As we know, dogs love the same savory meats as we do. So if they have an opportunity to eat a whole chicken, they will. Perhaps your pup was left unsupervised or snuck into the kitchen when you weren’t looking. Regardless of how it happened, now you’re wondering if everything is going to be alright.
Read on to learn more about what you should do if your dog ate a whole chicken.
What Happens if My Dog Eats a Whole Chicken?
If you know what to expect, you can better monitor your pup and ensure they’re comfortable. Here are some outcomes you can expect if you’ve just found out that your dog ate a whole chicken:
There May Be an Obstruction
Generally, the biggest concern when a dog eats something it shouldn’t is if it will cause an obstruction. If your dog ate a whole chicken with bones, there’s a risk of choking or puncturing its digestive tract. Other parts of the chicken, like the skin, can also cause an obstruction.
This all depends on how much your dog took the time to chew. If they just swallowed it whole, there’s a much higher chance of obstruction.
On the other hand, if your dog chewed up the chicken before swallowing, it’s less likely to cause problems. That’s because chewing breaks down food and makes it easier to digest.
Your Dog May Experience Food Poisoning
If the chicken was raw or sitting out unrefrigerated for a long time, your dog is also at risk for food poisoning. Raw chicken may be contaminated with bacteria like salmonella or campylobacter. These can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and fever in dogs.
Your Dog May Vomit
Naturally, if your dog ate something it shouldn’t have, you may see them vomit it back up. This is their body’s way of trying to get rid of the foreign object. If your dog does vomit, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re sick.
Keep an eye on what the vomit looks like and for any other symptoms your dog may be experiencing. If the vomit is green or contains blood, this is a sign that your dog may have an obstruction and you should take them to the vet right away.
If your dog doesn’t seem to be in any pain and is acting normal otherwise, you can try giving them a small amount of food and see if they keep it down.
Your Dog Will Be Very Thirsty
If your dog ate a whole chicken, they’re going to need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. They may also need to go to the bathroom more frequently. This is all normal and nothing to worry about. Meat contains a high amount of sodium, especially if the whole chicken was cooked with salt and other seasonings. So make sure your pup has plenty of fresh water to drink.
Your Dog May Fast For a While
Since they just ate a big meal, your dog may not be hungry for the next few hours or even days. This is normal and you shouldn’t worry about it. Just make sure they have plenty of water to drink and that they’re acting normally otherwise.
What to Do if My Dog Ate a Whole Chicken?
Here are some things you can do to keep your dog comfortable and safe after they’ve eaten a whole chicken:
Give Them Plenty of Water
As we mentioned, your dog is going to need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. So make sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water available at all times. You may even want to put an extra bowl or two down around the house.
Make sure to give them additional bathroom breaks as well, since they’ll be going #1 and maybe even #2 more frequently.
Monitor Them Closely
Keep an eye on your dog for any signs of illness or discomfort. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If you notice any of these things, or if your dog seems to be in pain, give your vet a call as soon as possible.
Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Stools
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your dog’s stools. If they’re bloody or contain green bile, this could be a sign of obstruction. You may also notice undigested chicken bones in their stool. Diarrhea can also be a sign of food poisoning.
If you see any of these things, call your vet right away.
Give Them Small Meals
If your dog is still hungry after eating a whole chicken, start off by giving them small meals. This will help them digest the food better and avoid any stomach upset. Give them a little bit of food at a time and see how they do. If they vomit it back up or have diarrhea, stop feeding them and call your vet.
Don’t Give Them Table Scraps
It’s tempting to give your dog table scraps. But resist the urge! This will only make any problems they have from eating the whole chicken even worse. Stick to their regular food and save the scraps for another time. You may want to hold back on treats as well until you’ve consulted with your vet.
Don’t Reprimand Them
Lastly, don’t reprimand your dog for eating a whole chicken. They’re not doing it on purpose and they probably don’t even know they did anything wrong. Just be thankful that they’re okay and take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again in the future.
Additional stress on your dog can actually make any problems they have worse, so just try to stay calm and let them know that everything is going to be alright.
Is Chicken Good For Dogs?
Now that we’ve gone over what to do if your dog ate a whole chicken, you may be wondering if the chicken is even good for dogs in the first place. The answer is yes! Chicken is a great source of protein for dogs and can actually be a part of a healthy diet.
Of course, there are certain things to keep in mind when feeding your dog chicken. For example, you should avoid feeding them raw chicken. This can contain harmful bacteria that can make your dog sick. You should also avoid feeding them chicken with the bones still in it. Chicken bones can splinter and cause an obstruction or other problems.
Finally, make sure to serve unseasoned chicken. Dogs don’t need salt or other seasonings in their food. In fact, too much sodium can be dangerous for them and onions and garlic are also toxic for dogs. So stick to plain, unseasoned chicken when feeding it to your pup.