Whenever I cook chicken skin, my dog comes to the kitchen smelling it. Looking at him, I am always tempted to feed him some chicken skin.
But at the same time, as a parent, I am constantly worried about what he eats. So, Can Dogs Eat Chicken Skin? Let us find out!
In this article, we will cover:
- Can Dogs Eat Chicken Skin?
- Should I Feed My Dog Raw or Cooked Chicken Skin?
- Is Chicken Skin Healthy For My Dog?
- And more…
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Skin?
Dogs should not eat raw or cooked chicken skin as they have a high level of fat and calories. In addition to it, they do not provide any other nutrients to the dog. Moreover, feeding chicken may cause pancreatitis, digestive upset, obesity, or diarrhea to your dog.
Is Chicken Skin Healthy For My Dog? Let’s Count The Calories!
Chicken skin is the most unhealthy part of a chicken. Suppose, if you feed your dog a skinless raw chicken breast, it contains roughly 80% protein and 20% fat in it.
But as soon as you add the skin to it, the fat levels shoot up rapidly and the calorie intake increases by 100 calories per chicken breast. Surprising, isn’t it?
To break it up for you further, let us tell you the nutritional content of 100 g of chicken skin. So, a 100 g of chicken skin contains 349 calories out of which 291 calories come from fat.
Dogs should eat roughly 25 calories for each pound they weigh in an entire day. So, imagine a dog weighing 30 pounds. Ideally, he should take around 750 calories a day.
Now if you feed him 100 g (0.22 lbs) of chicken skin, then 349 calories will come from there. So, 100 g of chicken skin makes for 46% of the dog’s daily calorie intake. Out of which, 38% is just fat.
Thus, there will be no balanced diet and your dog’s health will deteriorate. Therefore, chicken skin whether raw, roasted, cooked, or fried, cannot be added to your dog’s daily food.
5 Harmful Effects of Chicken Skin For My Dog
By now, you know that chicken content has too much fat and calories. So, let us see what problems your dog can face if you feed it chicken skin regularly or in a large proportion:
According to Dr. Krista Williams and Ernst Ward, DVM at the VCA Hospital diarrhea is loose stools that occur quite frequently and in large amounts. While diarrhea is not a disease in itself, it could be a sign that something is wrong with your dog.
Mostly, diarrhea occurs when dogs eat some irritating food items. In this case, raw chicken skin is the example.
If your dog ate raw chicken skin and has severe diarrhea with other symptoms like loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, and stomach ache, it is best to consult the veterinarian immediately. In dogs with compromised immune systems, it could be really serious.
Pancreatitis is the inflammation of pancreas. Thus, in a dog with pancreatitis, the enzymes start damaging the pancreas and destroying its surrounding tissues and vital organs.
The American Kennel Club states that a high-fat diet is one of the reasons why dogs suffer from pancreatitis. Feeding chicken skin on a regular basis in one sitting could cause this condition in your dogs.
While there are no early signs for pancreatitis as it occurs over long term, you must not ignore the signs-hunched back, frequent vomits, diarrhea, and dehydration in your dog.
You cannot treat pancreatitis at home. So, please do not take that risk. Consult your dog’s veterinarian and follow the advice. In some dogs, pancreatitis could be life-threatening as well.
According to the U.S. Pet Obesity Rates in 2018, around 56% of pet dogs in the USA are obese or overweight. You can know whether your dog is obese or not by checking their body condition score.
According to Krista Williams and Lynn Buzhardt, DVM at the VCA Hospital, a body condition score is an index that evaluates body fat in dogs. Vets generally use a 5-point scale or a 9-point scale to see the weight of your dog.
A score of 3/5 and 4-5/9 is considered ideal weight. Any dog above this score is considered obese or overweight.
Again, obesity is a long-term effect of eating chicken skin. When dogs eat chicken skin that is high in calories, on a daily basis in large amounts, they tend to become obese and unhealthy.
Although obesity isn’t fatal itself, it is the reason for many illnesses. Thus, consult your veterinarian and get your dog’s diet corrected. In addition, make sure your dog stays active by taking it for walks. Reducing the fat gain is the only way here!
