Youve left the kitchen for a minute, only to come back and discover your dog has gotten into the trash and eaten a chicken bone. Heres what to do if your dog has eaten or swallowed a chicken bone.
7 Things to Do if Your Dog Eats a Chicken Bone
Follow these 7 steps if your dog has eaten a chicken bone to help limit the potential health risks:
While it’s natural to panic when you think your dog is in danger, its important to remain calm. Raising your voice and making sudden movements can increase your dogs stress levels and worsen their condition.
If your dog hasnt completely swallowed the bone yet, calmly try to remove it from their grasp. A panicked removal motion can trigger a dog to be possessive of the bone, and they may try and swallow it quickly. Never try to forcibly take a chicken bone (or any object) away from your dog, especially those small enough to be choked on.
Another tip is to trade up with a higher-value item like steak that your dog will happily exchange the chicken bone for. This tip only works if the item is very high-value, so training to trade up will help avoid this and similar situations.
If your dog is not actively choking, call your veterinarian and explain the situation. They will be able to walk you through your next steps and give you a better sense of whether your dog is in any immediate danger.
In some scenarios, your dog may swallow the chicken bone and be perfectly fine. Your vet can help you recognize if this is the case, or if you need to seek further medical attention.
Make Sure Your Dog Isn’t Choking
The most immediate cause for concern would be if the chicken bone is lodged in your dogs airways. If your dog is choking, they may start retching or acting like theyre trying to cough something up. They may also pace back and forth, roll around on the ground, or paw at their mouth.
Unfortunately, if their airway is completely blocked, they wont be able to make any noise at all, so youll have to pay extra close attention to their body language. If your dog is choking, dont wait to call your vet. You need to take immediate action.
First, check inside your dogs mouth to see if you can remove whatever object is lodged in their throat. If youre not able to remove the object, your next option is to use the Heimlich maneuver, just like with a person. There are two different ways to perform this maneuver, depending on the size of your dog. There is an abdominal compression technique for medium to large-sized dogs and a chest thrust technique for small dogs. Both techniques are very simple.
Has my dog swallowed a chicken bone?
If you are worried that the bone is obstructing the upper airway or upper intestinal tract, this is classified as a veterinary emergency and will need immediate attention.
If you are able to see or grasp the bone to remove it, do so as long as you can do so without distressing or hurting your dog further, or getting bitten or hurt yourself.
If you suspect your dog ate chicken bones and they show any of these symptoms, get them to a veterinarian immediately:
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