Do Chicken Bones for Dogs Scare You?

Do Chicken Bones For Dogs Scare You?

How do you feel about chicken bones for dogs?

Have you considered feeding them to your pups but were concerned that your dog might choke on them?

Did you love the price tag on a bag of discounted chicken leg quarters but passed them up because…they might cause internal bleeding?

K9sOverCoffee.com | 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters for $5.90

Were you afraid that the nails on chicken feet might puncture your dog’s digestive system?

Raw chicken feet are sometimes labeled chicken paws (seen at Walmart)
Chicken feet at Walmart

I can’t blame you.

While chicken bones are fabulously cheap, there’s a stigma attached to them. And it’s not completely unfounded.

As a matter of fact, there’s a lot that can go southside when you’re feeding chicken bones the wrong way!

That’s why in this blog post, I’m going to talk about the ONE CIRCUMSTANCE when it’s OK to feed your dog chicken bones.

Do Chicken Bones For Dogs Scare You?

K9sOverCoffee.com | Do Chicken Bones for Dogs Scare You?

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.

Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Chicken Bones?

That ONE CIRCUMSTANCE is feeding the chicken bones raw.

That’s when it’s safe for dogs to eat chicken bones because they’re pliable and soft.

It’s the cooked chicken bones that are harmful.


Because cooking changes the density of the bone structure and turns it hard and brittle.

I can tell you that I’ve fed my fair share of raw chicken bones over the years!

If you’re new to the blog: Hi, I’m Barbara and I’ve been feeding my dogs raw dog food since 2015!

But again, it’s really important to note the word raw.

Raw Chicken Bones For Dogs That Are Safe To Feed

You can feed the following chicken bones to your dogs as long as they’re raw and not cooked:

  • Leg quarters
  • Drumsticks
  • Thighs
  • Necks
  • Wings
  • Feet
  • Heads
an example of edible chicken bones for dogs are raw chicken necks
Raw dog food with a raw chicken neck
a raw chicken foot is one of several edible raw chicken bones for dogs
Feist mix Wally about to eat a raw chicken foot

You can also feed chicken heads (including the beak), although you won’t find those at a local grocery store.

You can find them at Raw Feeding Miami (RFM):

Tip: Use my referral discount link to get 10% off your first order at Raw Feeding Miami!

Is Grinding Chicken Leg Quarters A Good Way To Prepare Them Or Should You Offer Them Whole?

Your dog is going to get most benefits out of eating a chicken leg quarter whole as opposed to grinding it and mixing it into their food.

The same applies to other raw meaty chicken bones as well.

That’s because whole, they help clean your dog’s teeth, exercise their jaws and also offer mental stimulation.

They’re like a doggie boredom buster courtesy of Mother Nature!

If you’re unsure of what to expect when your dog eats whole raw meaty bones, check out my raw meaty bone YouTube playlist.

It features lots of different videos where I feed my dogs whole raw meaty bones.

If you’d still rather grind them for starters, that’s fine too, but you’ll have to invest in a powerful meat grinder.

dog can eat raw chicken leg quarters no problem
Boxer mix Missy eats a raw chicken leg quarter whole

Can My Dog Eat Leftover Chicken Bones?

If we’re talking about cooked leftover chicken bones, the answer is NO. Those are bad for dogs.

Again, cooking makes the chicken bones brittle and sharp and can cause bone splinters to hurt your dog’s insides.

The only cooked chicken bone “meal” that’s OK to feed your dog is chicken bone broth after you’ve discarded the bones.

What To Do If A Dog’s Eaten A Chicken Bone (Cooked)

Here’s what to do if your dog ate a chicken bone that was cooked.

First of all, don’t panic. Remain calm and assess the situation. Panicking can make it difficult to think clearly and act appropriately.

Now, you don’t want to induce vomiting. That’s because splinters or sharp edges of the bone can cause additional damage as the dog brings the bone back up.

