Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?


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In this article, we dive into the various types of ways to feed your dog bones without causing a serious health problem along the way. After all, there are hundreds of things to be concerned about for our pet’s health, so why risk it by introducing a new type of food like bones?

Short answer? Because dogs love their bones, pet owners love seeing their dogs happy. We’ve all seen cartoons of dogs happily chewing away on their bones. Most pet owners have also browsed the various pet snack and treat sections in the grocery stores and seen various prepackaged bones meant for dogs.

The good news is that dogs can safely eat raw chicken bones. Although there are a few rules, you should know about them. If your dog is perfectly healthy, does not eat more than a few bones a week, and is not allergic to chickens, then raw bones are a good option for your dog. However, it is also advised only to feed your dog large bones that can not be swallowed whole or get stuck in the dog’s throat.

We will cover all these reasons and caveats in greater detail for those of you who wish to learn even more. So read on and leave a comment below if you have any questions.

What Should Dog Owners Know About Raw Chicken Bones?

Raw chicken bones can be healthy for your dog, considering you do not provide your loyal companion with too small bones that can get swallowed or dislodged in the throat.

You should also make sure to let your dog know that chewing the bone is fine, but chewing the bone into tiny pieces is not. The same goes for too large bones; the bone should not be a potential hazard if swallowed, causing a blockage in the throat or intestines.

They contain nutrients for the dog; they help with cleaning the gums and teeth of our friends and improving the digestive system. However, there are a few reasons not to feed your dog bones that are raw, most of which we have outlined further below in this article.

Bones can be cheaper than many store-bought dog treats and snacks, the dog loves the flavor and act of chewing bones, and the dog even gets to be occupied and focus on the bone for an extended period of time, leaving you to relax and enjoy the sight. What’s not to love?

Are Raw Chicken Bones Safe for My Dog?

If you are aware of the potential issues that occur when you offer raw bones of a chicken to your dog, then you can readily give your dog bones from time to time.

As long as you respect your dog and the rules, even a puppy should be able to eat chicken bones as long as they are uncooked safely.

Below we have created a checklist of exceptions, in which case you should not give your dog a raw chicken bone.

What Are The Types of Raw Bones That Can Cause Problems for Dogs?

There are times when your dog should not snack on this delicious treat for various reasons. To ensure the best possible advice, you should contact your veterinarian and talk to them, as every dog is different, and previous medical history might make a difference.

If your dog is perfectly healthy, then you can follow this list of the most important rules and issues you need to be aware of before handing out snacks for good behavior.

Cooked Bones

In this case, the bones can splinter and cause internal damage and or bleeding. In the worst-case scenario, it could even kill your dog. Of course, it is a rare thing to happen and mostly happens to adolescent dogs and puppies, but we do not recommend ever feeding your dog a bone that has been heated, prepared, or otherwise cooked.

Bad Quality or Uncertain Origin

It would be best if you never fed your dog discarded bones you don’t know the origin of. If you love your dog, you want it to stay healthy, and giving it bad food is not the right way to ensure that. So always give your dog raw chicken bones of a good quality that you know have not been cooked.

Small and Tiny Bones

This one is not a rule set in stone, rather a guideline. For example, some dogs can eat small raw chicken bones and be just fine, others might get a hard stool, but some dogs can develop complications within the digestive system or even choke if a piece gets stuck the wrong way. Therefore, you should keep an eye on your dog if you feed it raw bones and quickly call the vet if you think something is wrong.

Do Not Feed If Your Dog is Allergic to Chicken

If you know your dog is specifically allergic to poultry or chicken, please do not feed it chicken bones. This one goes without saying, but even a raw chicken bone can cause an allergic reaction.

Take Extra Care When Feeding An Aggressive Eater

If your dog is one of those who sprint to the food bowl the second you open the kitchen cabinet containing the dog food and then vacuum every last crumb of the dog food within seconds of it being fed, you should be careful when providing bones to your dog.

The same goes if your dog likes to swallow things in one gulp or is an overly aggressive eater when eating chicken bones. We recommend you hand the bone to your dog in these cases but never let go of the other end. That way, you ensure the dog takes its time and does not cause problems. It will also make it easier for you to train your dog not to chew the bone into small pieces.

Do Not Feed Bones If Your Dog Has Issues with Its Teeth or Gums

Bones can be hard to chew, especially for dogs with weak gums or bad teeth. We also recommend you check your dog’s mouth for any cuts or wounds after having fed your dog a raw chicken bone.

While it is rare, sometimes these cuts can lead to infections that can become critical in no time. Taking good care of your dog’s teeth is an important part of maintaining your dog’s overall well-being, so be sure to check regularly if your dog is on a raw diet or has bones from time to time.

