Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones Safely?
You’ve delighted in mouth-watering ham for dinner. Now, you’re scratching your head, wondering what to do with the bones. Giving them to your dog sounds like a bright idea, right? After all, most dog owners are guilty of feeding their furry friends all kinds of bones. However, just because your dog is a bone lover doesn’t mean they should have them.
When your dog wolfs down those big old ham bones after a Thanksgiving feast, you could have a serious problem on your hands. With that being said, we’ll explore why ham bones for dogs isn’t a safe idea. Read on!
View Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones?
- What Happens If Your Dog Consumes Ham Bones?
- Symptoms to Look Out For
- Tips That Can Help Your Dog Survive Eating Ham Bones
- Closing Remarks
Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones?
Yes, but should they? Probably not, and you should worry if your furry companion has gobbled up entire ham bones. As a result, the fragments of bone usher in a boatload of health adversities that could be fatal.
Twelve to 24 hours after your dog consumes a ham bone are make-or-break. During this duration, you’ll have more vigilance by keeping a close eye on any signs that are indicative of a problem.
Depending on the size of your dog and the number of bones they ate, the risk may be neutral or severe. In any case, we advise reaching out to your vet the moment you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms.
What Happens If Your Dog Consumes Ham Bones?
Granted, a ham bone for dogs has significant benefits on their digestive and dental health. However, without supervision, you may find the ham bone gone in a jiffy. Your pet’s sharp incisors and canines are a beast in disintegrating an entire ham bone within minutes.
As they chew on the bone, it breaks into countless fragments that can adversely harm your dog’s digestive organs. They may even swallow small pieces of bone without realizing it, and in most instances, these cause a multitude of dogs to be rushed to the ER every year.
Dogs consuming cooked ham bones usher in the following risks.
1. Perforation of the Gastrointestinal Tract
When dogs break cooked bones with their teeth, they disintegrate into small, razor-sharp fragments like glass. Then, as they make their way through the gastrointestinal tract, they perforate or puncture organs, resulting in internal bleeding, more so, in the intestines.
Given the large size of ham bones, they can break into countless fragments, thereby further increasing perforation risk. Granted, most of these fragments can make their way out of the gastrointestinal tract.
However, there’s a high likelihood that some may end up in your dog’s windpipe. When this occurs, your dog’s breathing may be restricted, and they could suffocate.
2. Intestinal Obstruction
While chewing, your dog could accidentally swallow a large chunk of ham bone that could get stuck in the intestines, esophagus, or stomach, causing a blockage. Depending on the size of the chunk, the obstruction may be partial or complete, leading to perforation.
Furthermore, it can restrict proper blood flow, permanently damaging the intestinal tract. Given that most instances of intestinal obstruction are deadly, they call for immediate surgery. If an intestinal obstruction is left untreated, your dog could die within 72 hours.
It refers to the inflammation of the lining that encompasses the abdominal cavity. Peritonitis occurs when foreign objects puncture an organ in the abdominal area, such as the intestines or stomach, causing bacterial infection in the peritoneum.
When your dog eats a ham bone, the likelihood of bone fragments perforating the abdomen is astronomically high. Dogs don’t usually exhibit signs of peritonitis until they suddenly become chronically ill.
Furthermore, it’s worth noting that peritonitis calls for immediate surgery, which has a 50-70% survival rate.
Symptoms to Look Out For
As we mentioned earlier, 24 hours after your dog consumes a ham bone are crucial to their survival. It’s within this timeframe that you need to be on high alert as your furry friend may show adverse or mild symptoms that indicate you need to reach out to your veterinarian right away.
It’s usually the first symptom your dog exhibits after ingesting ham bones. They’ll naturally try to vomit out any chunks of bones that cannot be digested or lodged in their stomach.
2. Tarry Stool
A ham bone for dogs typically causes intestinal perforation. When bone fragments cause intestinal bleeding, your dog may have black or tarry stool as a result of blood mixing with the stool.
When bone ingestion occurs, lethargy is a clear-cut sign of an infection. Given that the bone fragments can perforate any part of your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the chances of bacterial infection cropping up are quite high, ushering in lethargy.
4. Loss of Appetite
It’s an indication of pieces of ham bones lodged in your dog’s stomach or that the bone fragments have torn their intestinal tracts. The loss of appetite may also be as a result of the injuries in their gums or mouth.
While the loss of appetite is a symptom that will take longer to exhibit, rush your dog to the local vet if you notice them frantically drinking water, as it could be as a result of intestinal obstruction.
Tips That Can Help Your Dog Survive Eating Ham Bones
Below are a few precautionary measures and instructions that you can take to elevate your pet’s fighting chances if they eat ham bones.
Feeding your dog bread right after consuming ham bones can aid in coating the bone fragments, preventing them from severely damaging the intestinal tract.
While pumpkin has numerous health benefits to dogs, the most notable is elevating digestive health. It soothes the stomach and increases the bulk of the stools, allowing them to pass through easily.
Pumpkin also lowers the pH of the large intestines and comes in handy in this situation as dogs suffer adverse stomach upsets and diarrhea after the consumption of ham bones.
Despite the common saying, ‘give a dog a bone,’ coupled with the fact that dogs consider bones as prized possessions, you now know that your furry friend shouldn’t consume ham bones. It could lead to serious repercussions that will have you living in regret.