Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones?

Dogs are no longer the wild animals they once were they may not have the stomach for certain things. For example, can dogs eat deer bones? Let us find out what the research says.

The ‘paleolithic dog‘ lived in the wild, just like wolves; they would hunt down deer, amongst other animals, to fill their stomach. Therefore they literally had the stomach for deer bones and other deer remains.

However, it has been more than 40,000 years since the first-ever dog was bred from the wolves. They are no longer the same bloodthirsty hunters who were capable of eating anything and everything. 

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones

Now, dogs are pet animals, and they have learned to adapt their diet to what we humans deem best for them. Our pets need to follow a specific diet to keep themselves healthy. 

That said, domestic dogs love chewing on the bones of different animals, so isn’t it plausible that they can chew on deer bones too? This is the subject of exploration for us in the article below. Read on to learn everything you need to know about deer bones and whether dogs can eat them.

Can I Give My Dog A Deer Bone?

As a pet owner, you must learn everything related to your dog, especially the food it eats, for it plays a significant role in its growth. So, let’s talk about giving deer bone to your furry friend. The simple answer is that deer bone is not toxic for dogs, and it is safe to chew. 

However, you must give bones in excess because even though most dogs love them, these bones can cause bloating in your little pup. 

There are some other safety precautions to keep in mind when you feed deer bone to your little friend. We have discussed a few of them with you below

  • Deer bones should be given to the dogs in raw form for the healthiest experience. 
  • Always supervise your dog when you are feeding them the bones.
  • Remember to remove the bones once your pup is done with the eating session. If you leave it there, the dog will just keep chewing them.
  • If your dog’s diet already contains sufficient calcium through edible bones, bone broth, etc., then you should offer them deer bone only occasionally as a treat. 
  • Do not overfeed them the bones since it can cause them bowel problems. Give them one or a maximum of two bones at a time, depending on their size.
  • Always keep an eye on them when feeding them the bones since there is a chance that they might try to swallow the bone at once or break them into different pieces and choke. 

There are many things that, as a dog owner, you must learn about feeding your dog. So, make sure that you do your job correctly – we know you do because the love for one’s dog is immaculate. So, let’s keep learning more and better. 

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones

What Kind of Bones Are Safe for Dogs?

It is essential to pick the proper size of the bone for your dog, depending on their size and capacity to eat. There are a variety of bones in a deer, and thus, you should learn about them to decide whether they are designed for eating or not.

Long bones 

Long deer bones are found in the legs of the animal – femur, tibia, and metatarsal. Long deer bones are not designed for swallowing but are suitable for chewing. 

You can offer it to your dog, and if it enjoys chewing it, which it most probably will, you can leave it with them for their fun. Dogs love to chew because it releases endorphins, reducing anxiety and calming them down. 


Kneecap or Patella are small triangular bones located between the femur and the tibia in a knee joint. The cartilage of this bone is a good source of glucosamine, which helps prevent arthritis in your dog’s old age. 

Since the size of the bone isn’t very large, it can be eaten relatively quickly by your furry friend. However, the bone won’t last for a long time, and you have to make sure that your dog doesn’t swallow the whole knee cap in one go. 

Flat bones 

Flat bones in deer are found in ribs, pelvis or spine and do not contain excessive marrow. The bones are much softer than long bones and thus, are perfect for pups and small dogs. It is perfect for dogs with constipation and stool problems due to less marrow. 


Knucklebones or Epiphysis (at the end of both knuckles) can be fed to medium-sized and big dogs since they are usually aggressive chewers. It can be quite a challenge for your dog to chew through Epiphysis since these bones are rigid, and this is also good since the bone can be chewed for a long time. 


Deer hooves are most recommended for small and medium-sized dogs for a long, engaging chew. Hooves do not have many nutrients, but they are rich in keratin, softening their hair and making their skin shinier. 

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones

What Happens if a Dog Eats Deer Bones?

There are several reasons why you should give deer bone to your dog. It has many health benefits and, thus, should be a part of their diet. If you are wondering about the benefits of eating a deer bone, well, here they are

Good oral health 

Eating raw deer bone indeed works as a natural toothbrush for dogs. It helps in the elimination of plaque and keeps the gum healthy. Dogs that chew on raw deer bones seldom have any oral problems. 

High nutritional value

There is no doubt that deer bone is an excellent addition to your dog’s diet since it comes with great nutritional value and is quite conducive to your friend’s health. For example, the cartilage of deer bone is high in protein. 

In contrast, the marrow part includes copper, iron, and collagen, which contributes to preventing arthritis and strengthening bones and joints. Your dog will also get their daily required intake of calcium and calcium-phosphate, amongst other minerals from deer bones. 

Helps in training 

This isn’t directly related to your pet’s health, but you have to agree that deer bone helps during your dog’s training. They love its smell since it is so pronounced, and dogs would perform their tasks to get the bone as their prize. 

However, there can be very few possible risks of giving deer bone to your furry friend. So, it would help if you kept an eye on your dog when you feed them a deer bone. 

