Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? Everything You Need to Know

Dogs can have raw chicken bones because there is no risk involved, as with cooked chicken bones. Feeding chicken bones to your dog is healthy; meanwhile, raw chicken bones are comparatively soft and stringy. You have to be very cautious because once bones are cooked, the softness can become stiff, and while swallowing, shards can come off and may cause gastrointestinal perforation (ruptured bowel). 

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Are Cooked Chicken Bones Safe for Your Dog?

Avoiding chicken bones at all costs is the best way to deal with your dog’s health. Chicken bones become rigid and fragile once they are cooked. If a dog chews the cooked bone, it will easily splinter into jagged pieces. These jagged fragments can then become not only a choking hazard but can also cause severe internal harm if swallowed, including:

  • Constipation
  • Broken teeth
  • Mouth injuries, such as bone fragments piercing their gums and tongue
  • Obstructions caused by the shards of the bone becoming stuck in the esophagus, trachea, or intestines 
  • Internal bleeding
  • Peritonitis (a bacterial infection in the intestine)
  • Pancreatitis from the high-fat content

Are Raw Chicken Bones Safe for Dogs? 

Although raw chicken bones are safer than cooked bones, always be conscious of their risk factors. However, there are raw bones you should avoid serving your dog, including:

  • Bones covered in high-fat content.
  • Rib bones, as small in size, are more easily able to crack and cause an obstruction.
  • Bones smaller than your dog’s mouth cause choking hazards – particularly turkey and chicken drumsticks which can quickly be stuck in their airways and cause death.

Before feeding your dog a raw bone, it’s always safest to examine with your vet that serving your dog bones is suitable or not. Some breeds are incapable or have difficulty chewing bones. This happens chiefly in brachycephalic breeds like Bulldog, Pug, Boxer, and Shih Tzu, who have a different jaw structure and softer teeth, making them harmful to eat raw bones. Dogs with malformed jaws, dental disease, and even some older dogs can also have trouble chewing.

Are Chicken Bones Good For Your Dog?

Chicken treats offer numerous health benefits to your dogs. As part of their natural diet, raw chicken bones provide dogs with natural fiber, among other nutrients. 

Raw bones stimulate saliva enzyme production, which keeps gums and teeth healthy and clean. They are an excellent way to provide physical and mental stimulation, limiting dullness or bad behavior. Always remember to supervise your dog while he’s chewing.

Raw bones are packed with essential nutritional values that are vital for a dog’s health. These comprise: 

  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Amino Acids
  • Lysine
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin A, D, and E
  • Copper and Iron, including the blood-forming nutrients which are present in the bone marrow. 

Can Dogs Eat Rawhide Bones?

Pros of Rawhide BonesCons of Rawhide Bones
Most dogs like the flavorChoking or blockage chance
Prevents boredom in high-energy animalsParts of Rawhide can break off, blocking the intestine.
Satisfies chewing urgeMay cause digestive upset.
ConvenientTend to break off into sharp pieces
No salmonella risksYummy flavored rawhide bones can cause issues (e.g., vomiting and diarrhea) for some delicate dogs.

What If My Dog Consumed a Chicken Bone?

If your dog swallows a chicken bone unknowingly, don’t panic! Instead, cautious observation will prove to be helpful in this case.

If your dog has any bone stuck in its mouth or is choking:

  • Open their mouth if you can see the bone, take it, and remove it as delicately as possible. If you can’t see the bone, apply the CANINE HEIMLICH Maneuver.
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To view the process, visit CANINE HEIMLICH Maneuver

  • Despite awareness, touch your finger through the dog’s mouth to know or remove any object. 
  • If the bone blocks the airway, take the tongue and pull it visible to remove the thing.
  • If the object cannot be moved or stretched out, raise the dog and place the dog’s spine on your chest. 
  • Holding behind the dog, turn over and cover your arms around the dog below the rib cage. 
  • Make a fist with one hand, then place the other hand over your fist. 
  • Pulling in and up, give five fast abdominal thrusts. 
  • If the object was not removed, keep your dog in a sitting or standing posture and give five fine blows with your hand to the dog’s back between the shoulder blades.
  • If the dog is not breathing, give five whiffs into his mouth. 
  • When the object is removed, stop the abdominal thrusts.
  • Check the dog’s airway, breathing, and heartbeat.
  • Take the dog to your vet or emergency clinic immediately if he loses consciousness, stops breathing, or shows any signs of bleeding from the mouth or anus.

What if my dog needs surgery?

Consult a vet if the condition is severe. The vet conducts a visual inspection of your pet. For example, suppose the vet couldn’t find the bones in the dog’s mouth through an oral examination. In that case, he will suggest you take x-rays to extract the bone. This is done through endoscopic interventions where a thin tube fitted with a camera is sent into the dog’s mouth.

How Much Raw Chicken Bone Should I Feed My Dog?

Too many raw bones may cause constipation. Usually, 1.25 lbs raw bone-in, skin-on chicken daily can be allowed. The bone must be big enough, so your pet cannot fit the whole bone in its mouth or swallow the entire bone. Avoid T-bones, chop bones, large knuckle bones, and large marrow bones as they may crack their teeth while chewing.

How to Feed Raw Bones to Dogs?

The safest way to serve chicken bones to a dog is:

  • Make sure the bones are uncooked
  • Feed meaty bones
  • If in doubt, feed the bones with other food to act as a buffer for the bowel
  • Freeze the meat before serving it to your pet.

Final Words

Since raw chicken bones are chewy and relatively soft, adding the bones to your dog’s diet is quite beneficial and healthy. If your dog had chicken bones, the first thing you should do is stay calm, ring your vet to let them know, and closely watch your dog for the next 48-72 hours to assure he doesn’t undergo any ill effects. Keep unsafe food out of reach, trash lids sealed securely, and train your furry companion not to snatch meals from anywhere.

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