My dog Coco has always liked eating chicken. But, just like us, he also gets bored of eating the same chicken parts every time. It is why I have been thinking of switching up his meal with chicken fat now. But, Can Dogs Eat Chicken Fat? Let us find out.
In this article, we will cover:
- How Much Chicken Fat Can My Dog Have?
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Fat?
- Is Chicken Fat Good For My Dogs?
- Is It Safe To Feed Chicken Fat To My Dog?
- And more….
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Fat?
Dogs can eat chicken fat as a part of their balanced diet as it is tasty and has Omega 3 fatty acids that make the skin and coat healthy and glossy. Even so, if given in excess, some dogs are at risk of developing pancreatitis, obesity, or gastrointestinal infections.
Chicken Fat is a highly processed fat from the flesh and tissues of the chicken. It consists of less desirable cuts and leftovers from the chicken. While many people think it is of inferior quality, it is not. You will know as you read further.
Today, chicken fat is considered a vital ingredient to maintain the balanced diet of a dog if you are feeding meat-based meals to your dog. While other meat parts provide proteins, carbs, and vitamins to your pet, chicken fat is an essential source of good fats for your dog.
The key to success here is giving your dog chicken fat in moderation after taking all the necessary precautions to avoid illness and infections.
How Much Chicken Fat Can My Dog Have?
As a conscious pet parent, one must know the fat content your dog can have daily so that it gets the right diet. The percentage of chicken fat that your dog can have depends on its breed, size, health conditions, age, and activeness.
Still, the minimum requirement of an adult dog is 5.5% fat from the diet. They should have less than 25% fat calories in their diet every day.
To know the exact percentage of fat for your dog, consult your veterinarian as they can assess the health and activity level of your dog accurately and tell you the amount of fat your dog can have in its everyday life.
Once you know the fat your dog can have, you can decide on how much chicken fat you should feed your dog and buy chicken meals accordingly.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Fat?
One should not feed raw chicken fat to the dog as you cannot ascertain the right amount of fat on your own. It is best to use store-bought pet food that contains processed chicken fat in it.
As pet food brands have a strong R&D team, they can estimate the right quantity of chicken fat that your dog should have to maintain adequate nutrition.
Is Chicken Fat Good For My Dog?
1. It Has Health Benefits
Chicken fats closely resemble the natural diet of a dog and are a great source of instant energy since they are twice as calorie-dense as carbs and proteins. It also means little chicken fat is required to meet the needs of your dog.
Additionally, they contain Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids that are known to boost heart health, reduce cholesterol levels and minimize the risks of cancer in dogs.
In a study conducted in 2004, it was found that omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac arrest and certain types of cancer.
Also, it is effective in the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease, renal disease, and atopy.
2. Makes The Food Tasty
If just like Coco, your dog wants something tasty and different every time, chicken fat is here for your rescue. Dogs actually like the taste of chicken fat better.
It enhances the delectability of the kibble food your dog eats. Thus, adding chicken fat to your dog’s meals makes sure that they finish the meal and enjoy it.
3. Provides Healthy Skin And Coat
Pets who are fed ultra-low amounts of fatty acids develop a very rough and coarse coat. You might also see skin lesions that are hotspots of skin infections in dogs.
Thus, adding chicken fat to your dog’s diet makes sure they get at least the required amounts of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids that will keep their skin healthy and fur lustrous.
Is It Safe To Feed Chicken Fat To My Dog?
Feeding chicken fat in moderation is safe for a normal dog. However, if you feed chicken fat in excess, or you feed chicken fat to weak and old dogs, some issues might crop up.
1. Risk Of Pancreatitis
Since chicken fat is a high-fat diet, there is always a risk of developing pancreatitis in dogs. According to Dr. Ernest Ward, DVM at the VCA Hospitals, pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas which can be fatal if not treated at the right time.
Symptoms of pancreatitis do not develop immediately after feeding chicken fat, but they develop over time. If you notice symptoms like decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain in your dog, take him to the veterinarian.
2. Risk Of Obesity
Chicken fat has more calories than other ingredients in dog food. That is why you will find them mentioned near the end of the list of ingredients as very little chicken fat is added to the recipes.
Therefore, feeding your pet dog chicken fat regularly in inadequate portion sizes can increase their weight over time. Obesity is the root cause of other health problems like pancreatitis, osteoarthritis, cancer, and coronary heart diseases.
3. Risk Of Gastrointestinal Problems
Finally, fatty foods like chicken fat can upset the stomach of your dog. They irritate the digestive tract of your dog and cause food poisoning.
