Can Dogs Eat Chicken Bone Marrow? (Solved & Explained!)

Dog owners, especially those who feed raw diets to their furry friends, have raved about the benefits of raw bones for dogs for years. The part the dogs love most is the delicious bone marrow on the inside. But, have you heard chicken bones can be dangerous? What about chicken bone marrow? 

Most dogs can consume raw chicken bone marrow as long as proper precautions are taken to make sure the bones don’t have bacteria growth and the extra calories are accounted for in their diet. You should always consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog raw bones. 

In this article we will discuss the benefits of chicken bone marrow for dogs, how it can be served safely, and potentially dangerous side effects to look out for. 

Is Chicken Bone Marrow Good For Dogs? 

If you’re unfamiliar with what bone marrow is, it is a gelatinous tissue that is in the center of bones. The actual marrow contains stem cells that your dog can turn into red/white blood cells, fat cartilage, and bone tissue. It also contains a lot of protein and vitamin B12. Both of these are good for growth. 

Chewing on bones is also said to help with dental hygiene and can be an excellent stress reliever for your dog.

However, the high amount of protein doesn’t mean that bone marrow is good for dogs, and this is because of it;s high fat content. If you have an active, healthy, younger dog that is able to burn off these additional calories in the day then the occasional bone marrow treat isn’t a bad thing. 

But, if your dog already has weight issues, is a smaller breed, or older, then the fat content in bone marrow can do more harm than good to your furry friend. 

What Are The Risks Of Too Much Bone Marrow? 

The most common risk dogs that intake too much fat suffer from is pancreatitis. Your dog’s pancreas is the organ that helps with food digestion and the production of enzymes and hormones. 

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Pancreatitis happens when the pancreas is inflamed due to the early activation of enzymes in the organ, and in simple terms, it causes the pancreas to digest itself. Pancreatitis can occur in mild or severe cases. 

If it is mild, your dog may experience vomiting, abdominal pain, lethargy, and lose their appetite. However, if it is severe, they will likely experience diarrea, dehydration, lethargy, collapse, or shock. If you think your dog has evena  milk case of pancreatitis you should get them veterinarian care as soon as possible. 

While the exact cause of pancreatitis is difficult to nail down, some breeds are even predisposed to having a higher risk of getting it, there is a common culprit. A diet filled with excessively fatty protein sources can cause pancreatitis to begin, however there are other causes like obesity, medication, and other toxins your dog may ingest. 

Does This Mean My Dog Can’t Have Chicken Bone Marrow? 

Don’t rule out bone marrow for your dog quite yet! Every treat you give your dog should be given in moderation, and bone marrow is no different. There are ways to safely give your dog bone marrow if you are interested in the various nutritional benefits it can provide. 

How Can I Safely Serve My Dog Chicken Bone Marrow? 

The first piece of bone safety we want to drive home is to never give your dogs cooked bones. Cooked bones splinter easily and can cause blockages in your dog’s stomach. You should never give your dog a cooked bone. 

However, you can give your dog a raw bone as long as you follow some basic precautions. One important safety tip to remember when feeding raw is to keep the bone frozen or refrigerated at all times to prevent any bacteria from growing. 

Bones are attached to meat, and meat will rot at room temperature. Some of the best places to source raw bones for dogs would be a local butcher shop or the meat counter at a grocery store. 

If possible you should also always ask for your bones to be cut vertically. This will make half-circle bones that you’ve likely seen before and is the safest cut for your dog to chew. If you cut horizontally the bone is much more likely to splinter. 

You also need to find a happy medium in the bone size, a bone that is too large and hard can cause damage to your dogs teeth, whereas any bones smaller than their mouth can be easily swallowed. 

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Only give your dog chicken marrow bones in moderation, and pair it with a protein that has  a lower fat content to prevent your dog from gaining weight. You should also always make sure your dog is getting enough exercise to burn off the excess calories and fat from the bone. 

What If I Don’t Want To Feed My Dog A Raw Bone? 

If you haven’t jumped on the raw dog food train yet and are hesitant due to the greater risk of bacterial infection, bone splinters, etc that can result from eating raw bones, there are other ways to serve your dog cooked marrow. 

You can warm the bone enough to scoop the marrow out and serve this in their regular food. 

Or, you can make your own bone broth and mix this in with their food as well. Just make sure when you’re making bone broth that you don’t add anything like salt or garlic. While this may make it taste better to us, both of these ingredients can be toxic for dogs. 

Final Thoughts: Chicken Bone Marrow Okay In Moderation! 

You can serve your pup chicken bone marrow as long as you take the proper safety precautions and account for this extra calorie intake when portioning out the rest of their food for the day. 

Always remember to never serve your dog a cooked bone and monitor them while they are enjoying this treat if you’re serving a raw bone.

And, as always, please consult your veterinarian before making the decision to add chicken bone marrow to your dog’s diet.