What Age Can I Give My Puppy a Bone?

Dog owners know how much their four-legged friends enjoy chewing on a bone. They’re a great option if your dog loves to chew and they can have some excellent health benefits too.

But what age is it okay to give a puppy a bone, and how safe are bones in the first place?

Make no bones about it, after reading this guide you’ll have a better idea about:

  • When it’s okay to give your puppy a bone

  • What types of bones are safe for puppies to chew on

  • Bones to avoid

  • Great bone alternatives for your pup to chew

Before we dig in, it’s important that you always supervise your dog when you give them a bone, and never give them cooked bones, but we’ll discuss that further in this guide.

Can I give my puppy a bone?

There are a few concrete facts about puppies: #1 They’re cute. #2 They’re chewing machines.

You may have landed on this page after discovering yet another cushion is now a pile of shreds, or perhaps one of your trainers has a chunk missing.

At around 12 weeks old, puppies begin to lose their baby teeth and their permanent teeth start to come through. During this time, your puppy will feel a lot of discomfort in their gums, which they alleviate by chewing – hence why they want to chew on anything (and anyone)!

So, it’s okay to give your puppy a bone once they’re 12 weeks old, just keep an eye on your pup and don’t let them chew on their bone for too long. The type of bone your pup chews on is also another important factor.

What kinds of bones can I give my puppy?

Generally, the best raw bones for puppies should be larger than their head, edible, and non-weight bearing, meaning they’re resistant to splintering and they’ll crumble as your pup chews. You can often get these raw fresh bones from your local butcher.

When it comes to choosing a bone that’s safe for your puppy to chew on, always consider these three main factors:


To avoid being a choking hazard, you should get your puppy a bone that’s at least the size of their head. Large bones with rounded edges are ideal.  


It’s important to choose a bone that isn’t so hard that it’ll harm your puppy’s teeth or jaw, or a bone that’s brittle and likely to splinter.

Type of Bone

The bones of different animals can vary greatly, and while some are safe, others, like poultry bones should be avoided, but we’ll come onto that next.

Bones to avoid

  • Cooked bones: cooked bones are brittle and are easy to break and splinter.

  • Poultry bones: chicken and turkey bones are small and easily splinter.

  • Small bones: these can be a choking hazard.

  • Hard marrow bones: hard bones such as lamb cutlets and T-bones can be tough on your puppy’s mouth.

  • Frozen bones: these are bad for your pup’s oral health, so if you do get frozen bones, it’s important to let them fully thaw before giving to your pup.

How to safely give your dog a bone

As always, your dog’s safety is paramount, so if you’re offering your puppy a bone for the first time, these tips will help ensure your pup enjoys their bone safely.

Keep an eye on your puppy

Just as you’d monitor your pup playing with a dog toy, it’s important to watch your pup as they chew on their bone so that you can prevent any potential choking hazards.

So fresh, so clean

To avoid the spread of bacteria, always wash your hands after handling your dog’s bone, and the surfaces it touches once they’re done with it. The fresher the bone, the better – after three or four days it’s best to discard your pup’s raw bone.

Limit your puppy’s chewing time

Giving your dog a bone to chew on shouldn’t be an everyday activity as excessive chewing can bruise your pup’s gums. Instead, your pup should chew on their bone for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time, a few times a week.

If you want to distract your puppy when you take their bone away, then dog toys are a great way to keep them occupied!

3 safe alternatives to bones

Whether you’d prefer not to give your puppy a bone or you’re looking for a replacement once they’ve finished chewing their bone, there are plenty of options.

1. Rubber chew toys

Whether it’s a classic Kong toy or our popular Toothy Treat dog toy, tough, bite-resistant rubber treat toys will keep your pup occupied and alleviate their chewing pangs. Designed to last, these toys also promote dental hygiene and can aid digestion.


2. Carrots

Full-size carrots are a wonderful (and healthy) choice when your dog wants to chew. Plus, they’re rich in nutrients and low in calories.

3. Fish skin

Dried fish skins are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep your pup’s coat shiny. Fish skin chews can have a chewy texture, making them a popular chew option.

Gifts to pamper your pup with

When your puppy is teething, they’ll really appreciate being given something nice to chew on. Likewise, treating your pup to a pamper session is a furbulous way to bond and make them feel wonderfully cared for.

dog towel, dog grooming range, yappy dog towel, cockapoo dog towel, cavapoo dog towel


From dog shampoos that are suitable for pups aged 6 weeks and above to soft and absorbent dog towels that are personalised especially for your doggo, find everything you need to keep your furry friend clean, smelling fresh, and dried off a treat!

Yappy to help

We hope you found this post informative and now have a better understanding about when it’s okay to give your puppy a bone, and which bones to avoid.

If you’re a puppy parent, be sure to check out our blog posts about how much play your new pup needs, as well as what to put in a new puppy gift basket!

Yappy.com is a personalised pet product shop for dog and cat lovers, simply select a breed and icon and add your pet’s name to create a personalised shop just for you and your pet.

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