Can dogs eat pork rib bones? This is a complicated question to answer. There has been much debate on this topic; with opinions ranging from a definite yes to maybe, to absolutely not. The best approach is to consider all the facts available, the advantages and disadvantages and form your own opinion on the matter. However, since the health of your dog may be dependent on the matter, it is advisable to advance with caution.
As previously stated, it is greatly dependent on the individual dog that the diet is being considered for. A certain jaw structure is required for dogs to be able to properly chew the pork rib bones. One that the brachycephalic breeds like pugs, boxers, shitzu and bull dogs do not possess. If your dog is not one of these, then there are many benefits it may receive from eating pork rib bones.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones – The Benefits
Natural and Healthy
Some sources claim that dogs being descended from wolves have an inherent and natural requirement for raw meat and bones to be a part of their diet. They state that it is wrong to try and curb this natural instinct and that we should not stop our dogs from a raw diet, a classification which includes pork rib bones. Such diets that are classified as BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), are becoming quite popular these days with dog owners wanting to feed their dogs natural, nutritious, and healthy diets.
Pork rib bones are greatly beneficial for dental health. Gnawing on bones helps speed up the rate at which saliva enzymes work, thereby benefiting digestion. Chewing on bones after eating meals assists in the removal of substances trapped between your dog’s teeth. Feeding your dog bones also prevents gum diseases and accumulation of plaque, while providing the nutrients necessary for the stimulation and acclimatization of your dog’s skeletal system.
Cures Negative Behavior
Gnawing on pork rib bones can help calm your dog and cure it of nervous behaviorism, such as scratching and too much self-licking.
According to some sources, pork rib bones contain collagen which provides many health benefits for our dogs. These include enhanced joint function, as collagen is essential for the building of ligaments and cartilage. It also keeps skin healthy and prevents formation of wrinkles. As your pet grows older, the collagen production of its body will decrease and therefore it is important to use supplements to help maintain proper health.
Many dog owners give their dogs pork rib bones not as food but as recreation; i.e., something for it to chew on and enjoy as a treat. This causes mental stimulation and exercises your dog’s jaw. While there is no harm in this, supervision is extremely important as your dog may choke on the bone.
Drawbacks of Feeding your Dog Pork Rib Bones
Cooked vs. Raw Bones
When cooked, the pork rib bones become hard and splinters may break off when the bones are being chewed on by your dog. These shards can go through your dog’s internal organs, causing serious injuries. A few repetitions of such incidents can cause gastrointestinal issues and your dog may face a lot of pain. When the bones are raw they are softer and the risk they hold for your dog is less. However, there is still the possibility that your dog may be unable to digest the pork rib bones.
Size of Bone
Another factor to consider while making this decision is the size and breed of your dog. If you own a puppy or your dog belongs to a smaller breed, the size of the bone it eats is extremely important. The bone must be big enough that your dog has to chew on it and cannot swallow it whole. If swallowed whole, the bone may cause your dog to choke or lead to other problems. On the other hand, if the pork rib bones are too large, the process of chewing can break them down into jagged shards that can perforate your dog’s internal organs and cause fatal injuries. Even for a larger dog, the size of the bone must be larger than the size of its muzzle to prevent it from swallowing the bone whole.
Lack of nutrients
While some sources speak of how feeding your dog pork rib bones is beneficial due to the nutrients it provides, others hold completely opposite views and claim that the bone and the collagen located inside it cannot be digested by the dog’s digestive system, thus holding zero nutritional value.
For some dogs, chewing on bones may lead to gum diseases, visible due to sore and bleeding gums and teeth. In such conditions, it is recommended to stop feeding your dog bones immediately.
Raw pork bones can also be infected with bacteria like trichinosis or worms. Feeding your dog such contaminated food can seriously harm the dog.
If your dog has a sensitive gut or is facing other medical issues like constipation, vomiting, loose stools or diarrhea, it is better to forgo feeding it pork rib bones till the illness has been treated. Other than that the decision is each dog owners’ prerogative.
Raw Dog Food
If you want to learn more about the raw food diet for dogs. I recommend the book called “Raw dog food”. You can use this as a basic, main raw food guide for dogs. This book is easy and quick to read with clear instructions and practical tips. It has great reviews on Amazon.
Another great book for raw dog food lovers is a book called Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals by Lew Olsen. It’s a great detailed guide to raw food diet which includes homemade recipes.
One more informative book that I like is called Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet: Healthier Dog Food the ABC Way.This an an easy to follow book that teaches how to make improvements to whatever your dog currently eats.