What Happens if Dogs Eat Chicken Bones?

Are you wondering what happens if dogs eat chicken bones? Maybe your dog has just eaten some? Let’s take a look at the potential problems…

Just to make it clear – as a general rule, dogs shouldn’t be eating chicken bones, especially if cooked.

It’s not a myth that they shouldn’t have them, it’s a genuine risk!

They can potentially eat raw bones, but only if you follow the guidance of your vet. More on this below.

This is all assuming they are not allergic to chicken in the first place, but for this article, we will assume not.

Why are cooked chicken bones bad for dogs?

Chicken bones become brittle when cooked and can splinter, potentially causing lethal consequences for your dog.

Whether boiled, baked, steamed or fried – no method of cooking them is safe.

With that being said, if your dog has eaten some, don’t immediately panic! They may be completely fine.

Keep calm and contact your vet for immediate advice.

How bad are chicken bones for dogs?

If they are cooked, they can potentially be pretty bad.

You may well be lucky and your dog may not suffer any ill effects, but you run the risk of the splintered bones damaging the inside of your dog, potentially piercing their stomach, intestines etc.

This is obviously not good at all and can make them seriously ill, not to mention some epic vet bills to go with it.

Put simply, don’t feed them cooked chicken bones in the first place and keep any kitchen waste secured to stop them scrounging any when you are not around.

What are the symptoms of a dog eating a chicken bone?

If you are worried that your dog has eaten chicken bones, some of the potential symptoms are:

  • Vomiting
  • Gagging/retching
  • Coughing
  • Problems with breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Diarreah
  • Loss of appetite

If you suspect they have eaten chicken bones and they are displaying any of the above symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

Can a dog eat raw chicken bones?

Yes. Dogs can eat raw chicken bones, but it’s recommended that they are frozen for 2 weeks first.

This is due to potential bugs raw bones can carry, which could be harmful to your dog.

Cooking would destroy these bugs, but as you can’t feed dogs cooked bones, freezing them first is the recommended option, should you want to go down that route.

Raw bones are much safer for dogs to eat than cooked, as the splinter risk is greatly reduced as they are softer and more elastic.

They still do need close supervision, but dogs can eat many other raw bones, such as cow, sheep bones etc, just as they would in the wild.

Just make sure that the chicken bone is indeed raw.

The problem is that raw chicken flesh is usually attached to the bones, such as a chicken leg, thigh or wing.

Raw chicken is not recommended for dogs., so make sure there is none attached, which is often tricky to accomplish.

With the above taken into account, it’s probably best to not bother.

Should I make my dog vomit after eating chicken bones?

If your dog has eaten cooked chicken bones, try not to panic and call your vet immediately for advice.

It is generally not advised to make your dog vomit, but follow your vet’s advice on this and get professional help immediately.

The good news is that in most instances, the bones will pass through your dog without any issue.

They may ask you to feed the dog some soft, white bread to help cushion against any sharp splinters and potentially ask you to bring your dog in for a check over.


So, what happens if dogs eat chicken bones?

Well, the answer is that they may be just fine, but they also could get seriously ill if the bones splinter and pierce your dog’s stomach intestines etc.

Don’t take the risk!

Keep any cooked chicken bones away from your where your dog can grab them and make sure your bin is secure so that they can’t get into the rubbish and steal them when you’re not looking.

If you want to feed them chicken, feed them cooked chicken breast or similar.

Just make sure there are no bones!!!

Disclaimer – Although the above advice is well researched and written with care, it is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you have any concerns about your pet, it’s always best to contact your vet immediately for guidance.

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Related FAQ’s

How many dogs die from eating chicken bones?

This is a hard one to answer, as the numbers are not widely reported.

The good news is that although very serious, the chance of your dog dying from eating chicken bones is fairly low, but this doesn’t mean they should eat them.

As above, the risk occurs if the bones splinter and then go on to pierce internal organs.

There is every chance that the bones will pass through safely with no issues, but it’s not guaranteed.

The best bet is to not let them have chicken bones in the first place.

Can dogs have raw chicken breast?

Although dogs have stronger stomachs than us and would eat raw meat in the wild, feeding them raw chicken breast is not advised.

As humans, we have had it drummed into us to be wary of raw chicken, and for good reason, it can make us very poorly .

Dog’s stomachs are much better equipped to deal with raw meats such as raw chicken than we are, however, they can still get sick.

It’s therefore generally not advised to feed them uncooked chicken.

To be on the safe side, follow the same cautious approach for your dog as you would for your family..

Raw chicken can contain a multitude of bacteria, and some of these can cause your dog serious issues.

These bacteria include:

  • Campylobacter
  • E. Colli
  • Salmonella
  • Clostridium perfringens

Simply put, feed them cooked chicken breast only.

Further reading

We hope you enjoyed What Happens if Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? and found it helpful.

Want to learn more? We have many other informative articles for you to read to help you out with the ups and downs of dog ownership.

Why not try Is salmon ok for dogs? or Can dogs have bananas? to continue your journey.

See you there…