My Dog Ate Chicken Wing Bones

With dogs, accidents can easily happen, and it only takes a moment for a dangerous situation to occur. Many dogs will steal food from the counter or your plate when youre not looking… and many human foods can be hazardous to your pups health.

Even though you may give your dog raw bones to chew on as a treat, cooked bones (like chicken bones) are dangerous and should never be offered to a pet. So, if your dog has recently eaten a chicken bone, stay calm and follow these steps.

Dogs have been eating bones for thousands of years, and most of the time, they process them just fine. Typically, chicken bones will dissolve once they hit the stomach—before they have a chance to become dangerous. Most times, dogs are able to pass chicken bones uneventfully.

Wait — Why are chicken bones bad for dogs in the first place?

Unlike the large, hard bones many of us buy for our dogs to chew “chicken bones are very soft and often leave very sharp edges when broken,” Dr. Werber says. This is what makes them especially dangerous for dogs. If your dog ate a chicken bone, he “run[s] the risk of tearing the esophagus or tearing somewhere along the intestinal tract, ” Dr. Werber says. This is why it’s so important to make sure dogs don’t have access to chicken bones.

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.

My Dog JUST Ate A Chicken Bone – What Happens Now?

I would recommend that you make your vet aware and listen to their advice; they are then prepared to provide the best care in the event of an emergency or any deterioration.

You will probably have heard that in some cases where dogs have eaten things that they shouldn’t – chocolate or other toxic items, for example, the vet can give medications to make them vomit. However, in the case of chicken bones this is not advised (and do NOT be tempted to try and do this yourself at home, it is incredibly dangerous). The reason we don’t make dogs vomit in these cases is that we don’t know whether the chicken bones were chewed or broken when swallowed and any sharp edges to the bone could cause disastrous damage on the way back up from the stomach.

In a medium-large sized dog with no health concerns my usual advice would be as follows:

  • Do not withhold food from your dog, instead feed little and often. It’s tempting to think that as they may have eaten more, or something different to usual that they don’t need anything for a while. However, in cases like this, I always advise feeding food little and often; this can be your dog’s usual food or a fairly bland wet food. The idea behind this is to stimulate your dog’s digestion to do its job and break down the bones in the stomach. The other benefit of feeding little and often is that the food should ‘cushion’ the bones in the stomach and help to protect them from any sharp points whilst they digest.
  • Allow your dog to do gentle exercise. No running around like a nutty thing, but gentle exercise (short walks on the lead) will help to stimulate digestion.
  • Make sure they stay well hydrated. Ensure they have access to fresh water: you can add water to their food to increase intake or change from dry food to wet food. Dehydration will reduce digestion alone and can have other negative effects.
  • Monitor your dog’s stools closely. If your dog does develop vomiting or diarrhea then you will know quickly. It’s also important that we make sure your dog is still passing feces as failure to do so may be one of the first signs of a blockage and prompt you to visit your vet.
  • If your dog shows any of the following signs you must contact your vet as a matter of urgency:

  • Vomiting more than once
  • Refusing to eat or drink
  • Signs of abdominal (tummy) pain such as stretching out or sitting in a hunched position
  • A tense or bloated abdomen
  • Not passing feces
  • Lethargy (acting quiet, or not himself)
  • Coughing/retching
  • In any dog that is particularly old or young, has any health concerns, or is on medications you must discuss with your vet.

    Your vet may talk about X-rays with you – the benefit of these depends on timing and each individual situation. If your dog is showing signs that are consistent with a blockage then x-rays are used to help diagnose this and to try and determine the location of any bones within the digestive tract. If your dog has just eaten the bone/bones and is showing no adverse effects there is often little benefit to an X-ray as it is simply likely to confirm the presence of bones in your dog’s stomach but cannot give you peace of mind or any indication of whether issues will develop over the following few days. In dogs that are coughing or retching after eating, x-rays are useful to check whether bones are wedged in the throat or further down the esophagus.Ask a Vet In Real Time!

    If you need to speak with a vet right now but can’t get to one, head over to JustAnswer. It’s an online service where you can talk to a vet in real time and get the personalized advice you need for your pet — all at an affordable price!


    How long does it take for a chicken wing to pass through a dog?

    Check your dog’s stool daily to see if you can see the bone fragments passing through. If you do not see them within 72 hours after ingestion (or whatever time frame is recommended by your veterinarian), it’s a good idea to visit the vet to make sure the bones aren’t stuck in your dog’s intestine, esophagus or throat.

    How long after eating chicken bones would a dog get sick?

    The chicken bone will probably pass within 24 hours, but factors such as your dog’s size, breed, age and even diet will influence this. Some dogs may take over two days to pass the bones. If your dog seems perfectly normal after getting into chicken bones, then it is very likely that there will be no issues.

    What happens if a dog eats cooked chicken bones?

    Bones that lodge in the esophagus might cause shallow breathing, pain, gulping, or even vomiting. All these signs are likely to occur within the first ten minutes, but If the bone makes it to the stomach the signs can take an hour or more to appear.