How To Help My Dog Pass A Bone?

It’s a classic doggy conundrum: your furry friend has managed to get their paws on a bone, but now it seems to be stuck in their throat. As a responsible pet owner, you’re probably frantically googling for answers, and that’s where we come in! In this guide, we’ll explore the potential risks of dogs swallowing bones and provide you with some practical tips to help your pup pass that pesky bone safely.

Understanding the Dangers

The Perils of Bone Swallowing

Dogs are instinctive creatures with a natural desire to chew on bones. However, sometimes things can go awry when Fido gets a little too enthusiastic. Swallowing bones can pose serious health risks for dogs, including:

  1. Choking hazards: Bones can become lodged in the throat or windpipe if swallowed whole.
  2. Gastrointestinal blockages: Larger pieces of bone may cause obstructions along the digestive tract.
  3. Perforations or tears: Splintered bones can puncture or tear the intestines or stomach lining.
  4. Tooth damage: Aggressive chewing on hard objects like bones can lead to dental issues.

Signs Your Dog May Have Swallowed A Bone

So how do you know if your pooch has swallowed a bone? Keep an eye out for these common symptoms:

  • Coughing or gagging
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting or regurgitation

If your dog exhibits any of these signs, it’s important not to delay seeking veterinary attention.

Steps to Help Your Dog Safely Pass A Bone

Now that we understand the risks associated with bone swallowing let’s dive into some actionable steps you can take at home before heading off to see your vet.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

Before taking any action, make sure to assess the situation carefully. If your dog is coughing or gagging but still breathing, observe them closely. Most dogs can dislodge a bone on their own through coughing or regurgitation.

“Watching your dog struggle with a bone in their throat is nerve-wracking, but remember to stay calm and focused. Dogs are more likely to panic if they sense you’re anxious. ” – Dr. Barkington

Step 2: Encourage Coughing

If your pup is coughing forcefully or attempting to vomit, don’t interfere unless it becomes absolutely necessary. Coughing helps clear obstructions from the airway and may aid in expelling the lodged bone.

Fun fact: Did you know that dogs have a special protective reflex called the vomiting center? It helps them bring up anything harmful in their digestive system.

Step 3: Offer bread or mashed potatoes

Bread isn’t just for humankind! Offering small pieces of bread soaked in water can help encourage movement of the bone down the esophagus. Mashed potatoes with no added spices can also achieve a similar effect by providing lubrication.

Pro tip: Soft food options like canned pumpkin or wet dog food mixed with a little water can also aid digestion and facilitate passage of foreign objects!

Step 4: Observe Your Dog’s Behavior

Keep an eye on your fur baby after they’ve ingested bread, mashed potatoes, or other soft foods. Monitor their behavior for any signs of improvement or worsening symptoms. If there’s no change, it’s time to make that crucial call to your veterinarian.

When To Seek Veterinary Assistance

While many bones will pass without incident if given enough time and proper care at home, some situations require immediate veterinary attention:

  1. Persistent choking: If your dog is struggling to breathe or wheezing continuously, it’s time to head to the vet. This could indicate a more serious obstruction.
  2. Bloody vomit or stools: The presence of blood in their vomit or stool requires immediate medical attention.
  3. Loss of appetite and lethargy: If your furry friend becomes disinterested in food, seems weak, or displays general distress, consult your veterinarian right away.

Remember that only a qualified veterinarian can provide an accurate diagnosis after a thorough examination.

Do’s and Don’ts When Your Dog Swallows A Bone

Let’s wrap up with some important do’s and don’ts for handling this situation like a pro!


  • Stay calm: Dogs are highly responsive to your emotional state.
  • Monitor closely: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior for any changes.
  • Offer soft foods: Encourage movement of the bone with moistened bread, mashed potatoes, or similar options.
  • Seek veterinary advice if necessary: When in doubt, consult with a professional.


  • Panic: It can cause unnecessary stress for both you and your pup.
  • Forceful intervention unless necessary: Coughing and vomiting may help remove the bone naturally.
  • Delay seeking help when symptoms worsen: Time is of the essence when it comes to potential obstructions.

“As wise old Snoopy once said, ‘Happiness is having a warm puppy on your lap while they safely pass that pesky little bone. ‘” – Anonymous

While preventing our dogs from swallowing bones entirely may be impossible at all times, knowing how to respond promptly and effectively when accidents happen makes all the difference. By following these steps and recognizing the signs that require veterinary assistance, you’ll be well-prepared to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of your four-legged companion.

So next time you find yourself facing this perplexing predicament of canine bone-swallowing, remember to keep your cool, encourage coughing if necessary, offer soft foods, and reach out to your veterinarian when needed. With a little bit of patience and proper care, you’ll have your furry friend passing bones like a champ in no time!

Now go give that pup a pat on the head and let them know how lucky they are to have such an attentive and knowledgeable human by their side.

“Dogs do speak but only to those who know how to listen. ” – Orhan Pamuk

FAQ: How To Help My Dog Pass A Bone?

Q: What should I do if my dog has swallowed a bone?
A: If your dog has swallowed a bone, it is essential to contact your veterinarian immediately. They will provide guidance based on the size of the bone and your dog’s condition.

Q: Can feeding my dog bread help pass a bone?
A: Feeding bread to dogs can be helpful in some cases as it may cushion the bone and aid its passage through the digestive system. However, you should never use this method as a substitute for veterinary advice.

Q: Are there any home remedies to help my dog pass a stuck bone?
A: It’s crucial not to attempt home remedies without consulting a vet first. Certain complications could arise from ingesting bones, and professional medical assistance is necessary.

Q: Should I induce vomiting in my dog to help with a lodged bone?
A: Inducing vomiting without proper guidance can cause further harm. Do not attempt this at home; instead, seek immediate veterinary attention when dealing with possible obstructions.

Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent dogs from swallowing bones whole?
A: Yes! To prevent issues like swallowing bones, always supervise your dog while they are chewing and choose safe chew toys specifically designed for them. Additionally, providing appropriate portions of food can discourage over-eager eating habits.

Remember that seeking professional advice from your veterinarian is crucial when facing situations where your pet swallowed something potentially harmful.