Can Dogs Eat Pork Shoulder Bones? [Safer Alternatives]

dog chewing on a bone

Dogs can eat pork shoulder bones as long as they are prepared correctly. The bones must be raw, not too small (to avoid a choking hazard), and not too hard (to prevent dental issues). It’s also important to ensure your dog does not have any stomach issues before feeding them a bone.

Have you ever seen a more content animal than a dog that’s laying on a cozy floor, gnawing on a good old-fashioned bone? Because I sure haven’t!

Dogs enjoy bones for well-known and less-known reasons. They enjoy getting any remaining meat left on the bone, of course, but also to fight boredom and to ease their constant need to chew.

When a dog chews on a bone, they release endorphins, which are tied to happiness. Plus, bones are high in calcium, which is one of the most essential minerals in a dog’s diet.

The act of chewing on bones also relaxes your dog and even helps strengthen their jaws, necks, and facial muscles!

Chewing on bones is also a survival instinct. During times when food was scarce, wolves would chew through leftover bones to get to the marrow inside.

For these reasons, dogs love chewing on bones. But are there any particular bones they shouldn’t chew on?

It’s common knowledge that dogs shouldn’t chew on chicken bones. They shouldn’t chew on cooked bones in particular because they shrivel and are more likely to splinter, which can easily cause dogs to choke, cut their innards, and/or block their gastrointestinal tract.

What about other animals’ bones that we use in our own food, like beef or pork? Are they safe for dogs?, or should they be avoided?

Can Dogs Eat Pork Shoulder Bone?

There is almost nothing better for a meat-lover than homemade pork shoulder, and your dog would probably agree with that.

However, dog owners should be wary about feeding their pups the bones and even the meat from this delicious meal, depending on how it’s all prepared.

It’s okay to give a dog uncooked pork shoulder bones. But, if you cook them and give them to your dog, they are far more likely to splinter and cause a puncture. You should also not give your dog any bones that have been smoked or steamed. Any bone that’s been cooked (regardless of the cooking method), should NOT be given to your dog.

Pork Shoulder Bones Must Be Prepared Correctly

Dogs can eat pork shoulder bones as long as they are prepared correctly. So long as they are raw, not too small, not too hard, and the dog does not have any stomach issues, they should be able to safely enjoy these tasty bones.

However, it’s important to note that if your dog has known stomach issues, these might not be the best option for him because these particular bones can exacerbate the symptoms.

A dog owner should also avoid leaving any uncooked meat on pork shoulder bones before giving them to their pup.

Dogs can eat cooked pork, but raw bone. Therefore, when preparing this particular bone for your pup, you should properly remove all the raw meat and clean it thoroughly before giving it to them. Then, if you want to give them the pork meat, you should cook it first.

If you do not cook pork meat first, this can make your dog very ill. They can get parasites from eating raw meat in general, but more so from pork, and in turn have various undesirable issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, pain, whimpering, and a lack of appetite

Pork bones, even when raw, are more likely to splinter and crack than other bones. Raw pork shoulder bones are safer than many other pork bones, such as pork ribs, but when giving them to your pup, be sure to monitor him closely.

Best Bone Options for Your Dog

Although dogs can eat pork shoulder bones, there are better bone options out there. For example, Beef bones are just one of the many great options for dogs to chew on.

On top of beef bones, dogs benefit from chewing on other bones, such as chicken (if raw), lamb, kangaroo, deer and goat antlers, and even synthetic bones.

Chicken bones (raw, of course) are an excellent option for dogs. These bones can be helpful for dogs that have weaker chewing capabilities, especially puppies who haven’t lost their baby teeth yet.

Deer and goat antlers are great options for your dog because they keep your dog occupied like most other bones, but also keep their teeth clean. One important note with antlers, though, is that they can be more expensive.

It’s important to note your dog’s weight and size when giving them a new bone. A bone shouldn’t entirely fit in your dog’s mouth, so bones that are suitable for small dogs might not be so for larger breeds.

When in doubt, buy your dog a bone that is larger than her muzzle. This will significantly lessen the chances of her trying to swallow the bone whole and then choking. Dispose of any bone after three or four days to reduce the chances of her swallowing the bone whole as well.

Bones Dogs Cannot Eat

Cooked bones, as mentioned above, are dangerous for dogs. Dogs shouldn’t have bones that are smaller than their muzzles. Your dog should also chew their bones well and not swallow sizable pieces whole.

Their bones should never fit entirely in their mouth. Your dog should also be able to carry the bone around, but not too heavy that they can’t pick it up. They should gnaw on the ends of the bone and make their way in.

Dogs shouldn’t be provided bones that are too hard for them as well. If they are, they are far more likely to damage their mouths and teeth.

Dog owners should also be wary of certain types of bones. Pork rib bones, for example, aren’t suitable for dogs to eat even when raw. These are exceptionally high in fat, which can cause digestive issues in your pup.

Other Options Besides Bones

If you are wary of giving your dog a pork shoulder bone (or any bone for that matter), there are plenty of other chewing options for your pup.

Synthetic bones are safe and enjoyable for dogs. Nylon bones, in particular, adhere to a dog’s particular size and chewing capabilities, which makes each dog’s chewing experience personalized, comfortable, and safe.

Tips for Giving Your Dog a Pork Shoulder Bone

When giving your dog a new pork shoulder bone, you should be nearby to monitor them. If the bone seems too small (choking hazard), you’ll want to have something to trade with him.

A great tip when buying a bone is to make sure that it slightly bends when pressed against your knee. That way, you know the bone isn’t too hard for your dog’s teeth, mouth, or jaw.

As mentioned above, pay close attention to the size of the bone. You don’t want your dog to fit the whole thing in his mouth.

Be Smart – Be Safe – Have Fun

Dogs love pork shoulder bones, and assuming it hasn’t been cooked, pork shoulder bones are a great selection for your dog. Just remember to always monitor your dog while they’re chewing on a bone.

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