Can dogs have pork rib bones?

Is there anything more satisfying for the average American to eat than pork? Just the thought of a big, thick pork chop or some tasty barbecued pork ribs makes most Americans salivate, and our dogs are no different. When our dogs smell the aroma of our pork roasting or grilling over an open flame, they get excited and wonder whether they will get any of that pork they can already tell will be so delicious.

With meat prices as high as they are, you may not give your dog any pork meat, but you may be considering giving them the bones. Well, before you do, here are a few questions you should ponder. Let’s examine the particulars of giving our dogs pork rib bones.

Can dogs have pork rib bones?

Pork rib bones are small, so you may think they are the perfect bones for small dogs, but you’d be wrong, and here are a few reasons why.

Pork rib bones can crack or break off your dog’s teeth.

OK, while doggie implants and dentures are really a thing now…no, I’m serious…a cracked or broken tooth can be very painful for your dog. Pork rib bones, especially cooked pork rib bones, are hard and can cause this type of damage to your dog’s teeth. Wouldn’t it be best to simply avoid that trip to the doggie dentist altogether, if not to save your dog all the heartache, then to save you the roughly $3,000 cost of replacing a single tooth with a doggie implant.

Pork rib bones can tear up your dog’s mouth or even tear their gastrointestinal wall.

Pork bones, including pork rib bones, quite often crack and splinter when dogs chew on them. If your dog tries to swallow a piece of pork bone that has sharp edges, they can suffer a tear anywhere throughout their gastrointestinal tract, from their esophagus to their lower intestine. Anytime the wall of the gastrointestinal tract is severed, there is internal bleeding. Common signs you may see in your dog are loss of appetite, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Pork rib bones can cause an obstruction in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Pork rib bones can get stuck in your dog’s throat or even in their bowel tract, causing an obstruction. If a pork rib bone gets caught in your dog’s throat, it’s fairly easy to tell, as they will cough or their mouth will water like crazy, but if a bone gets stuck in your dog’s bowel, it can be up to 72 hours before signs of the blockage present. Don’t be fooled, however, changes in appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea that last more than a couple of hours should be addressed by a veterinarian immediately.

Can dogs have cooked pork rib bones?

Your dog should not have pork bones at all, not pork rib bones or any other pork bones, no matter whether they are raw or cooked, and here’s why.

Pork bones are just not safe for your dog to eat.

First, pork bones, like chicken bones are so small that some dogs are tempted to swallow them whole, which is a bad idea. Next, though raw bones are softer and safer for dogs to eat than cooked bones, which are hard and brittle, both raw and cooked pork rib bones should be avoided when considering choices of bones to give your dog, because they can splinter and crack, leaving sharp edges that are dangerous for your dog.

There actually are bones that are deemed safe for dogs to eat.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are bones that are safe to feed your dog. Large, raw bones like those of cows or bison are good for feeding dogs. These bones are large enough that dogs must chew off pieces in manageable sizes. Plus, they aren’t likely, when raw, to have splintered, sharp edges that can harm your dog’s insides.

What happens if a dog eats a pork rib bone?

Your dog may be fine if they eat a pork rib bone, but it isn’t worth taking a chance considering the risks. Your dog could crack or break a tooth, get a tear in their mouth or somewhere in their gastrointestinal tract, or get an obstruction in the same. A tear in the GI tract causes internal bleeding, and an obstruction can cut off the flow of blood to the tissue in the affected area. Both are life-threatening conditions.

What to do if my dog eats a pork rib bone?

If your dog eats a pork rib bone, you should keep a close eye on them for the next 72 hours, as it can take up to 72 hours for signs of a bowel obstruction to manifest. Other issues could present more quickly, like a broken tooth or a bone lodged in your dog’s throat. Your dog could also experience a tear in their mouth or gastrointestinal tract.

So, if you notice your dog salivating a lot, coughing, showing signs of abdominal pain, losing their appetite, vomiting, or having diarrhea, you should take them to the vet immediately.