best bones for big dogs

10 Best Dog Bones for Big Dogs (2019 Reviews)

Just so you know, this post may contain affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through links on this page, Canine Weekly may collect a share of the sale or other compensation. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Looking for the best dog bones for big dogs?

Dogs love to chew, but chewing the wrong thing can cause serious damage to your dog’s teeth, mouth, or digestive system, even resulting in death. So which are the best bones for big dogs? The answer isn’t as simple as you may expect.

Let’s talk about raw bones versus cooked bones along with alternatives to bones that may be safer for large dogs.

Here’s a quick table with our top picks before we go into more detail about what to look for when choosing bones or bone alternatives for your big dog to choose from.

Our Top Bones for Large Dogs

The Best Bully Sticks for Big Dogs

Pawstruck 12″ Braided Bully Sticks for Dogs

  • No artificial ingredients, hormones, or chemicals
  • Made from free range, grass fed cattle
  • Low odor

The Best Edible Dog Chews for Big Dogs

Nylabone Nubz Natural Dog Chew Treats

  • Made in the USA
  • Highly digestible
  • Good value

The Best Dental Treats for Big Dogs

Dozers Dental Dog Chews

  • Made in the USA
  • Gluten free with no artificial colors or flavors
  • 100% all-natural ingredients

The Best Yak Chews for Big Dogs

Native Pet Yak Chews for Dogs

  • Low odor
  • Long-lasting
  • Full of protein but no gluten, grain, or lactose

The Best Chew Toys for Big Dogs

Nylabone Power Chews

  • Made in the USA
  • Designed for powerful chewers
  • Flavor throughout

best dog bones for large dogs

Why Do Dogs Chew?

Think about what wolves eat – they kill an animal and eat as much of it as possible. Small prey may be eaten whole, while the meaty bones of larger prey can be worked on after the rest of the kill has been eaten.

Bones are a great source of calcium, and the inside of weight-bearing bones has marrow, which contains vital nutrients.

Your dog may not resemble a wolf very much, but they still have that instinct to get as much meat off of or marrow out of a bone as they can to add nutrition to their diet. Without access to bones or other items that are appropriate to chew on, your dog might decide your shoes or furniture are acceptable substitutes.

That’s why you should always make sure your dog has access to toys that they can chew on when they’re alone and bones or treats that they can chew on when you’re around to supervise.

While it may be tempting to leave your dog home alone with a bone or chew toy, many of them can cause problems if large pieces are swallowed whole, so you should watch your dog with it, especially if it’s something new.

Cooked Vs Raw Vs “Other” Dog Bones

You may already know that you should never give your dog cooked bones (especially small ones, like chicken bones). Just in case you haven’t heard, cooked bones can splinter and get lodged in your dog’s throat or intestines. Pieces of bone can puncture or get trapped in your dog’s digestive system and cause serious problems, including death.

Raw bones are now commonly recommended by vets and proponents of raw diets in place of cooked bones. Raw bones aren’t without their risks either, though.

Some risks associated with giving your dog raw bones include:

  • Pieces of bone (or whole, small bones) can get stuck in your dog’s throat or intestines
  • Constipation caused by bone fragments
  • Rectal bleeding caused by bone fragments
  • Peritonitis, a severe infection caused by pieces of bones piercing your dog’s stomach or intestines
  • Mouth or tongue injuries
  • Broken teeth
  • Risk of bacterial infection to dogs and humans

If you do choose to feed raw bones, here are some guidelines:

  • Always supervise your dog. Keep an eye out for choking and remove bones when they get small enough to swallow.
  • Limit where your dog can eat raw bones to places that are easy to clean, like outside, in a crate, or gated in the kitchen.
  • Don’t give them to dogs with dental work or a predisposition to pancreatitis.
  • Separate dogs to prevent fighting over the bones
  • Don’t give a bone to a dog strong enough to break off large chunks and swallow them whole.

Luckily, there are alternatives to raw or cooked bones, including:

  • Bully sticks – Only one ingredient – baked beef pizzle
  • Edible dog chews – Meant to last longer than other treats
  • Dental treats – Designed to clean dogs teeth and gums
  • Yak chews – Made from Himalayan yak milk, it’s a hardened cheese
  • Chew toys – Non-edible sturdy toys designed for chewing

What About Rawhide?

Rawhide is undigestible and can cause blockages in your dog’s intestinal tract. It’s also processed using a lot of chemicals. There are far healthier things for your dog to chew on than rawhide.

You should also avoid antlers and hooves. These treats have become increasingly popular, but they don’t have any “give” and can break your dog’s teeth because they’re too hard. Hooves and pig ears can also get stuck in your dog’s mouth or throat.

best dog bones for big dogs

What Are The Best Dog Bones for Big Dogs?

Since we don’t recommend giving your dog actual bones, we’re going to talk about the top 2 products in 5 different categories: bully sticks, edible dog chews, dental treats, yak milk chews, and chew toys.

