Can Chicken Bones Kill A Dog?

As dog owners, we want to do everything possible to make our little guys as happy and healthy as possible. Who doesn’t love to spoil their pet with a bone now and again? Part of spoiling our pets, however, means being responsible and knowing when they cannot have everything you want to give them. We are going to cover the do’s and don’ts when it comes to feeding your dog chicken bones. 

You want to be sure about what you can and can’t give your dog and that can get confusing with something like chicken bones. When can you feed your dog chicken bones and when is it dangerous? 

can chicken bones kill a dog
Can Chicken Bones Kill a Dog?

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bones? 

Bones are an easy and cheap treat you can get for your dog. Any pet store you go to will be full of bones meant to give your dog to play with and eat. The short answer to a complicated question is yes, a dog can eat chicken bones if, and big if, the bones are not cooked. This may seem backward, after all, we are always worried about chicken being undercooked, not overcooked! 

The reason your dog cannot have chicken bones if they have been cooked is that cooked chicken bones can splinter, which can cause severe internal damage to dogs. Chicken bones from the table are entirely off-limits. When bones are cooked, they become more brittle and that is how they splinter. The splintered bone, if swallowed, can cause internal damage that can lead to death. So yes, if your dog swallowed chicken bones then they might have some serious issues. 

If you want to give your dog chicken bones, then it has to be before you cook the chicken. If you are removing the bone from your chicken before you cook it, then you can safely give it to your dog to eat on an easy-to-clean surface, like kitchen tile. It must be an easy-to-clean surface because raw chicken contains salmonella, a dangerous bacteria. To make it easier to clean up, you can rinse the bones off with cold water to get rid of any excess skin or juices. 

What Bones Can Your Dog Eat? 

Now that we have scared you enough to be cautious of what bones to give your dogs, you may be left wondering what bones you can give your dog. Raw chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef bones are soft enough for your dog to chew, eat and digest. Dogs have strong stomach that is capable of breaking down harmful bacteria in raw meat that humans are not able to do. Because of that, eating raw chicken does not cause the same concern for dogs as it does for humans. 

Bones are good for your dogs, so long as they aren’t cooked and won’t splinter in your dog’s mouth. Animal bones are full of minerals and other nutrients that are excellent for supplementing your dog’s diet and satisfying their dietary needs. Even the action of chewing on bones is good for them. Chewing stimulates saliva which in turn helps prevent any plaque buildup on teeth. 

Even when you are giving your dog a bone you know they can have, you should try to stop them from breaking the bones into small pieces. If they break them into small enough pieces that they can be swallowed, then there is a risk of obstruction, causing your dog to choke. Along the same line as that, if you have a bigger dog you should make sure to give them bigger bones. If you give them small bones, then you risk them swallowing it whole and choking. 

Related Reading: Is Fish Food Bad For Dogs?

What To Do If Your Dog Ate Chicken Bones

If you give your dog raw chicken bones, then you do not have to worry about the danger of splintering and causing internal damage. If you gave your dog scraps from the table that included chicken bones, or if they got into the trash can and helped themselves to a big heaping of hones, you have some cause for concern. Death is not a definite outcome if your dog ate a cooked chicken bone, but you need to keep an eye on them. 

The splintering from cooked chicken bones can cause some serious issues for your dog. If you know that they ate a cooked bone but took it away from them as soon as you noticed, they may or may not have already swallowed a splinter. When this happens, there are a few things to look out for that indicate there may be some internal issues. 

If your dog shows symptoms of internal damage you need to get them to a pet care facility as soon as possible. If your dog all of a sudden shows signs of a poor appetite, excessive vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, gagging, drooling, coughing, or is having trouble breathing then they may be showing signs of internal damage from splintering from cooked chicken bones. 

If you know that your dog ate a chicken bone and you took it away as soon as you noticed, you should always monitor their symptoms. If they are acting completely normal and not showing any signs of distress or any other issues, then they are likely fine and you do not have to worry. 

dog eating chicken bones
Dog eating chicken bones


In conclusion, it is very important to monitor what your dog is eating and to know what you can and cannot give to your dog. When you are making chicken for dinner and want to give your dog a bone, make sure you are taking the bones out of the chicken before you cook them. Rinse them off and give the raw bone to your dog! 

If your dog gets into the trash and helps themselves to cook chicken bones, then you need to carefully monitor their behavior to make sure they are not showing symptoms of internal damage from swallowing a splintered bone. 

Related Reading: Can Dogs Have Cooked Mushrooms and Be Healthy?

stuart and his dog

Family Dog Expert Author

Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.