Is it Really Bad if My Dog Eats a Turkey Bone?

Most of us know that dogs love chewing on a nice juicy bone. But did you know that some bones can be deadly for dogs to consume?

That’s right. Mainly poultry bones like chicken and turkey are the ones to blame.

Unlike stronger beef marrow bones, turkey bones can splinter and create sharp points. These points can puncture your dog’s digestive system and cause internal bleeding.

This can potentially be fatal for your dog.

I remember Cali ate half the turkey last Thanksgiving and I spent the holiday panicking instead of enjoying it with family.

With that said, there are steps to take if you know your dog has eaten a Turkey bone on Thanksgiving. 

Catch Them If You Can

I am always watching Archie and Cali out of the corner of my eye to make sure they’re not getting into any trouble.

Every once and awhile I’ll catch Cali sneaking into the garbage after a lot of food has been made.

For the times that I’ve caught her with a turkey bone in her mouth, I ran right over and shoved my whole hand into her mouth to pull out the bones before she swallowed them.

It might be super gross to stick your hand into your dog’s slimy mouth. But those few seconds can potentially save your dogs life. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

If you know the bones that your dog swallowed were small, you can induce vomiting in your dog by giving them hydrogen peroxide.

Give your dog 1 teaspoon per 5 lbs of your dog’s weight.

It usually takes about 15 minutes for your dog to throw up and if you caught them right away, the turkey bones should come right up.

If the bones were bigger, you’re better off letting them pass through the body to avoid any choking hazards. 

Observe Dogs Behavior

If your dog eats a turkey bone, look for any odd behaviors that would indicate internal bleeding or other signs of pain in your dog.

If your dog is licking their lips, gagging, pacing anxiously, vomiting, or is unable to sit down or lay normally, you should contact your emergency vet right away.

The good news is that much of the bone digests in your dog’s stomach acid, which is much stronger than a human’s stomach acid.

But take precaution anyway and look out for odd behaviors. 

Let The Bones Pass

If your dog seems normal, the best course of action is to let the bones pass through their digestive system. This usually takes about 48-72 hours.

To make the turkey bones easier to pass, you can give your dog soft bland foods like rice and slices of bread.

Foods like this act as a padding around the bones and make it less painful for undigested fragments to pass.

If your dog has bloody stools, or you can tell they are unable to defecate, call your vet immediately. This can mean there is a digestive blockage that needs to be removed. 

Call Your Vet for Help

If your dog is showing signs of stomach issues or internal bleeding, call your vet immediately.

If your dog’s digestive system is damaged, they may need emergency surgery in order to save their life.

In addition, have the contact info of an Animal Hospital that is open on holidays. Many family vets are closed on holidays like Thanksgiving. 


Though our dogs will love any bones they can get their hands on, poultry bones like chicken and turkey are off limits for your dog.

Thin bones like these can break and splinter and can cause deadly digestive issues for your dog.

The best thing to do is prevent your dog from eating bones all together by keeping a tight lid on the trash can. And take out the trash before you leave the kitchen unattended.

In addition, make sure your outdoor cans are sealed tight outside from scavengers like raccoons and squirrels.

Animals like these often leave trails of bones across your yard for your dog to find. It’s much harder to figure out what’s wrong with your dog if you never knew they ate the bones in the first place!

Has your dog ever eaten something they weren’t supposed to?

What was it, and how did you handle the situation? Let me know in the comments so we can all keep our dogs safer together! 

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