Last Updated on October 26, 2021 by Marco C.
First-time dog owners often wonder what their dogs can and cannot eat. For example, can dogs have spare rib bones or are they too dangerous for them? There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding this topic, after all. So, even if you really want to give your lab some ribs to chew on, you’d do well to go over some research first.
So, if you’re wondering what pork ribs dogs can eat, whether beef or chicken bones are an option, and how you should even approach such a dietary choice, read on below.
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Can Dogs Have Spare Rib Bones?
They can but it can be argued that they shouldn’t. Giving your dog bones has a few big benefits but a lot of major drawbacks too. Additionally, it really matters what kinds of bones you’re giving your dog and how they are prepared. So, let’s go over the several main types of bones and situations that usually come into play.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones Or Beef Rib Bones If They Are Cooked?
Cooked bones of any kind and from any animal should never be given to a dog. This is one aspect of this conversation that virtually everyone agrees with. Cooked bones just splinter way too easily which can cause your dog all kinds of internal damage.
Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones If They Are Raw?
Raw bones, particularly pork and beef ones, are the type that some people view as acceptable. The benefit of raw bones is that they don’t splinter nearly as easily as cooked ones. This protects your dog from bone pieces breaking off and lodging themselves deep in your dog’s throat or stomach.
Additionally, uncooked bones will have more nutritional value because their minerals and nutrients aren’t killed off in the cooking process. Still, many experts argue that even a raw bone presents too many unnecessary health risks. The fact that these bones don’t splinter as easily doesn’t mean that they don’t occasionally splinter too.
Learn more about: Can Dogs Have Banana Bread Or Is It Toxic For Them?
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Or Fish Bones?
This is another major No-No that everyone agrees with. Small bones of any type and animal can just pierce and harm your dog’s throat, stomach, and intestinal tract way too easily. Yes, dogs’ stomach acid is strong enough to process bones but when said bones are as sharp as needles, they can still cause lots of damage before they are dissolved.
Can Dogs Have Spare Rib Bones Off The Table?
Another very ill-advised thing people do is give dogs spare bones off the table. This is wrong in myriad different ways. For one, such bones are always cooked which is a horrible idea. Secondly, human food is often prepared with additional ingredients and spices that are unhealthy and outright toxic for dogs. Lastly, this is a very bad habit to teach your dog as it will keep begging for food every time you sit down to eat and try to grab scraps off the table.
What Are The Risks Of Giving Your Dog Bones To Eat?
The main and biggest risk we’ve outlined above is that of a sharp splinter lodging itself into your dog’s throat, stomach, or intestines. Often, such pieces will hurt your dog’s gum and mouth too. This alone is unfortunate enough and can lead to infections. But, at least, in that case, you should be able to remove the bone by hand.
If the bone has gotten too far in your dog’s body, however, you will need to go to your vet as soon as possible. In many cases, an urgent surgical intervention is needed.
Aside from that immediate physical risk, the other drawback is that bones tend to have quite a bit of fat on them. While they have nutritional benefits too, the excess fat alone can make them a bad dietary option.
Can Dogs Have Spare Rib Bones As A Regular and Nutritional Part Of Their Diet?
Technically, they can. Bones do have quite a few benefits for dogs that can be listed:
- Various minerals and nutrients, depending on the type of bone
- Chewing stimulates the release of saliva enzymes that help deal with dental plaque
- Chewing bones also helps with your dog’s mental stimulation
- Teething pain in puppies is easily relieved by chewing
- Bones also improve the jaw strength and bite force of your dog
All these can be seen as making bones a worthy inclusion in your dog’s diet. The counter to that, however, is that all those benefits can be easily and more safely be acquired in other ways, usually with nutritional food and synthetic chewing bones.
What Symptoms Should You Watch Out For When You Give Your Dog Rib Bones?
You should always keep a close eye on your dog while it’s eating bones and for a while after that. Observation is key if you want to be able to react as soon as possible in case of a problem. Some of the signs to watch out for include:
- Dental problems
- A bloody stool
- Visible stomach distress
If you notice any of those, you should immediately inspect your dog’s mouth, call your vet, and get ready to pay them a visit. You’d also do well to always inspect the bones your dog has chewed for visible splinters.
What Precautions Should You Take Before Giving Your Dog Bones To Eat?
If you’re adamant about giving your dog spare rib bones to chew on, you should at least prepare for a few eventualities:
- Make sure you can leave for your vet immediately if need be (and that the vet is working at that time of day)
- Have pliers nearby in case you need to personally remove a stuck bone from your dog’s throat
- Only give your dog raw and unseasoned bones
- Give the bones on a smooth and clean surface that’s easy to clean – dogs are messy eaters
In Conclusion – Is Giving Your Dog Bones To Chew Ever A Good Idea?
All in all, we’d say that the risks far outweigh the potential benefits of giving your dog any type of pork, beef, or other bone. Yes, bones have their nutritional value but you can meet those dietary needs with your dog’s standard food too. There’s quite a bit of fun and dental care in giving your dogs bones to chew on too. However, those benefits can also be matched by a simple dog chew toy.