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iamthemob's avatar

Dog owners: Is it healthy for dogs to eat chicken bones?

Asked by iamthemob (17176points) November 4th, 2011
27 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

I have a darling (to me) little chihuahua. I’ve been on a soup kick recently, and occasionally I’ve been giving him the boiled bones as a treat. Considering his size, I’m wondering if people have any information or thoughts on whether this is a bad idea altogether, and if not whether there is a strict limit on the bones in his diet.

Note: my dog is insane about treats – and eats the bones, as they are often soft, completely and in a very short time.

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john65pennington's avatar

No chicken bones for dogs!

It does not take but one time for a bone to be lodged in their throat or intestine and die.

I have never given chicken bones to any of my dogs.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Never a good idea, @iamthemob , even though they seem soft, they can still splinter and perforate those tender little doggie guts. It only takes one, especially in such a little dog, not much margin for error.
Pat that puppy for me and tell him Zuppy says “woof”

iamthemob's avatar

That’s what I was afraid of.

I was fooled by the bone-shaped goodies that they sell in stores.

Thanks for the responses! Mostly from the puppy (his pic is on my profile, I believe). I promise: no more.

RocketGuy's avatar

Chicken meat is fine. I even give my dog chicken knee cartilage sometimes.

Buttonstc's avatar

Interestingly enough, although cooked bones are deadly for dogs and cats, there are people who’ve switched to something termed a “Natural Prey Diet” and uncooked bones are something which animals in the wild deal with routinely.

It’s the cooking which causes the splintering which can be so potentially dangerous.

Buttonstc's avatar


Cartilage does not splinter the way bones do. Chicken bones are still a no-no but the cartilage is ok.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Raw bones are usually safe, beef and pork are preferrable to bird bones.

whitetigress's avatar

You can cut off the ends of the bones and give it to them its fine. Since your Chihuahua most likely has a small mouth, it actually will spend its time enjoying and chewing the cartilage portions of the ends of chicken bones.I have to admit though, domesticated dogs in America are a way different breed than those I have seen in the Philippines. So many stray dogs in the Philippines.

The problem I see with a lot of American bred dogs is thats they see the chicken bone. They put the chicken bone in their mouth, and they just have two chews and swallow! You would think they would want to chew it apart. I gave my Chihuahua a turkey bone to chew on from the fair this summer. It mostly got around to the ends only and left the solid middle part alone.

ccrow's avatar

I feed a raw diet to my dogs; I do grind everything up, bones and all, though, to keep my Lab from hoovering herself to death. I used to just give them the carcasses, though, before she came along. My understanding is that the cooked bones are what is bad. I also grew up with the mantra “never feed chicken bones to a dog”. Because of that, I confess I am nervous about giving them the leg bones…. although realistically, meat birds are so young when ‘processed’ (to be euphemistic) that their bones are really quite soft. If you want to give a natural treat, a beef soup bone would be safe as long as it’s big enough that it can’t be swallowed. Or even a raw carrot, if your pup is so inclined.

syz's avatar

Only if you have about two thousand dollars to spend on abdominal surgery in case it perforates the gut. (Sure, plenty of folks feed them to their dogs for years with no problems. But is it worth the risk? We surgically remove all kinds o things from dog guts.)

syz (35804points)“Great Answer” (3points)
ccrow's avatar

@syz the aforementioned Lab, when she was younger, had two surgeries to remove rocks… the second was soon enough after the first that the internal sutures hadn’t dissolved yet. We considered putting in a zipper:-/

muffin16's avatar

Any other kind of bone is fine, just not chicken bones. Not even the end of it like the other guy said. Its will end them in a horrible painful death.

downtide's avatar

Cooked chicken bones are dangerous, they splinter and can rupture the dog’s stomach or intestines. Raw bones are safe but they must not be cooked. Cooked beef or lamb bones are ok, they don’t splinter like bird bones do. Pork is a dodgy one – many dogs find pork difficult or impossible to digest.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

My dog… absolutely yes. He has the equipment.

Pitch – 4,267

Chicken – 0

I’m certainly not going to prevent him from eating something that he would naturally chase down and eat in the wild.

Buttonstc's avatar


In the wild isn’t causing the problem. Unless you know how animals in the wild can manage to cook those chickens :)

It’s the potential splintering from the COOKED bones which causes the medical crisis.

