The fracture values calculated for both human and canine bones indicate that canine bones are stronger than human bones. As both humans and dogs are mammals, there is a lot of similarities between the make-up of our bones and our skeletal structures. But some differences between them have led to this debate of ‘are dog bones stronger than human bones?’. Even with the number of studies conducted, there is still debate about this question.

How Many Bones Does A Dog Have?

All dogs have over 300 bones in their body. Most have around 319, but this varies depending on the breed. For example, breeds with longer tails will have more bones. It’s strange to think that Chihuahuas and Great Danes have almost the same number of bones, but it’s true. However, a puppy’s diet can alter the formation of these bones and cause a lot of problems later in life. Make sure that your dog is on a healthy diet and gets all the calcium they need whilst they are growing. So, how do dogs compare to the number of bones in different animals?

How Many Bones Do Other Animals Have?

Dogs have over 300 bones in their body, this is a lot compared to other species of animals. Below is a list of different animals and the number of bones that make up their skeleton. However, it should be noted that in certain species, this number can vary slightly depending on the breed.

  • Human – 206 Bones
  • Dog – 319 Bones
  • Cat – 230 Bones
  • Horse – 205 Bones
  • Rabbit – 222 Bones

Structure Of Canine Bones

Animal bones are made up of mineral composites, and this is the same for all species of animals, including canines and humans. The structure of these composites, however, can differ between species. One example of this is in the collagen fibers of the bones. The make-up of this collagen can alter the outwards appearance and texture in the bones of humans and other animals. One result of this difference in texture is that canine bones are often much denser than human bones. The density of these bones does lead to an increase in ductility and fracture value. An increased fracture value means that it is less likely to fracture than a human’s bone and therefore is stronger. Bones are tested on this by applying different weights and pressure to the bone in different areas.

That being said, puppies have very soft bones as it can take between 3 and 18 months for the bones to complete forming. They have growth plates that help the development of a puppy’s bones, these plates will close and form solid bone once the puppy has finished growing. This is very similar to the formation of the skull plates in human babies. It is also the reason why owners have to be careful with puppies, making sure that they don’t jump up and down too much and damage their soft bones.

Dog Bones Vs Human Bones

Comparatively, dogs have more bones than humans. But does this mean there are any major differences in the bones themselves? Human bones do differ from other animals, particularly to those that are not from mammalians. For example, bird bones are hollow despite most other species of animals have solid bones. But apart from the bone composition, there are major differences in the skeleton structure as well.

Difference Between Human And Animal Skeletons

The main difference between humans and animals in terms of their skeletons is that humans are bipedal. This means that they only walk on two legs, therefore the bone structure in their hips and legs differ greatly to quadrupedal animals, animals that walk on four legs. The femur, the only bone in a human’s thigh, is much longer than that of most animals, this includes dogs. One of the other major differences between human and animal skeletons is the structure of the skull. The shape of the skull is the main identifying feature that helps archaeologists to tell the difference between human and animal bones, as well as being able to tell the difference between different types of animal bones.

Another big difference is the vertebrae. These small bones that make up an animal’s spine have a very different shape and curvature across different species. This difference is abundantly clear when comparing canine spines to human spines in particular, though it can be seen when comparing humans to most quadrupedal animals. The reason for this is so that the stress on the spine is distributed differently as canines and humans take different levels of stress in different places.

Similarities Between Human And Dog Skeletons

It is clear that there are many differences between human and dog skeletons, but what about any similarities? Despite the differences in number and position of bones, both humans and dogs have the same types of bones that are essential for movement. This can be seen when comparing the structure of a dog’s paw compared to a human’s hand and foot. The same bones are present in both animals. There are different lengths in these bones, but they are largely in similar positions so that they provide the same function in both species.

Bone Strength

The strength of a bone is largely due to its microstructure. This microstructure differs between various species of animals. Whilst the fracturing properties of bones vary between humans, canines, and other animals, these properties are the most similar between humans and baboons. Humans are descendants of primates so, that is to be expected. If you are worried that your dog’s bones may not be strong enough due to their diet, there are ways that you can help to increase their bone strength.

Bone And Joint Supplements For Your Dog

Are Human Or Dog Bones Stronger?

Bones in both humans and dogs are stronger than steel, human bones are approximately 5 times stronger than steel. They need to be so that they can deal with any big or sudden impacts, yet they need to remain light to ensure that our muscles and joints are not injured. There are similarities in the density and strength of human and animal bones. That being said, studies indicate that humans generally have the highest risk of fractures. From everything looked at, it does appear that dog bones are indeed stronger than human bones. However, due to the microstructures of bones, it is difficult to get an exact bone model to perform adequate tests on. Bone models are often 3d printed and have been used for many years in scientific studies to research how skeletons move. These models have also been used to reproduce the movements of extinct animals, such as dinosaurs.

Strongest Bones In The Human Body

  • Femur
  • Fidia
  • Tibia


Hopefully, through reading this article, your questions have been answered. There are lots of studies done on the skeletal anatomies of different animals. You won’t have to look far if you are still wondering, ‘how are animal bones different from human bones?’. The main differences in skeletal structures are the skull and the vertebrae. The closest similarities between dogs and humans are in the structures of their hands and feet. Canine bones appear to be stronger than human bones as human bones have the lowest fracture values and also a lower bone density. This is because of the difference in the microstructure of the bones, such as collagen distribution.