditure.

Does Chewing on Bones Relax Dogs?

Yes, chewing on bones can indeed help relax dogs as it serves as a form of stress relief and can trigger the release of calming hormones.

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs and serves multiple purposes. One of these is stress relief.

When a dog chews on a bone or a chew toy, it helps them relieve feelings of boredom, loneliness, and frustration.

This activity keeps them occupied and can help reduce destructive behaviors that often stem from these negative emotions.

Should I Let My Dog Chew on Hard Bones?

No, it’s generally not recommended to let your dog chew on hard bones as they can pose serious health risks including dental damage and potential choking hazards.

Hard bones, such as those from cows or pigs, can cause damage to a dog’s teeth. They may be too hard for a dog’s teeth and can lead to fractures or other dental injuries.

Some dogs are particularly enthusiastic chewers and might try to break the bone apart, putting their teeth at risk in the process.

In addition to dental risks, hard bones can also pose a choking hazard. If a dog manages to break off large pieces of the bone, they might try to swallow them.


Q: Can chewing bones make a dog sick?

A: While chewing bones can provide benefits for dogs, it is important to use caution. Chewing on bones can pose risks such as choking or causing a blockage in the dog’s esophagus or digestive tract. It is important to choose appropriate chew toys or bones that are safe for your dog’s size and chewing habits. It is always a good idea to supervise your dog while they are chewing on a bone and to consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Q: Can puppies chew bones?

A: Puppies have a stronger need for chewing than adult dogs as they are teething and exploring their environment. While puppies can chew bones, it is important to choose appropriate chew toys or bones that are specifically designed for puppies. These toys and bones are softer and gentler on their developing teeth and gums, reducing the risk of injury.

Q: What should I give my dog to chew?

A: There are various options for dogs to chew on. Some popular choices include chew toys, natural treats, rawhide, and specially designed dental chews. It is important to give your dog something that is safe and appropriate for their size and chewing habits. It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian to determine the best chewing options for your dog.

Q: Is chewing on bones good for a dog’s teeth?

A: Chewing on bones can help to keep a dog’s teeth clean by reducing plaque buildup. The act of chewing helps to scrape away plaque and tartar, promoting good dental hygiene in dogs. However, it is important to note that not all bones are safe for dogs to chew on. Some bones can be too hard and can cause dental fractures or other injuries. It is best to choose appropriate chew toys or bones that are safe for your dog’s teeth.

Q: Can dogs find chewing rawhides mentally stimulating?

A: Yes, dogs can find chewing rawhides mentally stimulating. Rawhides provide dogs with a challenging and engaging activity that requires them to use their problem-solving skills. Chewing rawhides can help to provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom in dogs.

Q: Can dogs choke on bones?

A: Yes, dogs can choke on bones if they are not given the appropriate size and type of bone for their chewing habits. It is important to choose bones that are large enough that they cannot be easily swallowed or become lodged in the dog’s throat. Supervision is also key when giving bones to dogs to ensure their safety.

Q: Can chewing bones make a dog’s breath smell better?

A: Chewing bones can help to improve a dog’s breath by reducing plaque buildup and preventing the growth of bacteria in their mouth. The act of chewing helps to keep the dog’s teeth clean, which can contribute to fresher breath. However, it is important to note that bad breath can also be a sign of dental or health issues, so it is always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s breath.

Q: How often should I let my dog chew on bones?

A: The frequency of allowing your dog to chew on bones depends on their individual needs and chewing habits. Some dogs have a stronger need for chewing and may benefit from daily chewing sessions, while others may be satisfied with less frequent chewing. It is important to monitor your dog’s chewing behavior and adjust accordingly to ensure they are getting enough physical and mental stimulation.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, it appears that chewing bones can indeed make dogs tired.

This is because the act of gnawing on a bone stimulates the release of endorphins and serotonin, which help to relax the dog both physically and mentally.

Chewing bones also provide an outlet for excess energy and help to keep dogs occupied during times of boredom or stress.

As such, it is an effective way to ensure your dog gets the rest they need.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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