Randy's avatar

I gave my 22lb boston terrier cooked chicken bones from the time he was 6 months and about 12lbs. Now, saying that, there is a good chance for the bones not to get chewed properly and to get lodged in the throat/intestines of dogs. If your dog is as important as your child, I wouldn’t suggest it, but to me, a dog is a dog. It’s a great companion, but not part of the family. If it’s not smart enough to ”“properly” enjoy it’s treats, than… well… it shouldn’t eat them.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@Buttonstc Yes I’ve heard that. I don’t buy it. It’s a folk tale like not letting your dog have chocolate.

This dog Pitch has eaten many things more concerning than tiny little chicken bones. My son once asked me if I’d seen his Pokemon cartridge for his gameboy. Couldn’t find it anywhere. Imagine my surprise finding it in Pitch’s poop out in the yard. He swallowed it whole and it passed through him unharmed. I washed it off, let it dry out, and returned it to my son in full working order.

syz's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Feel free to explain that to the owners of the critically ill patients in our hospital.

syz (35804points)“Great Answer” (1points)
RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I hear more reports of dogs getting sick or dying from tainted pet food straight from the producer than I do of them choking on chicken bones. I think I remember two or three recalls in the past couple of years.

poopnest's avatar

I am passionate about pet safety. Here is a sight I referred to for the same question I asked myself a while back. Please, enjoy this knowledge and let it benefit you.
Dogs and cats can both safely eat uncooked chicken bones. It is okay to feed a dog or a cat a raw chicken wing or breast with bones in it, though consumption of raw poultry is unsafe for humans due to the potential for bacterial content. Raw chicken bones are soft and flexible, and they are digested easily by cats and dogs. Many dogs and cats enjoy eating raw bones such as chicken bones.

Cooked chicken bones are very unsafe for dogs and cats to eat. When heated, chicken bones become brittle and break up into sharp shards when chewed. These sharp pieces of bone can become lodged anywhere in the digestive tract, such as the throat or the intestine. While cooked chicken without the bones is perfectly safe for dogs and cats, the bones are not. Dogs and cats can eat most meats and bones raw.

Most dogs and cats who eat cooked chicken bones will be okay, but there is a risk of severe injury. When dogs or cats chew on cooked chicken bones, the bones might shatter into small, sharp pieces in the mouth. These pieces can pierce the mouth or pierce any part of the digestive tract, or they can form a blockage in the digestive tract. These problems often require surgery as a remedy.

Raw bones are good for dogs and cats to eat. Raw chicken bones are healthy for dogs and cats to eat because they promote tooth and gum health, as well as jaw health because of the chewing required to eat them. Raw bones also help to clean pets’ teeth as they are chewed, and they take a longer time to eat than commercial dog and cat foods, which allows the digestive system to prepare for the meal.

Read more: Can Cats & Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? |
Read more: Can Cats & Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? |
Read more: Can Cats & Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? |

Read more: Can Cats & Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? |

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Is feeding chicken bones to dogs considered a form of animal abuse by anyone here?

poopnest's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Absolutely with out a doubt COOKED chicken bones pose a serious threat of serious injury. It is just stupid. RAW bones are SAFE. Please read my above response. My veterinarian would be appalled if I he ever thought I was feeding my pet cooked chicken bones. There is a raw pet food store in the town I live in that has educated me on this topic. Make no mistake about it. Cooked chicken bones are a huge health risk to the pet you are supposed to love. Some people shouldn’t be pet owners at all because putting your pet at risk like that in unacceptable, in my view. I know I sound cruel, but I don’t put my pets at risk through lack of knowing how to care for them. Information comes first when you are responsible for the well being of your pet or other loved ones.

poopnest's avatar

Also, who would openly admit that they had injured their pet, even by accident? Who would really own up to that and say, “Yah, I hurt my dog because I didn’t know any better”?

poopnest's avatar

Good. Somebody who knows what they are talking about. Also, dogs are decedents of wolves but they are not bread to survive in the wild. They are bread to be devoted guard dogs, companions and have a close loyalty to their owners. Treat them right or don’t even bother to be a pet owner, I say.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Since the very first cooked chicken, some 30,000 years ago or more, dogs have been getting scraps off the tables of the humans that cook them. I fear more the packaged dog food at the store. I’ve heard of more dogs dying and getting sick from that than from anything else.

rooeytoo's avatar

I feed raw and modified barf diet to my dogs. It includes all sorts of raw bones. Google raw or barf and you can get the info.

It must be a pretty good diet, I just lost a 13 year old akita. That is a ripe old age for the breed and I have a 14 year old little terrier x who is still going strong.

Cindy92556's avatar

Never ever give dogs any kind of cooked bones, no matter what animal it comes from. It would be a good idea to have your vet do an xray to make sure that there are no splinters that might be a problem in the future…better safe than sorry

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