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Can I give my Dog a MarrowBone

Feb 18, 2024


Are Marrow-Bones Safe for my Dog


All our dogs love the odd marrow-bone but having been asked about them the other day I thought I’d get on with doing a blog on the subject.


These chunky bones can provide a number of benefits to our dogs but can also have some potentially negative disadvantage.


Here’s some arguments for and against




Dental Health


A dog chewing on a raw marrow bone can help keep their teeth clean by reducing plaque and tartar build-up.


Nutritional Benefits


Marrow is rich in nutrients such as fat, calcium, phosphorus, and bone-building minerals that help supplement your dog's diet.


Mental Stimulation


Chewing on bones can provide mental stimulation and help keep your dog entertained, reducing boredom and potentially destructive behaviour.


Joint Health


The marrow in the bone contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which benefit joint health and can help dogs with arthritis or other joint issues.


Natural Instinct


Chewing bones is a natural instinct for dogs. Giving your dog a marrow bone can satisfy this urge in a controlled and safe manner.





Choking Hazard


There is a risk of choking, especially if the dog attempts to swallow large pieces of bone.


Intestinal Blockage


Fragments of bone can lead to intestinal blockage or perforation, which is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.


Dental Damage


Hard bones can crack or break teeth, leading to painful dental issues that may require veterinary attention.


Fat Content


Marrow is high in fat, which can be problematic for dogs prone to obesity or with pancreatitis.


Bacterial Contamination


Raw bones can carry bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, posing potential health risks to both the dog and human members of the household.



My Recommendations


Always supervise your dog when they are chewing a marrow bone to intervene and take it off them if necessary.

Choose a bone that is size appropriate for your dog to minimise the risks of choking and intestinal blockage.

Given that marrow is high in fat, you’d be best to offer marrow bones sparingly, especially for dogs with weight issues or sensitive stomachs.

Ensure the bone is sourced from a reputable supplier to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination. I generally get mine from a supermarket (next to the steaks in a refrigerated unit)




When choosing a marrow-bone for your dog it’s important to note the difference between a refrigerated bone with white marrow and a cooked one with brown filling.

The fresh, white marrow offers a nutritional and safe option for your dog, packed with essential nutrients, without the risks associated with cooked bones with the filling containing many unknown ingredients.

Simple rule of thumb to remember - If it's white, it's alright; if it's brown, put it down.