Fido gnawing on ribs is akin to a wolf in the wild because it’s definitely in their DNA. Your beloved beast’s love for such bones goes back millions of years, but is this food really appropriate for modern day dogs? This is a meaty canine controversy!
It’s not unusual for owners to feed their pups a few juicy ribs. There are, however, unfortunate incidents involving dogs and their bones which raises some serious questions. The truth is that the risks can sometimes outweigh the benefits.
So sharing some ribs is a tough decision and should, at the very least, be an informed one. As a carnivorous creature, the majority of your dog’s diet should be based on meat and it’s valuable protein. But whenever bones are included you have to be cautious.
Can I Give My Some Dog Ribs? Answer: Yes, but be selective
There are usually no issues, but bad incidents do occur.
Some dogs can handle rib bones better than others. Many veterinarians discourage serving regular ribs to dogs and instead encourage the use of synthetic bones either made out of rubber, rawhide or nylon which will effectively satisfy their natural urge to chew. We recommend a high-quality fully digestible all-natural rib bone treat that’s safer than your local supermarket ribs. It’s also sourced in the USA and contains no preservatives or additives of any kind.
Of course, rib meat can always be prepared and served up boneless which means you won’t have to worry at all.
The Argument For Ribs
According to the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, dogs can consume raw beef bones. The meat on those delicious ribs is exactly what canines need to thrive and bones in general offer other health benefits. For one, they can help maintain your dog’s gums and teeth which will reduce their chances of developing dental diseases. Chewing on some meaty ribs will also help keep the jaw muscles strong.
So ribs will surely satisfy your dog’s carnal instincts but these benefits may not outweigh the dangers.
The Argument Against
Store bought ribs, and especially cooked ribs, can be dangerous for dogs as they can splinter and lodge in the throat. This goes for poultry but also pork chops, round steak bones and fish bones. Internal tearing of the digestive tract does happen and if a dog chews off too large a chunk of a rib bone they could require surgery to have it removed. It can be an expensive and traumatic experience for both you and your dog.
So, not to sound alarmist, but there’s a downside to serving dogs certain table foods containing bones even though it may seem like a natural thing for a canine to consume.
Cooked vs. Raw Ribs
Cooked bones and/or ribs, when chewed, could splinter which can be a serious hazard to your dog’s throat and insides. A blockage in the digestive tract or even internal damage is certainly not pleasant. Marrow bones should be avoided as they tend to be thick and vigorous chewers could break their teeth. Marrow bones also can contribute to some liver diseases because they’re very high in fat.
Some owners swear by raw meats including lamb ribs, lamb tails, chicken and lamb flaps for dogs. These choices may be safer though we’re skeptical. Whatever you do make sure that any ribs served are, by all appearances, appropriate for your dog. For example, bones must be large enough so that Fido can’t possibly swallow them whole.
Conclusion on Ribs
Gnawing on ribs, cooked or raw, may expose dogs to unnecessary risks so be cautious and careful. If you do plan to occasionally provide ribs then it’s best to serve them raw instead of cooked as the chances of splintering is reduced. Supervision is always in order, when your dog chows down on any bones or ribs, in the unlikely case that they begin to choke. Always be ready to bring your dog to the vet in case of an emergency.