Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones? The Risks

Do you ever wonder if raw chicken bones are safe for your furry friend to chew on? Find out the risks and dangers of feeding chicken bones to dogs in our comprehensive article.
Can Dogs Eat raw chicken bones?

Can Dogs Eat raw chicken bones?

No, dogs should not eat raw chicken bones. Raw chicken bones can splinter and break when chewed, which can cause serious internal injuries to a dog's mouth, throat, and digestive tract. These bones can also become lodged in a dog's throat, leading to choking and difficulty breathing. Additionally, raw bones can carry bacteria and cause food poisoning. It is important for dog owners to understand the potential dangers associated with feeding their pets raw chicken bones.

The Composition of Raw Chicken Bones

Bone Structure and How it Changes with Cooking

Raw chicken bones are more elastic and pliable than cooked bones. However, when chewed, they can still splinter and break into sharp pieces. Cooking chicken bones causes them to become more brittle and likely to splinter, making them even more dangerous for dogs to consume.

Potential Bacteria Found on Raw Chicken Bones


Raw chicken bones, like raw chicken meat, can harbor bacteria such as Salmonella. Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning that dogs, as well as humans, can experience if they consume contaminated raw chicken.


Another bacterium often found on raw chicken is Campylobacter, which can also lead to food poisoning in dogs.

Hazards of Raw Chicken Bones for Dogs

Choking Risk

One of the main hazards associated with feeding raw chicken bones to dogs is the risk of choking. A bone fragment can become lodged in a dog's throat, leading to coughing, gagging, and difficulty breathing.

Splintering and Internal Injuries

Mouth and Throat Injuries

Chewing raw chicken bones can result in splintered bone fragments, which can cause cuts, lacerations, and puncture wounds in a dog's mouth and throat.

Intestinal Blockages and Tears

The sharp bone fragments, when swallowed, can potentially cause tears in the intestines, leading to internal bleeding and blockages that often require surgery to correct.

Bacterial Infections

Symptoms of Food Poisoning in Dogs

Dogs experiencing food poisoning from consuming raw chicken bones may exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and fever.

Treatment and Prevention

Treatment for bacterial infections from consuming raw chicken bones may include antibiotics, fluid therapy, and supportive care. Prevention involves avoiding feeding your dog raw chicken bones or any other potentially hazardous treats.

Alternatives to Raw Chicken Bones

Safe Chews and Treats for Dogs


Rawhide chews are a popular option as they can clean a dog's teeth and provide chewing satisfaction.

Dental Chews

Dental chews are another safe alternative designed to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup.

Bully Sticks

These chewy treats are made from dried beef muscle and provide a safe and enjoyable chewing experience for dogs.

Nutritional Supplements

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

These supplements can help promote joint health in dogs and may be a beneficial addition to their diet.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 supplements can help support a dog's overall wellbeing, including skin and coat health.


These supplements can help support a dog's digestive and immune systems.

Proper Handling and Storage of Raw Chicken

Washing and Sanitizing Surfaces

It is important to wash and sanitize surfaces that come into contact with raw chicken to prevent cross-contamination.

Storing Raw Chicken Safely

Raw chicken should be stored at a temperature below 40°F (4°C) to minimize bacterial growth.

Disposing of Bones Properly

Dispose of chicken bones in a sealed trash bag to prevent your dog from accessing them.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately:

  • Choking or gagging
  • Coughing up blood
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Signs of pain

What to Expect at the Vet

The veterinarian may perform x-rays, blood work, or other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your dog's symptoms and provide appropriate treatment.

Preventative Measures and Education

Education on the dangers of feeding raw chicken bones to dogs, along with regular veterinary check-ups, can help prevent potential hazards and promote the overall health and wellbeing of your pet.


Feeding your dog raw chicken bones poses significant risks to their health and safety. It is important for dog owners to be well-informed and seek safe alternatives for their pets. Talk to your veterinarian before introducing any new foods or supplements into your dog's diet and prioritize their health and safety at all times.

Medically Reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM

Ivana is a DVM with a specialty in domestic carnivores – dogs & cats. She is passionate about educating pet owners and raising awareness about pet health.

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