Can Rottweilers Chew on Bones?

Rottweiler waiting on a bone to chew

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Rottweilers are strong, powerful dogs. They were originally bred as guard dogs, and they have a bite force of 328 pounds per square inch (PSI) which puts them at being one of the top three dog breeds with the strongest and most powerful jaw and bite. 

Since Rottweilers are so strong, it’s reasonable to wonder what kind of toys and chews will stand up to their powerful jaws, if any.

If you have a dog, then you understand the importance of giving toys and chews to your dog. Dogs have natural instincts to bite and chew, and it’s best to give them an appropriate outlet. Otherwise, they could end up destroying some of your belongings.   

So the question is, can Rottweilers chew on bones?

Chewing can provide mental stimulation and even help keep your Rottie’s teeth clean but choosing the wrong bone can be dangerous. Never offer cooked bones that can break, smaller bones that can easily be ingested, circular bones that can get stuck on teeth, or pork bones that can break easily as well. 

That’s the quick answer but in this article, we’ll unpack everything there is to know about offering your Rottweiler a bone or chew so that you can fulfill his desire to chew while keeping him safe. 

Why Do Dogs Like To Chew So Much?

Let’s quickly look at why this breed loves to chew so much in the first place.

Natural Exploration

All dogs love to chew! It’s practically in their DNA. 

When puppies are born, they first learn to explore the world with their mouth. This can lead to them putting all sorts of things into their mouth to taste it. 

Teething 

As the puppies grow up a little bit, they begin their teething phase. As they go through the teething process, their mouths are very painful! During this phase, puppies will chew on anything to help relieve the pain. Your puppy should be finished teething by about 6 months old but before that, the teething stage can make puppies very difficult to be around!

For Fun or Anxiety Relief

Did you know that biting and chewing actually relieve stress for dogs? In addition to keeping their teeth clean and providing some entertainment, chewing actually makes them feel good. The act of chewing has a calming effect on dogs, so they may chew for fun or relieve boredom or anxiety. Simply chewing can be a fun game for you Rottie!

Can Rottweilers Eat Bones?

As already mentioned, chewing can help keep teeth clean by stimulating saliva enzymes and helping prevent plaque buildup on teeth. 

However, one of the most important things to remember is that Rottweilers should chew only on safe items. Since chewing does have so many benefits, it’s important to ensure your Rottweiler does have plenty of opportunities to chew on safe items

When it comes to chewing on bones, there’s a lot to discuss! Some bones may be okay for your Rottweiler, but other bones may be harmful. It’s important to educate yourself on this topic to make sure you’re only offering your dog safe chew options.

Now, let’s discuss which kinds of bones are safe and which ones aren’t. If you’re still feeling unsure about giving your Rottweiler a bone to chew on, we’ll also discuss some safe alternatives. 

What To Avoid When Giving A Bone To Your Rottweiler

Let’s go over the basic rules to figure out which bones are bad.

Never Feed Cooked Bones Of Any Kind

Cooked bones are never safe for any dog to eat Cooked bones are brittle, so they can break and splinter. Eating cooked bones can lead to a serious emergency, like an intestinal blockage or puncture in the intestines. 

Don’t Give The Wrong Type of Bone

It’s best to stay away from pork and rib bones. These are smaller bones that are more likely to splinter or crack. Plus, rib bones can contain a lot of fat, which dogs can’t tolerate well. Eating too much fat can lead to pancreatitis

Don’t Give The Wrong Size of Bone

Never give your dog a bone that is small enough that there is any chance they could swallow it whole. If you notice your dog is trying to eat the bone whole or take chunks off of it, immediately take it away.

Never Give A Bone Shaped Like A Circle

When selecting a bone (or even a toy) for your Rottweiler, a good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that you don’t want to offer anything in the shape of a circle. With a circle shape, it’s possible the bone could get stuck behind the canines on the lower jaw. In most cases, this requires the dog to be anesthetized to cut the bone off.

You can see exactly what that looks like here:

What Type of Bone To Give Your Rottweiler To Chew On

When giving your Rottweiler a bone to chew on, it’s best to choose a raw bone from a cow. You want the bone to be about the size of your dog’s head so that your dog can’t break off any chunks. 

