Can dogs eat chicken bones? Well, yes, he can. Should a dog eat chicken bones? Absolutely not! They can be dangerous.
Many veterinarians will say the dangers of eating chicken bones are a myth, adding that dogs have eaten them for centuries. But, in the next breath, the same veterinarian will likely tell you about a dog or two that choked, cut his mouth on chicken bones, or had to have emergency surgery, adding, so your dog shouldn’t eat chicken bones.
Why Chicken Bones Are Bad
Chicken bones—and any poultry or bird bones—are much smaller and lighter than beef or pork bones. A dog can easily choke on chicken bones or get a piece lodged in his mouth.
And, even if he gets them down his throat, chicken bones will splinter and cause cuts to the dog’s mouth, throat, or esophagus. Once they reach the stomach, acids and enzymes normally dissolve them, like all other bones. But there’s always that one dog who gets a bone fragment caught or a piece imbedded . . .
Dog Ate the Chicken Bone Treatment
What should you do if your dog eats chicken bones? First, stay calm—it will do neither of you any good to panic! If you catch him in the act, take the bone out of his mouth, if you can. If you have a hemostat in your first-aid kit, use that.
If you’re not quick enough to remove the bone before he swallows it, check for blood in his mouth or in his throat. If you see none—and your dog is acting normally—he’ll probably be OK. Note: Do not induce vomiting. You will risk the bone getting caught in the digestive tract.
Even so, though, it’s wise to give him soft food, like a little white bread and/or a tablespoon of plain canned pumpkin in his meals for a few days, to help move the bone pieces out. Encourage consumption of water, adding a little broth, if necessary, to keep him well-hydrated. (Always have a second bowl of plain water available, too.)
Follow-Up on Chicken Bones
Check his poop for three days to see if there is any bone or blood and to monitor him for bloating, vomiting, bowel changes, or other discomfort like lethargy, lack of appetite, whining, and so on. Call your veterinarian immediately if you see these things.
To be sure your dog is fine, put chicken bones where he can’t reach them—even though he’s telling you that chicken and turkey taste great!