Dog with cooked chicken

The best course of action is to monitor your pup and keep a close eye on them for any signs of distress, discomfort, or unusual behavior.

If they show symptoms like excessive drooling, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty pooping, it’s time for a vet visit.

Now, if you want to be proactive, you can give them slippery elm syrup that coats their digestive tract and helps them poop easier.

Click here to read my blog post about slippery elm for dogs.

Alternatives To Chicken Bones for Dogs

Some dogs don’t do well with chicken, regardless of the cut you’re feeding.

Those are usually dogs who don’t tolerate grains well. The reason is that grains are rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the body.

And since most chickens are fed an abundance of grains, it’s going to trigger those dogs and make them itchy and scratchy.

So for those pups, you’re going to need to feed raw meaty bones from other animals, for instance:

  • Duck heads, feet, wings and necks
  • Turkey wings and necks
  • Rabbit heads

Tip: Save 15% on your Raw Paws Pet Food orders with my affiliate discount code K9SAVINGS.

How To Feed Your Dog 🐕 🦃 RAW TURKEY NECKS From Raw Paws Pet Food

Tip: Use my referral discount link to get 10% off your first order at Raw Feeding Miami!

K9sOverCoffee | Wally eating a raw duck head
Duck heads from RFM are one of Wally’s favorites!

K9sOverCoffee | Putting My Dogs' Raw Meals Together - Part 2- Organs, Rabbit Heads
Rabbit heads from RFM as part of Missy’s and Buzz’s raw meals

Raw Meaty Bones In Raw Dog Food

OK, now that you know how to feed chicken (and duck, turkey and rabbit) bones the right way – RAW – let’s talk about how they fit into raw dog food.

In raw feeding, raw meaty bones like chicken bones make up 10% of the diet.

It’s important to rotate the raw meaty bones you feed your pups on a regular basis to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

I already mentioned several different choices such as heads, wings, leg quarters and feet.

Ideally, you’ll also want to switch it up between different animals, although that can be tricky with dogs who don’t do well with certain protein sources.

That’s actually the case with my pup Wally. He doesn’t do well with chicken, but he can have duck, rabbit, turkey and beef.

One word of caution regarding weight bearing bones from large animals like cows: don’t feed those!

They’re naturally a lot more dense than bones from smaller and much lighter animals like poultry and rabbits.

It makes sense when you think about it since they don’t have to hold up 1000s of lbs of animal!

What Else Is In Raw Dog Food?

Besides raw meaty bones, you’ll also have to feed muscle meat and secreting organs.

Unless you’re feeding whole prey including the stomach content, you should feed a little plant matter as well.

For example, puréed veggies and fruit, as well as some nuts & seeds.

This is the predominant raw feeding formula to follow in raw feeding: 70/10/10/10.

Here’s what it means:

  • 70% muscle meat (including 10% fish)
  • 10% raw meaty bones
  • 10% secreting organs (5% liver, 5% other secreting organs)
  • 10% veggies & fruit (8%), nuts & seeds (2%)

70/10/10/10 applies to adult dogs.

Puppies need slightly different amounts while they’re still growing. So do pregnant and nursing dogs.

Do Chicken Bones For Dogs Scare You? – Bottom Line

I hope that the idea of feeding chicken bones to your pups no longer scares you!

As long as you’re feeding the bones raw, they’re soft and pliable and can easily be digested by your dog’s acidic stomach environment.

Remember, it’s the cooking process that makes them brittle and sharp and causes bone splinters.

However, you should still always supervise your dog while they’re eating their chicken or other bones to ensure they don’t gulp them down.

One more thing: The size of the bone you’re offering your dog should always be a little larger than your dog’s mouth. That ensures that they’ll chew on them.

For example, it’s fine to offer your Jack Russel Terrier a chicken wing or a chicken neck.

But it would be better to give your Labrador a chicken leg quarter or a turkey neck instead given their size.

For more information on raw meaty bones, please check out the blog posts mentioned below!

Happy raw feeding 🙂

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.







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