What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Chicken Bone

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It’s important to ensure that chicken bones are always kept away from your dog to prevent potential harm. Despite our best efforts, dogs sometimes eat things that they shouldn’t, and it can be dangerous if they eat a chicken bone. These small bones can splinter and pose a risk of chocking or even death if it’s stuck in a dog’s throat.

If your dog ever eats a chicken bone, it is important to remain calm and follow the appropriate steps to help your dog. Here are the dos and don’ts of how you should handle your dog eating a chicken bone.

Tell your Dog to Drop It

If your dog still needs to swallow the chicken bones, give them the command to drop it or leave it. A well-trained dog will understand the command and might drop the chicken bones. If your dog drops the bones, be sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn’t consume any small pieces.

dog eats a chicken bone in westminster, co

Don’t Induce Vomiting

Don’t try to make your dog vomit because the chicken bone could get stuck in your dog’s throat. You should call your vet to and see what their recommendations are.

Get the Bone Out of Their Mouth if Possible

If you see your dog grab the chicken bone, gently open their mouth and remove the chicken bone. If you see bone pieces stuck in their gums or mouth, you can try to remove them, so they don’t swallow them. Sometimes pressing on the bottom of your dog’s jaw will release the chicken bones. Never yank or get too rough with your dog’s mouth as you may make the situation worse. Your dog may panic and bite down on the chicken bones or your hand.

Don’t Give Your Dog Cotton Balls

If you’ve heard that you should give your dog cotton balls soaked in milk or olive oil if they eat a chicken bone, don’t believe it. Cotton balls aren’t safe for a dog to eat. They can get caught in your dog’s throat and cause more harm to their health.

Make Sure Your Dog isn’t Choking

Ensure your dog isn’t choking. Turkey and chicken bones are hollow and easily crushed. The danger, of course, is that they splinter while they’re chewing them. If your pup skips the chewing and swallows the bones whole, the bones can pass safely through your dog’s stomach to their digestive tract. Some of the risks depend upon your dog’s size. Small dogs have a higher risk of blockages. Larger dogs might chew the bones leaving fragments that cause problems in their digestive tract.

Call Your Veterinarian

Call your vet immediately if your pup grabs a chicken bone and acts as if they’re in distress. Your vet can assess the situation and decide what needs to be done. If your dog acts fine after eating a chicken bone, the bone may have passed through to their stomach. Keep an eye on your dog to make sure their are no further complications. You may want to call your vet’s office to let them know what happened. Your vet may ask you to bring your dog in for a quick X-ray to see where the bone is. Your vet will know if the bones are putting your dog in enough danger for them to need surgery.

Give them Bread and Water

If your dog ate the chicken bone and didn’t seem to be choking, you can give them a small piece of white bread or another soft food. Try to get them to drink, too. The bread will help protect your dog’s digestive tract and esophagus lining. Bread and bone broth can also increase gastric juices in your dog’s stomach to help dissolve the chicken bones.

dog eats a chicken bone

Monitor Their Health

If your dog seems okay after eating a chicken bone, don’t assume the worst has passed. Monitor your dog for 24 hours. Watch for changes in your dog’s behavior such as:

  • – Lethargy
  • – Bloated in stomach
  • – Loss of appetite
  • – Vomiting
  • – Blood in their stool
  • – Trouble pooping
  • – Discomfort
  • – Whining or crying as if in pain

You know your dog best. If you notice these behaviors or something doesn’t feel right, get your pup to your vet immediately.


It’s hard to watch your dog 24/7, but there are several precautions you can take. If your dog eats a chicken bone, it can be dangerous and you should immediately contact your vet.

If you’re in the Westminster, CO area, Our veterinarians at Arrowhead Animal Hospital, are trained to provide quality and compassionate care to your pet. If your dog eats a chicken bone or if you have questions about your dog’s health, give us a call at (303) 469-1616. We are always here for you and are more than happy to help care for your dog with whatever you need!

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