Can Dogs Eat Ribs?
Dogs are natural meat eaters, right? In fact, it’s part of the nature of wild dogs to kill their prey and eat it. Dogs, even domesticated ones, are naturally carnivorous and they need the protein that comes from meat in their diet to stay active and healthy. Many humans love meat too, and for most humans, the meatier the ribs, the better. Since a man’s best friend is his dog, it’s natural to want to share the meaty bounty and goodness. But are you doing your dog a solid by sharing those deliciously cooked ribs from the picnic table?
When it comes to whether dogs can eat ribs, it depends first and foremost on the type of ribs and secondly on whether they are cooked or raw. Pork is known for containing worms and parasites, so feeding raw pork rib meat isn’t the best idea. If you’re giving your dog pork ribs, make sure to thoroughly cook it all the way through.
Before feeding pork ribs to your dog, remove the bones to prevent any possibility of your dog getting a bone shard stuck in his throat. In general beef rib meat and lamb rib meat is safe for your dog raw. Chewing raw meat provides the protein your dog needs in their diet. The process of chewing raw rib meat can also help your dog exercise their jaw and clean their teeth at the same time.
Can Dogs Eat Rib Bones?
Now that we know what rib meat dogs can and can’t eat, what about the rib bones? When it comes to bones, a good rule of thumb is to never feed your dog cooked bones of any kind. The process of cooking rib bones causes them to become brittle. Letting your dog chew brittle rib bones of any kind, increases the chance that the bones will splinter and cause damage to your dog’s gums, teeth, throat, or other organs during the digestive process. When it comes to rib bones, keep in mind that pork rib bones are naturally more brittle and thus more prone to splintering. For this reason, cooked pork rib bones are dangerous for your dog and should be avoided.
But raw rib bones are a little different. Raw rib bones, especially beef and lamb, can be good for your dog to chew. For small dogs, it provides a way for them to nibble at the bits of meat and other goodies attached to the rib bone. Small dogs can’t really crush or splinter raw rib bones, but all dogs should be closely supervised whenever eating a rib bone of any kind. If you hear your dog start crunching the bone or the bone begins to splinter, take it away as a preventative measure. For larger dogs, something like a raw lamb shank can be a nice treat. Again, when feeding your dog raw rib bones, supervise carefully and err on the side of caution and take it away if they begin to crunch or crush the bones.