Choosing the best bones for dogs in your life isn’t as simple as it seems. There’s a lot to consider- your pooch’s safety, what’s best for their teeth, how to keep that busy mind engaged and so more.

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt recently, it’s that a bone can be your best ally in the fight to keep Fido stimulated mentally and busy all day. This is especially true if you’re out at work a lot like me, and if you have an active chewer on your hands.

Some pups would be happy with a few toys, maybe a ball to chase around all day, but not mine! Fortunately, they jump for joy at the sight of any of these top picks on my favorite list of best bones for 2017.

Today, I’m sharing that list with you- I hope your pooches enjoy it as much as mine!

best bones for dogs 2017 - Ultimate buyer's guide & review

What you need to consider before choosing the best bones for dogs you love

Not every pup is suited to every type of bone. Here’s the main things to look out for!

  • Why not real bones?

Real bones may sound better especially when going all natural is the trend- but don’t! Poultry bones are a deathly hazard for dogs. They can fragment both in the throat [and get stuck, chocking your dog] and in the stomach, where they can pierce the stomach lining and cause severe damage. Marrow bones often trigger pancreatitis. Bigger bones are barely better. The bone ‘meal’ your pup grinds off with his chewing will often compact, causing constipation at best and intestinal blockages at worse. There’s no safe ‘real’ bone for a dog to have unsupervised

  • How big is your pooch?

Bone size matters. A little Chihuahua is going to struggle with a big bone, and they could get broken teeth. A big doggie won’t fare better with a bone that’s too little. At best they’ll gnaw through it so quickly they won’t enjoy, at worst it could become a serious choking hazard.

  • How healthy are Fido’s teeth?

A nifty side effect of using bones is that most will dramatically improve dental health. So if your pooch has problems like gingivitis, getting one of the best bones for dogs on our list will make a difference in their mouth health. However, if your pup’s teeth are very delicate [or a little rotten], if they’re old or if they’ve had dental extractions already you may need to get them a treat that will be more gentle.

  • Does your pup have any ‘taste’ preferences?

While most doggies are happy with any treat, you may have noticed your pooch has a texture preference. Some dogs love picking up wood to chew, and wood can be dangerous to let them play with because it splinters. Fortunately, some modern bone ranges have the perfect solution, simulating the feel and satisfaction of wood to chew without any of the risks.

Some pups also have that certain taste they go loony for- be it poultry, fish or meat. Looking out for a bone impregnated with their favorite will make the experience even better for them. Of course, you always need to consider allergy potential if you have a sensitive woof, too.

  • Why not rawhide?

Rawhide is a big controversy. While it’s true many dogs tolerate rawhide bones and have great fun with them, they’re not the best bone for dogs by far. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say ‘dubious chemical stew ‘applies to the manufacture, and there’s a very real risk of compaction in the intestines. Rather skip rawhide.

  • How do I pick the right materials?

Not all chew bones are created equal. Cheap materials fragment and shred as your pup chews, making the bone wear out fast as well as posing risks. Sadly, country of origin plays a part here- bones made in countries with stricter production laws, like the US, are less likely to face the possibility of toxic contamination then in countries with more lax laws. Look for the origin country for peace of mind and avoid unlabeled ‘unknown’ bulk bin bones.

  • Problem pups

Even with the right bone, you may know you have a problem woof on your hands. Some pups are natural ‘scarfers’, and will gulp anything. For them, the pleasure isn’t in gnawing, it’s in getting things into their tummy fast. Foil them by opting for a bone larger than usual for the breed. Aggressive chewers- the sort you hear from three rooms over- need a softer bone type that won’t shred their teeth.

  • What about antlers?

Antlers last forever, and are a great bone alternative for soft chewers. They’re too hard for a doggie who chews hard, though. If you have the sort of pup who just likes to hold something, they’re perfect

  • Chew toy or bone?

A combination chew toy is awesome for playful dogs. Nothing beats a good old bone for hectic chewing, though.

In short:

If you keep a few things in mind, making the right choice will be easy:

  • Get the right size for your pooch, and the right shape for their play style
  • Keep their dental needs in mind
  • Avoid ‘difficult’ categories like rawhide and real bones.
  • For safety, nothing beats a veterinary- approved chew bone.
  • Quality ingredients and manufacture make for safe puppies.
  • Pick for what your pup likes best, both taste and texture

