What To Do If Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones

What should you do if your dog eats chicken bones?!

My dog did it.

Lots of other dogs have too.



Here’s what you need to know and what you should do if your dog eats chicken bones…

Back in the days when I was single, I took my dog with me on vacation everywhere I went.

This frequently included long-distance road trips… say, from Texas to Florida or Florida to Indiana.

He loved it.

Jersey’s always been a great car-dog. He sits still. He doesn’t get antsy. He just looks out the window or sleeps — right there on the front seat next to me.

Jersey looking out the back window of my in car, parked on the beach in Naples, Florida.

Dogs & Chicken Bones Don’t Mix!

On one trip, I stopped at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and purchased a boxed chicken dinner for myself.

I ate it in the car, while Jersey ate some of his dog food. When I was done, I put the box on the floor in the back seat — fully intending to throw it away once we got to the next stopping place. Only I forgot.

Unfortunately, when I stopped at the convenience store to get gas and use the restroom, I returned to find the entire box of chicken contents on my front seat. There were pieces everywhere — pieces of chicken… pieces of chicken bones… pieces of box… pieces of napkins.

I panicked. Knowing that my dog had obviously ingested a number of chicken bones (thigh and breast), I feared he would puncture his innards or not be able to pass the bones at all.

leftover-chicken-bones-by-Jym-Ferrier.jpgEveryone knows that chicken bones are dangerous for dogs to eat — especially cooked chicken bones — because they’re dry & brittle and they splinter into lots of tiny (and sharp!) pieces inside your dog’s tummy after they’ve been chewed and swallowed.

Fortunately, the bones that my dog ingested on this day passed just fine — but it took a couple of days. I was completely on edge for that part of the vacation. Thankfully, he didn’t seem to suffer at all from this little incident.



What To Do If Your Dog Eats Chicken Bones

cooked-chicken-bones-by-MrLobo.jpgSince there isn’t much that you can do after the chicken bones have been ingested by your dog, you simply need to monitor him closely for the next few days.

Keep checking his stools to see if the bones pass. Watch for blood in the stool, or any signs that he’s straining to defecate.

You should also keep an eye on your dog’s temperament. If he becomes moody or listless, take him to a vet immediately.

Perhaps the best thing you can do is try to “cushion” the tiny bones inside your dog’s tummy by overfeeding him a little more over the next couple of days. Cooked rice (that’s completely cooled first) is ideal, because it is gentle on a dog’s stomach and digestive tract. You could serve up a small helping of plain white rice alone, or mix some cooked rice in with your dog’s normal dog food.

Then, you just wait and see.

Chances are, everything will come out fine in the end.

A vet’s viewpoint: What You Should Do If Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones

dog-xrays-chicken-bones-by-Leia.jpgA dog swallowing chicken bones is not something that should be taken lightly. In some cases, the bones can get caught in the stomach or intestines and wreak havoc on your dog’s insides.

If your dog’s behavior changes in any way after eating chicken bones, it is important to contact your vet, because x-rays may be necessary.


Some Precautions You Can Take

Jersey eying my plate at the dinner table, and Destin hiding out under my chair at the table. After something similar happened another time with a different dog (black lab snatched the plate of leftover turkey from the dining room table), I learned that most dogs will adapt and recover just fine after eating chicken or turkey bones.

A veterinarian weighs in: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bones?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned:

NEVER leave food in places where my dogs could get it — now or later!

So, if you’ve got large dogs in your home (or maybe even small or medium sized dogs who just happen to be good jumpers!), you’ll want to remember to push plates, dishes, and leftovers up high enough and back far enough out of the reach of your dog.

And maybe your dog won’t poke his head in the trash can when you’re around, but the minute you’re not within sight, chances are, he’ll sniff out anything smells good & tasty in there. So, be sure to keep your garbage pail behind a door or cabinet that latches securely shut. Or, purchase a heavy-duty, stable garbage can for the kitchen that has a lid your dog couldn’t possibly open.

Here are the best dog-proof trash cans, plus tips for keeping your dog out of the garbage.

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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