My Dog Ate Rib Bone? How To Avoid Them?

Have you ever stared down at a plate of leftover ribs and wanted to, quite literally, throw your dog a bone?

For owners and dogs, who’ve probably leaped quickly and happily after any bone tossed their way, it may seem like a natural progression of events or a primal desire swiftly satisfied.

However, the next time you’re about to toss a rib bone in the direction of your dog’s salivating mouth, we urge you to reconsider.

Rib bones present invisible and ignored dangers. We’re here to explain what’s safe for your precious pup and what should be left on a human-sized plate.


Why Are They Off-Limits?


While dogs and bones may seem like a match made in animal heaven, it really depends on what kind of bones your pup chews on throughout the day.

  • Poultry, pork, rib and cooked bones are dangerous and absolutely forbidden.

When chewed into small shards, these sharp pieces of cooked bone can block a dog’s intestines and lead to serious digestive problems. Bone shards can also lacerate both the dog’s mouth and internal organs, creating a high risk for fatal internal bleeding or, at the very least, some serious pain.

There have been instances where poor pups have broken a few teeth chomping on a rib bone that wasn’t meant to be chomped on. Spare your dog the pain and make sure every bone he chews on is raw, edible and safe for snacking.

  • Bones that are cut, such as leg bones, are more likely to splinter, so avoid those altogether.

Pork rib bones are also known to cause pancreatitis, a potentially fatal condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed.

Raw bones, while safer, present a risk for contamination if small pieces coated with salmonella or fatty tissue make their way into your dog’s digestive tract.

Pancreatitis, bacterial exposure and swallowing sharp shards are all potentially fatal. In other words, tossing your dog pork or rib bones after meal time isn’t worth it, no matter how convenient it feels.

What Happens if It’s Too Late?

  • If your dog experiences vomiting and diarrhea after chomping on bones all day long, it’s possible he ingested harmful bacteria. Prolonged symptoms can lead to severe dehydration and long-term intestinal troubles, so it’s important to see a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • In the same vein, if your dog recently munched on a few cooked bones and seems to be exhibiting signs of severe pain and discomfort, it’s possible a splinter punctured his mouth or an organ.
  • Dogs in pain typically whimper, pant, stop physical activity and lose a once hearty appetite, so pay close attention to warning signs and seek immediate veterinary assistance if the abnormal behavior persists.
  • Bacterial infections and punctured organs are both serious, potentially deadly concerns. If you even suspect something’s up with your pup – don’t wait. Call a vet ASAP.

What To Snack on Instead


We recommend a number of alternatives for your pup’s playful needs. Some safe snacks include bully sticks, antlers and bones marked edible.

If your dog simply can’t resist gnawing on a hard bone, please invest in some edible bones to satisfy his craving. Edible bones are not only safe, they do a wonder of good for your dog’s oral and digestive health.

Edible bones are hollow, non weight-bearing bones typically found in chicken wings and turkey necks. They’re safe to chomp on and provide your pup with calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals, all essential parts of a doggie diet.

The best edible bones are 100 percent natural, so look for labels without soy, corn, gluten, extra fat, sugar and animal byproducts. Whoever regularly cleans your dog’s pearly whites, likely has a list of recommended brands!

Dogs with the urge to chew but not necessarily eat should consider what vets call recreational bones, or large chunky beef, bison femur or hip bones. Recreational bones are great for your dog’s dental health. In fact, chewing on these types of bones is equivalent to a good brush and floss.


Edible and recreational bones alike provide a fabulous source of minerals, stimulate saliva enzymes for maximum dental protection, prevent plaque buildup on teeth and even prevent gum disease. Bones are also a great way to keep your dog occupied if family members are away for long periods of a time.

While pork or rib bones pose the greatest risk of splintering off into dangerous knife-like shards, edible bones are perfectly safe and vet-recommended.

We also recommended that dogs munch on bones larger than the length of their muzzle so they won’t accidentally swallow the bone whole and choke. Consider your dog’s breed before selecting a bone. For medium breeds think big. For large breeds – think bigger!

There are endless alternatives to soothe dogs with mouths for all-day munching, so there’s no excuse to keep feeding Sparky rib bones from last night’s family barbecue.



Rib bones may be your pup’s favorite semi-edible toy. But, like any other parent, it’s your job not to give in to your pet’s every wish, whim and cute smirk. It’s your job to ensure that your dog is safe, healthy and happy.

Which, in this case, means rib-bone free.It’s also important to mention that, while we warn against the dangers of cooked bones, a healthy dog chews often, as long as what they’re chewing is edible and natural.

Questions or comments about what’s safe to chomp on and what’s off limits? Comment down below!

June Frazier

Hello, Everyone! My name is June, and I live in North Dakota with my dog, Toby.Dogs are my passion, which had led me to dedicate my life to caring for and training dogs, a life that I began to lead as soon as I graduated high school. With a wealth of knowledge to pass on, I decided to make this blog and share my experience with my fellow dog lovers!

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