Can Dogs Digest Chicken Bones?

As owners of canines, it is important we understand what food items are safe for our dog to eat, and which are not. Chicken bones are a controversial item because while some dogs might be fine eating them, others will have problems.

Can dogs fully digest chicken bones?

Yes, dogs can safely digest chicken bones as long as they are raw.

Dogs can eat raw chicken bones but that doesn’t mean it is recommended. If you decide to feed your dog chicken bones, you need to take extra care to ensure they do not choke on them or swallow small pieces that could cause internal damage.

Can dogs poop out cooked chicken bones?

Dogs are carnivores and they have a strong digestive system. Their body is able to dissolve the bone, so your dog can poop out cooked chicken bones. The bone will pass through his intestines and will be eliminated through his feces.

If blood is seen in the stool, seek immediate veterinary care by calling your local vet clinic or emergency 24/7 animal hospital.

We would advise you to keep your dog away from cooked chicken bones as it is easier for them to break than raw chicken bones, which will usually pass through your dog’s system without causing any problems.

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

It could be as little as an hour before symptoms appear or as long as 36 hours later. Some dogs have no problems digesting them, while others will throw them up or cause an obstruction in the intestinal tract.

When a dog ingests cooked chicken bones, they can splinter into smaller pieces and get caught in the stomach or intestines, causing serious damage and even death. Since bones are rigid, they can puncture organs and cause internal bleeding.

Signs that your dog may have problems eating and digesting chicken bones include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Inability to pass gas or stool
  • A swollen abdomen or constipation

How do you know if a dog has internal bleeding?

The signs of internal bleeding include weakness, pale gums, trouble breathing, distended abdomen, vomiting, lethargy, and not eating.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten chicken bones and has symptoms of internal bleeding, call your vet right away. Internal bleeding can become life-threatening very quickly.


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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.

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