Best bones for dogs 2017 – Top 10

Product nameStylePacket SizeFlavorMaterial
Benebone Wishbone Chew ToyY Shaped chew toy1 per packPeanutNylon
Greenies Original Dental TreatsHalf Bone, Half Toothbrush1 per packGreeniesSoluble and Natural
Virbac C.E.T Enzymatic Oral Hygiene ChewsLong broad Strips30 per packPoultryBeef Hide
Purina Busy Bone Mini Dog TreatsIndividual Mini Bones21 ozReal Meat FlavourFirm Biscuit
Nylabone Nutrident CompleteHalf Bone, Half Toothbrush18-125 per packChicken FlavorSoluble and Natural, no synthetic ingredients
Benebone Bacon Wishbone ChewY Shaped chew toy1 per packBaconNylon
Nylabone Healthy Edibles Dog Chew TreatAssorted Shapes1.6 lbsMixed meat flavorsChewy Biscuit
Blue Buffalo Dog BonesClassic Bone27 ozAssortedAll natural biscuit
Supreme Bully SticksStick chew6” or 12” multipacksBeef100% all natural beef
Jim Hodges Premium Elk AntlersAntler Pieces2/3 piecesNatural100% Antler chew

What did not make our list:


With any reviews, there’s always a couple of products that almost make the list, but don’t quite live up to their promise. Here’s two memorable and honorable mentions for the category ‘best bones for dogs in 2017’

Dingo Rawhide Mini Bones

These mini bones are, of course, sized perfectly for little dogs and will provide hours of chewing pleasure. It’s not a bad style, with chicken jerky included to add temptation. The value bag aspect is also appealing, as the larger quantity makes it both budget friendly and longer lasting. The fact the treat includes real meat would have been a bonus too.

I’ll also give the manufacturers extra credit for suggesting you swap out your pups bone every day for greatest safety. However, I couldn’t quite get past the rawhide aspect of the chew. It’s a controversial issue, which is why I included them here- your mileage may vary and it’s a decision you’ll have to make yourself. Dingo also makes sure to use the highest quality rawhide, so if you’re comfortable with rawhide this is the one I’d choose.

Sadly, for me, I’m not happy enough with the rawhide material itself to rate this one higher, although it’s natural flavorings, high protein and design otherwise make it a good bone.

Milk Bone Soft and Chewy Beef and Fillet Mignon Dog Treats

These Milk Bone treats are actually a great pick for a soft biscuit. They’re easy to eat, deliver on taste and seem to be well accepted by a wide range of pooches.  In fact, if you are looking for a way to include a toothless old-timer in the daily treat round, these may well be the perfect biscuit for your needs.

For me, the issue comes in that these are a biscuit, not the chew they’re marketed as. They make a great crunchy treat, but have very little satiety value nor do they offer any real dental benefits. Even though I opted for a few other ‘treat’ style bones for my top ten list, they all had additional factors to make them last longer and help with teeth and breath more. These don’t.

The Milk Bone soft and chewy beef and fillet mignon dog treat is a great little treat for old-timers who need a soft nibble, but as a dental health and mental stimulation aid, they don’t have the staying power of our top ten.

Our pick for the best dog bones

If I had to go for a winner from these best bones for dogs, it would be the Benebone wishbones for sure. I absolutely adore the ‘pop-up’ style that allows the dog to toss, manipulate, play and lift this one themselves without any issues, and the flavors are a win with every pooch who tried it.

On top of that, this is an investment purchase, a toy you can bring out daily to keep Fido entertained while you work without worrying about him getting into trouble and nonsense.

It’s a safe, practical nylon that’s hardwearing too, easy to clean and sanitize and satisfying for hour after hour of chewing. In short, what’s not to love about this premium, US manufactured product?

I love it so much I’d almost use it, if I was a little more of the chewing type!

Read on for a little more detail on this superior product. Definitely a firm 5 stars from me.

The nitty-gritty

So, what made the ten bones on our list so good? Here’s the nitty-gritty you need to know.

Best Bones For Dogs #1: Benebone Wishbone Chew Toy

The wishbone styling of this chew toy takes it past the level of ‘just a bone’ and gives it a little extra zing that’s perfect for puppies who like to play and chase as well as chew. In fact, it’s specially designed to be easy to ‘pop up’ with a foot. They can toss this one around as well as nibble on it for some added excitement. This makes it a perfect choice for playful pups, as well as those who will spend time alone and need mental simulation

It is a harder bone, and pups with delicate gums may need to be watched for a bit of bleeding if they get too enthusiastic. Likewise, the manufacturer warns that a warn bone will start to ‘peel’ large pieces, and at that point the bone will need to be tossed. It’s not the best choice for an aggressive chewer.

The flavoring’s all natural, and the safe nylon construction makes it appealing too.

Conclusion:

All around, it’s a great choice for a moderate chewer or a pup who likes to play and chew in one, and a great companion toy for dogs who’re alone and need entertainment for the day, making it one of the best bones for dogs we can recommend.

