My Dog Ate Chicken Bones, Should I Be Worried?

The association between dogs and bones is a common one, but is it really safe for dogs to eat all kinds of bones? What should you do if your dog ate a chicken bone?

Dog ate chicken bones

Most dog owners know that chicken bones are considered unsafe for dogs to eat. However, you may not realize why this is true and which bones your dog should avoid, and you may not know what to do if your pet accidentally eats one of these bones, either.

In the article below, we’ll give you the information you need to respond appropriately when your dog accidentally eats chicken bones. Read on to learn more.

Why are Chicken Bones Dangerous for Dogs?

Chicken bones are dangerous to dogs because they are so small and can splinter so easily. These lightweight bones break into shards that can tear the throat or puncture through the intestines. The bones and their pieces can also quickly lead to choking and airway obstruction in dogs.

Chicken bones are dangerous to dogs whether they have been cooked or not. Although raw chicken bones also pose the risk of spreading disease, the other potential threats associated with chicken bones are the same in both cooked and raw bones. Unfortunately, chicken bones are also very enticing to dogs, which can lead to accidental eating.

Are All Chicken Bones Equally Dangerous to Dogs?

Yes. Chicken bones are all equally dangerous for dogs because they are all capable of splintering in the same way. This is why you should avoid giving your dog chicken bones under any circumstances.

Turkey bones are very similar to chicken bones, and so are other types of poultry bones. Avoid giving these items to your dog, and do not encourage them to eat them. Keep them well out of their reach and dispose of them promptly after removing the meat from the bones.

What Should You Do if Your Dog Grabs Chicken Bones?

If your dog grabs a chicken bone and looks like they’re going to eat it, do not yell or become loud and active. It can be tempting to scold your dog and try to grab the bones away from them, but this may cause them to panic and swallow the bones quickly rather than give them back to you.

Instead, if you see your dog grabbing a chicken bone, stay as calm as you can. Reach for some of their favorite treats or even a piece of the chicken, and try offering that to them instead of the bones. Toss the treat away from the bones to give yourself time to pick them up if possible, but know that they may have eaten some or all of them in the meantime.

What Should You Look for in the Coming Hours if Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones?

In the event that your dog ate chicken bones and they’re showing no immediate signs of distress, you can wait and see if anything happens following their ingestion of the chicken bones. Sometimes, dogs will be okay after eating chicken bones—but this doesn’t mean you should let them do so all the time.

If your dog ate chicken bones, watch for signs of bleeding from the throat or mouth. These may appear as coughing or vomiting up blood. Look for blood in the stool as well, and watch for signs that your dog is having trouble having a bowel movement. Listen carefully to your dog’s breathing to make sure their airways aren’t partially blocked or damaged by the bones.

When Should You Go to the Emergency Vet if Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones?

If you saw your dog eat a chicken bone, it’s very important to know when to go to the emergency vet so you can make sure your pet gets the immediate care they need to recover.

Below are 3 situations when you need to go to the emergency vet if your dog ate chicken bones:

If Your Dog is Choking 

If your dog ate chicken bones, go to the emergency vet if your dog is actively choking after consuming the chicken bone. They may need emergency assistance to clear their airways. If they begin to show signs of choking or partial airway blockage at any point in the coming days, this is also a good reason to go to the emergency vet.

If Your Dog is Extremely Constipated or Bloated 

Additionally, go to the emergency vet if your dog is severely bloated or is very constipated after consuming chicken bones. If your dog hasn’t passed the bones in a few days, this is also a good time to see an emergency vet. They may have a serious blockage that could be potentially fatal if it is left untreated.

If There’s Blood in Your Dog’s Vomit, Stool, or Saliva

Finally, see the emergency vet if your dog has any bleeding in their vomit, stool, or saliva after your dog ate chicken bones. They may have swallowed a splintered bone that could be causing bleeding of the throat or intestines, and this could lead to serious problems that may require surgery to treat properly.

Seek Veterinary Care if Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones

By learning how to properly respond if your dog accidentally eats chicken bones, you can feel more confident in your ability to take care of your pet during this potentially dangerous situation. This information can help you keep your cool in the event of an accident like this.

Make sure you always have contact information available for a trusted and reputable emergency vet in your area. This way, you’ll know who to get in touch with if your dog ate chicken bones and is in the middle of a health crisis.

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Heart + Paw was founded in 2018 by Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. George Melillo, who currently serves the Mid-Atlantic area. Heart + Paw offers a combination of veterinary care, pet grooming, and dog daycare to help be a resource in your pet parenthood journey.

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