Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?
Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

It may be satisfying to see your dog enjoying that piece of rib born, whether from a pig, beef, or lamb, but do you know that that can be a recipe for several health issues or even death to your furry friend? Bones are always believed to be for dogs, and this is still a norm for other ignorant dog owners who think they are feeding the dogs correctly.

It is undoubtedly a good diet for dogs, but its risk may outweigh its benefits. In this article, we will see whether a rib bone is suitable for a dog and the health issues it may pose.

Can I Give My Dogs Rib Bones?

No, Feeding cooked bones to dogs is dangerous as they have the potential to splinter and cause severe internal injuries. Staring clear of cooked rib bones from leftovers and other cooked bones is essential.

Raw bones also carry potential risks and should be given only under close supervision. While dogs may relish chewing and consuming rib bones from beef or pork, smaller chicken rib bones pose higher risks and must be avoided.

The strong stomach acid of dogs aids in bone breakdown and eliminates any bacteria. However, giving rib bones to dogs should be done under watchful eyes and on a surface that is easy to clean.

Effects Of Giving Rib Bones To Dogs

Gastrointestinal Obstruction

It is exceedingly easy for bones from ribs to inflict damage upon the gastrointestinal tract of your canine companion. Shattering bones into pointed fragments can cause perforations in the esophagus or intestines, while ingesting bones can result in constipation or rectal bleeding in dogs.

The situation can be lethal if your dog is not expeditiously treated. Hence, if your pup happens to ingest any rib bones, it is imperative that you immediately bring them to a veterinary doctor for care. Symptoms that may occur due to bone ingestion are intestinal and stomach irritation, manifesting as diarrhea, fatigue, or vomiting.

Dogs Eat Rib Bones
Dogs Eat Rib Bones

Creating A Choking Hazard

It is crucial to be wary of the size of the bones that your beloved pet ingests. Bones smaller than your pup’s mouth can cause a choking hazard and obstruct their airways, leading to a potentially fatal outcome. Among the types of bones to be especially cautious of are turkey and chicken drumsticks, which can become lodged in their throats and pose a significant danger. Therefore, it is essential to exercise vigilance and ensure your pup does not ingest bones that may be too small for their mouth.

Cutting The Mouth And Esophagus

It is worth noting that pork rib bones tend to fragment into sharp shards, which can cause your furry friend to choke. Additionally, these bones can inflict severe damage upon your dog’s mouth, throat, or intestines by cutting or bruising them. Therefore, it is imperative to be cautious and monitor your pet closely when consuming pork rib bones to prevent potential harm.

Lodging Pieces Of Bone In Teeth

It is essential to be cautious of round bones, which have the potential to become lodged around the lower jaw, situated behind the lower canine teeth. If you suspect your canine companion has a bone lodged within their oral cavity, promptly bringing them to a veterinary professional is imperative.

Endeavoring to extricate the obstructive bone by oneself is strongly discouraged as it may cause damage to the animal’s dental and maxillary structures. To safeguard one’s cherished pet’s welfare and security, entrusting this predicament to an expert is always preferable.

They Aren’t Worth The Risk

Feeding your dog rib bones is not a good idea as it can lead to many risks. There are no significant advantages to giving your dog rib bones. Although wild dogs might have consumed bones in the past, modern domesticated dogs are already getting a balanced diet that does not require additional bone intake.


Consuming a surplus of high-fat foods can lead to various health issues in dogs, such as pancreatitis. To prevent such health problems, you should refrain from offering your dog rib bones as these may have traces of animal fat.

Bacterial Infections

While raw bones are less prone to splintering than cooked ones, it’s worth noting that raw beef and pork bones may leave behind bacterial traces such as salmonella, E. coli, or listeria that can harm your pet’s health.

Did Dog Eat Rib Bones
Did Dog Eat Rib Bones

What To Do If Your Dog Ingests A Rib Bone

If you have concerns that your furry friend might have a bone stuck in their upper airway or gut, you must act swiftly and seek immediate medical attention for your dog. You should attempt to remove the bone only if it is visible and accessible without causing harm or distress to your dog or putting yourself at risk of injury.

If you cannot see the bone, immediately take your dog to the vet. However, if your dog has a decreased appetite after consuming a chicken bone, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately.

  • Reduced appetite
  • Drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging or retching

If your dog seems energetic, eats their meals as usual, and exhibits no abnormal behavior, it is safe to monitor them for a while. It’s best to avoid giving your dog bones altogether. If your dog does get a hold of a chicken bone and seems distressed, don’t hesitate to call an emergency vet. Ultimately, if your dog appears normal, everything will likely be okay.

How To Feed Rib Bones To Your Dog

Select The Right Type Of Bone

When offering your dog a rib bone, it is crucial to select an uncooked bone that has been meticulously washed and thoroughly dried. Ensure the piece is not small enough to be ingested or stuck in your dog’s stomach or digestive tract.

Monitor Your Dog

It’s important to supervise your dog while they chew on a bone. If you’re uncomfortable giving them a natural bone, you can provide them with a chew toy or a bully stick as a safe alternative.

Does Dog Eat Rib Bones
Does Dog Eat Rib Bones

Call The Vet If You Notice Side Effects

It’s essential to alert your vet if you spot any issues. If you believe your pup ingested a bone fragment or exhibits symptoms of an unfavorable reaction, like puking, nausea, or sluggishness, after nibbling on a bone, contact your veterinarian soon as possible.


Bones may have been a dog’s meal recently, but this was before pet owners noticed the health risks it brought to the dogs. Providing your dog with any type of bone unsupervised is not advisable.

Smaller dogs could choke on the sharp fragments, while larger breeds can consume rib bones without issues. The wise course of action is to give your furry friend secure snacks that enable them to chew without choking on sharp pieces.

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