My Dog Ate a Pork Bone: What Should I Do?

Masters of table surfing, counter surfing, begging, and just plain melting our hearts, there’s a good chance that your dog will get its teeth on a pork bone at one time or another. When it does, you may wonder, “My dog ate a pork bone; what should I do?”

If, by chance, you can get to your dog before it ingests the bone, take it away. Make sure there are no other pieces of bone around for it to pick up. If your dog eats any part of a pork bone, you need to watch it closely for signs of distress, which may indicate some serious complications.

Bones, and I mean a bone from any animal, can be or become brittle and pose a danger to your dog. While it’s a general rule that cooked bones pose more risk than raw bones, raw bones can be brittle too. Brittle bones can splinter and lodge inside your dog from their throat to their rear. And that, my friends, is not a good situation.

If your dog has eaten a pork bone, read on to find out the signs of trouble! And if you’re just curious about why bones can be bad for dogs, read on.

What should I watch for if my dog has eaten a bone?

Bones can splinter, causing them to lodge at any point between the throat and the rear. A bone that is lodge can cause an obstruction that blocks your dog’s digestive system. Signs of a blockage can include drooling, vomiting, unusual bowel movements, whining, and more. If you know or suspect that your dog has swallowed any type of bone, you should consult with a veterinarian immediately to find out what to watch for and when to bring them in.

Can my dog digest a bone it has eaten?

Dogs can and do successfully digest bones, both cooked and raw. But you need to keep a watchful eye on your dog so that you can take them to the vet at the first signs of distress.

I thought raw and uncooked bones are good for my dogs. Are you saying they’re not?

Raw and uncooked bones (and cooked bones for that matter) are given to dogs around the world every hour of every day. But that doesn’t mean that they are 100% splinter-proof and safe. But don’t just take my word for it, here is what Redbarn1, one of the largest manufactures of dog bones in the USA, has to say about it:

“It’s important to keep in mind, however, no natural bone can come with a guarantee against breaking or splintering.”

You can give your dog uncooked, raw bones or bones specifically made for dogs to chew. But just like anything else, you need to be aware of what your dog is eating and be on the lookout for ANY signs that there may be a problem.

Why are cooked bones bad for my dog?

Cooked bones can become brittle and splinter easily. Cooking further dries the bones and removes more of the inherent elasticity. Bones that splinter can become stuck in your dog’s digestive system cause a blockage or puncture. Either of which is serious and a veterinary emergency.

But my neighbor gives his dog cooked chicken bones all the time!

Giving your dog a pork bone, or chicken bone, or any type of bone is not a guarantee that something bad will happen. It’s not (hopefully) poisonous, and it won’t always or even often lead to problems depending on the bone. But there is a chance the bone can splinter, and there is a chance that your dog could develop complications.

I called the vet because my dog ate a pork chop. Did I overreact?

No! You did not overreact. Calling a veterinarian because you are worried is never an overreaction. It’s a way to educate yourself to know what to do if it ever happens again.

Are pork bones more dangerous than other bones?

Pork bones tend to be more brittle than the bones of other animals, cooked or raw. Some bones are for dogs than others.

Does it matter what size bone I give to my dog?

Yes. Size does matter when you are giving your dog a bone. You want it to be large enough that the dog cannot swallow, yet not so large that it can’t engage in chewing.

What types of bones are best to give to my dog?

First, you want the bones to be large enough so that the dog can’t swallow them. Second, you want raw, uncooked bones that are less likely to break or splinter. Beef and bison bones are usually a good option. You can normally find them in the meat section of your local supermarket or buy them directly from a butcher.

Are bones good for dogs?

Bones do provide some minerals and nutrients for our furry friends. But by far, the biggest benefit bones provide our dogs is an outlet for the urge to chew. Chewing is just as much a mental health benefit as it is a medical one. Dogs explore their world by sniffing, tasting, and chewing. Chewing is a stress and anxiety reliever, a fidget spinner, a mind occupier, a tooth cleaner, and so much more.

Is rawhide a bone?

No, rawhide is, well, hide. Dried animal hide. And while it is a popular chew toy for dogs, it comes with dangers of its own. Rawhide doesn’t splinter, but it can get stuck in your dog’s digestive system, causing a blockage. As we said earlier, you should know what your dog is eating and be vigilant for any problems.

Is feeding my dog a raw diet that includes bones good for them?

 While discussing a raw diet is beyond the scope of this article, I will say that raw can be a good option for dogs. Having said that, it is messy. It can be expensive and time-consuming. And you need to make sure you include vitamins and minerals and other nutrients required by your dog. If this is something you’re considering, you should consult with your veterinarian or another nutritional professional to find out more.

Conclusion:

If your dog eats a pork bone, it is not necessarily an emergency, but it is cause for a watchful eye. Get the pork bone away from your dog if you can. Check your dog’s mouth for bone splinters or fragments. And most importantly, monitor your dog for signs of distress like drooling, vomiting, or abnormal bowel movements and contact a veterinarian immediately if you notice any.

Reference:

1 HOW TO SAFELY GIVE YOUR DOG A BONE – https://www.redbarn.com/blogs/blog/how-to-safely-give-your-dog-a-bone

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