Thus, it is best to shift gradually to a chicken fat diet and let your dog adjust to the new changes.
Can Dogs With Chicken Allergies Eat Chicken Fat?
Chicken is one of the most common food allergens in dogs. As a result, you need to be extra cautious while feeding chicken to your dog. But, this is not the case with chicken fat.
A chicken allergy is an allergy to the protein present in the chicken. If your dog is allergic to chicken, it means that its immune system does not accept the protein in chicken and reacts to it.
Chicken fat is completely safe for allergic dogs as while processing, all the protein is separated from the fat. So, including chicken fat would not cause any allergic symptoms to your dog.
How To Cook Chicken Fat For Dogs?
Cooking chicken fat at home isn’t recommended, but certain commercial pet dog foods contain chicken fat. Here are our top 5 recommendations:
1. Hill Science Diet Dry Dog Food
The Hill Science Chicken and Barley dry food are made with natural ingredients like chicken fat, chicken, whole grain wheat, and barley. It is one of the best dog foods for adult dogs from 1-6 years of age as it is recommended by veterinarians too.
It does not contain artificial preservatives, synthetic colors, or artificial flavors at all. In addition, the brand claims that there is a balanced amount of Omega-6 fatty acids that maintain the gorgeous and healthy skin of your dog.
2. Royal Canin Dry Dog Food
The IAMS Adult Minichunks Chicken and Whole Grains Recipe contains chicken, chicken fat, whole grain corn, sorghum, flaxseed, and egg products to make a nutritious and healthy meal for your dog.
The best part is they use real farm-raised chicken in their recipes which provides adequate protein to your dogs and builds their muscles. In addition, it promotes digestion as it contains essential fibers.
4. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
The Diamond Naturals Chicken and Rice Formula is best for dogs at all life stages. It has fresh and cage-free chicken as its top ingredient. Other main ingredients include chicken fat, dried yeast, barley, flaxseed, salmon oil, white rice, and brown rice.
With 26% protein and 16% fat, the food is great for providing instant energy to your dogs and building their muscles. In addition, the crunchy kibble is specifically designed to clean your dog’s teeth and minimize plaque.
5, Wellness Core Dry Food
The Wellness Core High Protein dog dry food is a wholesome meal for dogs as it has a chicken meal, turkey, chicken fat, quinoa, barley, and oatmeal as its main ingredients.
The food is rich in glucosamine, omega fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants that keep the heart healthy and skin beautiful. There are other variants available as well for dogs with food sensitivities.
Why Is Chicken Fat In Dog Food?
Most of the commercially available dog food from economical brands to high-end brands contain chicken fat. Apart from being tasty and nutritious, chicken fat maintains the consistency of various dog foods.
That is why, when you check the list of ingredients on the pack, you will find chicken fat mentioned there. The brands research and try various combinations of ingredients to come up with an optimum mix. In all these combinations, you will find chicken fat as it is appealing.
Another reason for adding chicken fat to dog food is, it reduces the cost drastically. Other chicken parts or fish components can raise the price, thus making it difficult to sell to all sections of people.
However, the percentage of chicken fat greatly varies from brand to brand. On a fat calorie basis, dog foods generally contain 25% to 60% fat. You can prefer dry dog food because it is on the lower end of the calorie range.
Can I Feed Chicken Fat To My Dog Directly?
You should avoid feeding chicken fat directly to your dog as it contains many calories. If you do not get the portions right, your dog is at risk of obesity and pancreatitis.
By now, you know that chicken fat contains Omega-6 fatty acids. While they are beneficial for your dog, they also release hormones that cause inflammation in dogs. The Omega-3 fatty acids work towards reducing this inflammation.
So, there needs to be a balance between these two fatty acids to avoid chronic inflammation in dogs. It will make sure your dog’s immune system remains healthy and strong.
If we talk about chicken, they are highly unbalanced as they contain more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3 fatty acids.
There are a variety of dog foods available in the market that contain chicken fats and other ingredients that balance out the two fats. Plus, they also have the correct proportion of carbs and proteins required by your dog to balance out the chicken fat.
Thus, we recommend you only feed chicken fat in the form of dog food.
Can I Give Chicken Fat Trimmings To My Dog?
Chicken fat trimmings are the table scraps that people do not eat when they cook chicken. It includes chicken fat and bones. Cooked chicken fat trimmings should not be given occasionally to your dog as they pose a considerable risk to their health.
Chicken fat trimmings can cause pancreatitis and digestive issues to your dog characterized by food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Subsequently, the cooked bones are not safe for dogs as they can splinter and choke your dog. At times, they shatter inside your dog’s digestive tract and cause cuts.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?