Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
Food General Food

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

Jul 1 ·

Can dogs eat rib bones? When you’re cooking out and gnawing on some ribs, it might be tempting to slip the bone to your dog. You might have seen people doing that before, and your pup will likely be enticed by the smell of the ribs. One can’t hurt, right?

Before giving any sort of food to your dog that isn’t specifically made for them, you should do your research. So, can dogs eat rib bones?

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

The short answer is they may be able to, but they shouldn’t under many circumstances. Cooked rib bones don’t provide too many health benefits for dogs and aren’t safe, as there are a few dangers that can come with giving your dog rib bones.

The Risks

can dogs eat rib bones

The main risk is that the bones will splinter. Cooked bones can form shards in your dog’s throat and cut them, or if they get into the intestines that way, can do some serious damage. Because they splinter, they can not only have sharp edges that can damage your dog, but can cause blockages.

Blockages can be severely dangerous for your dog to the point of fatality.

Internal bleeding is also a huge risk when giving your dog the bones.

Another issue that dogs can face when given rib bones is that their pancreas can become inflamed, causing pancreatitis. This happens when there’s too much fat in the diet, as dogs shouldn’t really be consuming a lot of it. Dogs with that much fat can also face other health issues.

Another risk is what’s on the ribs. Rib bones aren’t usually completely free of the meat, and the meat is often seasoned with a bunch of things. Common seasonings like salt and pepper aren’t great for dogs, and things like garlic and onion powder can be downright toxic to them.

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones? Are There Any Benefits?

Raw bones can provide some benefits for your dogs and don’t have the risk of splintering. If you want to include bones in your dog’s diet, you should make sure they’re uncooked.

There are still some risks even associated with this though, as some dogs have allergies and sensitivities. If giving your dog a raw bone, make sure it’s an appropriate one that is soft enough for their teeth to get through, and always start off slow and small.

Help! My Dog Ate A Rib Bone

If your dog ate a rib bone, try not to panic. Although they shouldn’t consume these, that doesn’t mean it will definitely end in internal bleeding or a blockage.

It is, however, essential to keep an eye on your dog over the next day or two. Watch for any signs of illness or injury, including but not limited to:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

If you notice any of these, it’s important to contact your vet right away. With many foods, vomiting can be induced to get the toxins out of the dog’s system, but you shouldn’t do this with rib bones in case there are sharp shards. Instead, take them to the veterinary clinic to be looked at by a professional.

If your current vet’s office is closed, find an emergency vet, as this can’t wait.

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Rib Bones?

can dogs eat rib bones

The best way to prevent your dog from getting their paws on anything they shouldn’t have is by managing the environment. If you take your dog anywhere, make sure your friends and family don’t give them anything they shouldn’t, and don’t be afraid to step in if they try.

You should always be your dog’s biggest advocate!

You can also work on teaching your dog the “leave it” command to make sure that if someone drops something, your dog will reliably back away when told to.

Alternative Snacks

With rib bones being so dangerous for dogs, you might wonder if there’s any human food you can reliably give them. Your best options are fruits and vegetables, and the following are not only safe for dogs, but healthy:

Don’t assume, however, that just because humans can eat it, dogs can. There are still fruits and veggies that are downright dangerous to your canine companion, so always do the research before giving them anything.

So, can dogs eat rib bones? You might be fortunate enough to see no damage suffered when giving them some, but the answer is no, they shouldn’t. Rib bones can contain toxic ingredients and worst of all, they can splinter and cause bleeding and blockages in your dog’s system.

No matter how good those ribs smell to Fido, avoid the temptation to give him the bone, and find a healthier snack for him instead. He might not understand, but you’re doing him a favor.

Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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