Are Nylabones Safe for Dogs

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Full disclosure: I may have gotten into an argument with an acquaintance of mine recently over Nylabones, which is a popular brand of nylon dog bones, and I might still be a bit salty about it.

I think there has been some sort of confusion about what Nylabones are and what their purpose is. It’s driving me crazy, so I’m here to fix it once and for all and answer the question are Nylabones safe for dogs?

Related: Are Dog Bones Safe? What Kinds are Safest for Dogs?

Where did Everything go Wrong?

Nylabone Chew ToyMost Nylabones are NOT dog treats.

While the company does offer a line of edible dog treats as well as a dental care line, the most popular and recognized product the company offers is their nylon dog bones.

They are a chew toy. And like any dog chew toy, if the material starts breaking or becomes otherwise compromised, it’s time to toss it.

I think part of the confusion stems from the name of the product. Dogs eat bones, right? And this is a NylaBONE, right?

How about reading the package? And how about you don’t give one designed for a chihuahua to a Rottweiler?  A little common sense can go a long way.

If you’re reading this, you clearly have internet access. Back in my day when we had to walk to school in the snow uphill both ways, we didn’t.

Use the resources you have available to you and do the research. Your dog depends on you to make informed choices for them.

Related: Safe Bone Alternatives for Your Pup

What is a Nylabone?

variety of nylabone puppy teethersFirst made in the early 1950’s, Nylabones are toys made for dogs to gnaw on. They are designed to last a long time and help keep a dog’s teeth and gums clean.

They are also helpful for dogs with separation anxiety that drives them to chewing or who are just otherwise bored and feeling a bit destructive.

Nylabones come in non-edible chews and teethers for puppies in a variety of shapes (including bone shaped nylon chew toys) as an alternative to them chewing shoes and furniture, in treats that are safe to eat, as well as cleaners and brushes for your dog’s mouth.   

These popular dog chew toys come in multiples shapes, sizes, colors, and even flavors.

They work great for puppies to keep them from chewing on everything in your home.  They can be trained to teethe on the non-edible Nylabone Dura Chew or Power Chewer lines of chew toys instead.

There are different toys that offer a varying range of density, using stronger materials for the toys designed for bigger dogs who chew harder.

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Nylabone even have plaque remover and toothpaste to help keep your dogs mouth healthy.

What are Nylabones Made Of?

Nylabone Flavored Chew ToysNE Nylabones chew toys are made of thermoplastic polymer. They come in many flavors, including chicken, beef, cheese, peanut butter and even apple.

These chews are not made for dogs to eat. They are made from materials like rubber, nylon, and plastic.

So, can dogs eat Nylabones?  No!  They’re made of plastic! 

There’s a lot of things you can feed your dog, and plastic isn’t on any list anywhere.  Don’t let your dog ingest pieces of their nylon dog bones!

Nylabone does offer a line of edible treats made with starches, flours, natural flavorings, some vitamins, fiber, and the like.  Each edible treat has a variation of ingredients depending on the variety and flavoring.

It’s a good idea to research any treats and toys that you give your pets to make sure the ingredients fit into your dog’s diet plan, especially if you have a dog with special needs at mealtime or allergies to certain ingredients in foods.

Related: How Much Fiber Should Be in Dog Food?

Choosing the Right Size of Nylabone for Your Dog

Here’s what the official Nylabone website says about selecting the correct size of dog chews under their FAQs.

“It is important to select the appropriate chew toy type, size, and formulation based on your dog’s age, breed, chewing style, and weight.

The pressure exerted by a strong chewer’s jaw is considerable, and when directed straight down can put tremendous (as much as 450 psi) stress on the dog’s teeth.

It is therefore recommended that non-edible chew toys be large enough to encourage chewing from the side rather than the top and bottom.

If you have more than one dog in your household, select chew toys that are appropriate for your largest, strongest chewer. See our Chew Style Guide for more details.”

Are Nylabones Safe for Dogs?

nylabone nylon wishbone original flavor power chew toySo here’s what everybody really wants to know:  Are Nylabones dangerous for dogs?

ANY chew toy can be dangerous for dogs. You have to inspect the toys regularly to check for signs of wear and breakage.

Nylabones aren’t the only chews coming under scrutiny.  I’ve also seen plenty of things online questioning the safety of popular dog chews like deer antlers and bully sticks.

We should all know by now not to believe everything you read online.  Check out your facts with a Google search or a site like Snopes.

The non-edible varieties of Nylabones are as safe as any other rubber chew toy for your dog.  But it’s up to you to be a responsible pet owner and make sure that you are choosing the right size for your pet’s specific size, age, and needs.

