Bournemouth were a little flattered by the margin of their win with Bury every bit as creative in an equal first half, but the Lancashire side fell away after the break and conceded three late goals.
Brett Pitman put Bournemouth ahead in the eighth minute with his third goal in successive matches and his 13th since rejoining the club from Bristol Citym, but Bury deserved to be level and after defender Dan Seaborne had lost possession, Craig Jones crossed for Andy Bishop to head a 24th-minute equalizer.
Bournemouth took complete control in the second half from the moment Ritchie blasted home from 25 yards in the 55th minute.
Bury struggled to contain Bournemouth after that and did well to hold out until the 80th minute when midfielder Harry Arter blasted in an unstoppable volley.
Substitute Matt Tubbs added a fourth from close range after good work by Eunan O'Kane in the 89th minute but it was Ritchie who caught Howe's eye.
Howe said: "This is the first time we have been able to play Matt in his best position on the wing and he showed just what a good player he is. We have had to play him at left-back and he did extremely well, but his natural position is on the wing because he is goalscorer and a goal-creator.
"We scored some great goals. We were the league's leading scorers for a time before a dry patch, but we are showing signs of recovering in that respect.
"The league is very tight and we are aware that we need to win by bigger margins. Goal difference could be vital at the end of the season.
"We lost a few important players to injury, but we have got most of them back now and that is bound to help."
- Sports & Recreation