There are many foods that can be pretty toxic to dogs: raisins, garlic, onions, grapes, nuts… however, there is one particular food every pet parent dreads their dog eating, and that food is chicken bones. Your dog ate chicken bones? Learn what to do to help him.
Why are chicken bones dangerous?
Regarding chicken bones digestion, there are many factors to take into account. First of all, something that can turn the episode into an emergency: These bones can get stuck on your pup’s throat and block the airways. Besides, chicken bones are very sharp and splinter easily, hence they can cause perforations in the gums, throat, esophagus, intestinal tract, etc. Last but not least, if dogs eat raw chicken, they can be exposed to bacteria.
Naturally, we are talking about chicken bones, but you can still feed your pup with chicken. The actual danger lays in giving your dog a piece of chicken with small chicken bones inside.
It’s important to underline that cooked chicken is far less dangerous than raw chicken because it is not exposed to bacteria. However, cooked bones are much less likely to hurt your pup since they can splinter and cause damage that might require medical attention.
What is more, chicken bones can fracture teeth, cause throat blockages, and tear parts of the stomach or intestines. All in all, chicken bones are definitely not recommended for dogs.
What can I do if my dog ate chicken bones?
It happens to the best pet parents: your dog can dig in your trash while you are in the bathroom, or sneak into your fridge and grab some chicken pieces as a snack. In spite of our best efforts, accidents can happen, the important thing is to be prepared and to act fast. Here is a list of 5 things you can do if your dog ate chicken bones:
Check if they are obstructing his respiratory airway: If you hear your dog gagging or retching, and you can see the chicken bone in his mouth or throat obstructing his respiratory airway, you should try to take it out. If that’s not possible because it is out of your reach, you should call your vet asap. If the bone is not obstructing or hurting his throat, don’t induce vomit, it can make it worse.
- Feed your dog with bread: Feeding your pup with some bulky food will help to cover sharp edges of chicken bones and avoid stomach and bowel damage.
Keep an eye on him: During the next 24 to 48 hours, check if he experiences diarrhea, vomiting, stomach swelling, or blood in his stool.
Feed him with pumpkin to promote disposal. Smooth vegetables like pumpkin, zucchini or eggplant will speed the process of bone elimination.
Check his stool: After ingesting anything unusual, you should always beware of your dog's stool. If you don’t see any sign of chicken bones within 48 to 72 hours, take your pup to the vet for a close checkup.
Just as importantly, remember that raw chicken might contain bacteria, being the most common ones campylobacter and salmonella. If your dog ate infected raw chicken, he/she might experience some of the following symptoms: diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, fever, etc. Depending on the severity of the symptoms and infection, dogs may need antibiotics.
Can dogs eat chicken bones?
No, chicken bones are definitely not recommended for dogs. However, if your dog ate chicken bones, it doesn't matter if he is not presenting any symptoms, we strongly recommend you get in touch with your vet just to be safe. He/she knows your dog and his medical history, so he/she will assess the situation, run some tests if needed, and will tell you exactly what to do.