Bones can be a concern because of bacteria that might be harmful to pets, but primarily the size of bone offered to pets can be concerning. Some dogs will try to swallow a bone too big to fit through their esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) and if a bone lodges in that area it can cause damage and potentially a stricture that can cause permanent damage and could be life threatening. Signs that your pet might have damage to the esophagus include regurgitation (vomiting without retching or without a significant abdominal component or contraction) or difficulty swallowing or excessive drooling.