The Best Bully Sticks for Big Dogs

#1 – Pawstruck 12″ Braided Bully Sticks for Dogs

This product is 3 bully sticks twisted together for one of the most durable bully sticks you’ll find for large dogs and power chewers. While they aren’t made in the USA, the South American facilities where they’re made are up to FDA, USDA, and outside 3rd party USA standards.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • No artificial ingredients, hormones, or chemicals
  • Made from free-range, grass-fed cattle
  • Low odor
  • 30-day satisfaction guarantee

Ingredients: Beef pizzle

Pluses:

  • They last longer than other bully sticks
  • Dogs love the flavor
  • Price per stick is better when bought in bulk

Negatives:

  • Noticeable odor
  • Variable size – some braided sticks are thinner than expected
  • Expensive

Bottom Line: While these sticks aren’t as “low odor” as the company claims, they last much longer than most other bully sticks and are the best bone for large dogs and strong chewers. Buying in bulk reduces the price per stick.

#2 – Nature Gnaws Jumbo Bully Sticks (6 Count)

These dog chews are extra thick, which makes them a better bully stick for aggressive chewers and large dogs. The meat is cleaned with water instead of chemicals and inspected before being packaged. These bully sticks are made in the USA with beef from Argentina.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Extra thick for large dogs and aggressive chewers
  • Made from grass-fed beef
  • No added hormones, preservatives or colors
  • Sticks come in a resealable bag to retain freshness

Ingredients: Beef pizzle

Pluses:

  • Most dogs love the taste
  • Lasts longer than smaller bully sticks
  • No mess

Negatives:

  • Strong odor
  • Some dogs don’t like them
  • Not as long-lasting as braided bully sticks

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a somewhat longer-lasting bully stick than the typical size, these are a great option. They won’t hold up forever against aggressive chewers, but they last longer than the average bully stick.

The Best Edible Dog Chews for Big Dogs

#1 – Nylabone Nubz Natural Dog Chew Treats

If bully sticks are too expensive for your budget or you worry about your dog swallowing large pieces, these edible chew treats are a great option. They have limited ingredients and are highly digestible. Additionally, they’re made in the USA.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Highly digestible
  • Good value

Ingredients: Wheat starch, glycerin, powdered cellulose, dried chicken, lecithin, natural flavor, and natural bacon flavor

Pluses:

  • Most dogs love them
  • Chewy rather than hard (as long as they aren’t stale)
  • They help clean teeth

Negatives:

  • Variable quality when ordered online
  • Makes some dogs sick
  • Doesn’t last very long for big dogs

Bottom Line: Some dogs get sick from these treats, and they aren’t very long-lasting, but most dogs LOVE these treats, and they help scrub plaque and tartar from dogs’ teeth.

#2 – Earth Animal No-Hide Salmon Chews 7″

If your dog loves rawhide, but you’ve just learned about its dangers, these no-hide salmon chews are a great substitute. They’re highly digestible, so they don’t carry the same risks as rawhide.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made with wild-caught salmon
  • No chemicals, bleaches, formaldehyde, or additives
  • Made in the USA

Ingredients: Wild caught Salmon, (No Hide Salmon Chew), Vegetable Gelatin, Brown Rice Flour, Organic Eggs, Olive Oil, Banana, Bromeliad (Pineapple)

Pros:

  • Lasts longer than many other chews
  • Limited ingredients – great for dogs with food allergies
  • Dogs usually love the flavor (this brand also makes other flavors for dogs who don’t like salmon)

Cons:

  • Made some dogs sick
  • Smelly
  • Quality control issues – some customers received moldy product

Bottom Line: While there is variable quality control with this product, most dogs love it, and most owners are thrilled that it lasts longer than many other chews. There are several flavors to choose from in this line of treats.

The Best Dental Treats for Big Dogs

#1 – Dozers Dental Dog Chews

These gluten-free dental treats use natural ingredients like parsley to help freshen your dog’s breath, while the unique shape helps clean your dog’s teeth and gums.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Gluten free with no artificial colors or flavors
  • 100% all-natural ingredients
  • Unique shape helps clean all teeth

Ingredients: Potato Flour, Powdered Cellulose, Vegetable Glycerin, Water, Brown Rice Flour, Lecithin, Chicken Flavor & Parsley Cumin

Pluses:

  • Most dogs love the flavor (even picky ones)
  • Improves breath
  • Cleans teeth

Negatives:

  • Some dogs don’t like the flavor
  • A little expensive

Bottom Line: There are hardly any negative reviews about this product. Most large dogs and humans love them, even if they feel the price is a little high.

#2 – Greenies Dog Dental Chews Dog Treats

Greenies are one of the first, and probably the most popular, brands of dog chews. While the original formula was harder and caused some blockages, the new formula is chewier and easier to digest.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Unique texture
  • Veterinarian recommended and accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC)
  • Made with natural, easy-to-digest ingredients and nutritionally complete
  • Made in the USA

Ingredients: Wheat flour, wheat gluten, glycerin, gelatin, oat fiber, water, lecithin, natural poultry flavor, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, magnesium amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, selenium, potassium iodide), dried apple pomace, choline chloride, fruit juice color, vitamins (dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate [vitamin B5], niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement [vitamin B2], vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride [vitamin B6], thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], folic acid), turmeric color

Pluses:

  • Most dogs love the flavor
  • Helps keep teeth clean
  • Improves breath in many dogs

Negatives:

  • Somewhat expensive
  • Makes some dogs sick
  • Some dogs swallow them whole or barely chew

Bottom Line: While some dogs experience stomach issues after eating Greenies, most dogs love them and don’t have digestive problems. Many people report that their dog has better breath or whiter teeth after giving this product consistently.