The NE Nylabone shouldn’t be able to be broken off in large chunks,  but you should keep a close eye on your dog while they have their Nylabone to make sure that they are not able to break off a bit piece.

The Nylabone should only break off in small, rice size pieces that should easily be passed by your dog, but the bigger pieces can cause them to have to go to the vet and possibly have to have surgery.

If the dog chew toy starts breaking up too much, or if the ends get gnawed away too much or it is just too small, you should throw it away and get them a new one.

One discrepancy I have found in the research that I have read is that the Nylabone chews are good for a dog with separation anxiety, but you should never leave your dog unattended with the chew.  If the dog can’t have it when you are gone then it can’t be a very beneficial to separation anxiety.

As far as the destructive tendency that dogs have it would be a great choice so that you can watch them when you are with them.

Are Nylabones Safe for Puppies?

nylabone puppy chew key ringIt depends on the individual product.  Certain Nylabone products are designed specifically for puppies, while others come with a warning that they are only intended for dogs over three months old.

But as far as the teething toys, you can give them to puppies as soon as they start chewing on things to help them with teething.

Dogs need to teethe, and you should start training your puppy early on what they can and can’t teeth on.

Nylabone makes puppy chew toys in a variety of flavors for your puppy to enjoy.  Once they get their permanent teeth in, you should stop giving them the puppy bones and switch over to a chew toy designed for an older dog.

Nylabone oral products are available to help keep your dog’s mouth healthy, and they are safe for use with puppies so as long as you get the puppy variety.

Are Nylabone Edible Treats Healthy for Dogs?

Nylabone edible dog treatsThe non-edible variety of Nylabone dog chews are great for dogs with mental health issues. The toys help to keep them from chewing up everything in the house.

Destructive chewing can be a big problem and nylon dog bones can be a very helpful answer.

As is the case with any dog toy, you need to pay close attention to the condition of the material. If large pieces break off and are swallowed, they can cause a lot of health issues for your dog.

The edible Nylabone treats are also good for your dog.  They help to clean their teeth, strengthen their jaws and provide many vitamins and minerals.  They have great flavors that your dog will love!

The edible Nylabones don’t contain any salt, sugar, artificial flavors and preservatives, so you don’t have to worry about the ingredients in the treat harming your dog or making them sick.

If you have a dog with special dietary needs, you should still check over the ingredient list to ensure none of the ingredients your dog has an allergy to are listed.

The edible treats are for dogs that have all of their permanent teeth.  You’ll need to wait until your puppies are around 3 months old to start them on the edible treats.

Their teeth, as well as their digestive systems, aren’t ready for these types of treats any earlier than that.

Nylabone’s oral products are safe for dogs, just remember to follow the directions.  They are safe for the dogs to swallow.

It can help prevent future health issues in your dogs mouths such as tarter, decaying teeth and gum disease.

When to Throw Away A Nylabone?

nylabone power chew bacon flavor extreme chewing styleThe rounded ends of the nylon dog bone, also known as the knuckles, can become worn down over time from your dog chewing and playing with it.

So how do you know when to replace a Nylabone?

If the toy starts to show signs of pieces breaking off or if the chew toy becomes to too small and could pose a dangerous choking hazard, it’s time to toss your dog’s Nylabone.

Nylabone Alternatives

There are plenty of other great options for your dog to sink his teeth into without worrying about choking or your dog’s tooth breaking or cracking.

Some of our favorite products are

Related: What to Do When Your Puppy Loses a Tooth

A Final Word of Caution

If you’re like me and have a variety of dogs in your house, you’ll need to be very careful to make sure the right dog has the right chew toy.

When your big dogs are chewing on the NE Nylabones around the puppies, pieces could break off. If left laying in the floor, the puppies can pick them up and swallow them, and it could really damage their small, young digestive systems.      

I have seen the numerous complaints online about Nylabones over the years, but the bulk of them seem to stem from improper use. Be diligent when it comes to inspecting ALL of your dog’s chew toys!


What are Nylabones Made Of?

Nylabones chew toys are made of thermoplastic polymer.

Are Nylabones Safe for Puppies?

It depends on the individual product.  Certain Nylabone products are designed specifically for puppies, while others come with a warning that they are only intended for dogs over three months old.

Are Nylabones Edible?

Unless the packaging specifically states that the product is edible, the answer is no. Dogs shouldn’t be ingesting thermoplastic polymer. While Nylabone does make some edible chew toys and treats, the odds are that you’d know if you bought one of those.

When to Throw Away A Nylabone?

If the toy starts to show signs of pieces breaking off or if the chew toy becomes to too small and could pose a choking hazard, it’s time to toss your dog’s Nylabone.

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