If you have owned a dog for a while, you might already be aware that there are some things a dog simply should not eat. It is critical that you keep a running list of what your dog can and cannot eat in order to keep them safe and healthy. Most people easily accept the image of a dog chewing on a bone, but should your dog really eat chicken bones or a chicken carcass?
The answer is yes. You can let your dog eat a chicken carcass, as long as it is raw, from frozen or freeze-dried chicken. This quick guide will dive deeper into why raw chicken carcasses are OK, and why you should avoid letting your dog eat cooked chicken bones.
Why Is A Raw Chicken Carcass Safe, While It Is Unsafe When Cooked?
Chicken bones are often very small in size when compared to the bones of other animals, for instance, pork. Because the bones are so small, they can splinter very easily. Lightweight bones, such as chicken bones, break apart into tiny dangerous shards when they’ve been cooked. These shards can puncture your dog’s throat or their intestines.
The biggest danger of allowing your dog to eat a chicken carcass is that the small bones are choking hazards to dogs, especially to smaller breed dogs or to puppies.
Some people think that a cooked chicken bone is safer for their pet than raw bones. The truth, however, is the other way around! The cooked chicken bones are a danger to your dog as they’re quite brittle. Raw chicken bones are fine to eat for dogs, under supervision.
In order to keep your pet safe, you will need to be on the watch for chicken bones because chicken carcasses and bones are very appealing to dogs.
Should My Dog Avoid All Chicken Bones?
No, chicken bones of all types and sizes don’t pose an equal threat to your dog. If the bone was raw, you should be fine. However, all cooked chicken bones are dangerous choking and splintering hazards.
You should also note that turkey bones pose a very similar risk to dogs. All poultry bones are extremely small and lightweight. Because these bones are light and hollow, they are especially dangerous because they splinter so easily. All poultry carcasses and bones should be kept away from your dog.
What About Accidental Ingestion?
Dogs can be unpredictable, much like children. Even if you are trying your best to keep your dog away from chicken bones and poultry carcasses of all types, it might still happen that your dog finds the bones and eats them.
If your dog does accidentally eat a chicken bone or carcass, you will need to act quickly. The first thing to remember is that you should not yell, scream or act overly anxious. If you start to put off a lot of intense energy, the dog will pick up on this. The dog might hurriedly swallow what is in its mouth as a reaction to your reaction.
You should also not try to grab the bones out of your dog’s mouth, especially if it is a larger breed of dog. This can sometimes spark an aggressive reaction in the dog, even a very docile dog, and you might get injured.
Here is a better way to react. If you notice your dog eating a bone or getting into a chicken carcass, stay calm. Do not raise your voice and do not try to take the bones away. Instead, get your dog’s favorite treat. Offer the treat to the dog at a far distance from the chicken bones. Toss the treat very far from the location of the bones. If the dog is successfully distracted, quickly retrieve the bones or carcass and dispose of it properly.
Check to see if your dog is showing any obvious signs of choking or distress. If not, you will need to watch your dog carefully for the next few hours after they have ingested the chicken bones. In some cases, a dog will seem perfectly fine for a while and then might develop issues later. Not every dog that eats a chicken bone will choke. Some dogs are perfectly fine, but it should never be encouraged or offered.
You will want to check for signs of injury or distress for the next few hours. You should watch for bleeding in the throat or mouth. Watch to see if your dog is coughing or vomiting. You will also want to make sure that the next few bowel movements are normal as well. Another good thing to do is listen to your dog’s breathing to ensure its airway isn’t obstructed.
Should I Go To The Vet If My Dog Ate Cooked Chicken Bones?
If your dog ate a cooked chicken bone or a carcass, it does not necessarily mean it needs to go immediately to the vet. You should, however, know the signs of distress to look for. You should visit the vet if you notice any of the following signs.
If you notice your dog actively choking, take it immediately to an emergency vet. A vet can help to clear the dog’s airways. Even if your dog starts choking days after eating the bones, visit the emergency vet.
If your dog has suddenly developed extreme constipation or bloating. This could be a sign that the bones have created an obstruction in the intestines. This can be dangerous for dogs and even fatal.
Watch your dog’s stool carefully for a few days for signs of blood. If your dog vomits, you should also examine the vomit for blood. Blood in the stool or vomit can be a sign that the throat or intestines were punctured.
It is never a good idea to allow your dog to eat any type of cooked poultry bones or carcasses. It might be tempting to simply throw these scraps outside and allow your dog to enjoy them, but remember this can put your dog in real danger.
Your dog will be at risk of choking and internal injuries if allowed to eat cooked poultry bones.
If you think your dog is having an emergency because it ate poultry bones or a poultry carcass, take your animal to an emergency vet as quickly as possible. This professional will be able to examine your pet, help clear airways, check for blockages in the throat or intestines, and help your animal.