Generally, raw beef or bison knuckle bones or raw long bones, like a femur, are the best bone chews for Rottweilers. Knuckle and femur bones are both large bones that your Rottweiler won’t be able to swallow whole. Plus, these are hard bones so your Rottweiler won’t be able to chew it into smaller pieces. 

Never give your Rottweiler a smaller bone, like from a turkey or chicken. Rottweilers have powerful jaws and big mouths! Bones from turkeys and chickens would be too easy for your Rottweiler to swallow whole or even break into pieces. 

How To Give Your Rottweiler A Bone To Chew On

Even after you choose the right bone, there are still some rules to consider.

Always supervise when offering a bone as a chew.

Anytime you offer your dog something new, whether it’s a chew or toy, you should always be around to supervise. As long as you’re watching closely, you’ll be able to prevent an accident. 

Only allow your Rottie to chew it on for 10-15 minutes.

This is an adequate amount of time for your dog to get the benefits of chewing while maintaining safety. Any longer than this and the bone may become small enough that your Rottie can swallow it or it could get stuck in their teeth. 

You already know that your Rottie’s jaws are powerful so it’s easy for them to make quick work of most bones which means 10 to 15 minutes is usually plenty.

Keep the bone in the refrigerator between uses.

Remember, this is a raw bone from an animal. It’s possible for bacteria to grow, so to keep your dog’s gut as happy as possible, make sure the bone is refrigerated. 

Always separate your dog and make sure no other dogs are around when you give him the bone.

In the dog world, bones are considered of extremely high value. If you have multiple dogs in the household, even if they are all very friendly to each other, it’s best to separate dogs when giving them a bone to chew on. This helps keep the peace and ensures that no one is getting upset.

The Dangers Of Chewing On Bones

If you follow the criteria above and give your dog the appropriately sized bone for only short bits of time, your dog will likely be happy with his special chew time and won’t have any issues. However, it’s important to note that are some risks that come with chewing on a bone. 

Broken Teeth

Rottweilers have incredibly powerful jaws, but there’s nothing extraordinary about the strength of their teeth. It’s possible that your Rottweiler could break a tooth while chewing on a bone. However, on the other hand, it’s actually possible for your Rottweiler to break a tooth while chewing on lots of other objects and toys! This isn’t a risk only associated with chewing on a bone.  

Choking

Similar to broken teeth, this risk is something that can happen with lots of things, not just bones. Since this is an article aimed at educating about how to be safe when selecting bones for your Rottweiler to chew on, it only seems appropriate to mention it because it is a risk. As your dog is chewing, pieces of the bone could possibly get stuck in the windpipe. 

Intestinal Damage

There’s always a small possibility that sharp bone fragments could do some damage to your Rottweiler’s intestines. Any sharp shards that your dog has gotten off have the potential to pierce your dog’s stomach or intestines, which could lead to a fatal infection called peritonitis

Intestinal Blockage

While sharp bone fragments have the risk of puncture, smaller bone fragments that aren’t so sharp have the risk of causing an intestinal blockage. Intestinal blockages are caused when the bone fragments become lodged inside the small intestines. This requires emergency surgery to remove the obstruction. 

Bacterial Contamination

Raw bones can become contaminated by bacteria. Most healthy adult dogs won’t become sick from this and have no problem coming in contact with bacteria. However, this bacteria can cause serious problems for any children or immunocompromised people in the household. 

Can I Give My Rottweiler Rawhides?

If you’ve ever owned a dog, or even walked down a pet aisle of a store, then you know what rawhide is.

Most rawhide is made from the inner layer of cowhide. The hide is cleaned and then ground into a chewable hide for dogs.

Throughout the manufacturing process, many different chemicals are used to remove the fat and hair from the hide and create that bright white color. Rawhides come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and some manufacturers add additional flavoring and ingredients to make them more appealing to dogs. 

Rawhides aren’t as digestible as other chews on the market. They also tend to splinter into small, sharp pieces. Swallowing or licking up off the floor these small, sharp pieces pose a risk for intestinal damage. 

