My Dog Ate an Entire Rotisserie Chicken: What Now? (Solved & Explained!)

There are things in life that everyone considers to be the ‘fastest of the fast’. There’s light, for instance, and the speed of rumors, and then there’s your dog when you step away from something delicious. So, what do you do if your dog ate an entire rotisserie chicken?!

While your first thought is to think ‘dogs are designed to catch chickens’, you need to remember that you’ve got a domesticated dog and while the chicken meat is safe, the bones in the chicken are NOT. Due to the change of them breaking, lodging inside, or causing internal bleeding, a trip to the vet is your best option.

In this article, we’ll elaborate a bit on the issue so that you have all of the information that you need to make an informed decision. As it turns out, that delicious chicken is chock full of pitfalls, so read on and we’ll tell you exactly why!

What can happen if my dog eats a whole rotisserie chicken?

Well, the first thing that will happen is that your dog will adopt a guilty look, as if to suggest that you left the chicken there and they assumed that you didn’t want any. What can happen next, unfortunately, is not laughing matter.

A chicken was around 169 bones in its body, with over 40 of them in its skull alone. While your cooked chicken certainly won’t have the head or the bottom portions of the legs and feet present, the point is that you’ve still got 100+ bones that have been crunched-up into sharp pieces and are now in your dog’s body.

If your dog doesn’t have any caught in their throat already, then there is still the potential of any one of these bones to become an obstruction in the intestines within the next 24 – 48 hours. Said bones can also cause an inflammation of the pancreas that is called pancreatitis – which can be fatal at an estimated 1-in-5 cases.

Chicken bones are hollow, so when they break they can also cause internal bleeding, so with all of these consideration combined that rotisserie chicken is suddenly a very risky meal indeed. We recommend that you get your dog to the vet right away as there is simply too many things that can go wrong very quickly.

How long does it take a dog to digest a chicken bone?

Most dogs are going to digest chicken bones within 24 hours and you should start seeing fragments in their stool within this time. That said, a lot really depends on the size, the breed, and their usual diets, so it could be up to 48 hours before the bones have safely passed.

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If you haven’t brought your dog into the vet or you were away and just informed that your dog got into the chicken, if you don’t see signs that the bones have passed through within this 48-hour period then it is possible that some are still present in your dog and the recommendation is the same – get the vet involved.

Even minor internal bleeding can quickly turn into a nightmare and it’s just not worth the risk when it comes to your furry best friend’s health. Thankfully, most chicken bones will digest pretty much immediately when they hit the stomach, but with such a high volume at once it is best to be vigilant.

Always err on the side of safety – it’s the best chance that you’ve got at avoiding tragedy and while eating a whole chicken just sounds like gluttony, take the meat out of the equation and the visual hits home. If your dog just quickly gobbled up 100 bones from a plate, you’d definitely be worried and rightly so!

How long after eating chicken bones would a dog get sick?

If you catch your dog in the act, the first pitfall is the choking hazard, and you’ll noticed this right away. This is the point when a bone might become lodged in the esophagus and your dog will make heavy gulps, cough, and perhaps even vomit in an attempt to dislodge them.

Once the bones pass the throat and get into the belly, symptoms might not show for as much as an hour. At this point, the worst of the danger is over, with the exception of possible perforation or blockage of the intestines, and it’s basically a 24-hour waiting game at this point before you’ll know if the bones pass through.

If you’ve been out of the house and someone has been watching the dog for more than 48 hours, then you might well have gotten lucky, but if your dog ate that chicken today then rushing them to the vet is still the best option so that they can get an x-ray view of exactly what is happening right now.

What symptoms should I watch out for?

If your dog has gobbled up a whole rotisserie chicken, then there are definitely some symptoms that you can watch for that will tell you there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Look for one or more of the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Coughing or gagging
  • Drooling
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Panting or other breathing difficulties

If you see any of these symptoms then don’t wait – you’ll want to get your dog into the vet right away. Even is the bones only cause mild damage inside your dog’s body and you’ve got a big dog, you can add an increased chance of salmonella to your worries.

There are just too many things that could go wrong and you want to get a handle on things right away.

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Some final words on Rotisserie chicken and your dog

While eating a whole rotisserie chicken is cute and comical in the cartoons, the reality is a lot less amusing. With over 100 bones, likely fragmented before swallowing, there’s a possibility of internal damage or blockage that should not be ignored.

If you can’t visit the vet right away, then give them a call instead, so that you can take an active role in your dog’s recovery. Your dog might well be fine, but it’s always best to expect the worse and prepare accordingly when it comes to your doggie’s health!