Whenever you cook thighs, drumsticks, and legs at home, you must have noticed your dog eyeing these raw meat parts.
They look tasty and healthy, but Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs? If you wonder the same thing, this post is apt for you!
In this article, we will cover:
- Can Dogs Eat Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs?
- 2 Benefits Of Feeding Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs
- 2 Risks Of Feeding Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs
- And more..
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs?
You can feed raw chicken thighs, drumsticks, and legs to your dog. Not only are they flavorful and juicier than other raw chicken meat parts, they also contain protein, vitamins, iron and zinc which are essential for your dog. However, you must follow some safety measures before feeding your dog raw chicken parts.
A lot of people are unable to differentiate between chicken thighs, drumsticks, and legs. So, before moving forward, let us tell you a little bit more about it.
A chicken leg refers to the entire leg of the chicken which contains both drumsticks and thighs connected as a single piece. But once you divide this leg into two parts, the upper part is called the thigh and the lower calf part is the drumstick.
The drumstick is often available with the skin and bone. It is called a drumstick because of its similar shape to a drumstick used by a musician. On the other hand, the thigh contains a small thigh bone and has a lot more meat than a drumstick.
The drumstick and thigh of a chicken together form the dark meat chicken. The dark meat chicken is a good source of nutrients as it contains protein, vitamins, iron, and zinc. They also contain large amounts of saturated fats.
2 Benefits Of Feeding Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, and Legs To Your Dog
1. Dental Hygiene
Biting the bone of a raw chicken leg and drumstick cleans the teeth by removing leftover food stuck there.
It also helps remove tartar and plaque which are the common reasons for dental problems in all dogs.
The best part is dogs would like the raw bones better as they are more crunchy.
2. Nutritional Benefits
The raw chicken drumsticks and thighs contain 50% red fibers which are good for dogs.
Dark meat chicken contains twice the amount of unsaturated fats as white meat (chicken breasts and wings), thus they are a good of good fat for your dog.
In addition, it has more zinc, iron, and Vitamin C than white meat.
3 Risks Of Feeding Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, and Legs To Your Dog
Most people calculate the fat content of the raw chicken thigh, drumsticks, and legs with their skin.
So, if you feed them raw chicken legs with skin, there is an increased risk of obesity in dogs.
Feed skinless raw chicken legs to your dog if it is already obese.
2. Campylobacter Infection
According to a study conducted by the University of Melbourne, the results showed that campylobacter found in raw chicken can cause acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN) in dogs.
Dogs with APN were 9.4% more likely to have had a Campylobacter infection in the past.
APN is a rare condition where the dog’s legs become weak. It can gradually progress to other body parts as well like the neck and face.
While most dogs can recover without treatment, there are cases where dogs have died when their chest became paralyzed.
3. Risk Of Bacterial Infections
Salmonella is a bacteria easily found in raw chicken. It can cause bacterial infections in dogs.
In a study conducted by Daniel J. Joffe and Daniel P. Schlesinger on the risk of Salmonella infection in dogs fed raw chicken diets, it was found that 30% of dog stools contained salmonella.
In addition to Salmonella, dogs can also suffer from other bacterial infections Listeria and E-Coli if they are fed contaminated raw chicken thighs, drumsticks, or legs.
Although these bacterial infections hardly affect healthy canines, there is always a risk of infection in weak and old dogs.
So, watch out for symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and increased heart rate in dogs for the next 72 hours after feeding raw chicken thighs, drumsticks, and legs.
Also Read: Can A Dog Get Sick From Eating Raw Meat?
How To Safely Prepare Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks and Legs For My Dog?
Feeding raw chicken legs to your dog is rewarding if you follow all the safety procedures and prepare the food properly. So, here is what you can do:
1. Wash Your Hands
After feeding the raw chicken legs, drumsticks, or thighs to your dog, make sure you wash your hands with a good-quality soap and warm water as the bacteria present in raw chicken can easily transfer to your mouth.
2. Clean Kitchen Surfaces
Clean all the surfaces that came in contact with the raw chicken legs, drumsticks, or thighs. This includes kitchen slabs, utensils, cutlery, knives, and a cutting board. If you have frozen your raw chicken, make sure to clean the handle of the freezer.
