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My dog ate a whole chicken leg (What happens? What to do?)

Dogs will be dogs, and that means they will eat just about anything. Chicken legs are a popular choice for canine dining, but what happens when your dog eats an entire chicken leg? In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of eating a whole chicken leg and what you should do if it happens.

What Happens if a Dog Eats a Whole Chicken Leg?

If your dog ate an entire chicken bone, a few different things can happen, depending on certain factors. Here are some of the most common scenarios:

Your Dog May Choke

If your dog ate the chicken leg very quickly and did not chew it properly, it may choke on the bone. This is a very serious situation and you will notice the problem immediately. Your dog will start hacking and coughing and will be unable to breathe properly.

Its gums may turn purple or blue from lack of oxygen which is a clear sign that the air passage is blocked and needs to be quickly cleared.

Your Dog May Suffer From Digestive Issues

If your dog takes its time eating the chicken leg and chews it thoroughly, there is less of a chance of choking. However, dogs do not have the ability to digest chicken bones properly.

This can cause your dog to suffer from constipation. The bones won’t be able to fully break down, which will cause gas, swelling, and pressure in the stomach and intestines. You may hear gurgling noises in your dog’s stomach or notice that they are trying to vomit but nothing is coming up.

This is a clear sign that the chicken leg is stuck inside your pup’s digestive system and needs to be removed.

Your Dog May Suffer From Diarrhea

If your dog’s digestive system is not able to handle the chicken leg, it may suffer from diarrhea. This is caused by the bacteria in the chicken getting into your dog’s system and causing an infection. Your dog will have watery, foul-smelling stools and may vomit as well.

Your Dog May Become Dehydrated

Especially if your dog has diarrhea, it is important to keep an eye on their hydration levels. Diarrhea can cause a lot of fluid loss, which can lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a serious condition and can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

Your Dog May Experience Vomitting

Vomiting is a common symptom of indigestion in dogs. This is the body’s way of trying to get rid of the chicken leg before it causes any further damage. If your dog is vomiting frequently, it is important to keep an eye on their hydration levels as well.

Your Dog May Suffer From an Allergic Reaction

In some rare cases, a dog may have an allergic reaction to chicken. This can cause hives, swelling of the face and neck, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. The large amount of chicken may cause a larger reaction than a few table scraps or chicken in your dog’s kibble.

Your Dog May Experience Food Poisoning

If the chicken leg was raw, your dog may suffer from food poisoning. This is caused by the bacteria on the chicken, which can make your dog very sick. The symptoms of food poisoning are similar to those of an allergic reaction, but may also include diarrhea or constant bowels.


If the chicken leg was cooked in seasonings such as garlic, onion, or chives, your dog may suffer from toxicity. These ingredients can be harmful to dogs and can cause an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Your Dog May Suffer From Internal Injuries

The sharp edges of chicken bones can cause serious internal injuries to your dog if not chewed properly. These injuries can include cuts or punctures in the throat, stomach, or intestines. Your dog may yelp in pain, vomit blood, or have bloody diarrhea.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to take your dog to the vet immediately. Eating a chicken bone can be a very serious situation for a dog and can even be life-threatening.

Nothing Will Happen

Even though there are some serious consequences of a dog eating an entire chicken leg, it’s also possible that nothing will happen. If your dog chews the chicken leg slowly and thoroughly, there is less of a chance that it will suffer from any digestive issues.

As long as you keep an eye on your dog for any signs of discomfort and take it to the vet if necessary, it may be just fine.

What to Do if My Dog Eats a Whole Chicken Leg?

It’s important to know what you can do to help your dog so that you can be prepared in case they do eat an entire chicken leg.

The first thing you should do is assess the situation and see if your dog is showing any signs of discomfort. If your dog seems to be in pain, is vomiting, or has diarrhea, it is important to take it to the vet immediately.

If your dog is not showing any signs of discomfort, you should monitor it closely for the next few hours. Keep an eye on their hydration levels and make sure they are drinking plenty of water.

You should also watch for any vomiting or diarrhea. Make sure that there isn’t any blood in the stool and that your dog is eating and going to the bathroom somewhat regularly. 

If your dog is still acting normal after a few hours, then it is probably safe to assume that it will be fine. However, it is always better to be safe than sorry and you can always take your dog to the vet for a check-up just to be sure.

What if My Dog Is Choking?

If your dog is choking, give it a few sharp taps on the back between the shoulder blades with the heel of your hand. If this does not dislodge the bone, you will need to perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog. This is done by placing your hands around its abdomen and thrusting upwards and inwards repeatedly.

If possible, have another person in the home contact an emergency veterinarian or the 24-hour ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center while you are performing the Heimlich maneuver on your dog.

If you are alone, perform the Heimlich maneuver for three to five thrusts and then call for help. Afterward, continue to perform abdominal thrusts until help arrives for your dog.

If your dog is not choking but is showing moderate to extreme pain, take it to the emergency veterinarian immediately.