The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that bones, including large ham bones and beef bones, are never safe for dogs. People need to discard bones in a way that makes it difficult for dogs to retrieve them, and dogs must never receive bones as treats or toys.
The FDA explains that the consequences for letting dogs chew on bones can be serious, including broken teeth and mouth injuries from splintering bone. Other consequences can include bone fragments stuck in the windpipe or esophagus and intestinal blockage from swallowing bone. Life-threatening conditions resulting from ingesting bone include peritonitis, which is an infection that happens when splintered or broken bone pierces the stomach and enters the abdominal cavity.