My Dog Swallowed a Chicken Bone What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 06/26/20 •  3 min read
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It’s a fact—dogs love bones. What kind of bones do they enjoy? Dogs will go after just about any type of bones they can access, including chicken bones!

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In the wild, canines regularly eat bones from many types of animals. In fact, bones contain marrow and calcium and more, which is healthy for both wild canines and our domesticated dogs. However, when it comes to chicken bones, these can sometimes be dangerous for dogs.

If your fur baby has joyfully snarfed down a chicken bone, don’t panic! Most of the time, chicken bones begin to dissolve in the stomach and eventually pass on through a dog’s intestinal tract. So, if your dog isn’t choking, then the bone may not cause a problem. But there are things to watch for.

Chicken Bones & Dogs

Chicken bones can be dangerous in some instances. Cooked chicken bones become brittle, making them more dangerous for a dog to eat. If the bone splinters, the sharp edges can cause tears in the esophagus or the gastrointestinal tract.

Another serious medical problem is the chicken bone(s) can also cause a bowel obstruction. This is a life-threatening medical emergency. The bone becomes stuck in the intestines, where it and any other food cannot pass on through the system.

What to Do If Your Dog Swallows a Chicken Bone

Do not induce vomiting, unless advised to do so by your vet. This could cause the bone to come back up and lodge in your dog’s throat, causing a choking hazard.

If your fur baby has swallowed a chicken bone that’s become lodged in the roof of his mouth or in his esophagus, then you may notice these symptoms:

You may try to look into your dog’s mouth and throat—if you see the bone, you can try to remove it, if your pup will allow it. If he snaps, then avoid this so neither of you is hurt. In this case, call the vet. Your fur baby will need help immediately. However, if the bone is not easily reached, then your canine companion will need to see the vet as soon as possible.

If your dog seems to be OK, then you’ll need to monitor him. Of course, if you have any concerns, then be sure to call the vet. They’ll have the best advice on what to do next.

In most cases, the vet may suggest feeding the dog some soft white bread. The bread will go down and surround any sharp edges on the bone or wrap around any sharp splinters. Then the vet will have you monitor your dog for the following symptoms:

These symptoms could be an indication your dog has a bowel obstruction. This is an emergency and your fur baby will need to see the vet immediately. Surgery is the normal fix, to remove the obstruction. With prompt treatment, most dogs have a complete recovery.

Raw chicken bones are a safer choice for your dog, especially if he’s eating a raw diet. However, do keep him from eating cooked chicken bones. These can be dangerous; however, in most cases they will simply pass through without problems.

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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