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Can dogs eat pork rib bones? The answer is not so straightforward on this one. Some sources say yes, pork rib bones are a good healthy dog food. Others say absolutely not. As with everything you feed your dog the final decision is down to you. However, when a food proves controversial, it certainly makes sense to proceed with caution.

Lets first look at reasons why it is suggested dogs cannot eat pork rib bones.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones – The Argument Against

The main issue is that of potential perforation of the dog’s internal organs. This obviously sounds horrific, and is the main reason some experts say cooked bones should never be used as dog food. A cooked pork rib bone may splinter into sharp shreds when gnawed by your beloved pet.

And it is true that such incidents do regularly occur. An owner may feed their dog pork rib bones with terrible consequences. Gastrointestinal issues, including a foreign body and Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis will cause your pet a huge amount of pain, and is very costly to rectify.

raw pork rib bones

Raw food dog diets have become a popular choice by owners

However, even raw pork rib bones are said to be potentially hazardous if used as dog food. Although the risk factor is lessened if the bone is raw, your dog may not successfully digest it every time you feed one to him.

Also, if your dog is a small breed or a puppy, and you do decide to feed them pork rib bones, they should be the correct size for your dog to chew on. Too small a bone and it might be swallowed whole and cause problems, to large and the process of breaking the bone down can lead to the sharp edge pieces that also cause issues.

Large breed dogs such as German Shepherds, Labradors, Dobermans etc should be given a large enough bone so they will not chew and swallow it quickly. Make sure that the bone is larger than the length of your dog’s muzzle so it is impossible for him to swallow whole. A large beef shank bone is a good example of an appropriate sized bone for larger dog breeds.

Ultimately, those that suggest all bones are bad, including pork rib ones, are proponents of the view that dog owners should only give their dogs synthetic bones made of rubber, nylon or rawhide – thus eliminating any potential dangers.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones – Arguments For

can dogs eat this_pork back_rib

Owners should do their research before pursuing a raw food diet

Then there are others that state dogs as descendents of wolves have an intrinsic need to eat (raw) bones, and that they are a healthy type of dog food. It is part of their deep animal instinct and humans should not deprive them of that. A raw pork rib bone would fall in to that feeding category.

Other supporters such as proponents of the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones and Raw Food) also see no issue in dogs chewing on raw pork rib bones.

Common sense is also a factor for those that suggest raw bones can be used as healthy dog food. Owners should consider the nature of their dog; not only size as mentioned above, but also their feeding character. Is your dog a chewer or a large chunk swallower? If the former, a raw bone should not cause problems.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones – The CDET View

In my opinion, common sense is the key. Consider your dog’s size and eating habits before experimenting with feeding them pork rib bones.

Physically speaking, jaw-bone structure is also a factor. Brachycephalic breeds such as bull dogs, boxers, shitzu and pugs, do not have the jaw structure to chew bones effectively and safely.

Always stay away from cooked bones that might splinter, and sharp edged bones of any kind. Poultry bones cooked, raw or otherwise should never be given as dog food.

A fresh meant bone might also end up in the garden, as your dog will instinctively wish to chew for a while and then bury it. While this is not an issue, it something you should be aware of as things can get messy.

Also be aware of common misconceptions. Some believe that a raw bone is a good source of nutrition for their dogs.

This is actually untrue. The bone itself and the collagen inside are not absorbed through digestion. If your dog eats a pork rib bone everything but the small amount of meat that might be still attached to it passes straight through him and out the other end.

dog-teeth kept clean with bones

Chewing on bones is good for cleaning their teeth

A bone is a good type of dog food for dental care however. The act of chewing helps stimulate saliva enzymes and when given to your dog after mealtime for 10 minutes, can help remove trapped bits of food and other particles from the teeth. This in turn helps prevent the build up of plaque and is useful in the fight against gum disease.

A good, appropriate pork rib bone may also help pacify any nasty little habits your dog is exhibiting. As a source of distraction, it can help him stop excessive self-licking or scratching or other nervous behaviors.

Steps to Feeding Your Dog Pork Rib Bones

It is important to think about the timing when feeding your dog a pork rib bone. The best time is actually after he has eaten his normal dog food. This way he will not crunch, gulp and swallow like Cujo, but will take his time, playing and chewing rather than eating.

Maybe also limit the amount of time your dog has the bone in any one sitting. After 20 minutes take it away, give it a clean and store for later. If he growls or turns on you, you know you have behavioral issues that might need attending to. (Although replacing the bone with a small edible treat is usually the best method to help avoid such unwanted aggression from your pet).

You should also be careful with your preparation of the bone. If you have decided to hack up a larger piece of pork rib bone using a meat cleaver, ensure there are no splintered edges. Even the smallest sharp edge of bone could cause havoc with your dogs mouth and gums.

You should supervise your dog when feeding them bones such as pork rib. After giving it to him, keep an eye on him. Make sure he isn’t gulping it back in large chunks.

dog chewing on bone

It makes sense to supervise when giving your dog a pork rib bone

If he heads out into the garden, make sure he isn’t ruining your latest flower patch it an attempt to bury it.

After taking the bone away from him, check his teeth and gums. Do they look sore, or are even bleeding. While this could be a sign of gum disease, it can also mean he has excessive chewed on the bone in all the excitement. This is a cue for you that maybe he was chewing on the bone too long, or maybe it was to sharp for him.

Overall, as long as you treat feeding your dog a raw pork rib bone with consideration and care, your dog should enjoy himself and come to no harm.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones – Related Links


Can dogs eat pork rib bones? If you have any comments on your own experiences after your dog has eaten these types of bones please leave them below.