I often heard that chicken bones are dangerous for dogs as they may break, splinter and damage the internal organs.
Is there any truth to this claim?
Cooked bones can be dangerous for dogs or cats. The cooking dries them out and makes them more likely to splinter.
I've been advised by vets to give dogs and cats raw bones, never cooked. The size of the dog would make a difference, too - a large dog is much more likely to gulp down a chicken bone whole and have it lodge somewhere it shouldn't, where a small dog wouldn't have that issue.
I think you really have to assess each animal. For example :
My 120 pound Staffordshire Terrier. His jaw span grew to be almost a foot wide. I never restricted his food consumption - if he was hungry , I fed him. He loved chicken bones ! Ate them cooked since the day he was weaned, not one incident requiring medical treatment in 15 years.
Yet the experts say absolutely not because of the strength of his jaws and the size of his maw.
The there is my former employer. He wasalso a professional breeder of PB German Shepherds and an accomplished Schutzhund trainer. This is a competitive sport which lays the groundwork for superior police dogs.
His favorite champion bitch required emergency surgery on 2 different occasions for bones lodged in her throat. One instance was a chicken bone and the other was vet approved raw beef rib . She was kept on a very disciplined ,low calorie diet. So even though she had the discipline of The Queen's Guard, she was still a dog after all.
Finding herself alone with the tempting smells emanating from her masters half finished dinner , she gave in to her natural instinct. After a lifetime of bland food, she had no control . One chomp,the chicken splintered and she greedily swallowed the whole piece which, in turn, lodged in her throat . I am not sure how she got the rib bone. I was not present that time.
Our dogs often accompanied us as we worked outdoors. Every time i had chicken for lunch I would give the bones to my pooch. And every time my boss would tear a strip out of me chastising me for being a bad dog owner.
I maintain it all depends on the nature of the beast and their conditioning.
Long before dogs were domesticated , they were wild, carnivorous predators. Somehow I doubt they came across many cows to feast on. I imagine the diet consisted mainly of fowl and small woodland creatures. Nowadays, there an ever growing population of strays and ferals who have sadly had their natural instinct to hunt bred right out of them. They scavenge to survive . You can guarantee a huge portion of their food supply is cooked bones.