What do dog bones costs, and what are best value for your needs and budget.

If you read most dog blog articles on dog bones, they will tell you how great dog bones are for dental benefits and for ‘entertainment’ for the dog.  While these things are true, they miss out on one of the most important benefits of any natural food.  That is, its nutritional value.

Aafco (the USA governing volunteer advisory body that is accepted as a global standard for dog food says – adult dogs minimum of amount should 1.25 mg calcium/kcal, which is 1.25 grams for every 1,000 kcal.

In the bad old days dog food makers used to use a LOT of bones in dog food, because it was cheap, and it used to give them the tell-tale white poo syndrome.   Now bones are often not used enough (probably the cost of grinding them down) – so some foods actually have to have calcium added to the mix.

The site says that the risk of bone loss is increased in:

–        Low calcium diets

–        Low protein diets

–        Hyperthyroidism

–        Oestrogen deficiency (spayed females).

In a raw diet (meat based diet), dogs get plenty of protein (and the right kind of protein for a carnivore.  They also get bones with the right kind of calcium.

Since aafco only requires 18% protein (from any source) and calcium source isn’t defined.  They can not only get insufficient protein into their body, but insufficient quality calcium. Which can not only affect bone and teeth formation and maintenance, but its value in blood.

The cost of bones for dogs, as treats and nutrition

In the past, bones that dogs could eat were very cheap, but there wasn’t always caution and proper information as to what size or hardness those bones should be.

You can still get raw bones from butchers, which are great for keeping the bones (smaller ones) more flexible and less likely to splinter (if a manufacturer dries them wrong) – but they also carry the risk of bacteria infection for the dog and other house occupants (humans).

We recommend chicken necks and chicken feet for dogs to eat raw, but that is mostly for nutrition value.  Let’s get back to properly oven- cooked bones and their cost and use.

Firstly, unless a supplement has a specific chemical composition that a dog needs because its prescribed by a vet and cant be obtained from a natural food,  we recommend bone uses for dogs.

When you are using a dog bone for ‘entertainment’  we are mostly talking about it being used as an occupier treat.  That means that its bigger than they are able to easily eat, or in fact they cant break down the main part of the bone at all.

Dogs will usually try and crack big leg bones open to get to the tasty and energy rich marrow, a through back to their wild days, but since wolves were mostly bred down in size to smaller animals (domestic dogs), most dogs don’t have the jaw pressure to break open most big leg bones.

This is where the entrainment or occupying comes in. The dog can chew the end nubs of the bone and eat the bits of meat or cartilage, and kept at it in vane hope of eating the marrow.

Usually, big leg bones are the most expensive of the dog treat bones.  They are sold often by the bone rather than weight. And even in the leg bone category there are big differences in hardness. The biggest leg bones are often harder than smaller leg bones. If you are buying for entertainment, get a big bone (harder than your dog can possibly crack).  The price will usually be half or less for the biggest beef leg bone, than 200g of any of the regular beef or chicken jerkies.

If you have a guard type dog, or hunting dog, and you want to buy a harder type of leg bone, then mostly choose the wild animals leg bones (not farmed).  Picking an animal that is fast moving will usually have the leg bone be much harder than the farmed animal, even if it is half the size. But that said, the bones that are half the size (like kangaroo bones), might be half the size but only slightly less in cost than 100g of beef jerky dog treats.

Dog bone nutrition

This is a different type of bone and cost than the clod bones used for entertainment or occupation of your dog.

If we are talking about nutrition, we mean the natural calcium and phosphorous and trace minerals they will get, plus the saturated fat in the marrow.

While shark cartilage is an excellent joint support treat, it is strictly a cartilage (sharks don’t have bones in their skeletons) and it is much softer than most bones.  And most fish bones are too small and sharp for dogs to eat.

That is why we often recommend something like kangaroo bones for dogs. Not only are these organic and the meat low fat, but they have a fantastic range of suitable bones for dogs to eat completely, that are very low risk to them.

One set of these bones begins with the tail.  In increasing size, there is the roo tail tip, the roo tail bone pieces, then the lumbar bone (that resemble lambs necks, but are a much higher quality meat and much lower fat).  The first two of these bones are sold buy weight, so you can buy something like 200g (one third pound), 500g (one pound) or kg (2 pounds).

Because of the amount of processing work to create these, then drying costs, these bones might cost similar by weight to actual meat jerkies, but they last a lot longer typically, and can provide a much more fun (primal) enjoyment than having meat jerkies all of the time.

Meanwhile kangaroo lumbar has like a honeycomb structure that provides perfect dental cleaning, jaw strengthening and nutrition. Because of the relatively larger size of this bone, it is often sold by weight and can cost similar to 100g of beef jerky.

Then comes the various preparations of bone treats like kangaroo ribs. While beef ribs are good for larger dogs, they can be too big for many dogs to easily eat.  That is where a specialty bone like kangaroo ribs come in.  A good dog treats store providing natural options will have the roo ribs in single ribs, cut down ‘ribletts’ and whole ribs. They are typically sold by weight like the roo tail pieces in the same three sizes as the tail packets, and for a similar price.

What smaller dogs usually do with these is shred the bones apart and eat the meat first, then eat the slower bone rib last. A bigger dog will potentially just chomp down on the whole rib.

In one meal the dog will get the nutrition of meat and bone, and good fats.


While dog bones can provide a great entertainment and teeth cleaning experience, we think their best role is nutrition. In this way nothing is wasted.  Get the right kind of animal that the bone is from, and it will have a great clean protein as well as the calcium and phosphorus in the right ratio.

Prices of bones, just like their matching meats have increased substantially over the last few years. High demand from raw feeders, as well as export opportunities means that demand often out-strips supply dramatically increasing the prices.

But if you are after something natural, that will provide your dog with entertainment, a tooth clean and gum and jaw workout, as well as nutrition, this is a well worth option.