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Can Dogs Eat Ham Bones? Everything You Need To Know

No, dogs cannot eat ham bones. Although chewing a hambone can benefit their dental health, cooked or raw hambone can splinter and get lodged into the dog’s internal organs, making it difficult for your dog to lead a healthy life. Therefore, as a pet parent, you must avoid giving ham bones to your dog. 

Image source: Taste Of Southern

What Is Ham Bone?

Ham bone is also called ham hock or pork knuckles. It is a joint between the foot and the leg of the pig. 

Why Is Ham Bone Bad For Dogs?

Ham’s bone is bad for dogs in various ways. First, they can make you visit the vet more often. Even though many sources say that ham bones have nutrition to provide your dog, the truth is, more than its beneficiaries, it causes uncalled health hazards to your dog. Let us look at why and how the ham bone affects your dog:

Choking hazard: Both raw and cooked ham bones can choke your dog and make him drastically sick. The consequences of gnawing down a ham bone are:

  • Bleeding gum
  • Bleeding tongue
  • Throat injury
  • Esophageal rupture
  • Intestinal perforation
  • Stomach pain
  • Abdominal issues
  • Pain while urinating
  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing
  • Whining
  • Not wanting to eliminate waste
  • Bleeding rectum

Bacteria/Parasites: Raw ham bones can also carry bacteria and parasites, which can cause allergies and health issues in dogs. The consequences of consuming raw ham bones are:

  • Inflammation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Pancreatitis
  • Kidney issues
  • Rashes
  • Redness in paws
  • Face swelling
  • Itching
  • Whining
  • Worms
  • Fur loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of energy

Peritonitis: Peritonitis is a disease that can occur when a foreign element ruptures through an organ of your dog. The consequences of peritonitis are:

  • Fever
  • Low body temperatures
  • Jaundice
  • Pale gums
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Abdomen pain
  • Fluid secretion in the abdomen


Mouth Wounds: Broken ham bones can cause bleeding and wounds inside the mouth while chewing them. Some pieces may get lodged in their gums or tongue causing infection.

How Much Ham Bones To Feed My Dog?

Hambones, either cooked or raw, are dangerous for your dog. Therefore you should not give your dog ham bones, even on a rare occasion. This will lead to various vet visits and may cost a lot. 

What If My Dog Ate Ham Bones?

If your dog accidentally ate ham bones, take him to the vet as soon as possible. The ham bones he had ingested will cause:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Broken teeth
  • Intestinal pain
  • Bleeding rectum
  • Coughing
  • Trying to vomit

Further you can either feed bread to firm up their stools or feed pumpkin and squash to ease their digestion process. Never allow your dog towards the dining table as it might have table scraps. Likewise, keep away human food out of the dog’s reach.

Alternatives To Ham Bones

There are healthier options you can opt for your dog to keep him in good health. Never depend on cooked or raw bones as it will call for unavoidable circumstances. Here are the alternatives you can opt for:

  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Sweet potato
  • Broccoli
  • Green beans
  • Blueberry
  • Spinach

You can opt for:

Nylabone Flexichew Bone
Buy at Amazon


Busy Bone Mini Dog Treats
Buy at Amazon


Blue Buffalo Chew Bones
Buy at Amazon


Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs eat ham?

Yes, dogs can eat ham in moderation. However, the ham cannot be seasoned or fried with ingredients that are toxic to dogs. 

Can puppies eat ham bones?

No, puppies cannot eat ham bones as it can splinter and injure your puppy. Additionally, puppies have a vulnerable digestive system and are prohibited from consuming human food. 

Final Thoughts

At the end of the article, we can conclude by saying that ham bones are toxic to dogs. They can perforate your dog’s internal organs and cause death. Therefore choose healthier alternatives. Provide a healthy and happy life for your dog.

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