Can Small Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? What To Do If They Do

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Maybe you just finished a good piece of chicken and you get to the bone and wonder if you can feed it to your small dog, they are carnivores after all?

Well, the simple and short answer is NO! Do not feed your dog cooked chicken bones. This is because Chicken bones become dry and brittle when cooked and this can result in it breaking into splinters when chewed by your dog which can get caught in its throat or puncture the gastrointestinal tract.

This, as you can imagine, would be very painful for your dog and could result in possible death if nothing is done about it.

Eating bones can be beneficial to dogs. They are a good source of nutrients and minerals.

Also, when chewed, saliva enzymes are stimulated to help prevent various dental issues such as plaque and gum related diseases.

What To Do When Your Dog Eats Chicken Bone.

We all know dogs can be up to no good sometimes. What if your dog becomes naughty and goes through the trash, finds the chicken bone, and eats it?

Well, I did my research, and here is what you should do in such an incident.

1. Stay calm and assess the situation

Collecting your thought and staying calm can help save your dog’s life. Taking a breather and quickly assessing the situation are some of the vital first aid actions to perform.

  • Open the dog’s mouth, pull the tongue forward, and check if there are any pieces of bone not yet ingested or stuck.
  • If there is a piece of bone stuck in its mouth, gently remove it before it gets ingested. Be careful to avoid being bitten by your dog or pushing the object further down its throat.
  • If your dog is still breathing and is attempting to cough up the bone, let he/she try for a few moments without interfering.

If your dog is choking, consider the following steps below:

  1. If your dog is wheezing, gasping for breath and/or pawing at its face, check its mouth and perform the action as mentioned above.
  2. If you can’t find any bone and your dog is still choking, then you need to perform a Heimlich maneuver.
    The canine Heimlich maneuver is almost exactly the same as it is for humans
    – Wrap your arms around the dog’s waist with his/her back against your chest, grab your fists, and place your thumbs in that soft spot just under the dog’s rib cage.
    Make sure his body position is so his head is facing down and give 3-5 inwards and upward thrusts.
    If it looks kinky you’re probably doing it right.
  3. Always check their mouth for the bone or anything that comes up after a while of performing the canine Heimlich maneuver.

See the video below for a visual example of how to help a choking dog.

2. Monitor your dog

If your dog doesn’t show any sign of immediate danger like choking after ingesting the bone, Emmy-award winning veterinarian Dr. Jeff Werber suggests in an interview with, that you feed your dog a very bulky like bread to cover around the sharp edges, which will begin to soften.

He also advised against inducing vomit, saying in the interview that “once the bone has gone past the esophagus and into the stomach, we do not recommend having the dog throw it up because we don’t want to risk a sharp sliver of bone-cutting the esophagus on the way up and out”.

It’s necessary to keep your vet on speed dial because you will have to keep your eyes keenly on your dog.

Below are some signs you should keep an eye out for:

  • Constipation,
  • Bloating in the stomach,
  • Bloody stool,
  • Vomiting,
  • Change in eating habits,
  • Sluggishness or a noticeable difference in your dog’s demeanor.

Check your dog’s stool daily for the bone fragments, after 48 hours (or however long your vet tells you) with no luck, get the dog to your vet.

3. Do better

It is not your dog’s fault for eating the chicken bone.

I say this, as controversial as it may sound because it is always up to us to train our dogs to not go through the trash or steal food they are not meant to have.

We are also responsible for properly disposing our trash.

Training your dog to know it’s boundaries around the house and instilling discipline can really go a long way in preventing a lot of dangerous incidents from ever happening.

Also, we need to keep the trash away from the reach of our dogs or tightly sealed because the chicken bone is not the worst item of the trash our dogs can ingest that could pose some fatal danger to their lives, hence, there is a need for us to do better as owners.

What Bone Can and Can’t a Dog Eat?

It is important to avoid feeding your small dog any cooked bones due to their highly brittle nature.

Also, do not feed your dog any pork or poultry bone of any kind as they can easily break and splitter into little chads, which can lead to serious health dangers.

It is important to always seek caution when feeding bones to your dog.

Certain raw bones such as beef can be fed to dogs but under supervision.

There are some risks associated with feeding your small dog raw bone. These include the risk of the said raw meat bone being infected with bacteria such as Salmonella or E-coli.

Are Bone Alternatives Safe

Alternative store-bought, commercial bone treats such as Pork Femur Bones, Rib Bones, Ham Bones, and Smokey Knuckle Bones, have been discovered by the FDA to likely pose certain health issues to dogs.

Consult your vet for more information on what bone treats you can get for your pup before getting one from the store.


In conclusion, I would advise dog owners never to feed any cooked bones to their dogs. Just keep them away from all poultry and pork bones.

The alternative is to purchase bones created for dogs, such as Dreambones or Smartbones.

These bones are made of chicken and vegetables and are fully digestible, eliminating the risk of running into hazards.

RELATED POST: Check out these 30 human foods your dog can eat.

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