My Dog Ate a Chicken Bone: Should I Be Worried if My Dog Ate Chicken Bones?

Have you ever wondered what to do if your dog ate chicken bones? Many don’t know that there is much more than just a stomach upset to worry about. Most vets will advise against giving dogs chicken bones for safety.

Dogs eating chicken bones myth

Is it OK to feed dogs chicken bones?

Most of the time, dogs can eat chicken bones and be completely fine. The bone will be broken down by the digestive acids and passed via the bowels without causing any internal damage.

Can dogs eat raw chicken bones?

Yes. Raw chicken bones have a different texture and consistency than cooked bones. They are safe and less likely to splinter into small pieces, however, they do still pose a choking hazard.

To be safe, you should always supervise your dog while they eat raw chicken so you can react quickly if there is a problem. Puppies can safely chew on large raw meaty bones as a treat or when they are teething, but again you should supervise them.

Raw chicken can carry bacteria such as salmonella, so it is important that you thoroughly wash all bones and only feed fresh chicken bones to your dog.

Can a chicken bone get stuck in a dog’s throat?

If your dog ate a chicken bone and it has lodged in the upper airway, this will obstruct your dog’s ability to breathe. This will show the following symptoms:

  • Coughing or gagging
  • Labored breathing
  • Drooling

Check inside your dog’s mouth to see how far down the throat it has gotten stuck. If you can see the bone and can get a grip on it without pushing it further down, you can attempt to pull the bone out.

Take your dog to the vet immediately if you cannot see the bone or if it is too far down to get hold of.

The chicken bone may become lodged in the esophagus, in which case you will not be able to see it. You should look for:

  • Gagging or retching
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite

A blocked esophagus will be very uncomfortable and your dog will not be able to eat. They may appear lethargic or agitated. You should get your dog checked by a vet as soon as possible.

How long after eating chicken bones will a dog get sick?

If your dog has eaten chicken bones and is showing signs of illness, be aware that it can take as long as 36 hours for the symptoms to appear. If you notice any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, take your dog to the vet immediately.

Do chicken bones cause diarrhea in dogs?

If your dog ate chicken bones, watch him closely for signs of blood in his diarrhea. If you see blood, or if his diarrhea isn’t improving on its own over the next few days, take him to the vet for an examination.

Without treatment, he could get a blockage in his intestinal tract. If that happens, he’ll need emergency surgery to remove the obstruction.

Chicken bones are relatively brittle and splinter easily when chewed. Small pieces can easily get lodged in your dog’s digestive tract, either causing an obstruction or perforating his intestines.

Look out for these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea that doesn’t improve within 48 hours
  • Blood in his stool
  • Excessive vomiting or lethargy

Can chicken bones cause internal bleeding in dogs?

The general rule has always been “never feed your dog cooked chicken bones”.

When the bone is exposed to high temperatures, it dries out and will easily splinter. Cooked chicken bones put his entire digestive tract at risk of cuts and internal bleeding, from his throat right through to his bowels.

Swallowing splintered chicken bone can be fatal for your dog if they do not receive medical treatment quickly. The only option to fix internal bleeding is an invasive surgery, which no dog owner wants to put their dog through.

Conclusion of dogs eating chicken bones myth

The myth that raw chicken is unsafe for your dog to eat has been around for a long time. It’s based on the idea that raw chicken bones can splinter and cause internal damage to your dog’s digestive tract.

However, this myth doesn’t stand up to scientific scrutiny. Raw chicken bones are safe for dogs to eat as part of their regular diet.

Myth #1: Dogs can safely eat cooked chicken bones because they’re soft enough for chewing and digesting.

Cooked chicken bones are still dangerous for dogs to eat because they will splinter when chewed, causing damage to the mouth, throat and digestive tract.

Myth #2: If a dog swallows cooked chicken bones, they’ll pass through his system whole and not cause any harm.

This is not true. Cooked chicken bones are sharp and can puncture the stomach or intestines if they are swallowed whole. They can also cause blockage in the digestive tract if they’re not passed through defecation.

My Dog Ate a Chicken Bone
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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

One Response

  1. Our dog has eaten raw chicken wings for over 7 years of his 11.5 year life. He has never suffered any problems.

    He also eats a complete raw diet for his meals in the morning and evening. He used to have diarrhea after eating canned dog food. His excrement is also less each time he goes for a poo since moving to a raw diet.

    During the day as part of his ongoing everyday training he does have treats that are generally cereal based.

    I guess it depends on the dog.

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