Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? Here is What you Should Know

If you are a dog owner, you might have been told not to feed your dog chicken bones. Still, you might have heard that raw bones are great for a dog. So, you are now wondering, which is which? With too many opinions and information accessible, it can be confusing when decide if you should feed your dog chicken bones or not.

In this post, we give ideas on whether chicken bones are bad or good for the dog.

Are Chicken Bones Bad for Dogs?

Any dog that eats chicken bones can process them without issues. The bones will be digested and dissolved when they reach the stomach. In most cases, the bones will also pass without any fuss.

Nevertheless, chicken bones can be dangerous for your dog. Here’s why:

Potential Obstruction

Bones can be unsafe when your dog attempts to swallow them whole. They can become stuck in the esophagus on the way down, making your canine friend drool, retch, and gag.

The bone can be lodged in the dog’s airway or the back of the dog’s throat. If this happens, the dog will choke and have difficulty breathing. It may also attempt to dislodge the bone through coughing.

For this reason, it’s essential to treat chicken bones as potential choking hazards and avoid feeding them to your dogs. You should also educate yourself on what to do when your dog chokes.

Risk of Damaging the GI tract

Chicken bones tend to splinter easily, especially the cooked ones. Since they are sharp, the bones can cause the dog’s esophagus or intestinal tract perforation. This will result in inflammations and infections that require urgent medical care.


Raw chicken bones might have bacteria like salmonella, which can make your dog seriously ill. This bacteria causes cramping, fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Chicken broth for dogs is the best home remedy that is vet-approved. Make sure you choose a brand that has no harmful ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?


Yes! When dogs eat raw chicken, it is natural for them to also eat the bones that come with it. According to dog health experts, raw bones are among the best source of phosphorus and calcium.

A dog’s digestive system is designed to digest bones. However, the bones should be part of a good, meaty meal. It will motivate your pooch’s stomach to generate stomach acids that help to digest and dissolve chicken bones. You can serve your dog chicken parts such as thighs, breasts, wing tips, and neck parts. Additionally, cut the bones into tiny flattened pieces to stop them from being lodged in the dog’s throat.

If your dog has chicken bones for the first time, the possible outcome is that the dog will digest the chicken bones but might have tummy (gastrointestinal) upset like vomiting and diarrhea because of the change in diet.

Some pets tend to have “hard stomachs,” and you might not notice any problem. Nevertheless, there is a possibility of serious side effects that you should make sure you are careful about. If the dog is on medication or has other health issues, the bone might affect digestion. In this case, it’s important to consult your vet.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Chicken Bones?

Cooked bones are considered to be more hazardous to dogs than raw bones. That’s because cooked chicken bones are brittle and softer. This makes them splinter more easily than raw chicken bones, thus, increasing the risks of tearing the dog’s digestive tract, throat or mouth.

Furthermore, cooked bones are drained of essential nutrients; therefore, it’s wise to avoid them.

What to do When a Dog Eats Chicken Bones

Irrespective of your efforts to keep your dog away from chicken bones, your furry buddy can get to things quickly. Pets getting into leftover meals, scattering the bin and taking something from the kitchen counter are common.

Therefore, here are the things to do if you find out that your furry friend ate chicken bones.

Keep Calm

When you suspect that your pet has eaten bones, the wisest thing to do is remain calm. If you catch the dog in the act, take away the bones calmly. Doing this will make your dog relax. Panicking will confuse the pet, resulting in a dangerous reaction.

Prevent More Access

If your dog has eaten bones, ensure that it doesn’t continue eating. You might need to keep the dog away to clean up the scattered bones. Also, store your trash in areas where your dog cannot gain access.

Contact Your Vet

Your dog specialist will advise you on the action to take after weighing the possible risks depending on factors like size and breed.

Most vets will advise you not to force the dog to vomit the chicken bones, which might get the bones stuck in the throat. Instead, they’ll recommend you feed your pet some pumpkin or bread to cushion the bones and lessen the damage to the intestines until your canine friend passes the bones.

Don’t Self-Treat the Pet

Many dog owners panic whenever their furry friend eats something they are not supposed to. In this event, they opt to treat their pet on their own. This is dangerous since the advice from unskilled people or the details from online sources might be inaccurate.

For instance, you might find a guide on making the dog vomit the chicken bones. Even though this might work, the bones might get lodged while coming out. Others may suggest medication for the pet, which may be unsafe for your dog.

Therefore, while self-treating your beloved pet at home might save you some bucks, it can be dangerous. You might end up paying more if the dog gets other issues because of the self-administered treatments.

Signs that Your Dog Ate Bones

If you notice your dog displaying the signs below, call a vet immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Retching/gagging
  • Continues coughing
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty in breathing

Can Chicken Bones Kill a Dog?

Even though it’s an uncommon occurrence, there have been a few cases where chicken bones have killed dogs. These bones, especially cooked bones, can tear up the esophagus that runs from the dog’s mouth to the stomach. If the esophagus is perforated, bacteria that get in through the mouth will get to the dog’s chest cavity and lead to inflammation and infection. This can lead to severe sickness or death.

How Long Does it Take for a Dog to Digest Chicken Bones?

While a bone will pass within 24 hours, things like your dog’s breed, size, diet, and age will impact this. Some dogs take more than two days to pass the chicken bones.

If your dog appears normal after eating chicken bones, then it’s likely that there won’t be a problem. Hopefully, the bones will be digested as they pass through the digestive tract.

Can the Effects be Treated?

In a situation where dogs experience mild diarrhea or vomiting, it can be cured with supportive care like a bland diet. Giving your pup chicken broth for dogs will help hydrate your pooch and relieve diarrhea and stomach upset.

If you suspect a gut blockage, you need to be careful where there is vomiting. If the pet tries to vomit many times, take him to a vet.

In some events, the dog might develop pancreatitis. This is a painful inflammation of the pancreas that is caused by a sudden diet change or consuming meals high in sugar or fat. Most dogs will need urgent medical attention where treatment may include intravenous fluids.

What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk?

The effective way to avoid/reduce the risk is to ensure that your dog can’t get access to chicken bones. That entails urging your family members and guests not to leave bones around on plates at dog height. You also need to ensure the bins are secure with dog-safe locks to lessen the chance of bin-raiding. In households with young kids, it’s important to set strict rules on feeding your pup.

What Bones Can Your Dog Eat?

After going through this, you might be wondering what bones a dog can eat. Raw chicken bones are the best alternative for your canine friend since they are safer than cooked ones. Raw bones are available in two types: nutritional and recreational bones.

Nutritional bones are rich in phosphorus and calcium. They can be part of a pet’s meal whereby you grind them with a grinder to make sure they are safer for the dog.

Recreational bones are only for play. They are too hard and strong to shatter. Nevertheless, it’s good to check the bones regularly to ensure that all parts are intact.

Raw lamb, beef, and cower bones are perfect for a dog. They are the safest option, even though you need to monitor your pet when they are eating or playing with them.

Alternatively, you can give your dog chicken nuggets once in a while since most dogs love their pleasant taste.

Final Words

You may want to give your dog raw chicken bones to ensure it gets the nutrients it needs. This is okay, as long as you closely monitor your furry friend as it indulges in this delicious treat.

To avoid the risk of bones choking your pet or damaging its GI tract or throat, grind the bones or substitute them with a meal that provides all the nutrients your dog needs.

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