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My Dog Ate Rib Bones

I never thought my dog would eat the rib bones I had cooked for dinner, but he did! What should I do?

Is it safe to give him a laxative and hope that everything comes out OK?

Will he be able to pass the bone particles in his stool, so they don’t get stuck?

These are all questions you might have after your pet eats something unusual. 

The good news is that it’s usually not an emergency situation. So if your dog ate some rib bones, you can relax and treat him at home.  

What you DON’T want to do is give your dog something like a pet-safe (human) laxative. Your dog’s digestive tract is not made for passing bones or bone particles, and the laxatives could make things worse by causing mineral imbalances and dehydration – especially if your dog ate a lot of bones.

They could also make your dog very sick by causing vomiting or damage to his esophagus.

The main thing is to watch how quickly your pet passes the ribs through their stool. If you don’t see rib fragments in the first bowel movement, or if they are present but not enough to constitute a meal’s worth of bones, you can assume they will pass through.

In the meantime, there is no need to induce vomiting or give your dog a laxative. Like people, dogs have a “first-pass metabolism,” in which a significant amount of any ingested foreign object will be broken down in the stomach and esophagus before it is sent to the intestines. If the bones pass intact in the stool, everything will be fine!

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Potential Problems

Sometimes bones can get stuck on the way out. This is rare, but it’s one of the reasons why you shouldn’t give your dog a laxative if he ate some rib bones.

If something does get stuck in his GI tract, this might require intervention or surgery to resolve. If at all possible, aim for less invasive treatment and avoid things like medication and laxatives that could make your dog sicker.

The biggest concern is that some bones might end up stuck in the intestines. If they cut off or obstruct the blood supply to a section of the intestine, this can cause an intestinal blockage, which requires urgent medical attention.

If you’re worried about your dog’s health after rib bones indigestion, then looks for these signs:

  • Choking
  • Broken teeth
  • Cuts in mouth
  • Cuts in tongue
  • Damage to stomach
  • Damage to intestines
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Bloody stool
  • Vomiting
  • Severe constipation

Learn about the dog’s digestion process that will help you better understand the symptoms.

What To Do If You See Rib Fragments In Stool

Although a single rib bone passing through the stool without incident is fine, there’s no need to let this go unnoticed.

If you see one or two rib bones in his stool – successfully passed – then don’t worry about it! If you notice several ribs or multiple days of finding them in his stool, though, then you should take your pet to the vet for a physical checkup.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll see rib bones in the dog’s stool after he eats them (provided they pass), there is a remote possibility of it happening, and you don’t want to ignore this just because everything seems fine.

Do I Need To See The Vet Or Go To The Emergency Animal Hospital?

No, you don’t need to rush your pet to the vet if he ate rib bones. However, if their symptoms seem to be getting worse instead of better after a couple of days, then you should definitely schedule an appointment ASAP.

If you see any signs that concern you – such as severe constipation or even just one rib bone passing through the stool – then you should seek immediate veterinary care.

In general, as long as your dog acts normally and his ribs pass through the stool without any problems, he will be fine!

If constipation is the only problem then it also can be solved by dog food for constipation, a specialized one.

Safe Alternatives To Eat Rib Bones

There can be many other alternatives like beef ribs and pork ribs instead of eating the dog’s owner.

The common ones are chicken, lamb, or beef that can be given to your pet to enjoy, which ensures they remain healthy and happy throughout their lives.

Is There Anything I Should Do For My Pet After Eating Bones?

After the bones pass through his system, you might want to give him some over-the-counter (OTC) diarrhea medicine like Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate.

This is only if the bones seem to be irritating his GI tract and causing him trouble; it’s not necessary in all cases but can help some dogs feel better.

If your pet seems lethargic and/or won’t eat after he ate bones, then make sure to let your vet know. This is a sign that should not be ignored and can require immediate veterinary care.

In general, as long as everything stays normal and his ribs pass without any complications, you don’t need to do anything else!

Always remember that dogs were not designed to eat bones and can become sick from it, so try to avoid giving your dog the opportunity to consume any bones.

How Can I Tell If My Dog Ate Rib Bones?

There are some signs that you can catch early on, even before the rib bones have passed through your dog’s system.

If you are suspicious of the above-discussed signs, then observe your dog keenly and focus on the diet that you are feeding; if he is not taking any intake, then surely there is something wrong with him.

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

No, not at all; dogs cannot eat rib bones. In fact, they can be extremely harmful to your pet if ingested.

If you notice the same signs as mentioned above in a dog after she has eaten rib bones, then contact a vet immediately.

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