My Dog Swallowed A Ham Steak 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.

When a dog consumes a ham bone, the chances of bone fragments causing perforation in the abdomen are high. Most dogs don’t show symptoms of peritonitis and suddenly become ill. It is also worth noting that peritonitis requires immediate surgery, and even then, about 50-70% of dogs don’t make it through.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Ham Bones?

Ham bones are considered to be good treats for dogs. Ham is a good source of fat and can be given occasionally in small amounts. However, feeding your pet ham regularly can make it obese. Cooked ham bones are not recommended for dogs. The bones can split into small fragments and damage the dog’s mouth, throat, and intestines.

Raw ham bones can be given as a treat after meals. However, they should be large enough so that the dog doesn’t swallow it. Never let your pet out of your sight while it’s chewing the bone. Vets recommend giving artificial bones to dogs rather than real ones.

Bone Fragments Can Cut the Mouth

Even if splinters don’t enter the digestive tract, they can still harm your dog. Shards may slice up the inside of your pup’s mouth, causing discomfort and making it difficult to eat. In some cases, splinters can even get stuck around the gums, tongue, or throat and lead to a nasty infection. If shards get caught in the windpipe, it may result in breathing difficulties or even suffocation.

Bone splinters in the mouth aren’t as serious a concern as splinters in the digestive tract. However, you may still want to see a vet to ensure that there is no bone lodged inside your dog’s mouth to avoid serious infections.

My Dog Swallowed A Ham Steak Bone

What Should You Do If Your Dog Swallowed a Ham Bone?

When your dog eats a ham bone, depending on the size of your dog and on the size of the bone, some pieces might hurt or get stuck in different parts of their body.

This, in turn, may cause different problems or even diseases.

As a general rule, your dog should never chew on a bone that is smaller than the size of their muzzle, because they might end up swallowing the whole thing in the process.

If your dog is showing pain or discomfort after chewing or eating a ham bone, you should immediately call your vet so they can help you identify the problem and act accordingly.

If you recognize any of these symptoms, after your dog ate the bone, you should get in contact with your veterinary as soon as possible.

  • Vomiting: If your dog ate a ham bone and is throwing up, it’s the sign they’re trying to get rid of something that is stuck in their esophagus or stomach and it’s causing a blockage. Even if they manage to vomit pieces of the bone, you should still call your vet because there might be more still stuck inside their body.
  • Bloody stools or very dark stools: Blood in your dog’s stool is never a good sign. It means there might be wounds somewhere in their intestines or rectum, probably caused by a foreign object. Dark or black stools means there’s blood mixed in your dog’s feces, which shows they’re bleeding somewhere in the stomach or the first tract of their intestine.
  • Lethargy: If your dog is excessively tired or just not as active as before, they might have some kind of infection going on that is making their body and muscles weaker and affecting their level of energy. Infections can become serious or even lethal really fast, so your dog should be checked as soon as possible.
  • Lack of appetite: This is the clearest sign that something is wrong with your pet. There isn’t one specific cause, in fact, lack of appetite can be a sign for many different issues, but it’s a general ‘distress call’ from your dog that they’re not feeling well. If their loss of appetite occurs after your dog swallowed a ham bone, it might mean the bone is stuck somewhere that prevents your dog from eating. It might also be a sign of infections, gum inflammation, or other diseases.
  • Mouth discomfort or dental problems: When a dog chews on ham bones for a long time, some slivers might find their way between their teeth and gums and cause incredible pain to your pooch which could make it impossible for them to eat food properly. If the bones are too hard, they might break your dog’s teeth and require expensive treatments or even surgery.
  • The first thing you should know about a dog eating ham bones is that cooked ham bones are a big NO for your dog’s diet.

    You might be surprised, but this is a common misconception because we’re used to mistrust raw food rather than cooked food, as we think that steaming, boiling, or baking our food will kill all the bacteria.

    It doesn’t work that way for dogs.

    Canines in the wild have been hunting animals and eating their raw meat since the dawn of time, and that, of course, includes their bones as well.

    As a result, dogs actually crave and need some of the nutrients they can find in raw bones.

    On the other hand, cooked ham bones are dangerous for dogs, always and without exception. In fact, they might be even lethal in some cases.

    The danger of cooked ham bones lays in the fact that when you cook the bone in any way you’re actually making it softer and easier to tear apart.

    Some splinters could get stuck in your dog’s mouth or in their system and cause wounds or infections that could lead to surgery or even death.

    Furthermore, cooking ham bones will deprive them of all their nutrients, so feeding them to your dog adds nothing to their diet and it only becomes a useless risk.


    Can a dog pass a ham steak bone?

    Cooked bones can splinter and cause severe internal damage to dogs. Ham bones from table scraps are absolutely off-limits, along with any other cooked bones. Dogs’ strong stomach acid helps break bones down, and kill potential bacteria.

    What do I do if my dog swallowed a ham bone?

    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.

    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.”

    What happens if a dog eats a cooked steak bone?

    Cooked, brittle bones are more likely to splinter. This may cause fractured teeth and possible perforation of the intestine or throat, either on the way down or on the way back up, if the dog vomits.