A dog with a concerned expression looking at chicken bones, indicating it's toxic for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones?

No, dogs should not eat chicken bones. Chicken bones can splinter and cause severe harm to your dog's digestive system, leading to injuries like mouth lacerations, choking, punctures in the stomach or intestines, and potentially fatal blockage. Always avoid giving your dog chicken bones, whether cooked or raw, to prevent these dangerous health issues.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 10, 2024

Did You Know?

Chicken bones can splinter and create sharp edges that can injure your dog's internal organs.

Chicken Bones



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Chicken Bones Bad for Dogs?

Chicken bones are prone to splintering into sharp pieces that can cause serious injuries to a dog's mouth, throat, and gastrointestinal tract. These sharp fragments can lead to choking, perforated intestines, and bacterial infections. Furthermore, cooked chicken bones become brittle, increasing the risk of splintering even more.

How Many Chicken Bones Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, zero. There's no safe number of chicken bones that dogs can eat. Even a single bone could pose a significant health risk. The safest option is to keep chicken bones, or any bones that easily splinter, entirely out of your dog's reach.

Common Misconceptions

One common myth is that dogs have been eating bones for centuries and it's natural for them. While it's true that wild canines often consume bones, domestic dogs have different dietary needs. Moreover, the bones pets come into contact with are often cooked, making them more dangerous than raw bones might be in the wild.

Similar Toxic Products

There are other items similar to chicken bones that can be equally harmful to dogs. Here are some common household hazards to be aware of:

  • Turkey bones: Just like chicken bones, these can splinter and cause internal injuries.
  • Pork bones: These are also prone to splintering and causing blockages.
  • Fish bones: These can be small and sharp, posing similar risks as poultry bones.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Chicken Bones

If your dog eats chicken bones, stay calm but act quickly. Contact your vet immediately for advice. Do not try to induce vomiting or handle the situation on your own, as improper actions could exacerbate the problem. Most importantly, keep an eye on your dog and make note of any symptoms to report to your vet.

Signs and Symptoms of Chicken Bone Poisoning in Dogs

Look out for the following warning signs that might indicate your dog has ingested chicken bones:

  • Choking or coughing
  • Drooling or excessive salivation
  • ** Vomiting or nausea**
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Lethargy or weakness

How Long After Eating Chicken Bones Will a Dog Get Sick?

Symptoms can appear within hours of ingestion but sometimes may take up to 48 hours to manifest. Early detection and veterinary care are crucial.

When to Contact Your Vet for Advice?

Immediately. Time is of the essence when dealing with ingestion of chicken bones. If your dog shows any symptoms or if you know they've ingested a bone, contact your vet as soon as possible.

How to Treat Chicken Bone Poisoning in Dogs

Veterinarians typically begin with imaging studies like x-rays to locate any bone fragments. Treatment might involve endoscopy to remove the bone or, in severe cases, surgery. Dogs may need hospitalization for a few days to ensure recovery.

Furthermore, these treatments can be costly. Pet insurance can help offset the high costs associated with emergency care and surgical procedures, ensuring your pet gets the best possible care without breaking the bank.

What Are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of chicken bones, consider these healthier options for your dog:

  • Carrot sticks: Great for chewing and rich in vitamins.
  • Commercially-sold dog chews: Formulated to be safe and digestible.
  • Rawhide bones: A popular and generally safer option for dogs to chew on.


In summary, chicken bones are a big no-no for dogs. The risks far outweigh any potential benefits, making them a hazardous choice. Always consult your vet before introducing any new food items to your dog's diet, especially if they have specific health concerns or dietary needs. Keep those bones away and keep your furry friend safe and healthy!