Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones?

Can dogs eat chicken bones? They shouldn’t, but they are not toxic either. The answer to this question is a bit difficult because dogs have been eating chicken bones in the wild for centuries and surviving just fine most of the time.

However, domestic dogs have loving pet parents like you who are concerned about their well-being and don’t like to take risks with their health. Chicken bones usually dissolve in the stomach compared to stronger bones such as pork or beef that are known for causing distress.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones?

Dangers of Your Dog Eating Chicken Bones

Can dogs eat chicken bones? Yes, but only if it’s an accident. Dogs should never be fed chicken bones for purposes due to the problems it can cause. Obstruction is the primary concern when it comes to dogs eating chicken bones.

Cooked bones are softer than raw bones, but if a dog swallows a chicken bone, it can become lodged in the throat or somewhere throughout the digestive tract, causing an obstruction.

Dog Eating Chicken

The most common place chicken bones get lodged in the esophagus. This usually results in your dog drooling, gagging, and retching. Even worse, the bone can become lodged in the airway and block your dog from breathing correctly or at all.

This situation can be life-threatening and requires immediate emergency medical care at a veterinarian’s office or animal hospital.

If the bone makes its way through the GI tract, it can cause a tear in the intestinal tract since chicken bones are known for splintering easily. Dogs that get a hold of raw chicken bones are at risk of being exposed to salmonella that can cause illness.

How to Help Your Dog if They Choke on a Bone

Now that you know the answer to the question, “Can dogs eat chicken bones?” it’s time to focus on what happens if they choke on one. This moment is often one of the scariest to handle as a loving pet parent, but you need to do your best to help your dog quickly.

Check your dog’s mouth to see if the bone is visible and in a place where you can carefully put it out. If the bone is not visible or in a position where you can remove it without causing more damage or injury to your dog, take them to the vet immediately.

Sometimes dogs will have a small chicken bone, fragment, or splinter in their esophagus without you realizing it. This usually happens when dogs rummage through the kitchen trash or find a chicken bone outside, and the pet parent has no idea their dog ate a chicken bone.

Beware of any of the following symptoms:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Refusing to eat
  • Retching or gagging

Dogs that seem distressed or experiencing the symptoms shown above need veterinary care immediately before the situation worsens, don’t just give your hound an aspirin.

Bottom Line

Dogs can eat chicken bones because they aren’t toxic, but it doesn’t mean they should. Remember, your dog doesn’t get any nutritional value from the bone, so it’s unnecessary for a healthy diet.

Remember, chicken bones are sharp, come in various sizes, and quickly become splintered and broken. Even if you have a large size dog, small chicken bones can still do a lot of damage.

Do your best to prevent your dog from coming into contact with chicken bones. Sometimes you can’t control what your dog finds outside during walks or while playing in the yard but do your best to guide them away from chicken bones if possible.

A pet parent herself, Shellie knows the ins and outs of caring for a furry bundle of joy. She has been researching, reviewing and sharing her findings for the best dog products available for a number of years. A valued team member, Shellie's first-hand experience is invaluable.

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