My Dog Ate a Rib Bone – Will He Be Ok? (Important Facts)

Dogs and bones always seem to go hand in hand, and that’s what we thought. In fact, many kinds of dog treat even have that bone shape. Still, as much as we are familiar with the scene, you may feel surprised at how it can be a risk. So, you may ask:

My dog ate a rib bone, will he be OK? While many dogs eat bones, it doesn’t mean it’s safe. Rib bones are quite thick that it can even be difficult even for dogs. It can splinter, and the sharp edges can damage your pet’s internal organs. Thus, if your dog ate a rib bone, check for symptoms and take it to the vet if it shows any signs.

Contrary to what we believe, dogs won’t do well with bones. If you feed bones to your dogs, you put them at risk of many complications. If left unchecked, it can even put your pet’s life in danger.

In this article, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about bones, and it’s effects on dogs. This way, you can be confident your pet remains safe from incidents related to this matter.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

What should I do if my dog ate rib bone?

As I said, a rib bone is large enough to pose many risks for your pet. Thus, if your pet ate one, you may need to make some immediate response.

You can use the following response if you see your dog ate a rib bone:

Check for signs that your dog ate a bone.

Observe the area for bone fragments, scattered food, and other signs. Do this, especially if you’re unsure of the kind of bone your dog ate.

It will also help determine how large the bone is and how many pieces your dog ate.

Look into your dog’s throat.

Examine your dog’s mouth and throat and check if the bone is stuck on the throat.

It will also help you determine if you can remove the bone or need assistance.

Touch your dog’s stomach to check for pain.

Touch your pet’s stomach and look for reactions indicating pain. A light press would be enough to do so. If your pet cringes or acts in pain, then you’ll need to take it to the vet.

Check your pet’s reaction.

Is your pet whining or howling? If so, it can be a sign that there’s an intestinal blockage.

Take it to the vet.

Take your pet to the vet as soon as you determine how serious it is.

A severe injury from rib bones needs the help of an expert. Thus, it would be best to take your pet to the vet’s clinic as soon as possible.

If left unchecked, it can result in your pet’s life is at risk. The condition may also worsen if you don’t attend to it immediately.

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Can a dog digest a rib bone?

Dogs have an excellent digestive system that can take on many kinds of food. However, a rib bone may cause an issue for dogs to digest.

Due to its size, a rib bone may only pass through the stomach without digesting it. Thus, it may also pass through the intestines. The problem with this bone would be its edges once it splinters.

The thing about rib bones is that it’s quite large and thick for dogs to digest. Moreover, pork bones, either raw or cooked, can splinter and crack with every chew of dogs.

While they may bite and chew the bone, its sharp edges can cause injury to your pet’s throat. It can also cause choking, intestinal blockages, and damage to the esophagus or intestines.

How long does it take for a dog to digest a rib bone?

Dogs have the shortest digestive system than all mammals. Thus, it only takes about 8 hours to finish the whole process. Of course, it would still vary depending on the dog’s size and breed.

If your pet ate a rib bone, it likely wouldn’t take that long for it to pass through. However, it’s not likely that it will get digested either.

Of course, dogs can digest some bones. However, it’s not something unique for dogs. The thing is that other animals can also do so. Among these are bears, hyenas, vultures, tortoises, and even rabbits.

In fact, we can also digest bones if we want. The only thing is that a rib bone is large enough for dogs to digest. Thus, it can be quite difficult for them to do so.

What if a dog eats cooked rib bones?

A dog that eats cooked rib bones can be in danger of damaging its intestines and throat. Moreover, it can also lead to intestinal blockage and choking.

Cooking causes the rib bone to dry out and become brittle. While it may be easier to bite for dogs, it can crack and obtain sharp edges.

These edges can stick and wound the internal organs. Thus, it can cause a blockage or choke your pet.

For this reason, it would be best to avoid feeding any kind of bones. Whether it’s raw or cooked, don’t give that bone to your dog.

rib bone

Can dogs die from eating rib bone?

