If there is one thing we know about dogs, it’s that they will eat anything they can get their paws on. While most of the time it is harmless, there are those instances when they eat something they shouldn’t. And one of those instances is chicken bones. If your dog ate or swallowed a chicken bone, here’s what you should do.
One thing to note is that cooked bones are dangerous to dogs, not raw ones. In fact, raw bones – including chicken bones – are beneficial to dogs.
They provide calcium and phosphorus along with other nutrients and minerals. The bones also stimulate saliva enzyme production that keeps their gums and teeth clean as well as provide mental and physical stimulation. Just be sure to supervise your dog if they are gnawing on a raw bone.
Cooked chicken bones, though, should be avoided at all costs – unless they are specifically labeled ‘safe for dogs.’ Cooked bones are dry and brittle. If your dog is chewing on one it can easily crack and splinter, leading to cuts in the mouth or gums. It could even lead to choking, internal injuries, punctured organs, or even death.
In the event your dog does eat a cooked chicken bone here’s what you should do:
When they just got a hold of the bone:
If you caught your pup just as they got a hold of the bone, check to be sure it is not lodged in their throat. You’ll know it is stuck there if they begin to gag, wretch, vomit, drink excessive water, lick their lips, anxiously pace, or have difficulty sitting down.
If it is not yet lodged in their throat, remove the bone from their mouth as soon as possible.
When they swallowed the bone:
If you know your dog has already swallowed the bone, watch their symptoms. If they are not choking or in distress, they will most likely be okay. However, it’s important to monitor your dog over the next few days.
To help the bone pass through their stool without any trouble, try giving them something soft – like white bread – to act as a stomach cushion. This will help protect the delicate digestive lining from being scratched.
Since their internal organs are so delicate, it is important to watch your dog closely over the next 12 to 72 hours. If they are showing signs of bloody stool, constipation, a swollen stomach, vomiting, or anxious and nervous behavior, take them to the veterinarian immediately. Furthermore, if the bone hasn’t passed through their stool within 72 hours, have them examined by the vet.
Prevention is the best way to ensure your dog doesn’t get a hold of a cooked chicken bone. Make sure you have a dog-proof trash can and keep any table scraps out of their reach.