My Dog Swallowed A Chicken Wing Bone

Calls for advice on what to do when a dog has eaten chicken bones happens fairly frequently in practice. They vary from dogs hoovering up leftover chicken wing bones at barbeques, scavenging on walks to helping themselves to the whole carcass at a family dinner – whoops! Once you’ve got over the fact that all your hard work preparing the meal is lost: should you worry and what do you do now?

Each case is different and this article is not designed to be in place of advice from your vet with regard to your individual situation, but it should help guide you and answer some of your questions.

The level of concern depends, to some extent, on the size of your dog, the number of bones eaten, and whether your dog has any current or previous health concerns.

Dogs are carnivores – they are designed to digest meat and bones and in theory, they should be able to cope, but not always. More often than not the bones that our dogs get hold of have been cooked first. Cooked bones are slightly more of a concern than raw ones as they become more brittle and, if chewed, are more prone to breaking into sharp points. The main danger with chicken bones (raw or cooked) is that they have the potential to cause a blockage in the gastrointestinal tract (guts) or even a perforation (rip/tear). Either of these can occur anywhere from the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach) to the rectum (the tube to the outside of the body) and can be life-threatening.

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.

Is It Bad for Dogs to Eat Chicken Bones?

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. Other bones, such as beef and pork bones, can cause significantly more distress and disease.

However, there are some potential hazards for dogs that are tempted to eat chicken bones.

Cooked bones tend to be slightly softer than raw bones, but some (such as the thigh bone) can be quite large relative to the size of the dog.

If a dog swallows—or tries to swallow—a chicken bone, and it does not go all the way down, it can become lodged in the esophagus. This can cause a lot of gagging, drooling and retching.

In other dogs, the bone can become stuck in the upper part of the airway—either the back of the throat (the pharynx) or the start of the airway itself. This is an immediate emergency in which the dog will show significant signs of distress and might cough heavily or have trouble breathing.

Risk of Tearing the GI Tract

Chicken bones splinter easily, and when they are swallowed, they can cause perforation of the esophagus or the intestinal tract.

Particularly if the chicken is uncooked, your dog is at risk of exposure to bacteria like salmonella.

Give Your Dog a Soft Piece of Bread

If your dog is willing to eat a soft piece of bread, it can keep the fragments from puncturing their stomach. In addition, it can protect the lining of your dogs digestive system and stimulate the digestive juices to help break down the bone faster.

According to vet experts at Urgent Pet Care Omaha, “It may be helpful to give your dog a soft piece of food, such as a piece of bread, which will provide a form of cushioning in their stomach. Soft food can serve as a way to protect the lining of your dog’s digestive system from being scratched.”

If your dog has completely swallowed the chicken bone, its vital to ensure they digest it as quickly and effectively as possible. And if theyre dehydrated, their digestion will slow down, and the bones won’t come out the other end.

Provide access to plenty of fresh water, and consider adding water or bone broth to your dogs regular meals to make digestion even easier.


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

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 should I do if my dog eats a chicken bone?

If your dog is eating well, seems normal and has remained active, it’s generally safe to keep monitoring the situation. As a rule, avoid feeding your dog bones. If your pooch does chow down on a chicken bone and appears to be in any kind of distress, act quickly and contact a vet for emergency treatment right away.

Do chicken wings Digest in dogs?

Yes, dogs can digest chicken bones but cooked bones are not safe for pets. This is because they become brittle and can splinter as well as get stuck in your dog’s digestive system. Some people who feed their dogs a raw food diet offer chicken meat on the bone.

How long after eating a chicken bone will a dog get sick?

“If a dog manages to consume a large enough quantity of chicken bones to cause a blockage, then you will see symptoms like vomiting for more than 24 hours, appetite loss, depression, and usually no bowel movements at all,” says Dr. Myers.