My Dog Ate A Rib Bone – What Should I Do Now?

Dogs are inquisitive and love to explore, so it’s not uncommon for them to get into the trash, especially when they’re hungry. 

One of the more common items that dogs love is rib bones. Ribs are a tasty treat for humans, but if your pup has eaten one you need to act fast!

Why Do Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

dog munching on rib bone

You’re probably wondering why your dog would want to eat a bone. 

The reason is that bones are rich in minerals and nutrients that they can’t get from their food. Just like humans, dogs need these nutrients to survive, so eating a rib bone might just be their way of supplementing their diet.

One thing to consider though is the fact that this behavior may also be caused by boredom or anxiety. 

Canines are very smart animals and sometimes we don’t give them enough attention or exercise. If this was the case with your dog you should start spending more time as well as play with them more often!

Can A Dog Digest A Rib Bone?

picture of a collection of rib bones

You may be wondering if a dog’s digestive system is strong enough to digest a rib bone. 

Well, while rib bones are hard for your pup to digest, they aren’t impossible to get digested. However, there’s still a good chance that the bone won’t pass through and will instead become lodged in their stomach or intestines!

Can Dogs Die From Eating Rib Bones?

dog with a rib bone in mouth

If your dog does happen to swallow a rib bone, it’s important that they receive medical attention as soon as possible. The reason for this is because if the bone isn’t found in your pup’s stomach or intestines and ends up becoming lodged, it can lead to a serious health risk! 

This is because rib bones are sharp, which means there is a good chance they may puncture the lining of the stomach or intestines. 

In addition to that, your dog won’t be able to digest any food while the rib bone remains inside of them, so he won’t have an appetite until after he has had surgery.

How To Recognize A Rib Bone

Because she ate something outside of her regular diet, it can be hard for your dog’s owner to identify the rib bone they have eaten. 

However, if you do notice that your pup has had a large amount of food or a really hard piece of food in their stomach or bowl, then it may be possible that he has swallowed a rib bone! 

To make sure, take them to the vet as soon as possible for a checkup, and make sure you give them plenty of water and natural digestive aids like canned pumpkin.

How Long Until I See Symptoms?

If your dog has eaten an entire rib bone (or multiple ribs) it can take up to 48 hours for you to notice any symptoms of distress such as vomiting or diarrhea. 

This is because it takes time for the bone(s) to travel through the digestive tract before they have started causing any damage. 

However, even though you might not see signs of distress right away, your dog could be in a lot of pain!

If Your Dog Eats One Rib Bone Do I Need To Rush Them To The Vet?

dog with first aid and thermometer

No – you don’t need to rush them right away. However, if they have eaten multiple bones you should take them to the vet as soon as possible and give them plenty of water. 

Try giving your pup some canned pumpkin too since it helps with digestion (but only if they’re not vomiting). 

If there is a lot of blood or mucus coming out with their vomit/diarrhea you should definitely take them to the vet for an X-ray immediately! 

Just make sure that you are taking care of yourself while waiting for the result; dogs can sense stress very well so try to take a deep breath and relax!

What Happens If A Dog Eats A Cooked Rib Bone?

dog in bed feeling sick

Cooked rib bones are much easier to digest but they’re still not recommended for dogs. 

That’s because a cooked bone can easily splinter into sharp points and cause internal bleeding, among other injuries. 

If your dog has eaten a cooked rib bone it is best to go ahead and take them to the vet!

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate A Rib Bone?

If your pup has eaten one or multiple ribs, head to the vet immediately. 

Make sure you also have plenty of water (there’s a chance that they might not be able to keep down any food) and canned pumpkin on hand while you’re waiting for the vet’s office to open. 

If there is a lot of blood in their vomit/stool then take them in right away since this can be a sign of internal bleeding!  

It can also help to give your dog some Pepto-Bismol; it treats diarrhea as well as stops nausea and vomiting (but don’t give them more than what is recommended by the package).

My Dog Ate A Rib Bone And Is Throwing Up – What Should I Do?

Unfortunately, dogs will often throw up after they swallow a bone because it is traveling down the digestive tract. 

While you should let them rest and sip on some water or a natural digestive aid like a pumpkin if your pup continues to vomit even after 12 hours have passed then take them to the vet immediately!

