My Dog Ate A Whole Chicken What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 08/08/22 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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My Dog Ate A Whole Chicken

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Does your dog like to dig in the kitchen wastebasket or the garbage can? That’s a common problem, and you’re not alone! Dogs love to eat just about anything. Some things they choose to eat are questionable. But when there’s an opportunity, most dogs will strike! That’s the case with eating a whole chicken! Dogs love eating a whole chicken, but can it make them sick?

Has your dog eaten a whole chicken? Are you worried the whole chicken may make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.

We’ve put together information about whole chicken and whether it can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

What is a Whole Chicken?

A whole chicken is often used when making roast chicken, soup, and many other dishes. When a recipe calls for a “whole chicken,” it means the entire body of the chicken, which may also include the giblets (heart & lungs), along with the wings and legs. A whole chicken also includes all the bones in the chicken. It does not mean the entire chicken with its head and feet intact!

So, can a whole chicken make a dog sick if he eats it?

Whole Chicken & Dogs

Dogs will eat an entire chicken if they have the chance. For instance, if your fur baby finds an entire chicken sitting on the kitchen counter unguarded, he may grab the carcass and run off! He’ll find a safe place to devour the entire thing.

However, a dog may also find and “steal” a whole chicken that’s raw and left where he can get it.

Whole chickens are usually not toxic to dogs. If the chicken contains onions and garlic, then he could be poisoned. However, if the whole chicken doesn’t use ingredients toxic to dogs, it won’t poison the dog.

The main issue is the whole chicken’s bones. If the chicken has been cooked, its bones can become brittle. Sharp pieces could cause tears or injuries in the dog’s mouth, esophagus, or anywhere in the digestive tract. Uncooked bones are safer for dogs and usually pass through the digestive tract and come out in the dog’s poop.

However, the bones (cooked or uncooked) could also cause an obstruction. This may happen if they clump together anywhere within the digestive track. Left untreated, the obstruction can cause death.

One more problem is that the bones could also cause a dog to choke.

What to Do If Your Dog Has Eaten the Whole Chicken

If your dog has eaten the whole chicken, check to see if he is gagging or having trouble breathing. If so, call the vet.

We also strongly recommend calling the vet for guidance on how to help your dog, even if he’s not choking. The vet has the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide you with the best advice on how to help your fur baby.

And in the future, it’s best not to leave the whole chicken where your dog can get it. If he likes to dig in the trash, you may want to consider investing in a dog-proof wastebasket. Prevention is always the best medicine!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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