Whether it is off the dinner table, scavenged out of the rubbish bin, or something your food obsessed pooch has found during the walk, it’s never a good thing when a dog eats a cooked bone.

While some dogs may chew them carefully and get away with it, problems can arise when they chew and swallow too quickly, leaving large splintered pieces of bone to move through their system. When this happens there is a very real possibility that those pieces can cause some damage on the way down., or even lodge in the intestinal walls. If left untreated, this can become life-threatening.

What NOT to do

Do not induce vomiting as the oesophagus is more delicate and prone to laceration than the intestinal lining and could make things worse.

Do not feed cotton balls to “cushion” bone splinters as your dog could then become obstructed with wads of cotton.

What to do

Remain calm!

You could try feeding about one slice of high fiber bread or 1/2 cup boiled plain pumpkin or some brown rice.
Keep a close eye on your dog and contact your vet immediately for further advice, especially if you notice any of the signs below:

• Vomiting
• Abdominal pain
• Loss of appetite
• Fever
• Lethargy
• Constipation

Chicken bones are the most common culprit, but steak bones, ribs and turkey bones are also dangerous. Even bones that are not cooked can pose a threat to pets if they are not cut in a way that prevents them from splintering.