Media and cartoons have often portrayed a dog’s favorite treat as a scrumptious bone. However, that misconception is far from reality. Bones are actually pretty dangerous to feed to a dog, especially if it’s been cooked. While there are some bones that are safer than others, cooked bones should never be fed to a dog because they tend to splinter and break apart.
Depending on your dog’s size and the bone’s size, it’s possible for your dog to get hurt if some of the pieces get trapped in different areas of his body. This can turn into different issues or even a disease. As a good rule of thumb, don’t give your dog a bone to chew that is larger than the dimension of his muzzle since he may end up ingesting the entire bone as he chews on it.
If you notice your dog displaying signs of discomfort or pain after chewing on a cooked ham bone, then you need to call your veterinarian immediately so he can help you decide on a plan of action accordingly.
Look for these Symptoms When Dogs Eat Ham Bones:
If you notice any of the following symptoms when your dog chews on a bone, then you need to contact your vet immediately.
- Vomiting – If your dog has chewed on a ham bone and then thrown up, that is a sign that he is trying to get rid of an object that is stuck in his stomach or esophagus and has now become blocked. If your dog manages to vomit the piece of the bone, then you still need to contact your vet since there might be more of the bone stuck in his body.
- Dark or Bloody Stools – It’s never a good sign to see blood in your dog’s stool, which may mean that there are wounds somewhere in his rectum or stool that are probably caused by the foreign object. Black or dark stools often mean that there is the blood that is mixed in your dog’s feces that shows they are bleeding somewhere in his stomach or the first tract of his intestine.
- Lethargy – If you have a dog that is overly tired or not as active as he was before, then he may have an infection that is going on that makes his muscles and body weak and is also affecting his energy level. An infection can become serious and even lethal quickly, so it’s important to have your dog is looked at by a vet immediately.
- Lack of Appetite – A clear sign that there is something wrong with your dog, a lack of appetite can be a sign of many different issues, however, it is typically a sign of distress from your pup that tells you he isn’t feeling well. A loss of appetite that occurs after your dog swallows a ham bone, it may mean that the bone is stuck somewhere and is preventing your pup from eating, and may also be an indication of gum inflammation, infections, or several other diseases.
- Dental Problems or Mouth Discomfort – When a dog chews on a ham bone for a long period of time, it’s possible that some slivers may find their way in between his gums and teeth and may cause great pain, which could cause such pain for your dog that he cannot eat food properly. When bones are too dense, it’s possible that they will break your pup’s teeth, which can require surgery or expensive treatments.
Cooked Bones versus Raw Bones
It’s important that you know that a cooked ham bone is not something your dog should eat. While you may be surprised, a cooked ham bone is one of those common misconceptions that we have become used to that makes us trust raw food more than cooked food. However, it’s important that we steam, boil, or bake any food that we give our dog to make sure that we kill any bacteria.
While it won’t work for all dogs, it’s important to remember that dogs have been running wild for centuries and hunting and eating raw meat during that time. Of course, they ate bones as well, so your dog will actually crave the nutrients that they can get in a raw bone. However, you need to remember that cooked ham bones can be dangerous for your dog, always and without exception. And they can also be lethal in some instances.
A cooked ham bone can be dangerous since cooking the bone makes it easier for him to take it apart. The splinters that can be created from a bone are what you need to be concerned about since the splinters can get stuck in your dog’s mouth or even his system where the splinters can cause infections and injuries that may require that your dog needs surgery and can even cause death. Also, a cooked ham bone can deprive a dog of his vital nutrients.
Dangers of You Dog Eating a Cooked Ham Bone
When a cooked ham bone splinters, your dog is at a higher risk of getting hurt. It’s similar to your dog eating a popsicle stick in that it can cause a serious injury that requires quick intervention. Here are some of the risks that your dog can encounter if he eats a cooked bone:
- Mouth injuries – Cooked bones can create splinters that cause wounds in a dog’s tongue and mouth that can cause excessive bleeding, which will require immediate treatment by a vet.
- Bone lodged in his esophagus – While a bone may not be able to reach his stomach, a bone that is lodged in his esophagus can cause suffocation or vomiting and can put a dog’s life in immediate danger. Also, some splinters can wound or poke holes into a dog’s esophagus.
- Bone lodged in his windpipe – When splinters are small, a dog can inhale them, which creates difficulties in his breathing, or the splinters may even prevent your dog from breathing at all, which requires an emergency trip to the vet.
- Bone lodged in the stomach: If a bone reaches your dog’s stomach, it is possible he won’t be able to make it pass through. When a bone is stuck in your dog’s stomach, he may not eat, but vomit as he tries to make the bone come out. This can lead to malnourishment and dehydration, which can be dangerous. It may be necessary for him to have surgery to remove the bone before a gastrointestinal obstruction happens.
- Bone lodged in the intestine – Requiring surgery, an intestinal blockage can be caused by a bone passing through your dog’s stomach and getting stuck in the very narrow intestine.
- Constipation and rectal damage – When a bone becomes wedged in the last track of a dog’s intestines, the splinters can damage the rectum walls and cause severe pain and internal bleeding when your dog tries to force them out. Your dog may not need surgery, however, you will still need to have your dog checked out by his vet.
- Bacterial infection – Peritonitis is something you want to make sure your dog avoids. This is a harmful bacterial infection in your dog’s abdomen that can happen if a foreign object like a bone shard lacerates your dog’s intestines or stomach, requiring a visit to the emergency vet.
What happens if a dog eats a ham bone?
If a dog eats a cooked ham bone and he becomes constipated, it can indicate a gastrointestinal upset when his stomach finds that it is difficult to digest the ham bone. Plus, the high calcium content in the ham bone may also make the dog constipated.
What kind of bones is safe for dogs?
There are some bones that are safe for a dog. An uncooked bone won’t break as easily as a cooked bone making it safer, as long as you wash off any potentially harmful bacteria. Large bones are also safe since they are less like to break and cause your dog an internal injury. Beef and lamb bones are also denser and less prone to splintering and breaking.
Are store-bought ham bones safe for dogs?
Bones that are cooked are not safe for a dog, no matter what type of bone they are. The cooking process makes them more brittle, so they are more likely to splinter when a dog chews them. When a splintered bone is ingested, it can lead to internal injuries that will require surgery to have removed.
Is Ham OK for dogs?
Yes, ham itself is a protein, which dogs require in their daily diet. However, there are several other better sources of protein for your do in other types of meat. There also isn’t a consensus on how easy ham is to digest for a dog, which makes how good a protein source it is questionable. Some sources say it’s very easy to digest protein source while others feel it’s inferior to other meats and not that easy for a dog to digest.