It is essential to do so as the bacteria from raw chicken pieces can contaminate the other utensils. If they are not properly washed, these bacteria can cause severe infections in children and weak people.
3. Practice Safety
After feeding raw chicken thighs, drumsticks, or legs to your dog, do not allow your pet to lick things lying around. In case your pet accidentally licks something, disinfect it immediately.
Additionally, do not let your pet lick your face or hands especially if you have open wounds. It is because the bacteria can easily enter your body through open cuts and cause damage to your intestines at times.
4. Add Vegetables To Their Diet
The vets advise that your dog has a complete and balanced diet. Thus, only giving raw chicken thighs daily wouldn’t be enough. Make sure you add other vegetables as well in their meal.
The American Kennel Club mentions Brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, green beans, peas, and spinach as safe and healthy veggies for your dog.
How Many Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs Can You Feed Your Dog?
You can feed raw food 3-4% of your dog’s weight. Generally, this would mean that a 50-80 lbs dog can have at most 3 raw chicken thighs or 2 raw chicken leg quarters per meal.
However, if your dog is below 50 lbs, it can have at most 1 to 2 raw chicken thighs or 1 raw chicken leg. Similarly, if your dog is above 80 lbs, you might want to consider a different raw chicken diet combination for them.
However, there isn’t a fixed formula for this . At the puppy stage, your dog might need more food as it needs to grow and build metabolism. As you observe your dog, you can figure out the right amount of raw food for them. Moreover, consult your vet regarding its diet.
How Often Can You Feed Your Dog Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks, And Legs?
You can feed raw chicken thighs daily to your dog as it contains 15% bone content as required by your dog on a daily basis.
However, raw chicken drumsticks or legs should be fed occasionally as their bone content (30%) is higher than your dog’s daily requirements. Also, make sure you follow all the safety procedures mentioned above.
Should I Feed My Dog Raw Chicken Thigh/Drumstick Skin Too?
No, one must avoid feeding raw chicken thigh or drumstick skin to the dog as the skin contains way too much fat and calories. There are no beneficial nutrients present in the skin. If given in too much quantity, it can cause pancreatitis and obesity in the dogs.
However, if your dog eats a little bit of raw chicken thigh or drumstick skin, you should not worry too much. Just watch your dog for the next 24-48 hours and notice any signs of discomfort. These signs include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and blood in stools.
If your dog shows any such symptoms, contact your veterinarian and follow his advice.
We would recommend you to feed the skinless thigh or drumstick of the raw chicken to your dog to avoid any kind of trouble!
Should I Feed Raw Chicken Thighs/ Drumsticks With Bones To My Dog?
You can give raw chicken drumstick bones to your dog. The bones help the dog with cleaning the teeth as they chew and gnaw on the bone.
However, you must remove the fibula bone found in the thigh of raw chicken. The fibula bone is a thin and pointed bone that looks like a needle. If swallowed, the bone can cause punctures in the digestive tract or throat.
Additionally, do not feed cooked chicken thighs or drumsticks with bones to your dog. Cooked bones splinter and cause damage to the intestinal tract of your dog. Sometimes, this can prove fatal.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?
Can I Feed Frozen Raw Chicken Thighs, Drumsticks or Legs To My Dog?
Yes, you can feed frozen raw chicken thighs, drumsticks, and legs to your dog. Freezing the raw chicken can kill around 90% of the bacteria present in them. Thus, it makes it safer for your pet to eat frozen raw chicken thighs, drumsticks, and legs.
Just make sure you freeze them two weeks before you plan to feed the dog. Then, take it out of the freezer and give it to your dog as it is. Frozen raw chicken also allows your dog to chew harder, thus it prevents your dog from choking on raw bones.
Can I Feed My Puppy Raw Chicken Thighs/Drumstick?
Yes, you can feed raw chicken thighs to your puppies once they reach the age of 8-12 weeks. At this age, puppies start developing permanent teeth, making it easier for them to chew the raw chicken thighs and their bones.
However, make sure you remain present when you serve your dog raw chicken thighs so that they do not swallow the entire piece without chewing. In addition to this, try feeding them small thigh pieces.