My Dog Ate A Ham Bone

We are used to media portraying bones as dogs’ favorite food, but the reality is quite far from fiction.

Bones can be dangerous treats for dogs and if your dog ate a ham bone, depending on the situation their life might be at risk.

In fact, there are some bones that are mostly safe to eat and others, like ham bones, that should never be fed to your companion.

Go to the Vet

Even if you take preventative measures, your dog may still end up suffering damage after eating ham bones. If you notice symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, or constipation within 24 hours of ingestion, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Can you feed your dog other cooked bones?

No, you should never feed your dog any cooked bones. Because bones become soft after cooking, dogs can easily break them down into sharp fragments that can cause serious internal injuries.

Symptoms to look for when a dog eats a bone

If you are reading this after the fact and your dog has eaten a ham bone, you’ll need to start doing “damage control.” This mostly means extreme vigilance. The first 24 hours are crucial, so make sure you watch him very closely for any possible complications. Those problem symptoms include:

  • A bleeding mouth
  • Lots of drinking
  • Discomfort in the mouth or with the tongue
  • Vomiting
  • Dar-colored poops/lack of poop
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • General unease
  • If you notice any of these problems, you will want to get your dog to your vet as soon as possible. The sooner internal injuries are diagnosed, the better outlook your dog has!

    What can happen if a dog eats a bone?

    As mentioned earlier, eating a hambone is always a serious complication, no matter how “good” it may turn out to be. As far as the actual chain of events is concerned, the main “checkpoints” can all be cause for concern.

    As your dog chews the bone and swallows it, the chewing can splinter the bone, leading to shards going down the throat and mouth cuts. Swallowing those pointed shards can lead to cuts in the throat as well.

    When the bone makes it down to the stomach, it needs to break down and digest. It starts in the stomach and travels through the intestines. The bone will back up this digestion since bone takes a long time to break down. One of the biggest problems is the sharp pieces.

    They can create rips in the stomach as well as throughout the intestinal system. Since this is twisty and turney by design, the shards will rotate and rip. It can also cause serious perforations leading to internal bleeding and even get lodged and create an obstruction.

    Even if they digest the bone safely and get it down to the colon, excreting it can be challenging! It will be much harder to pass and will cause a blockage as far as the other parts of his stomach that need to be excreted (aka the other food).

    For most professionals, the biggest concern is going to be the possibility of Peritonitis. This is what we introduced briefly above. This is when cuts in the stomach and abdomen cause inflammation, leading to cavities that quickly become infected. Since it’s all internal and can be very challenging to diagnose early, this often is only diagnosed once the infection is raging.

    The only way to intervene at this point would be surgery, followed by a strong and long-term dose of antibiotics to help fight it. However, many dogs don’t survive the surgery. This complication is prevalent with ham bones, so it’s essential to take it seriously.

    My Dog Ate A Ham Bone


    Can a dog survive eating a ham bone?

    This, like pancreatitis, is a veterinary emergency. Dr. Smithson adds that because cooked bones don’t break down easily in the GI tract, ham bones can cause major internal damage. Really, you shouldn’t feed your dog any type of cooked bone at all, she advises.

    Can a ham bone dissolve in a dog’s stomach?

    No, you should never feed your dog any cooked bones. Because bones become soft after cooking, dogs can easily break them down into sharp fragments that can cause serious internal injuries.

    Will a ham bone hurt a dog?

    Ham bones are best avoided, too, according to Schmid. “Any real bone can splinter and cause damage to a dog’s esophagus, stomach, or intestinal tract,” she says. “Ham bones are generally more brittle than other bones, like chicken, and can splinter more easily.”