How Do I Tell My Dog To Stop Eating Rib Bones?

As long as there are no more bones within reach of your pup then he won’t be able to get any more! 

If there are other “dangerous” items laying around (like chocolate) try locking them in a closet so you don’t have to worry about anyone getting into them. 

Also, make sure that everyone in the family knows that their dog shouldn’t have access to any bones and to tell any visitors/friends not to let them eat food on the floor!

Do I Need To Give My Dog Antibiotics?

Your vet will be able to take an X-ray and determine if your dog has swallowed a bone or multiple bones. 

If there are two or more, then you might want to consider giving your pet antibiotics. 

The main reason for this is that sometimes consuming a rib (or any other) bone can cause bacteria in the intestine which leads to peritonitis – a serious infection that can cause intestinal blockage, shock, etc). 

In severe cases, it can even be fatal for your dog! If you have taken your dog for an x-ray and they have had one broken rib in their stomach then most likely the vet will recommend that you give them antibiotics.

If Your Dog Ate An Uncooked Rib Bone Is It More Likely For Them To Die?

It’s not necessarily true that an uncooked rib bone is more dangerous than a cooked one. 

Often times the main cause of death isn’t due to sharp ends or splinters (if it was then most dogs would have died after eating a single raw rib) but rather from internal bleeding which can be hard to detect even with an x-ray! 

If there are no signs of blood in their vomit/stool and they aren’t showing any other signs, then you shouldn’t worry too much; just watch out for abnormal behavior or symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, etc., and take them to the vet if they get worse.

As long as your dog only has one rib bone inside their stomach and no signs of splintering then you shouldn’t worry too much since the chance of an internal injury is relatively low (however still very not recommended to give them any bones!). 

The main reason why you need to pay attention to your dog’s symptoms is that it would be hard for you to know if there was anything wrong with them!

Should I Induce Vomiting If My Pup Ate A Rib Bone?

Vomiting isn’t necessarily recommended unless you are seeing symptoms that suggest the presence of a rib bone (see above). 

In fact, inducing vomiting may make things worse since it can push the bone farther down in their digestive tract, and on top of making them vomit you’ll also need to see your vet for an X-ray! 

If you do decide that you want to induce vomiting, make sure you follow your vet’s instructions very carefully so that you don’t accidentally hurt your dog.

What If My Dog Ate The Marrow Of A Rib Bone?

It’s not uncommon for dogs to eat the marrow inside a bone since it tastes similar to meat. 

That being said, if your pup has eaten all or most of the marrow (i.e., there is little remaining in the center) then they are probably going to be fine! 

However, if they have gotten some marrow on their paws and licked it off, then there might still be bits of sharp bone stuck in their mouth! 

Make sure you check their mouth when you get home from taking them to the vet, and if any pieces are present ask your vet how you should remove them.

What Should I Do After The Vet Visit?

If your dog has been given an X-ray and there are no rib bones stuck in their digestive tract then you can rest easy! 

However, if they do have a rib bone stuck inside them then you will need to follow your vet’s instructions on what to do. 

If your pup has a few broken ribs (this is very common) then they may need pain medication or even surgery in some cases.  

If your dog ends up having surgery, it’s important that you don’t let them eat anything for at least 24 hours because this could cause another rib to get lodged somewhere else in their digestive system. 

Be sure to give them plenty of water though so that they stay hydrated!

If your dog is one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have a rib bone stuck in them then you should make sure that they don’t eat another one! 

You might even want to keep trash out of reach or even put it in a closet. 

Having your pup get into the trash could also teach them bad habits, so try to keep an eye on them and praise them if they avoid eating anything while you remove something from the trash.

While this isn’t always recommended for dogs that like to chew, you can give your pup rawhide to help keep their teeth nice and clean while discouraging them from chewing on any other items!

How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Digest A Rib Bone?

It depends on the size of your dog (i.e., larger dogs digest things more slowly than smaller ones), as well as whether or not the rib bone was cooked, but most dogs can get rid of a rib bone in about 2 days if it hasn’t gotten stuck anywhere along their digestive tract.

What Can I Do to Help My Dog Pass a Rib Bone?

If your dog has a rib bone stuck somewhere within their digestive tract then they will need to be x-rayed so that your vet can see exactly where the bone is.  

