My Dog Ate Rib Bones and is Throwing Up [Vomit Alert]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

You know, as much as we adore our four-legged friends, they sure have a knack for getting into some peculiar situations.

So, picture this: my dog, rib bones, and a bout of unexpected vomiting – not exactly an unexpected trio, right?

If my dog ate rib bones and is throwing up, I would be panicking too, but just relax for a moment and read through this post.

You will learn the right steps to take, other potential problems you might encounter, and handle this whole situation correctly.

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Why is My Dog Throwing Up After Eating Rib Bones?

Why is My Dog Throwing Up After Eating Rib Bones

I wouldn’t even bother to ask HOW your dog came across rib bones that he ate. 

Because I know well enough that dogs always have their ways of finding food they shouldn’t eat.

Nonetheless, whether you’ve fed the rib bone to your dog or he just found it under the BBQ table, eating it has some consequences.

Some dogs have no trouble digesting rib bones, but there are a lot of dogs out there who can’t hold their tummy well when it comes to these bones.

If your dog ate rib bones and is now throwing up, you’re probably wondering why, and there are a few reasons behind that.

Obviously, rib bones have rough and hard textures that your dog will have trouble digesting.

Since your dog’s digestive system is having a hard time breaking the rib bone down, it will stay longer in your puppy’s tummy.

The splinters or sharp edges of the rib bone can irritate your dog’s tummy, which may cause your dog to throw up.

Plus, the common scene after any dog eats a rib bone usually includes gastrointestinal blockage.

If this is the case, your dog’s body will try to remove that blockage by retching or throwing up.

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What should you do if your dog throws up after eating rib bones?

Your dog eating rib bones shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially if there’s already throwing up involved.

The best thing you should do if your dog throws up after eating in bones is to bring him to the vet clinic right away.

The vomiting can escalate to choking since you’re not sure whether your dog has injured his stomach or if a piece of the bone got stuck in his esophagus.

Bringing your dog to the vet will help your dog get the right treatment right away, saving you from putting your dog’s life in danger.

How to help a choking dog

It’s not only humans who need saving from choking. Your dog who can be a little too enthusiastic over anything that can fit in his mouth needs it too!

Hence, learning how to do Heimlich Maneuver the right way is essential for you as a caring dog owner.

It’s a skill you can use not only for your pup but for other doggies who might need your life-saving help.

But Canine Heimlich Maneuver isn’t something that can be learned by just reading about it, rather it’s a method you have to actually watch to do it right. 

So, please have some time to watch even just this short tutorial video. It’ll really help save doggies from choking.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Rib Bones and Now Has Diarrhea?

Let’s get this straight. Your dog ate rib bones and NOW has diarrhea?

You know what, I wouldn’t even be surprised by it because rib bones bring many dangers to any dog.

You see, rib bones are usually heavily processed especially if they’re bought from the grocery store. 

Unfortunately, preservatives used to process those rib bones can cause an allergy to your poor doggy. Thus, diarrhea may happen to him after eating rib bones.

Let’s not forget that rib bones can easily block your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. And that right there is already the main ingredient for diarrhea.

If your dog ate rib bones and it already led to diarrhea, the best thing you can do is give him probiotics that are dog-friendly.

The rib bones probably disrupted your dog’s gut health, and giving him probiotics can balance the bacteria in his tummy to help in his digestion.

Keep your dog on a bland diet too while he is still suffering or recovering from diarrhea. A highly digestible meal is a must!

If it’s been a few days and your dog still hasn’t shown any signs of recovering from diarrhea, you should already bring him to the vet.

Just giving you a heads-up that diarrhea can lead to severe dehydration, which will surely add to your dog’s suffering.

What other symptoms should you look out for?

If your dog’s gastrointestinal tract was affected by the rib bones he has eaten, there could be other symptoms you should look out for.

These include throwing up, having little to no energy for any playtime, and refusing to eat even his favorite treat.