4. Digestive Upset
Now, we come to some short term symptoms and illnesses you can see in your dog after feeding chicken skin. Sometimes, dogs are unable to digest chicken skin completely.
So, if you notice diarrhea, vomiting, excessive drooling, constipation, increased gas, or bloating in your dog, it is a sign of digestive issues or upset stomach.
Talk to your vet and see what necessary action needs to be taken. Make sure to keep a close watch on your dog so that you can help your canine friend in need.
5. Bacterial Infections
One of the major problems with raw chicken skin is that it might contain various bacteria. Since chicken skin is the topmost layer of the chicken, it is uncovered and can help these bacterias to grow in moisture.
These bacteria can cause diseases such as Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter infection in dogs. Although treatable, they can cause great discomfort and pain to your dog.
So, make sure you get a good-quality chicken for your dog if you are planning to feed them some chicken skin.
Also Read: Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive?
How Much Chicken Skin Is Safe For My Dog?
If you are planning to give your dog chicken skin at all, make sure you do not make it a part of the regular diet. Once in a while, it is okay to feed your dog chicken skin as treats.
Just take a very little amount of chicken skin and cut it into small pieces to avoid your dog from choking. In addition, remove the grease and fat as much as possible so that your dog does not get ill.
Can Puppies Eat Chicken Skin?
Puppies cannot eat chicken skin whether raw or cooked. Eating chicken skin can cause gastrointestinal diseases in adult dogs whose digestive systems are fully developed.
In puppies, the digestive systems are still developing, thus you can imagine how dangerous it can be to introduce chicken skin to your puppies.
Is Boiled Chicken Skin Healthier For My Dog?
No, boiled chicken skin is not healthier as it contains the same amount of fats. However, boiling the chicken skin has two other benefits.
First, boiling the chicken skin removes all the bacteria that can cause infections to your dog. Second, boiled chicken is easier to digest for dogs. Thus, it is good for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
Although we would not recommend feeding chicken skin, still if you want to try it, you can go for boiled chicken skin over raw and fried chicken skin.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Skin?
While you can feed your dog a little bit of raw chicken skin, avoiding it would be our recommendation. It is because the raw chicken skin is fully exposed at all times.
In some countries, harmful chemicals like chlorine dioxide, peroxyacids, and acidified sodium chlorate are used to rinse the chicken skin. Moreover, there are no nutritional benefits of eating raw chicken skin as such.
Can Dogs Eat Fried Chicken Skin?
You must avoid feeding fried chicken skin to your dog. In general, fried foods are not alright for dogs as they can cause stomach aches, vomiting, hunched posture, and fever.
Just imagine how combining two things that are a big no for your dog could harm their health. In some cases, fried chicken skin is the reason for pancreatitis as well. This can also become fatal at times.
In addition to it, fried chicken skin contains a lot of seasoning including salt, pepper, and garlic. This makes the chicken skin more spicy. Dogs can suffer from excessive thirst and acidity after eating seasoned fried chicken skin. If you add too much salt in the chicken, it can lead to sodium poisoning as well.
The fried chicken skin batter made from all-purpose flour is not good for canine health. Although it is okay to feed your dog all-purpose flour in minimal amounts, the fried chicken skin contains too much of it. So, stay away from it as much as possible!
Do I Need To Remove Chicken Skin Every Time I Feed My Dog Chicken?
Yes, you should remove the chicken skin before feeding raw chicken parts to your dog. Since chicken skin does more harm than good, it is best not to take any risks with the health of your dog.
What To Do If My Dog Ate Too Much Chicken Skin?
If your dog has eaten a small amount of raw chicken or fried chicken skin, it should be fine. However, if your dog ate too much skin chicken, you need to be cautious. While some dogs may not show any symptoms, others might.
In the next 24 to 48 hours, you can expect symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, loose stools, constipation, thirst, and gas in your dog if the chicken skin is not digested properly.
However, some illnesses take time to show up. Obesity and pancreatitis are examples.
So, if you see any signs of discomfort in your dog in the short term or long term, consult the veterinarian. Do not delay it as it might aggravate the issue. Monitor the diet of your furry friend thereafter.