Pros
  • Natural Peanut butter flavor
  • Perfect shape for pup to maneuver
  • Long lasting
Cons
  • May make some gums bleed
  • Sharp ends can scratch floors when worn
  • No dental perks

Best Bones For Dogs #2: Greenies Original Dental Treats

Greenies have a reputation as the original dental treat, and it’s one they deserve! These bridge the gap between ‘treat and ‘chew bone’ perfectly, taking a long time to gnaw down for even the biggest dog, but ultimately wearing down into tummy-safe, digestible pieces your pup can swallow without worries. Every bit of the chew is designed for dental care, from the ingredients used to the unique and cute design, and it also offers a few nutritional benefits in the mix too. About the only thing we can say against these nifty treats is that they smell a little odd coming out the packet, and there’s a few dogs who aren’t too keen on it at first.

Greenies are a particularly useful treat to feed with dinner to dogs who eat jelly meat tins or a meat diet. They make a nice balance to the softer meals, and prevent that form of diet promoting dental caries by gently cleaning off the teeth after the meal. It can also add significantly to the feeling of satiety your pup gets [and let you eat dinner in peace]

One word of warning- these are an edible product, and as such do go off. It’s critical you do not buy an expired product. Keep a careful eye on expiry dates labelled on the box, as unscrupulous sources will try to pass their financial dead-end product on to you and your pup.

Conclusion:

These are not the right chews for a ‘scarfer’, as they need to be chewed for a long time to digest properly, but are great for pups with dental issues who need a robust, long lasting chew. It makes a good distraction at the bets, too.

Pros
  • Nice balance of chew and dental care
  • Longer lasting then most dental products
  • Safe to swallow pieces
Cons
  • No real flavor- bland
  • Odd smell
  • Need a dog that chews a long time

Best Bones For Dogs #3: Virbac C.E.T Enzymatic Dental Chews.

This is a new innovation in their flavor range specifically designed to help pooches with bad teeth. The idea is to give them one per day and keep them away from water for 30 minutes to allow the enzyme boosted goodness to do its work.

The treats are also anti-bacterial, promoting a healthier mouth. They deliver fantastic results, and work as a great backup to a regular dental care plan.

It’s especially good if you already use the Virbac dental health range. Pups love to chew the chews too, and they’ll last about the 30 minutes recommended. They are not the best for keeping Fido entertained while you’re at work, but excellent for dental maintenance and they bring a bit of fun routine to dental care- where your pup is usually more used to running away to hide then standing begging for more.

The slight abrasive qualities of the chew mean that they also act on existing tartar buildup and help slowly scour the surface of the tooth to keep teeth in better condition. They’re poultry flavored, but the product itself is based on beef hide.

They do seem to suffer some basic quality control issues, though. Product size varies just a little, and some packets aren’t as fresh as an enzyme product should be. Remember it’s critical that they are fresh to get the dental benefits. It’s best to inspect each pack carefully before purchase.

Conclusion:

Use the Virbac C.E.T Enzymatic chews as a great chewy treat addition to your pet’s dental care regime.

Pros
  • Excellent Dental Care
  • Enzyme boosted care for superior results
  • One a day design, compliments other Virbac dental products
Cons
  • Bad Quality Control
  • Short Lasting 30 min chew
  • Need special handling and water needs to be limited temporarily

Best Bones For Dogs #4: Purina Busy Bones Mini Dog Treat.

While, strictly speaking, these are more of a biscuit then a bone, they’ve been specially designed for a longer, more lasting chew. Made with real meat hidden centers, the bone’s design makes it twisty and turny to get at, encouraging Fido to keep trying and chewing. For the style of treat, they last a decently long while, and the variety of sizes offered in the range mean you can find a Busy Bone for any size dog.

Conclusion:

The Busy Bones occupy an excellent niche, perfect for dogs who can’t quite manage a big bone anymore but who need something more satisfying than just a biscuit.

Pros
  • Perfect for elderly dogs or damaged teeth
  • Real Meat center
  • Range of sizes
Cons
  • No long-term chew
  • Uses wheat in the mix
  • Limited flavors

Best Bones For Dogs #5: Nylabone Nutrident Complete

Nylabone are, perhaps, the most famous name in doggie bones, so it’s hardly surprising a Nylabone product made it to our best bones for dogs list. Superficially shaped similarly to the Greenies dog treat, these are a little more tummy friendly then the original greenies, and more suitable for an aggressive chewer as there’s no need for the dense chewing. The product is made with no plastic, no added salt and sugar, and no gluten. Do note that they do have wheat starch as an ingredient, so some allergy prone dogs may not suit them.

They are a palatable chicken flavor to entice Fido to take