What are the causes of diarrhea in dogs after eating rib bones?

Rib bones can easily irritate your dog’s digestive tract, so a dog’s diarrhea is usually caused by this irritation after eating rib bones.

These bones can’t easily be digested, so they sit in your dog’s tummy for a while. When these bones’ sharp edges and splinters touch your dog’s stomach lining, irritation happens.

The rib bones your dog has eaten may also contain harmful bacteria. These bacteria can create an imbalance in your dog’s gut health, which may result in diarrhea.

I also gotta pitch in this question: is it your dog’s first time eating rib bone?

If yes, this new and somewhat foreign food may have seemed too sudden of a change in your dog’s diet. 

Since dogs usually take time to adjust to any new food they eat, ingesting rib bone for the first time possibly caused your dog’s diarrhea.

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?

Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones

Dogs can eat rib bones, but it doesn’t mean that you should intentionally make them eat rib bones.

The shape and size of rib bones pose a choking hazard for your dog so it is very unsafe for dogs to eat rib bones.

As much as possible, don’t let your doggy get his paws on any of this table scrap to avoid danger.

What Types of Bones Can Dogs Eat?

The types of bones that dogs can eat are raw bones of chicken, lamb, or beef. NO PORK BONES!

Raw chicken, lamb, and beef bones are safer for your dog to eat because they don’t break or splinter easily. And they have less fat!

Raw bones are also a great source of calcium that can help strengthen your dog’s bones.

However, it’s still best to keep your eye on your doggy when he is eating rib bones. 

Choking on rib bones usually go unnoticed, and most dog owners realize this incident a little too late. You don’t want it to happen to you, do you?

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What Are the Dangers of Giving Rib Bones to Dogs?

Choking hazard

Rib bones are hard but can quickly be splintered making them a real choking hazard for your dog.

They are shaped oddly in a way that can easily lodge in your dog’s airway.

Intestinal obstruction 

Your dog ate rib bones. 

The good news, he didn’t choke on it. Bad news, are you sure his gastrointestinal tract won’t be blocked?

Just because your dog was able to swallow a rib bone doesn’t mean that he won’t have any problem passing it in his tummy.

Since rib bones are hard to digest, they can cause intestinal obstruction in your dog. This can put him in great pain and vomiting.

Perforation and injury

When your dog ingested a rib bone, it’ll be broken down into tiny pieces by his tummy.

Splintered bones are sharp, and these sharp bone pieces can perforate or injure your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

Things will turn for the worse when that happens because a stomach infection will shortly occur.

And take note! Cooked rib bones are the ones that splinter right away after ingestion, causing immediate injury in your dog’s tummy.

Digestive issues

I know dogs love eating almost anything they find on the floor so long as it smells appetizing.

However, no matter how greedy they may seem, they still have a rather too-sensitive tummy.

They may be able to bite into rib bones, but they definitely have trouble digesting those bones.

As a result, I fear that your dog will most likely have digestive issues from eating rib bones since he can’t easily pass these bones.

I’d say constipation is the lightest digestive issue your dog may have. The worst? Well, it could be diarrhea or vomiting to name some.

Pancreatitis risk

Not just rib bones but PORK rib bones increase your dog’s pancreatitis risk because of their high amount of fat.

Remember that pancreatitis means that the pancreas is inflamed because of too much consumption of fat.

If your dog suffers from pancreatitis, he’ll experience diarrhea and lethargy as common symptoms.

But pancreatitis isn’t a friend of anyone. It’s a traitor disease that can be life-threatening.

So get those rib bones out of your dog’s reach!

Bacterial contamination

Most dog owners feed their dogs with raw rib bones, since it’s less fatty and won’t splinter easily.

But raw bones are a scary source of bacteria! Your poor doggy might get salmonella and other good-for-nothing bacteria that can harm his health.

I can’t dare forget to mention that rib bones are usually processed, so who knows what preservatives that are bad for dogs have been added to them right?

