Dog Ate Rib Bone? Is it Bad? All Myth Answered

Dogs have been feeding and chewing ribs forever, especially those who live in the wild. Giving raw bones to dogs for chewing has been proven to be good for their teeth as it contains calcium. In addition, raw bones stimulate teeth growth in dogs and keep the dog’s teeth healthy, along with other benefits.

Dogs can chew on big bones, but chewing small bones is risky. Chewing and nibbling on small bones such as rib bones, can cause several health issues in your dog. If your dog ate rib bone, it could be dangerous for dogs. The foremost and most important reason for not feeding small bones to your dog is that it causes digestive problems. Small bones, such as those of chicken and rib bones, get easily stuck in your dog’s throat.

No matter what kind of bone (small or big) you give your dog for chewing, never give a cooked bone to your dog for chewing purposes. Cooked bones are a threat to your dog’s health as they are brittle.

This article will help you decide whether you should feed rib bones to your dog or not, depending on their harmful effects. Also, what effect eating rib bones will have on your dog’s health and further details.

Dog Ate Rib Bone is it Dangerous?

Dogs love to chew on bones, small or big.  Big bones are a treat for your dog, but small ones can be dangerous. Rib bones come under the small bone category. Small bones are more likely to get stuck in a dog’s throat causing dogs to choke. In addition, rib bones can be cooked or raw. If you give your dog bones to chew, keep an eye on your dog during this time to check for bones if they break into pieces in the dog’s mouth.

Are Rib Bones Safe for Dogs? Should they be Cooked or Uncooked?

As we discussed earlier, dogs love to chew on bones randomly. These bones can be any type, including small rib bones. Rib bones can be either cooked or not. Your dog’s eating cooked rib bones is most dangerous. Here are two different types of rib bones, depending upon their preparation. Let’s learn whether dogs should consume these bones or not.

1. Raw Rib Bones

Raw Rib Bones
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Whenever we provide any food for our dogs, we give them properly cooked food. Cooking raw food, especially meat, kills bacteria and makes it soft. But in the case of rib bones, providing raw rib bones is much better than giving your dog rib bones that are broken and cooked. Cooked rib bones prove to be dangerous for dogs.

In general, vets advise dogs not to chew on rib bones without their owners’ supervision as they are small and can cause choking in dogs. Also, you should provide your dog with a raw bone even under supervision, not a cooked or broken one. Small pieces from a broken bone are more likely to get stuck in a dog’s throat, causing them to choke.

Keep an eye on the dog if you allow your dog to chew bones, especially rib bones. Chewing upon broken bones is not advisable for dogs, but it should be under supervision only for raw bones. Generally, as raw bones are small, don’t give your dog rib bone.

2. Rib Bone Cooked

Rib Bone Cooked
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It would be best if you never gave cooked rib bones to your dog. When you cook bones, they dry out, and it weakens them. Weak bones are brittle. During chewing, the bones that turn weak due to cooking can break in the dog’s mouth.

If your dog swallows the pieces of bone, they are likely to get stuck in the dog’s throat or digestive tract. When they get stuck in a dog’s body, especially the esophagus, it can lead to death in dogs.

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In the wild or in previous times, dogs were not tamed, and neither good treatment was provided to dogs. Today also, in the wild, even if the rib bone gets stuck in the dog’s throat, there is hardly any treatment available. Lack of treatment for wild dogs causes them to die from choking, but it is not the same for tamed dogs nowadays. The vet can assist if your dog accidentally swallows a bone and if the bone gets lodged in the dog’s throat.

Common Dangers if Dogs Ate Rib Bones

Common Dangers if Dogs Ate Rib Bones
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You tried to hide the rib bone from your dog, but still, the dog found it. Well, if your dog eats cooked or barbecued rib bones, it can lead to numerous dangers for your dog. Dogs love to chew on bones, and that includes rib bones too. As cooked rib bones are brittle, there are high chances the bone will break down into pieces in your dog’s mouth.

The bone can get stuck in your dog’s mouth, throat, esophagus, gums, and digestive tract. If a bone gets stuck, it can cause many internal injuries to your dog. In addition, the shards of bones are likely to perforate your dog’s internal organs, so be careful.

Raw bones, as compared to cooked bones, are more flexible. So if your dog chews raw rib bones instead of cooked ones, they are easier to chew and digest. Still, chewing it by a dog without owners or any supervision is condemnable as it is risky.