What Should I Watch Out for When Treating My Dog to Deer Bone?

I have listed below some of the possible dangers of giving deer bone to your dog. The best way to avoid most of them is to feed the dog thoroughly cleaned deer bones from healthy deer.

Bacteria that can make your dog sick 

The raw bones can carry E.coli or salmonella, which can make your dog sick via fever, diarrhea, or make them very lazy. 

Swallowing the shards 

It is vital to keep an eye on your dog as they eat the bone since there are chances that they will swallow it whole. For this very reason, you should break the big bones into small pieces and feed them the same. However, do not make the pieces too small since they can cause your dog to choke on them. 

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones

Bowel problems 

It is essential to feed your dog moderately, or they might have to deal with constipation, loose motions, stomach aches, and more. So, always keep in mind to give them a bit less than what typically fills their stomach.

Broken teeth 

Deer bones are hard to break, except for flat bones – those are soft on the surface. It is possible that when chewing the bones, your dog’s teeth might break because the bone is too hard to chew for them. 

What Parts of a Deer Can a Dog Eat?

Now that you know all the deer bones that you can feed your dog, it is time to learn about what deer parts a dog can eat. So, let’s go. 

Deer liver 

While the liver is exceptionally rich in iron which helps your dog grow stronger every day; a deer’s liver is different. 

Commercial deer meat contains only about 20% of the organ, so what you can do is that instead of feeding it to your pet, you can buy and cook raw liver for 20 minutes and feed the liver to the dog instead of relying on a commercial diet. 

You should also talk to your vet before feeding liver to your dog since many breeds, such as Dalmatian, are allergic to it. 

Venison sausage 

As long as they are free from additives, deer sausage makes a great treat for the dogs. Many owners choose to make it for their pets instead of buying the same from the market. It is a source of fatty acids and can be made easily at home.

Deer antlers 

Deer antlers are hard and natural – this means that your dog can chew them for a long time and enjoy the release of endorphins that comes with chewing. They are also safer than bones since they are harder to swallow and aren’t small enough to cause your dog to choke on them. 

Deer heart 

Deer heart is also a pretty healthy addition to your dog’s diet. It is, however, recommended to be cooked for 15 minutes before feeding the animal. 

Also, always make sure you have bought the heart from a reliable source. You should also ask the experts about giving dear heart to your little friend since it might not suit all breeds. 

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones

Can Dogs Eat Deer Carcass?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, dogs are bred from wolves, who live in the forest and hunt their prey (deer included) for food. Even though dogs are now domesticated, they can still gorge on a dead deer. 

However, it is essential to learn whether the deer in question died from a disease or of natural causes. Iff it was a diseased deer, then it can be big trouble for your dog. 

It is also possible that your dog might not be able to digest the hair on the carcass and vomit it out. Instead of feeding a dead deer to your dog, we would suggest that you can buy the animal’s organs from a reliable and responsible source and then feed the same to it. 

Many dogs also lose the immunity of the wilderness since it’s been a while since they left the jungle. Eating a carcass might make them sick if they do not have a robust immune system or are used to eating packaged meat. 

You might like to read: Can Dogs Eat Sugar Cookies?

Are Deer Rib Bones Safe for Dogs?

When it comes to eating deer rib bones, or any ribs of any other animal, you should remember one rule of thumb – if it is cooked, it is not healthy for your pet. No type of cooked bone should be fed to a dog; that is it. 

In the case of rib bone, they are usually cooked and thus, are known to create a blockage or can splinter and hurt the internal organs of your furry friend. Rib bones need to be cooked before feeding the animals, and thus, dogs shouldn’t be fed rib bones. 

Let me explain to you better how rib bones, when cooked, become brittle. When your dog starts chewing them, there is a good chance that the bones will splinter and hurt various parts of your dog, including gums, teeth, throat, and other digestive organs. 

When it comes to the rib bones of a deer, you should know that they are naturally a bit brittle and but if you must feed them, you can opt for rib bones of beef and lamb since they are safer to chew on. 

Also, deer rib bones, if needed, can be fed to small dogs but never the medium and large ones. You can use recreational bones to make a healthy bone broth for your dog and feed it. 

Can Dogs Eat Deer Bones

 A Few Final Words

The number one thing to remember before feeding deer bone and, for that matter, any bone to your dog is to check if the bone is clean and is bought from a good and reliable source. 

While cooking a bone without feeding the same to a dog is big no, you can boil the bone for a few seconds before giving it to your dog, but make sure that it isn’t hot enough to burn your friend’s mouth. 

Also, do not feed long bones to small dogs and vice-versa! Rest assured, your little one will make sure how happy you make him by feeding him deer bone through cuddles and more of them!

We hope this article clarified your doubts about feeding deer bones and other parts of a deer to your ‘good boy’. If you still have unanswered questions, feel free to visit our comments section below and we will come back with an answer for you. Please share this article with other dog lovers and pet parents so that everyone is aware of the benefits and pitfalls of feeding deer bones to their pets.