10 October 2009

Dogs and chicken bones

It's such a big debate over the issue of feeding chicken bones to dogs.
Let me state my stand - I don't believe it's a problem, and I have fed cooked chicken bones (and other cooked bones) to my dogs for years, and none of them have ever had any problems, none of them died, none of them choked on the bones.

My inlaws are scared to death of feeding chicken bones to their dogs and always give me the "it's dangerous" spin when they learn that I do. Perhaps tiny toy dogs and those oh so cute but impractical poodles/ chihuahuas (no offence to poodle/ chihuahua owners, whatsoever) should not be given bones, but large breed dogs surely can handle them. And lest we forget, wild dogs have been eating fowl and all manner of prey (including their bones) for hundreds of years.

When I was a child in a rural town in Perak, it was not only unfashionable to feed dogs manufactured dog kibbles, it was practically impossible to get them! So, what did we do? We cooked our doggie meals. We boiled rice together with bones, cheaper cuts of meats and liver. All my dogs were fine - all 9 of them.

Actually, I wonder if those people against feeding bones to dogs have ever watched a dog eating bones. A dog would grab the bone in its jaws, give it several mighty crunches and swallow. Immense enjoyment. You should see it.

I did some net searches, and of course there are people arguing on both sides of the spectrum. Examples:

from http://www.sheffieldforum.co.uk/archive/index.php/t-134865.html - I gave some to my dogs, under supervision, the other night, testing this theory that bones are bad, and they both crunched them twice and they were gone. Lips-a-licking they'd have happily demolished a few more! (I'd say, well done for at least testing out the theory and see, your dogs didn't die!)

from http://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/2006/05/dog_ate_chicken_bones.php -Fortunately, the bones that Jersey ingested on this day passed just fine -- but it took a couple of days. I was completely on edge for that part of the vacation. Thankfully, he didn't seem to suffer at all from this little (I'd say that's one panicky owner)

from http://dogs.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Dog_And_Chicken_Bones - Common wisdom has long told us that a dog and chicken bones go together about as well as elephants and bicycles. We've been taught that feeding our dogs chicken bones is dangerous for them, likely to cause intestinal injury.
Where does a lot of this information come from? Mainly from manufacturers of commercial dog foods who would rather you purchase their products so they can make a tidy profit. Pet owners who naturally want to protect their canine companions tend to believe this information and pass it along to other dog owners, thus perpetuating the notion that chicken bones are harmful to dogs under any circumstance. However, a dog and chicken bones can be compatible under the right conditions (I'd say this is the most balanced, calm and sensible opinion I've read)

Nowadays, I feed my dogs manufactured dog kibbles 5 days out of a week for the convenience, and the other 2 days I cook them some "real" food. Imagine the poor doggies eating the same boring, dry biscuits that have no texture or variation in taste or feel whatsoever day in day out for their whole lives. Not my dogs.


  1. My dog (a medium-sized mongrel) once stole a whole uncooked chicken wing from the kitchen top, and swallow it with just two crunch.. literally the wing still in a whole piece!
    I do wonder how the bones got digested, as I checked the stools and found no bones in it!

    Just amazing!

  2. Hi Peng. Like you, I have never found any bones in my dogs' poop. But from comments on the net, some people claim they have found fragments of bone in the poop or that their dog's poop become very very white like cement if they ate a bone. Hmmmm....

  3. my dad has 6 dogs and he has been feeding them with duck bones and cooked rice all these years. Those are rottweiler and pitbulls. Even his spitz (not sure of the spelling) ate them too. They love it...hehehehee. The dogs have very strong teeth and would be able to break the bones easily. Their poop are like..well..poop and not cement like :D


  4. Hi Barb! Well your dad and I have something in common then - we're not whiny, fussy, scardy dog owners!
    My inlaw's new lab pup (4months) is sick now - vomitting and very weak. Any advice your dad can give? It only eats dog biscuits so far and came to my inlaws about 2 weeks ago.

  5. oh dear..sorry to hear about your inlaws puppy. better send the pup to the vet. vomitting is bad.


  6. Hi Barb. Yes, sent pup to the vet. It got a drip, an antibiotic injection and another jab to stop the vomitting. The vet said it could die, being so young, but thankfully it is better now.