Your vet may also decide to do diagnostic imaging (like an ultrasound or CT scan) if there are any symptoms of internal bleeding that don’t suggest the presence of a broken rib.  

Once your vet finds out what’s going on, they will give you instructions on how to treat it! 

If your pup eats a rib bone but isn’t showing any signs of discomfort, you won’t have to worry too much about it since most of the time they will pass without issue. 

That being said, asking you for an X-ray doesn’t hurt, and it will give you peace of mind if there are any issues that were missed on the initial exam.  

Your vet might also want to do a blood test to make sure your dog’s liver is healthy enough to handle this situation.

What Are Some Things I Can Do To Prevent My Dog From Eating Things They Shouldn’t?

Dogs love to chew on things, and this can be bad if they start chewing on something like a bone that contains a lot of chemicals from being cooked. 

To keep your dog out of the trash you could try putting it in a closet or storing it outside but make sure there’s nothing else in the trash bag that might tempt them! 

If you can’t help your dog from getting into the trash then put everything that’s not an absolute necessity inside so that there isn’t anything left for them to eat, as well as things like chicken bones.

How To Train My Dog To Not Eat Rib Bones?

If your dog tends to eat things they shouldn’t, consider teaching them not to eat that at all! 

You can do this by using a product that tastes bad (like bitter apple or Tabasco) and putting it on anything you don’t want them to chew on. 

The key here is making sure the taste is strong enough that they associate it with the object – if you just dab a little bit of sauce on something then they may just get used to the taste instead!

What Are Some Alternatives To Rib Bones?

For dogs that like chewing but also need an alternative way to keep their teeth clean, rawhide is a great option! 

You can buy a bunch of rawhide treats from almost any pet supply store so grab one tonight and let your dog enjoy a tasty snack while keeping their teeth clean. 

Some dogs like to eat chicken bones but these are as dangerous for them as any other bone! 

If you’re worried about where your pup is getting bones then you can always get them something else to chew, like pig ears or antlers which are great alternatives that contain calcium just like ribs do and don’t pose the same risks.

What Can I Feed My Dog If They Have Eaten A Rib Bone?

To help prevent constipation try feeding your dog canned pumpkin – this should only be done on the day of eating and the day after, so make sure you keep it in mind! 

Liver treats from a pet store can also be very helpful if your pup has eaten something they shouldn’t, as can a high fiber dog food.

How Can I Safely Give My Dog A Bone?

If you’re absolutely certain that your dog can handle a bone then there are some ways to safely feed them one.  

First, it’s important that the bone is raw or boiled and not cooked in any way!  

Cooking bones makes them very brittle and more likely to splinter into sharp pieces which can puncture your dog internally. 

Secondly, make sure the bone has been cut into small enough pieces to be chewed with no risk of injury.

When Is the Best Time to Give My Dog a Bone?

Giving your dog a bone is best when they’re hungry but make sure they’re not starving either! 

If you can give them the bone right before or after a meal then that will be perfect and help them to feel full, rather than just providing additional chewing.

How Many Bones Should My Dog Eat?

Dogs can actually eat quite a few bones in one sitting, so try not to worry too much about how many they have eaten – as long as it’s not excessive.

Bone Versus Chew Treats – Which is Healthier?

Unfortunately, there’s really no comparison between rawhide treats and bones.  

The risks of giving your dog a rib are simply too high compared to the benefits that dogs get from eating rawhide bones.

How Should I Store My Dog’s Bones?

It’s important to store your dog’s rib bones so that they’re not too close to the trash or anywhere else that might tempt them.  

If you can’t keep a bone in the fridge then consider freezing it until you want to give it to your pup – this will also help decrease any risk of food poisoning. 

After giving your dog a bone make sure you pick up all the pieces and throw them away for good!

What If My Dog Ate Part Of A Rib Cage?

Don’t give up hope – while this situation is definitely dangerous, there is still room for optimism! 

It might take a vet visit but you should be able to get everything out without too much effort on your part.


Hopefully, your dog is feeling better after that encounter with the rib bones! 

If you have any questions or comments then make sure to leave them in the comment section below and I’ll be more than happy to answer them. 

Also, if you know someone who might benefit from reading this article then please share it on social media!

Related Posts

Leave a Comment