The most common problem bone pieces or shards cause is choking in dogs. Dogs choke when bones get stuck in their esophagus or throat. If bones get lodged or stuck in a dog’s throat, the dog will cough to remove them. In addition, a bone stuck in the throat causes breathing problems in dogs due to a lack of oxygen. This situation of a stuck bone immediately calls for a visit to a nearby veterinarian.

If, by chance, a shard of bone gets stuck in your dog’s throat or esophagus, there are certain symptoms you will notice in your dog. These symptoms include excess drooling, continuous rubbing of the head and neck by dogs, coughing, and vomiting. In addition, dogs vomit to remove the stuck piece of bone from the dog’s body.

Rib bones are small in size, and thus, the risk of them getting stuck in the dog’s throat and causing choking or breathing problems are common.

Usually, a dog vomits out if a bone sticks in his throat or esophagus. However, if you know that your dog has swallowed a bone, but the dog is not vomiting it out, you should visit the veterinarian immediately.

In hospitals, by radiography, you can check whether any stuck piece of rib bone is in your dog’s esophagus or not. Furthermore, it will be clear if the small shred of bone needs to be out by vomiting or not. Veterinarians look after the stuck bone in your dog’s mouth and know how to remove it, so you need to contact your veterinarian if any such condition arises.

Not only this, but veterinarians often find that the continuous chewing of dogs on bones is one of the reasons for broken teeth in dogs. When they chew on bones continuously for several days, it causes their teeth to break. As a result, the surface of the dog’s teeth gets exposed. To prevent your dog’s teeth from any infection and protect the dog’s teeth, advanced dental work and surgical extraction are the vet’s recommendations.

Veterinarians agree that rib bones contain a lot of fatty tissue. When consumed by dogs, these fatty tissues lead to high-fat content in dogs, which causes pancreatitis in them. Pancreatitis eventually results in fever, vomiting, and lack of appetite in dogs, suggesting an immediate visit to the veterinarian soon.

An Alternative to Rib Bones

There are numerous dangers associated with giving rib bones to your dog. However, an alternative for everything is available as it is available for rib bones.

Although dogs love to chew upon rib bones, the risks are high. Therefore, to avoid the dangers your dog faces from chewing bones, there are certain alternatives you can use. The following is a list of some of the alternatives you can use for rib bones to give your dog as they are safe and have many benefits.

  • Tendons
  • Large bones
  • Beef bones
  • Cow Ears
  • Chicken necks
  • Rubber toys
  • Bully sticks
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Your dog can chew on the things mentioned above and will not choke either. Try to replace small rib bones with these alternatives.

How do You Prevent Dogs from Eating Rib Bones?

How do You Prevent Dogs from Eating Rib Bones
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Dogs love to chew on bones, and rib bones are their favourite. It would be best to be extremely careful while dealing with your dog not to give them small bones—especially cooked rib bones, which are highly condemnable for your dog. You can provide your dog with soft, chewy toys, which will lower your urge to chew on rib bones. You can give bull sticks or other alternatives, as mentioned above. It may be dangerous for your dog to chew on rib bones but not these.

The important step in preventing your dog from eating cooked rib bones is to dispose of them safely. Whenever you cook raw meat, make sure you dispose of the rib bones and small bones. Disposing of bones will prevent your dog from chewing on rib bones. Here is some advice on how to dispose of rib bones safely to decrease your dog’s risk of eating or chewing them.

How to Properly Dispose of Rib Bones?

If you have a dog, you must immediately dispose of the rib bones or small bones after your meal. After you cook your meat, you need to dispose of the rib bones to prevent your dog from chewing them. Your disposal of the bone includes wrapping the bones in paper and sealing their bones in a garbage bag. Make sure the garbage bag is not accessible to your dog and that the dog can’t remove the bones from it.

Whenever you finish feeding the meat after cooking, keep in mind to dispose of the bone in a garbage bag and then throw it in a garbage bin so that your dog may not get it. Even a small step of disposing of bones will greatly improve your dog’s health and reduce health issues caused by chewing on a rib bone.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog if they Eat Rib Bones

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog if they Eat Rib Bones
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Rib bones can be small and extremely dangerous for your dog’s health. Keep a close eye on your dog and your dog’s behavior to guess if there is anything wrong happening with your dog or if he has consumed a rib bone by mistake. Here are certain symptoms that you should look for in your dog if he has a swollen rib bone. These symptoms call for a quick visit to a veterinarian. So take your dog to the right veterinarian immediately.

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Changed eating habits
  • Bloating of the dog’s stomach
  • BLood in the dog’s stool
  • Constipation
  • For some days, bone fragments remained in the dog’s stool.

