So, your dog just ate chicken bones and you’re afraid something bad is going to happen to them? Either that or you’re just curious about finding out whether dogs can eat chicken bones or will be harmed if they do so.
Whichever boat you’re in, millions of other dog owners have been there as well, especially considering how much of a fan favorite food chicken is for dogs of all breeds.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones?
To best answer this question, it should be divided into two parts, both of which we’ll be talking about throughout the remainder of this article.
Question #1: Can dogs eat cooked chicken bones?
Answer #1: The quick answer to this question is NO, dogs can’t safely eat cooked chicken bones and should not be offered any to consume this type in any way, shape or form (other common culprits which this applies to as well are cooked ham bones and pork bones).
Question #2: Can dogs eat raw chicken bones?
Answer #2: The quick answer to this question is (most of the times) a YES, dogs can and do often get away with eating raw chicken bones just fine, and they can often be beneficial to them.
If, however, you have any kind of doubts about the well-being of your dog when you give them raw chicken bones to eat, be that because of professional advice you got or previous experiences you had, simply refraining from giving your dog raw chicken bones to eat as well would be ideal.
Why Can Dogs Not Have Chicken Bones?
Cooked chicken bones, in particular, are very harmful for dogs and could even prove to be fatal to your dog if they consume any, a case seen one too many times on a yearly basis after misinformed dog owners allowed their pups to “have it their way”.
The reason why cooked chicken bones in particular are very harmful to dogs is because of the fact that once swallowed by your dog, they can splinter into multiple pieces that can cause all sorts of internal punctures and blockages in your dog’s system, the possibility of choking, as well as cuts and wounds inside their mouth.
This doesn’t always happen all the time with all dogs that get fed cooked chicken bones, which is why you’ll see some dog owners attest to the fact that they’ve fed their dogs cooked chicken bones just fine without anything wrong happening to them, but the serious risk is there, and it’s one you should never take.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones
There is no going back in time and changing the fact that your dog managed to swallow chicken bones, so there’s no benefit in panicking.
On the contrary, panicking will only make things much worse – you’ll be very ineffective in trying to ensure your dog’s well-being, and the state of fear and anxiousness you’re passing through will rub off on your dog, making them fearful and anxious as well, and that’s the last thing you want to happen in this case.
Contact Your Veterinarian
Ideally, and if you’re able to do so, you should get into contact with your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can determine whether or not they need to immediately check on your dog and/or run some tests (such as an x-ray scan).
If your dog is choking on a piece of chicken bone they ate and are finding it incredibly hard to catch a breath, you should leave everything you’re doing and immediately take them to the nearest emergency animal care center so they can do what needs to be done in order to open their air passageway once again.
However, and in most of these situations where your dog isn’t actively choking on a piece of chicken bone they ate and isn’t displaying very unusual signs of something wrong, your veterinarian is most likely going to ask you to monitor your dog for unusual signs/symptoms before you bring them in to the clinic for some tests, which we’ll be covering in the following section below.
Closely Monitor Your Dog For Unusual Signs/Symptoms
If your dog ate chicken bones, be it by mistake on your part or by mischievous activities on their part, you should make a serious effort to keep a very close eye on your dog for the next week and closely monitor them for any adverse reactions/symptoms/signs of something wrong.
The following list covers some of the most important and common signs you should be looking out for if your dog ate chicken bones, in which case you should immediately notify your veterinarian about.
Blood In Stool: Throughout the entirety of the following week or two after the day that your dog swallows chicken bones, you should closely monitor their stools to see if any blood is apparent.
Blood in dog stool is a very serious sign, and coupled with dogs that have managed to eat chicken bones means a need for an immediate talk with a veterinarian about it.
Vomiting: Vomiting, just like blood in stool, is also a serious sign that must be communicated to a veterinarian once noticed in a dog that consumed chicken bones not too long ago.
Constipation: If your dog is showing any signs of constipation and/or any unusual difficulties defecating (especially if they easily go potty in normal circumstances), then this could be a huge sign of blockage in your dog’s digestive system, something you should also immediately tell your veterinarian about right on the spot..
Monitor For Elimination Of Bones: The ideal case in such a scenario is one where you actively monitor your dog’s feces over the next week or two and notice that they’re successfully eliminating the bones they consumed from their system in their feces without any blood being apparent at the same time.
If you see the bones your dog consumed appearing in your dog’s feces without blood, then that’s a positive sign that they’re getting rid from your dog’s system without any negative repercussions.
However, and even if you notice that your dog is eliminating these bones with their feces but they’re in obvious physical pain when doing so and/or blood is appearing in their stool as well, then you should tell your veterinarian about this right away.
If nothing’s wrong with your dog’s digestive system after they consumed chicken bones, they should appear in pieces in your dog’s stool after no more than 72 hours from consumption.
If the chicken bones your dog consumed don’t appear in their stool after 72 hours from consumption, you should tell your veterinarian about this as they will want to run some tests on Fido.
Unusual Behavior: Not all signs of something wrong after your dog consumed chicken bones are physical signs, some may be behavioral changes as well.
If you notice that your dog is suddenly acting weird and not their usual self shortly after they consumed chicken bones, you should tell your veterinarian about these behavioral changes right away.
Such behavioral changes could be anything from sudden aggressive behavior, increased anxiousness and display of fear, pacing back and forth continuously, lethargy and un-interest in doing daily activities they like to do in usual times, etc ..
These behavioral changes will usually appear after 72 hours from the consumption of chicken bones if something is wrong, but could take up to a week to show.
A Quick Note About Inducing Vomiting In Dogs That Ate Chicken Bones
A quick (but VERY important) note must be made very clear for anyone thinking about self-inducing vomiting in their dogs in an attempt to “help their dog get rid of the chicken bones inside their system”.
You should NEVER induce vomiting in your dog by yourself no matter what the conditions are, and this practice should only be done by a veterinarian (or other professional animal care personnel) if they deem doing so necessary.
Inducing vomiting in your dog by yourself and without the proper guidance of a professional in the field puts your dog at a great risk of choking on any pieces of chicken bone they may be getting rid of from their system.
If that alone wasn’t serious enough, any chicken bone pieces that may have splintered in your dog’s stomach may cause severe throat damage and even death in dogs that try to vomit them.
A Quick Note About Feeding Dogs Raw Chicken Bones VS Cooked Chicken Bones
There has always been an ongoing debate in the community of dog owners about whether or not feeding them raw bones, such as raw chicken bones in this case, is beneficial or harmful.
Dog owners (and scientific research on this subject in general) seem to agree that cooked bones are bad for dogs to eat because of the possibility of splintering inside their stomach, but aren’t in such an agreement about feeding dogs raw bones.
Giving your dog raw chicken bones to eat, on the other hand, can offer your dog a significant number of benefits, including the following.
– Good source of calcium for bone health
– Ability to improve dental health, due to ability to clean gums and teeth, very much similar to how dental chews can benefit dogs
– Keep your dog engaged for fairly long periods of time playing with the bone before they decide to eat it
How Can I Stop My Dog From Eating Chicken Bones?
So, what exactly is the best way for you to stop your dog from eating chicken bones from the trash?
What’s a way you can prevent your dog from getting access to any chicken bones you’ve disposed of in the trash, without having to be a rocket scientist about it?
The easiest and most effective way is disposing your chicken bones in a dog proof garbage can that makes it virtually impossible for the average dog to get through, something we’ve talked about extensively in this article about the top 5 best dog proof trash can options of today.