What to Do If Your Dog Eats Chicken Bones

It can be a nerve-wracking experience when your furry friend snatches something they shouldn’t. Chicken bones are a common concern for dog owners, as cooked bones can pose serious hazards. However, it’s important not to panic. In this article, we’ll help you determine whether the chicken bones your dog ingested are a potential problem or no big deal.

Assess the Situation

First and foremost, if your dog is gagging or choking and you can safely remove the bone from their throat, do so immediately. If not, contact your veterinarian right away. In most cases, however, the bone will have already made its way to your dog’s stomach. While this is still a concern, it’s essential to stay calm and assess the situation.

Is Your Dog Acting Normal?

If your dog is behaving as usual, with a cheeky grin and a wagging tail, the bone is likely on its way to being digested. However, as a responsible pet parent, it’s natural to have concerns. The good news is, as long as your dog seems fine, you have time on your side.

How Will the Bone Exit Your Dog’s System?

Once ingested, there are three ways a bone may leave your dog’s system. Firstly, they may vomit up the bone, although this is unlikely. It’s crucial not to try to induce vomiting, as it can cause further harm to their stomach or throat.

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Secondly, your veterinarian may surgically remove the bone from your dog’s stomach. This method is used only if the dog shows signs of distress or if the bone becomes problematic.

Lastly, the bone may pass through your dog’s digestive tract naturally. This is the safest option, as long as the bone doesn’t cause any issues. If you believe there is no immediate danger, it’s best to contact your vet for advice and let them know what has happened.

Cooked Bones vs. Raw Bones

Raw meaty bones are often safe for dogs to consume. Dogs have a digestive system designed to process bones, especially when they are part of a meaty meal. However, when it comes to cooked bones, they are considered more dangerous. Cooked bones are more brittle and may splinter, potentially causing harm to your dog’s mouth, throat, stomach, or intestines.

Monitoring Your Dog

If your dog has eaten chicken bones but seems fine, your role now is to keep a close eye on them and monitor their bowel movements. Look out for any changes in demeanor or behavior, as signs of pain may indicate that the bone has become stuck or caused internal injury. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your veterinarian:

  • Vomiting or retching
  • Excessive drooling or panting
  • Restlessness and discomfort
  • Tiredness and reluctance to move
  • Refusal to eat
  • Unusual stretching or movements
  • Whining or crying when the abdomen is touched
  • Bleeding from the bottom, diarrhea, or straining during bowel movements
  • Any other abnormal behavior that indicates pain or discomfort
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Remember, you know your dog best and can determine if their behavior is normal. If you observe any of the listed symptoms, do not delay in seeking veterinary care.

Prevention is Key

Preventing your dog from accessing chicken bones is always the best approach. Avoid feeding them table scraps and ensure your kitchen trash bins have secure lids. Regularly check your yard for foreign objects, and keep a close eye on your dog in outdoor spaces.

If you do choose to feed your dog a raw food diet, including bones, consult with your veterinarian first and follow their guidance.


Q: What should I do if my dog eats chicken bones?
A: Remain calm and assess the situation. If your dog shows signs of distress, contact your veterinarian. Otherwise, monitor their behavior and bowel movements closely.

Q: Are cooked chicken bones safe for dogs?
A: No, cooked bones are considered more dangerous than raw bones. They can splinter and cause harm to your dog’s digestive system.

Q: When should I take my dog to the vet?
A: If your dog displays any symptoms such as vomiting, restlessness, or refusal to eat, it’s important to seek veterinary care.


If your dog has eaten chicken bones, the most crucial thing is to stay calm and assess the situation. While cooked bones can be hazardous, raw bones are generally safe. Monitor your dog closely for any signs of distress and contact your veterinarian if necessary. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so be mindful of what your dog has access to, both at home and outdoors.

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