The Best Yak Chews for Big Dogs

#1 – Native Pet Yak Chews for Dogs

Looking for an alternative to bully sticks or treats made with a ton of ingredients? These yak chews only include a few ingredients. They’re long-lasting but gentle on your dog’s teeth. The best part is that the last bit of the chew can be microwaved into a safe puff rather than thrown out to prevent your dog from swallowing it whole.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Low odor
  • Long-lasting
  • Full of protein but no gluten, grain, or lactose
  • Organic

Ingredients: Pasture-raised yak and cow’s milk, salt, and lime juice

Pluses:

  • Most dogs love the flavor
  • Lasts longer than many other treats
  • Last bit can be microwaved to turn it into a harmless puff rather than an intestine-clogging lump

Negatives:

  • This brand may not be as strong/soft as other yak chews
  • Variable quality control
  • Some dogs don’t like these

Bottom Line: There seems to be variable quality control with this product. Most people get a product that they and their dogs love, but some packages arrive with chews that are moldy or brittle. If you get a good batch, these are amazing.

#2 – peaksNpaws Premium Yak Milk Dog Chews

These yak chews are hand-made and vegetarian, making them a great alternative to bully sticks or mass-produced treats with a ton of ingredients. They also have little to no odor.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • No chemicals, preservatives, or additives
  • Odorless
  • Softens instead of breaking when chewed
  • Vegetarian

Ingredients: Yak Milk, Cow Milk, Lime Juice, and Salt

Pluses:

  • Most dogs like them
  • Lasts longer than other chews
  • Usually doesn’t splinter

Negatives:

  • May splinter instead of softening
  • Some dogs don’t like this brand
  • May be too small for very large dogs

Bottom Line: Unless you have a very large dog or one who isn’t fond of chewing, these yak chews are a great option for most dogs. Occasionally they will splinter, but they usually soften. Most people report that these yak chews last longer than other products.

The Best Chew Toys for Big Dogs

#1 – Nylabone Power Chews

If you’d rather avoid adding extra calories to your dog’s diet, these nylon chews infused with enticing flavors are the way to go. They’re made in the USA, so you can trust their quality.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Designed for powerful chewers
  • Flavor throughout

Ingredients: Nylon

Pluses:

  • Durable
  • Most dogs like them
  • Non-stinky

Negatives:

  • Dogs can chew off sharp pieces
  • May cause gums to bleed
  • Some dogs not interested

Bottom Line: Apart from the fact that the edges can become sharp after being chewed on for a while, these might be the longest-lasting chew of any type that you can give your dog. One reviewer had the idea to extend the bone’s life by using a sander to file down the sharp edges.

#2 – Benebone Maplestick Real Wood Durable Dog Stick Chew Toy

For dogs that love to chew on sticks, this is a much safer option. It’s made of nylon infused with real maple wood, so it has the taste of wood without the poky dangers of an actual stick.

Notable Features and Characteristics:

  • Made in the USA
  • Tastes like a real stick
  • Unique shape is easy to hold
  • Benebone supports shelters and rescues throughout the US

Ingredients: Nylon and maple wood

Pluses:

  • More durable than many other chew toys
  • No odor
  • Most dogs love it

Negatives:

  • Some dogs aren’t interested
  • Not as durable as some other chew toys
  • Pieces are dangerous if swallowed

Bottom Line: Like all nylon chew toys, you will want to replace this one as soon as big pieces start coming off, but most people report that this is one of the most durable chew toys they’ve bought for their dog. This is especially popular with dogs who like chewing on sticks.

Things to Look for in Large Dog Bones

Whether you’re looking for actual bones or other things for your dog to chew on, there are a few things you should look for:

  • Bones, chews, and toys should be larger than your dog’s head to prevent them from being swallowed whole
  • They should have some “give” so they’re less likely to break your dog’s teeth
  • Made in the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, or New Zealand
  • Healthy ingredients – avoid lots of sugar, tons of calories, and chemicals used for processing
  • Look for chews with dental benefits

How Often Should You Give Your Dog Bones or Chews?

You can give your dog bones or chews anywhere from once a week to every day. Just remember to account for any extra calories when feeding your dog. Also, always make sure you supervise your dog when they’re eating bones or chews.

In Conclusion

As you can see, we’ve used the term “bones” rather loosely in this article, but there are plenty of things that are safe for your large dog to chew on. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with some options that are a good fit for your dog and your family.

References

You May Also Like…

5 Best Safe Dog Bones and Chews for Aggressive Chewers

5 Alternatives to Rawhide: Safer Chews for Your Canine Companion

5 Best Indestructible Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers

5 Best Calming Treats for Dogs

Leave a Comment: