Can Dogs Eat Fish Bones

Can Dogs Eat Fish Bones? UPDATED 2022

Dogs love chewing on bones. The rough texture and meaty flavor make them ideal chew toys. Dogs also like fish, so it is natural to wonder whether you can give your dog some fish bones. While fish is healthy food for dogs, loaded with minerals and nutrients vital for their overall development, fish bones have a different story.

In this post, let us try to understand whether your dog should eat fish bones and what are the risks and complications.

Can Dogs Eat Fish Bones?

The short answer to this question is NO. Fish bones are not like poultry, beef, or lamb bones. They are small, brittle, and fragile which means they can easily break apart and get stuck in the dog’s mouth, throat, stomach, or anywhere in between, causing some serious health complications. Some of the most common issues that can arise from eating fish bones include intestinal blockage, throat lodging, and organ perforation.

Such issues can be fatal and require immediate attention, costing you a visit to the vet and appropriate treatment. So most experts recommend not to let your dogs eat fish bones. Never give the pet fish bones to chew on or feed him fish with bones in as it can compromise your pet’s health and safety.

Dog Ate Fish Bones? Here’s What To Do

If your dog ate up fish bone, you should first try not to panic and stay calm. As long as the dog is not in distress, he should have no problem. Try to find out how big the fish bone was. If your pet has eaten tiny fish bones, he might pass them without any problem. However, if the dog is too small or the bone pieces were big, it can be life-threatening and needs attention.

Open your dog’s mouth to see if there is anything blocking his airway. If you think it has a blockage from the bone, the best thing you can do is take him to a vet as soon as possible. They should be able to get the bone out with the right tools. Stay calm until you reach the vet and try to soothe the pet. You can turn him upside down to get him free of the blockage with gravity. If the bone is stuck, this may not help though.

If you can’t see the bone, try feeding the dog a piece of bread. This will wrap the fish bone and carry it down to the stomach, clearing the blockage without hurting the dog. Make sure the dog has access to plenty of water. Next, keep a close watch on the pooch for 24 hours to see if he feels any kind of pain or discomfort. If he starts coughing or vomiting, take him to the vet right away without waiting for the symptoms to get worse.

Will Fish Bones Hurt My Dog?

Yes, fish bones can hurt the dog if they get stuck in any part before getting to the stomach. Fish bones are sharp and brittle and pose a real threat to the dog’s life. Your dog can find difficulty breathing when bones get stuck in its throat. If they pass to the stomach and intestines, there are other risks that you can’t detect instantly.

If your dog has a fish bone stuck somewhere, you can see it in discomfort a few minutes or hours later, depending on where it is stuck. If the bone doesn’t get stuck in the throat or esophagus, you can see such symptoms after it reaches the stomach. While some dogs can digest the bones, others may experience hurting in their intestinal walls with sharp edges.

Fish bones are likely to hurt your dog and cause severe complications if he is not big enough to pass them easily. Look for symptoms like fever, vomiting, coughing, pale gums, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, or lack of appetite, and report them to your vet at the earliest to avoid further risks.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Fish Bones?

Both raw and cooked fish bones pose a serious threat to dogs and should be avoided altogether. As they are smaller and more brittle as compared to beef and chicken bones, they don’t suit chewing and the only safe way you can give them to your pooch is by grinding them into really small pieces. Even then, it is important to be careful because they can be sharp and hurt the dog.

The only exception is soft bones like those from sardines fish. These bones can be consumed safely by dogs as a whole. They can be digested without getting stuck in the throat or intestines. However, make sure you remove the backbone before giving it to the pet as it is thicker and can sometimes cause issues.

Are Fish Bones Bad For Dogs?

Yes, fish bones, though they may seem harmless to us, can be bad for dogs. However good or big your pup is, eating fish bones can cause a lot of problems at times. Here are some of the primary implications.

Organ perforation

Fish bones can cause damage to the organs in the dog’s body. The organ that gets damaged depends on the dog and the fish bone. As the bones break and scatter, they can perforate the stomach, esophagus, and other organs, resulting in a lot of pain, discomfort, and health complications for your pooch.

Throat lodging

This is another common problem occurring from fish bones when they get stuck in the throat. It can either pose difficulty breathing or block the passageway for food. You may or may not be able to see a bone lodged in the throat but it is important to get it removed quickly.

Intestinal blockage

This is more likely if your dog has chewed the bones into very small pieces. As these pieces start moving through the digestive system, space gets narrower and the sharp bones get jammed, creating a blockage for the other food.

Apart from these, there are smaller problems like bleeding gums, vomiting, fever, and pain your pet may experience from eating fish bones. No matter how it seems to you, fish bones are bad for most dogs and should be avoided.


Fish bones, regardless of their nutritional value and appeal, are dangerous and harmful for dogs. They can pose serious risks to their lives and leave your furry friend in pain and discomfort. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to make sure it is never given fish bones and doesn’t find fish bones lying around the house where it can find and chew on them.