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Can dogs eat prime rib bones?

Dogs and bones seem to go hand in hand. It’s such a part of popular culture they appear together in cartoons. There’s even a song about giving a dog a bone. At the same time, you may have heard that it’s dangerous to give your dog bones.

Are prime rib bones safe for dogs, or should you avoid them? 

Can dogs eat prime rib bones?

Dogs love bones, and we love to spoil our canine companions. This makes it very tempting to share with them, including prime rib bones. When they give you those puppy dog eyes, it’s hard to say no. 

Dogs can eat prime rib bones, but there are some caveats and safety concerns that you should be aware of. 

What is Prime Rib? 

Before we get into feeding your dog prime rib bones, let’s take a moment to look at what prime rib is. Prime rib is a primal cut of the cow. As the name suggests, it is a rib cut. It uses the front ribs, providing tender and flavorful meat. 

Prime rib is technically a roast. A full prime rib is a large cut of meat, that is typically roasted in the oven. The bones in the prime rib are large, and make a very tempting treat for your pooch. 

The cousin of prime rib is the ribeye steak. This is also a rib cut. A ribeye steal typically has one bone, and it’s typically smaller than the bones in a prime rib. 

Raw Prime Rib Bones

Dogs should never eat  cooked bones of any type. However, they can eat raw prime rib bones. This isn’t as clear cut as it sounds. Humans usually leave the bones in during the cooking process. It’s rare that an owner will remove the bones before cooking and give them to their dogs, because the bones help add flavor and moisture to the meat. 

Benefits of Beef Bones

There are two types of bones for dogs. Recreational bones are the bones that your dog can chew on for seemingly forever.

Beef bones will always fall into this category due to their size and hardness. Most beef bones fall into this category. They are good for long term chewing, but can’t be easily consumed.  

The benefits of recreational bones include mental stimulation and teeth cleaning. They don’t provide nutritional value, but they are a great way to keep your pooch occupied. They also satisfy their need to chew. 

The other type of bones are edible bones. These are soft bones that provide nutrition for your dog. These bones come from non-weight bearing areas of animals. These bones include chicken or turkey necks, buffalo knuckles, and kangaroo tails. 

These bones contain fat in the marrow. They are a good source of calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals. If you feed your dog a raw diet, nutritional bones should be included. 

If you feed your dog a standard dog food diet, nutritional bones can supplement their regular diet. 

Cooked Prime Rib Bones 

Cooked prime rib bones are typically large enough to be less of a threat than smaller bones. However, it’s still not a good idea to feed them to your dog. When bones are cooked, they become brittle. 

This creates the danger of your dog pooch swallowing bone splinters. These are essentially needles. In fact, before metal was common, sewing needles were made from bone. This obviously poses some serious risks to your dog’s health. 

Other Types of Bones

Most raw bones are safe for your dog. Cooked bones should always be avoided. Chicken bones pose the biggest risk when they are cooked. They are more likely to splinter, partly due to their smaller size. 

You should also consider the size of the bone. When giving your dog a bone, it’s best to give them a bone that they can’t swallow whole. Some dogs are gulpers, which means they may attempt to swallow a small bone. This poses a choking hazard. 

What happens if my dog eats a prime rib bone?

You left your plate within your dog’s reach. You walk away for a moment. When you come back, you find that your dog has eaten the remainder of your food, including the prime rib bone. 

Or perhaps you want to give your dog a prime rib bone as a treat, but you are unsure if it’s safe. You are wondering what happens if they eat a prime rib bone. 

The good news is that it’s rare for prime rib bones to cause problems for a dog. However, you should be aware of the potential for it to harm them, and know what to look out for. 

Raw Prime Rib Bones

If your dog eats a raw prime rib bone, they will likely be fine. The one issue that can occur is digestive upset. This isn’t due to food borne bacteria. Instead, it’s because their stomachs are sensitive to dietary changes and fat. 

Dogs have very acidic stomachs. This makes it highly unlikely for them to get food poisoning, because the bacteria can’t survive in their digestive system. It can pose a risk to young puppies or dogs with a lowered immune system, but healthy dogs can safely eat raw bones. 

Dogs have a delicate balance of beneficial bacteria in their digestive system. Their digestive system and pancreas can adjust to a large amount of variation. However, when a large amount of something new is added, it can throw off their system. This causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Dogs who have pancreatitis are more sensitive to fat, and raw bones can cause them to become ill. 

To sum it up, if your dog has a lowered immune system, is less than 6 months old, or has pancreatitis, raw prime rib bones should be avoided. If your pooch is healthy, you can safely give them raw prime bones. 

If they get an upset stomach from prime rib bones, you made need to reduce the amount of bones you give them or avoid feeding them bones. 

Cooked Prime Rib Bones

Cooked prime rib bones do pose a danger to your pet. They become brittle and can splinter, causing many health problems for your pet. 

It is important to note that most of the time dogs are fine after eating cooked prime rib bones. However, it does pose a risk. It’s best to avoid feeding your dog cooked bones for this reason. 

Mouth Injuries

The splinters of a cooked bone can cause mouth injuries. They are very sharp, and your pooch’s soft mouth tissue is no match for these needle-like shards. They can cause cuts on the mouth or tongue, tonsils, and esophagus. 


Choking is a bigger concern when feeding your dog cooked bones. If the bone splinters into pieces small enough to fit into their mouth, they can become lodged in their throat. Choking can block your dog’s ability to breathe. 

They will collapse and die if the bone isn’t removed due to lack of oxygen. If your dog is choking, they will make a choking or honking sound. 

Internal Injuries

Internal issues are another serious concern with cooked bones. Just as the bone splinters can cut the mouth, they can also cause cuts in the stomach or intestines. The intestines essentially squeeze their contents, which makes an intestinal puncture more likely. 

This can lead to Peritonitis, which is an infection in the abdomen caused by a puncture to the stomach or intestines. This infection can be fatal. 

Digestive Issues 

Cooked bones can also cause digestive issues. One way this happens is due to intestinal blockage. Because cooked bones are more difficult for dogs to digest, pieces of bones can get caught in the digestive tract, causing a blockage. 

This can lead to stomach upset and vomiting. Depending on the severity of the blockage, they may also have diarrhea. A severe blockage can cause your dog’s breath to smell, because the waste can’t make it though their system. 

The bone fragments can also cause constipation. It’s not as serious as a blockage, but it can cause your pooch significant problems. 

What to do if my dog eats a prime rib bone?

If your dog eats a raw prime rib bone, you don’t need to do anything in most cases. However, if they have eaten a cooked bone, you’ll need a different strategy. 

Remove the Bone

First, you’ll need to remove the bone from the dog if possible. Some dogs become very cranky if you attempt to take their bone away. A well trained dog shouldn’t object, but use common sense. 

If you reach for the bone and your dog begins growling or showing their teeth, wait until they lose interest in the bone before removing it.

You can also offer them an alternative as a trade. Dental bones and chews are a great substitute for dog bones in terms of chewing, so you may be able to swap one for the other. 

Watch For Symptoms

The most important thing to do if your dog eats a cooked bone of any type is to monitor them for symptoms. 

Signs of choking will be evident immediately, but other injures do not appear so quickly. You’ll need to watch your pooch for 48 to 72 hours. 

Symptoms to look for include: 

  • Gagging or coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy 
  • Blood in poop or vomit
  • Straining to poop or constipation 
  • Excessive thirst
  • Pacing anxiously
  • Pain when moving or sitting 

In addition to watching for these symptoms, you should also follow your instincts. If you have a feeling something is wrong with your pooch, it’s best to visit the vet.