Dental issues

Dog owners, rib bones aren’t dental treats!

Please stop giving your dog rib bones if you think those can improve his dental health.

Because NO, rib bones actually just make your dog’s dental health go bad. 

Rib bones are hard, and they can chip or break your dog’s teeth. And trust me, that could be very painful for your pup.

Plus, the sharp splinters when rib bones snap between your dog’s teeth can wound his gums and tongue.

If you wanna keep your dog’s teeth clean, be sure to invest in the right dental chews and treats.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Spot Bambones dog chews review

What Should You Do if Your Dog Ate a Rib Bone?

If your dog ate a rib bone, be quick to clear the area of any more access to those rib bones.

Then gently open your dog’s mouth so you can remove any visible bone pieces.

If you see a piece of rib bone in your dog’s throat, that’s definitely a choking hazard.

Don’t try to remove it on your own since you might push it further into your dog’s airway.

Just grab what you need and bring your dog to the vet right away.

But in cases where you can’t see any signs of a problem with your dog after he ate a rib bone, you still gotta monitor him.

Gastrointestinal blockage and other digestive issues may not show their symptoms right away.

Since you aren’t a hundred percent sure that there isn’t any splinter poking your dog’s digestive tract, it’s best to keep your eye on him.

Watch for any sign of discomfort and lethargy because these symptoms usually mean that your dog’s tummy is in shambles.

How Long Will It Take for My Dog to Pass a Rib Bone?

It usually takes between a whole day or three days for your dog to pass a rib bone.

If your dog ate a bigger size of rib bone, it’ll take him longer to digest it. Your dog’s size also affects how fast he can pass a rib bone.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Chewing on Bones?

You can prevent your dog from chewing on bones by simply making sure that there aren’t any bones lying around him.

If he doesn’t have access to bones, your dog won’t have any way to chew on them.

If you’re eating rib bones, don’t let your dog see you doing so. And make sure you left no scraps on the floor.

Giving your dog dental chews and treats is also a healthier and safer option than rib bones.

What Are Safer Alternatives to Rib Bones for Dogs?

If your dog likes eating a rib bone because of its taste, then the safer alternative for it is giving him a bully stick.

Bully sticks are high in protein, and can definitely fulfill your dog’s desire to chew.

But if your dog just wants to eat rib bone because he is bored, a high-quality interactive toy is the fun and safer alternative.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if my dog ate rib bones and can’t poop?

If your dog ate rib bones and can’t poop, it’s high time you bring him to the vet. Your dog is probably suffering from serious gastrointestinal blockage that’s why he can’t poop. It’s already too risky to try anything by yourself at home to relieve your dog, so bringing him to the vet is the best option.

My dog is vomiting bone fragments, what should I do?

The bone fragments might have gotten lodged in your dog’s tummy or intestine, hence your dog is vomiting them back up. When this happens, you should bring your dog to the vet for a check-up to see if there are more bone fragments in his tummy that may injure his digestive tract.

What types of bones are dangerous for dogs?

T-Bones and cooked poultry bones like chicken and turkey are dangerous for dogs. T-Bones have an odd shape that can get stuck in your dog’s throat. While cooked chicken and turkey bones are more brittle and can splinter which may cause injuries to your dog’s digestive tract.

How do I know if my dog’s bone has splintered?

You’ll know if your dog’s bone has splintered if your dog starts gagging or retching up after eating a bone. This is a way of trying to remove the splinter that’s spoking his throat or esophagus.

Will my dog get sick from chewing raw bones?

Raw bones, like any other raw meat, may carry harmful bacteria that can make your dog sick. Salmonella, for example, is a disease that affects a dog’s digestive system and he can get it by eating raw animal meat.

In Conclusion: My Dog Ate Rib Bones and is Throwing Up

In the end, your dog’s rib bone escapade can turn into a valuable lesson in pet care.

Remember, our adorable companions might have curious appetites, but it’s up to us to keep them safe from their culinary adventures!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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