You only left the kitchen for a minute, but when you return, it’s already too late. The roasted chicken you just pulled out of the oven is gone.
The only potential culprit is sitting on the floor, panting, wagging his tail and looking quite pleased with himself—as if the cat is clearly to blame.
You panic when you realize that your dog has eaten the chicken bones, too. Do you rush him to the vet immediately?
Here’s what you need to do and watch out for if your dog ate chicken bones.
My Dog Ate Chicken Bones – Why Did They Do That?
Dogs are attracted to chicken bones like kids to candy. They smell and taste incredible, whether they are raw or cooked. And dogs will find any way they can to get their paws and jaws on that tasty treat.
But are chicken bones bad for dogs? Whether it’s a chicken carcass in the trash or chicken wings in a raw diet, if there are bones about the dog will find and eat them. If your hound chows down on chicken bones the first thing is: Don’t panic. Instead, the best option is to monitor the dog and if they become distressed, see the veterinarian.
My dog ate chicken bones. What happens next?
Once ingested there are only three ways the bone will leave your pup’s system. Firstly, he may vomit up the bone. Happily this is unlikely and you should never try to induce vomiting (more on that in a moment). Secondly, a vet could surgically remove the bone via an incision in your dog’s stomach.
And lastly, and more commonly, the bone could pass through the dog via the natural digestive route. Hopefully being digested on the way. This is by far the safest, least invasive option barring any incidence in which the bone starts to cause a problem. For that reason, a veterinarian is only going to consider operating if the dog is showing signs of distress.
Trying to induce vomiting could do more harm than good because it gives the bone another opportunity to damage the dog’s stomach or throat on the way back up.
What you should do once you’ve assessed that there is no immediate danger, is give your vet a quick phone call, let them know what has happened, and confirm that they don’t need to see your dog.
Your vet will in all probability advise you to “watch and wait.” Let’s just quickly talk about the difference between cooked bones and raw bones because it does in fact make a difference.
The answer depends on whether or not the bones are cooked. If your dog ate chicken bones that were raw, you can probably relax. Many dogs are fed on raw chicken, bones included, and it is very rare indeed for those bones to cause a problem. In fact dogs have a digestive system that is designed to process bones, especially if they are consumed as part of a meaty meal.
It is important to note however that bones eaten on their own instead of as part of a meal, may be more problematic depending on the size of both the sneaky pup and the bone itself. As a precaution, if your dog has snuck a raw chicken bone, it may be good idea to feed him a meal so the bone isn’t being digested by itself.
A meal will also induce the production of stomach acids, which will aid in dissolving and digesting the bone. Also, though it is rather uncommon, there have been instances in which dogs have become ill from ingesting raw chicken infected with salmonella. The illness mimics the same symptoms as seen in humans including: cramping, fever, vomiting and diarrhea with blood or mucous.
Many people consider the consumption of cooked chicken bones, or cooked bones of any kind, to be more dangerous than raw bones. The theory is that cooked bones are more brittle, and will therefore splinter more easily than raw bones potentially causing damage to the dog’s mouth, throat, stomach or intestines.
It is widely accepted that cooked bones are dangerous and because dogs don’t need to eat them, it is better to simply avoid them. But that information is for future reference. For now you have a pup who’s had a bone, and he does not seem bothered at all. What do you need to know?
Step 2: Call Your Veterinarian
It’s important to remember that calling a veterinarian costs nothing. They can give you valuable advice about what to do, and what not to do. They’re also in a position to help you weigh up the risks of leaving the bones in situ and can advise you about your particular dog’s situation based on his size, breed, and other factors.
There is a risk of the bones becoming stuck. Unless your dog is in distress most vets will not recommend that you make your dog vomit. Your vet might ask you to feed your dog something to ‘cushion’ the bones and make it more likely that they’ll get as far as possible while minimizing potential damage.
This might be bread, pumpkin, or even asparagus! Trust your vet to advise you as to the best course of action! Most vets will not ask that you rush them in. They should give you personalized advice to give your dog the best chance of passing the chicken bones safely.
How long after eating chicken bones would a dog get sick?
Will a chicken bone dissolve in a dog stomach?
What should I do if my dog eats chicken bones?