What Part of The Chicken Has The Best Bones for Dogs?

As long as the bones are raw and not too small for the dog in question, every bone will be met by delight and enthusiasm from your dog. However, our personal favorites have to be either the thigh or wing bones, but maybe that’s just because we love those parts of the chicken ourselves.

Since before humans domesticated dogs, scientists believe dogs and wolves ate bones at least partially to help supplement their diet in the wild. Uncooked, raw animals provide edible bones that do not splinter and which the dog can safely chew and bite.

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Can My Dog Eat Cooked Chicken Bones?

No. While uncooked chicken bones are safe for the most part, cooked chicken bones are not safe. The cooking process, whether heating, frying, or otherwise preparing the chicken and bones, causes the bones to be more prone to splintering, and this can lead to serious problems for your dog.

This is not only the case for chicken bones; most types of bones we commonly eat or give our dogs. Therefore the rule of thumb is never to give a dog any type of cooked bone, whether it is chicken or not.

So if you see your dog eating chicken bones, you will need to determine what type of bone it is in order to know how you should react. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of our animal companions, so it is better to overreact than stay passive and have a serious situation develop.

How Should You Handle Raw Chicken When Dogs are Near?

Just like with humans, dogs, too, can get salmonella disease. While they rarely seem to get ill with the disease, they are known to carry the disease even if they are not sick themselves.

This means that you could potentially transfer salmonella bacteria to your dog if it is around the chicken that is raw, and it could be weeks or months before your dog unknowingly infects you with the disease.

Therefore, you should keep dogs away from raw chicken and other similar products such as raw eggs, turkey wings, turkey necks, and chicken thighs.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Legs or Chicken Wings Safely?

As long as you provide your dog with raw bones, you should be fine. But for us humans tend to cook our chicken legs and wings before eating them, and in that case, you should remove the bones from the legs and wings before giving them to your furry friend.

Removing bones manually from your cooked chicken is the only way to be certain you have removed all the small bones that could cause issues, so take your time and be careful to get them all. The same goes for other chicken parts, such as a chicken leg, neck, and feet.

My Dog Ate Some Raw Chicken-Bones: What Could Happen?

If your dog ate raw chicken bones, you should not need to worry too much. Read the above paragraphs where we detail which particular raw bones are dangerous for your pet and which are safe options when you want to feed your dog chicken bones.

If your dog has eaten chicken bones and is reacting weirdly, call the vet immediately and let them know. They will guide you through how best to handle the situation.

Unless your dog is unhealthy, a puppy, or your dog ate a large number of raw bones; it should be fine. However, excessive amounts of raw bones can lead to constipation and other similar issues, so be sure to take your dog to the vet immediately if you experience any behavior that is out of the ordinary.

If you found your dog eating bones from cooked chicken products, it is extra important you stay alert, and unless the amount was very small, we recommend calling your vet as soon as possible and telling them the entire story. They will recommend the best option for you and your dog.

Sometimes people get the idea to make their dog vomit up the bones, but only do this if your veterinarian recommends this, as the bones could do even more damage if your dog vomits them up.

Can Chicken Bones Kill Dogs?

Raw chicken bones are generally safe for dogs, but cooked ones are known to have killed dogs in the past. In most cases, the dogs were young adolescents or puppies, but even older dogs in good health can have an issue with cooked bones splintering and causing trouble with the digestive tract, your dog’s stomach, abdominal pain, or give your dog trouble breathing.

What Type of Bones Should Dog Owners Choose?

If your dog is on a raw diet or similar, you can feed raw chicken bones to dogs; raw chicken wings can also be an option. Raw meaty bones have plenty of nutrients, and they also help with various other parts of the dog’s health, such as cleaning their teeth and gums.

Aside from that, most dogs love chewing on a bone while laying at their favorite spot. So as a dog owner, you choosing raw poultry bones as part of the dog’s raw food diet can be a good idea.

If your dog likes raw meat, you can also feed it pork bones, knucklebones, or dry food with raw meat flavors. Depending on your dog’s size, the size of the bone should match accordingly.

You do not want a bone that is too small so that the dog will swallow it instantly. Instead, the dog should chew the bone slowly, making it easier for the intestinal tract.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, the completely normal act of giving your dog a raw bone from chickens can be just fine. However, as every pet owner cares for their own dog’s health, adding a raw bone to their dog’s diet can be a fine way of providing some tasty treat that also has certain nutrients and health benefits at the same time.

As long as you follow the guidelines of what is safe for dogs and what is not, it would be best to avoid a trip to the vet, and in return, enjoy a happy animal companion by feeding your dog raw bones.