My Dog Ate Ribs What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 11/26/22 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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My Dog Ate Ribs What Should I Do?

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Ribs are a favorite for many people! BBQed ribs, grilled, and more taste wonderful and make a great meal! But what happens if a dog eats ribs?

Has your dog eaten ribs? Are you worried the ribs will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve gathered information about ribs and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What are Ribs?

Ribs are bones covered with meat that form the rib cage of an animal. Ribs are a popular meat for humans and can be cooked in many different ways. Ribs can be made from pork or beef.

No wonder a dog would want to go after ribs! All that yummy, juicy meat really makes a dog hungry! But can ribs make a dog sick?

Ribs & Dogs

Unfortunately, ribs can make a dog sick. The problem is mainly with the bone. When any kind of bone is cooked, it becomes brittle. Once the brittle bone is chewed or bitten, it may result in tiny, sharp pieces breaking off. These sharp pieces could cause injuries in the mouth, the throat, or even the digestive tract. This can lead to serious health issues.

Another problem is that if a dog swallows the entire bone, it may become lodged anywhere in the dog’s digestive system. For instance, the bone could become stuck in the throat, the stomach, or even in the intestines.

In the throat, the bone may cause your dog to choke, making it very difficult to breathe. In the stomach or intestines, the bone could cause an obstruction. This is a very serious condition that can cause death if left untreated.

Symptoms of Rib Ingestion in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten a rib:

If your dog develops any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.

Treatment of Rib Ingestion in Dogs

Treatment depends on the vet’s diagnosis. If your dog is choking, they will remove the rib by reaching in (if the bone is visible) or through an endoscopic procedure.

If your dog has an intestinal obstruction, the vet will run images (x-rays or others) to determine where the bone(s) is located. Once they find the bone, the vet may need to perform surgery to remove the blockage and repair any damage it may have caused.

The good news is that most dogs will make a full recovery; however, the prognosis is best for dogs that receive prompt medical treatment.

In the future, it’s essential to keep ribs and all other bones/meat out of your dog’s reach. You’ll both be happier for it!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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