If you know your dog has swollen parts of rib bones, but you don’t notice it in your dog’s stool, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian to find out about this. There are high chances that rib bone or its fragments will get stuck in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract and may cause further problems.

If a bone gets stuck in a dog’s digestive system, it may need immediate surgery. To prevent surgery in dogs, you must visit the veterinarian if you notice anything unusual, rather than ignoring it.

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Immediate Actions to Take if the Dog Ate Rib Bone

Firstly, keep rib bones and small bones away from your dog. If, by chance, your dog gets access to a rib bone to chew on by sneaking it out or any other way, take immediate steps. Here are a few steps to follow if your dog eats rib bones.

  • If you notice your dog chewing on a rib bone, take it away from your dog’s mouth immediately.
  • You can replace the bone with a chewy toy that is not harmful to your dog.
  • Make sure your dog is not choking on the bone and is not coughing continuously.
  • If the bone gets stuck in your dog’s throat or mouth, remove it as soon as possible and make your dog vomit out the bone fragments or bone scraps.
  • Check for any small bone scarab stuck in the dog’s mouth.
  • Try to remove any scrap of bone stuck in your dog’s mouth.
  • To support the gastrointestinal tract of your dog, give them white bread. It will help and provide cushioning for the gastrointestinal tract of your dog.
  • A quick visit to the dog’s veterinarian is necessary to prevent any other harm.
  • As the veterinarian suggests, immediate surgery is required if the bone gets stuck in your dog’s digestive system.
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Rest assured, every situation is different and requires different treatment. Thus, a quick visit to the dog’s veterinarian is always recommendable, no matter the situation.

Preventive Steps if a Dog is Choking Due to Rib Bones

If your dog has swallowed rib bones and they are stuck in your dog’s throat, here are the immediate steps to protect your dog.

  • Place the dog on your lap gently.
  • Turn your dog and make the dog lie on the back.
  • Try to locate the dog’s rib cage.
  • Push upward about 5 to 6 times from the area under the rib cage.
  • Turn your dog over and check for bone pieces or shards in the dog’s mouth.

If you have a large dog, the process to prevent dogs from choking differs. Lifting the dog in a wheelbarrow position will help remove any stuck or dislodged bone from the dog’s body.

If the dog is in a standing position, placing the fist under the abdomen region of your dog and pushing upward with the other hand will help your dog remove shreds of bone.

If the dog is lying, supporting the dog’s back with one hand while using the other hand to push upwards will help the dog remove the stuck bone shred fragments.

Can Dogs Eat Other Kinds of Bones?

Can Dogs Eat Other Kinds of Bones
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Well, rib bones are small, and when they get cooked, it makes them even more dangerous for your dog. As discussed earlier, raw bones are better than cooked bones, especially rib bones. Cooked bones are brittle and more likely to get stuck in a dog’s mouth or digestive system by breaking easily.

Giving your dog some big bones is fine and healthy. Bones are a source of calcium and phosphorus for your dog. Thus, it is recommendable to give your dog bones to chew up. But whenever you give a bone to your dog, make sure he is under supervision. Bones are healthy for dogs, but providing them with bones can be risky if they break into your dog’s mouth.

Only a few raw bones are advisable for dogs, and small bones are not recommendable for your dog. For the obvious reason of choking, small bones such as chicken bones or rib bones are not recommendable for dogs.

If you give a cooked bone to your dog, it can be extremely unhealthy. We know that cooking makes rib bones brittle, and thus they break easily. These bones are the reason for a dog’s choking to death sometimes. So be careful when you provide your dog with bones for chewing on.

Some of the preferable bones for dogs include cow bones, large bones, bison bones, and others, but under supervision only.

If you don’t want them to get wasted, you can make soup for your dog from these bones, including rib bones. You can mix this broth prepared using bones with your dog’s food, but make sure you do this after proper advice from your dog’s veterinarian. Whenever you add to your dog’s diet, a consultation from a veterinarian about the same is a must. Most of the time, it is true to visit a veterinarian who is an expert in treating dogs of your dog’s breed; this will help your dog.


Rib bones are not preferable for your dog as they are small bones. Small bones easily cause problems in your dog’s life, such as choking, pancreatitis, vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, internal organ problems, etc. 

If, by chance, your dog chews on rib bones, immediately remove them from its mouth. You can check your dog’s mouth for any traces of scabs or broken bones. If you notice any unusual behavior in your dog, like drooling, continuous vomiting, and others, visit a veterinarian immediately before the situation turns worse.