Our furry friends have evolved in many ways since their wolf ancestors, who chewed bones in the wild as a means of survival. But even over the centuries, two behavioral traits stand the test of time—dogs love to chew and they love savory flavor. This may leave you wondering: can dogs eat chicken bones?
In short, no, dogs cannot eat chicken bones! However, there are many ways for your Cadet to enjoy chicken’s distinctive flavor and nutritional benefits in a safe way.
Are Chicken Bones Bad for Dogs?
Despite the common belief that dogs can chew any type of bone, both cooked and raw chicken bones are bad for dogs to chew on because of their small size and potential to carry bacteria.
A cooked bone can splinter and shatter into tiny pieces, and if swallowed, may puncture the esophagus, intestines, pharynx, or more. Although it may be tempting to give your dog the remaining meat off a chicken leg or wing, these bones are simply too small and brittle to be fed safely.
While raw bones have more moisture and are less likely to splinter, they are still not safe for dogs to gnaw on. Raw animal products often carry bacteria, and if your dog eats a raw chicken bone, they may be at risk of acquiring a salmonella infection, which could lead to symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting. Keep in mind that raw bones quickly dry out and can also potentially become brittle enough to pierce an organ if swallowed.
If you suspect your dog ate a chicken bone, contact your veterinarian right away so they can evaluate your pup and help them receive the proper treatment.
RELATED: Why Do Dogs Like Bones and Other Natural Chews?
Chicken Bone Alternatives for Dogs
If your dog craves that savory chicken flavor, there are many alternatives to real chicken bones that provide an even more delicious (and occupying) snack. Check out these nutritious chicken-based chews and treats for your Cadet.
Chicken Broth — Chicken broth can be a great addition to your dog’s food, water, or by itself! You can even add some to a stuffable chew toy, freeze it, and indulge your dog with a long-lasting challenge. In addition to its delicious flavor, chicken broth is also a source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. However, not every chicken or bone broth you find in the grocery store is safe for dogs because many contain preservatives, artificial colors, and additional ingredients. Not to mention, garlic and onions can be toxic for dogs. It is best to buy—or even make—plain, unseasoned broth that uses only chicken and water.
Chicken-Flavored Stuffed Shin Bones — If you still want to throw your dog a bone, our chicken-flavored shin bone is a safe option! We take a real beef bone that follows our pet food safety certifications and stuff it with savory chicken-flavored filling, providing tasty and long-lasting chewing fun even for stronger chewers.
Chicken-Flavored Beef Hide — Beef hide chews are another long-lasting and delicious alternative to real chicken bones. We offer a variety of shapes such as beef hide chips and retriever rolls that are basted with chicken flavor for an extra-enticing chewing experience your dog will love!
Chicken Treats — There are many treat options available crafted from real chicken—such as chicken jerky or Savory Chicken Rolls—sure to satisfy your dog’s hankering for chicken. Alternatively, if you are looking to provide a flavorful combination featuring chicken and other tasty, dog-approved foods, chicken & biscuit wraps or beef hide & chicken twists are also great options to reward your furry friend.
Despite dogs loving the flavor of chicken, you should think twice before giving in to those puppy-dog eyes begging for a chicken bone. Instead, there are many safe and tasty options for your dog that will satisfy their cravings and even indulge their chewing instincts, too. And your Cadet will be more than happy to gnaw on a chicken-based chew or treat!
Dogs didn’t always have such an array of chews, treats, and foods specifically crafted for them. Read about dog evolution to understand more about our furry friends’ habits and behaviors!