Help! My Dog Ate Chicken Bones, What do I do?

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You were watching the much-anticipated game on the TV when you suddenly got distracted to find your pet, Buddy, eating the bones of every yummy chicken wing carcass laid on your table. You remember your vet telling you not to ever give your pooch cooked bones, and although you are not really sure why these things are known to be so bad for them, you get rather panicky.

Yes, we’ve all been there. Aren’t dogs inherently built to eat and digest steak, chicken, ham or rib bones? Well, before you rush Buddy off to the clinic, here are a few things to consider.

What to Do

1.When Buddy gets hold of the cooked bones. Because cooked bones can splinter  in the dog’s mouth, throat, and digestive linings; thus, causing serious injury and even death to them, it is very important that you first make sure that right after your pooch has gotten hold of the bones, he is not choking on them.  You will know that the bones have been lodged in your dog’s throat if he starts to gag, wretch, vomit, drink excessively, lick his lips, suddenly shows an anxious pacing, or has difficulty sitting down comfortably.

2. When Buddy has already ingested the bones. If your pet has already eaten the forbidden food and does not appear to be choking or experiencing any kind of distress, it is likely that he will be fine. Nevertheless, it is essential that you remain vigilant about his condition over the next few days. Ensure that he is able to pass the bones through his stool. You can try giving your pooch something soft such as white bread to serve as a cushion in their stomach. This way, their delicate digestive lining can be protected from being scratched by the bones’ jagged edges.

Because perforation of organs impose a real threat whenever sharp objects are ingested by your pet, it is imperative that you pay attention to possible internal bleeding. For the next 12 to 48 hours, be alert for signs of bloody stool, difficulty defecating, stomach swelling, vomiting, nervous or anxious behavior, or any other form of abdominal discomfort. Once you see your pooch exhibiting any one of these life-threatening symptoms, immediately seek out for medical attention. If even after 72 hours you still haven’t found any bone fragments in his stool, have your dog examined by a vet straightaway.

3. Learn from the experience. Prevention is always better than a cure. The best thing you can do after this frightening incident is to learn from it and ensure that it does not ever happen again. Take precautionary measures by keeping a better eye on Buddy, purchasing a more dog-safe trash can, and ensuring that table scraps are not in any accessible place to your pooch.

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When I adopted my shepherd mix, Molly, from a local shelter 12 years ago, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. Through Molly, I've learned to be more patient, experienced unconditional love, been alerted to the mailman and every squirrel within a block radius of the house, and ingested enough fur to build 3 or 4 more dogs! When I lost Molly to cancer just a few months ago, I adopted Olive, a 13 week old Golden Retriever. Together, we smile at least a hundred times a day!


  1. My dog ate a chicken bone from dominoes and after two days she started gagging and vomiting and won’t stop I am very scared and can’t take her to a vet I need to do something ASAP at home plz

  2. My dog Max chomped down some chicken breasts & thigh bones today. I didn’t see them near the cornfield. I fed him a few hours later and I gave him some bread. I know he chewed them and didn’t just swallow I worry if this makes it worse. Does anyone know if it’s worse the bones in small pieces?

  3. My pup ate a wing he found on the ground and it looked spicy……i dont want to tell my mom becasue she will get mad. what can i do for my pup. he didnt choke on it but he has a sensitive tummy, HELP!

  4. I have a 1 yr old he is acting strange we think he may have eat a chicken bone or something in the garbage he shouldnt have. My partner thinks he may just be going crazy for the female a couple doors down. But i am convinced thats not the case he wont move from my side and is whining alot acting like he has to go outside but when he dose he only goes pee. His tummy is a bit harder then normal but doesnt really seem to bother him when i rub or touch it. Does anyone have a comment or imput should i be this freaked out should i call a vet? Or am i just being over protective and way over reacting???

  5. My three year old got into chicken bones while I was at school. He started acting really weird last night. He won’t let anyone but me touch him, won’t let you touch his tail or stomach, keeps whining like he has to go out but when you take him out he won’t do anything, he’s pacing and didn’t eat as much as he usually does yesterday. I don’t know what to do other than call a vet, I’m scared that I’m gonna lose him. Has anyone had this happen or something and can give me advice? He looked so much worse this morning :(

  6. My 6 1/2 lb poodle ate a chichen leg and back we think. Got in the trash when I was at the store. One hour and a half ago. Can’t find any part of bones. She is acting quiet and fairly normal. What do you think. I am watching her as you suggested..

  7. My poor buddy Ginger is 12 years old,and accidentally swallowed a small turkey bone from Thanksgiving dinner.he has been gagging a lot and pacing a lot.He does eat and drink water okay,but I can feel the bone lodged in his throat.This worrys me.I am so scared for my little guy.He has been like this for a few days now.He does not yelp or cry when it is bothering him.But i do need some good advice on what should I do for him with out going to see an animal doctor.Because that can cost me a lot of money that I do not have to fix my little guy.So any good suggestions or home remedies that I can use to help him.

    • You need to contact a doctor who can help him instead of letting the poor helpless creature suffer. Look for local animal shelters who can help like SNAP (spay and neuter program) which are cheaper.

  8. My 1 month old puppy ate a chicken bone. He first choking, then crying then he’s uneasy, walking like drunk. I don’t know what to do. Im trying to take it out, but it’s useless because he’s just resisting and crying. Then suddenly he stop and just sit. it’s like he’s back to normal. But i still want to make sure. Its 4am and no vet is open at this time. What should i do? He’s just a puppy :(

  9. My dog, Murphy, just ate four chicken wing bones when I got back from the bathroom. I have no clue what to do. He isn’t doing anything different or choking.. WHAT DO I DO? Anyone?

    • Well, if hes not choking or showing any odd behaviour, feed him white bread. It provides as a cusion for his stomache and intestines, so i reccommend you do this daily until he starts showing bones in his feces, until he stops.
      if at any ppint during this he has blood in his feces, or is pacing, a swollen stomach, or similar signs of something awful, take him to an animal hospital immediately.
      Also, if after 72 hours of swallowing the bones, if he hasn’t passed them yet, take him to a vet to be examined

  10. It appears that my dog got ahold of 1 bone and it was small but he was drinking a little bit but was choking a little bit before but he is doing it a lot toe bit I do not know what to do

  11. My dog has eaten a cook chiking bone and we have no I dear
    What to do.she keeps drinking and were verry worried a bout
    Her it is verry difficult to tell if she’s all right or no we don’t know if she going
    To die or do we need to take her to the vets

  12. My 11 yr old coonhound at 5 cooked chicken legs. It happened on Wednesday, it is now Friday. He had a bowel movement Thursday morning and Thursday night, but nothing today yet.

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