Dogs could die from eating rib bone, incredibly if they choked or suffer from an intestinal blockage. All kinds of incidents related to eating bones are dangerous for dogs.

Thus, if left unchecked or untreated, it can take the life of your pet.

For instance, choking can lead to your pet’s death if you don’t attend to it as soon as possible.

Intestinal blockages need an operation or other complicated treatment to get solved.

Still, circumstances would vary from time to time, and it has a lot of factors to consider.

For instance, not all bones are equal. Some bones are more comfortable to chew, while others aren’t. Some bones tend to crumble, while others crack and produce sharp edges.

If your dog ate bird bones, it would be thin, full of air sacs, and therefore easy to break. However, rib bones coming from pigs or even bones from cows are massive.

In general, these are the following factors that can determine the seriousness of your pet’s incident.

  • The size of the bone
  • The type of bone
  • The size and health of your dog
  • The condition of your dog’s teeth
  • Your dog’s relative tendency to chew her food

If your dog’s symptoms are severe, it would be best to take it to the vet as soon as possible.

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Symptoms that your dog ate a rib bone

If your dog ate a rib bone, chances are it will show severe symptoms if the bone started causing a problem.

Thus, you may want to observe your dog for these symptoms, as it will help you determine how serious the situation is.

Body Language

Some dogs will show body language to indicate they are in pain or suffering from the bones.

  • Whining
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Raspy panting

Other Signs

Other signs are symptoms that your pet has difficulty due to the rib bone.

  • Vomiting or retching
  • Bloody stool,
  • Diarrhea
  • Other digestion issues
  • Stomach pain
  • Not eating
  • Restlessness
  • Drooling

My dog ate rib bones and is throwing up – what to do?

If your dog is throwing up after eating a rib bone, here are some of the things you can do.

The first thing is not to panic. While throwing up may make you worry, it won’t help your dog. Instead, give your pet some space and allow it to do so for the time being.

The next thing you’ll want is to contact your vet for advice on how you should deal with the situation.

If the vomiting subsides, it would be best to check your dog’s mouth if you can. If your pet is throwing up, it can be due to the bone stuck in the throat.

Aside from vomiting or throwing up, your dog may induce other symptoms. If your dog shows any of these signs, contact your vet immediately and follow any advice he’ll give.

These may mean your dog is choking, which can be a medical emergency:

  • Extreme stress or panic
  • Pain
  • Rubbing their face or neck on the ground or other objects
  • Increased salivation
  • Repeated attempts to vomit
  • Gagging

Most of these symptoms likely occur after your dog eats a rib bone. Still, it is essential to watch for signs of trouble further along the digestive tract. Such symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Pain
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Intestinal upset
  • Inappetence
  • Lack of stool production
  • Bloody stools

Of course, an intestinal blockage may not be as grave as choking. Still, it remains an emergency that needs urgent attention and treatment.

Dog ate baby back rib bones – what to do?

Baby back rib bones may be a bit smaller and tender, but that only goes for the meat. The bones of such would still be brittle and splinter if eaten by dogs.

For this reason, you may need to observe your pet for signs of intestinal blockage and prepare if it causes choking.

Of course, if your pet seems fair and doesn’t show any symptoms of choking or intestinal blockage, you don’t have to do anything.

As always, the best and first action should be to take your pet to the vet or call emergency for your pet’s immediate assistance.

What should you do if your dog ate a pork bone or a bird? Check it out!


Many of us think that dogs and bones go hand in hand. However, in reality, it’s not entirely true. Although our dogs can chew bones with their strong jaws, their throats and intestines may suffer.

Rib bones can be brittle and can splinter, creating sharp edges. It can lead to choking and intestinal blockage if your dog eats such. For this reason, it’s not ideal for dogs to eat such.

All kinds of bones have risks involved with our dogs. Thus, it would be best to avoid such incidents by refraining from giving your dog bones.

It will save you the worries and the risks of feeding rib bones to your dog.


Image credits – Canva

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