In previous years, rawhides were extremely popular because they were long-lasting chews that could occupy a dog’s time and satisfy that natural instinct to chew. In current years, many safer, long-lasting alternatives to rawhide have hit the market and are just as affordable. It’s best to opt for one of these products that are safer for your dog to chew on and doesn’t have as many chemicals.

Now that you know the do’s and dont’s of how to safely offer a bone to your Rottweiler to chew on, you can make an informed decision on whether you want to use a real bone or an alternative Now, let’s discuss some alternatives that you might feel more comfortable giving to your dog. 

Safe Alternatives To Bones For Your Rottweiler

We’ve already discussed that chewing is important, and all dogs need safe toys and chews so they can fulfill that chewing need in a safe way. 

Since you know your dog’s chewing habits the best, it’s up to you what you feel comfortable offering your dog. If you don’t feel comfortable offering your Rottweiler a bone to chew on, there are many affordable and easily accessible alternative options on the market these days!

Himalayan chews. These are a solid rawhide alternative for most dogs. Himalayan chews are made of yak and cow milk, so they’re good options for dogs with allergies or digestive issues. Himalayan chews are tough and long-lasting and highly digestible. As your dog chews and breaks this down, it doesn’t create sharp shards like a rawhide. They have a more slender shape as well, so they aren’t as likely to become a choking hazard.

Bully sticks. These are single-ingredient chews made from beef muscle. Similar to Himalayan chews, these don’t splinter and are highly digestible. These become wet and gummy instead of being broken into pieces, so you don’t have to worry about broken-off pieces causing choking or internal issues.  

If you want to offer a chew like one of these to your Rottweiler but are worried that his big mouth might swallow a large chunk, you can actually buy a Himalayan chew or bully stick holder! These are intended to hold one end of the chew while your dog chews on the other end. These keep the chew secure so that your dog cannot swallow it. 

Frozen carrots. Frozen whole, raw carrots make wonderful chews for dogs! While not quite as long-lasting as the other options, these are cheap and easy treats you can pick up at your local grocery store. This is also a great way to satisfy your dog’s need to chew without adding lots of calories.

Appropriate chew toy. For some owners, the idea of offering their dog a chew designed to be eaten in its entirety can be worrisome. After all, your Rottweiler does have a large and powerful mouth, and you don’t want him to accidentally choke on anything. 

If the idea of offering a consumable chew worries you, you can opt for chew toys! These are durable toys intended to be chewed on, so they should last awhile while still allowing your dog to fulfill their desire to chew. 

Toys like the Goughnuts Chew Stick. are the perfect alternative for a Rottweiler. These are made from soft rubber but made in a way that makes them heavy and durable. They even have a red core, so you know that if you see red, it’s time to throw it away. 

Other toys like Kongs. are another great option. While some dogs love to chomp and chew on a Kong, these work best when filled with something like peanut butter. Your dog will be occupied for a while getting the food out while fulfilling a little bit of that need to chew. 

Final Thoughts

All dogs have the need to chew, and you should always provide a safe chewing option to your dog so they can satisfy that need and prevent them from chewing things they shouldn’t, like your shoes. 

Rottweilers can chew on bones as long as you choose the appropriate shape and size, provide it for only a limited time, and always supervise closely. 

While rawhides seem to be popular because they’re in every pet aisle in every store, it’s best to stick with a natural raw bone or an alternative designed to be safer. 

It’s up to every dog owner to determine what their dog should be able to have. If you’re worried that your Rottweiler might hurt himself with a bone, try opting for a safer alternative like a Himalayan chew, bully stick, or heavy-duty toy. You can even add a grip or holder to ease your mind since these prevent your dog from swallowing the chew whole.

If you’re still not comfortable with that, there are plenty of toys designed for power chewers, like Rottweilers! Consider offering one of these durable chew toys or opting for a treat dispensing type instead. 

Ensuring that your Rottweiler has ample time to chew on a safe object is important for his dental and mental health, plus it will prevent them from chewing on inappropriate things, like your shoes or drywall!