Before being domesticated, dogs used to dwell in the wilderness and devour raw meat to satiate their appetite. Due to their wild ancestral roots, a question may always come up in your mind: can dogs eat raw chicken?
Along with that, the big debate is whether dogs should consume raw chicken. Are they safe? Are they healthy to consume? How much raw meat can dogs eat?
Let’s look deeper into the topic of whether dogs can eat raw chicken.
In this article, we’ll learn about:
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
- How to prepare raw chicken safely for your dog
- And more…
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
Raw chicken has lower fat and higher protein ratio, making it an ideal protein source for dogs. Feeding your dog raw chicken bought from a supermarket is safe. Adding raw chicken meat to your dog’s regular meal will enhance their nutritional levels and reduce their obesity risks.
However, some pet owners appear to be opposed to feeding their dogs any raw meat.
The primary reason for such hostility against feeding raw meat to dogs can be attributed to the presence of microorganisms or, in clear terms, salmonella, E Coli, Listeria etc on raw chicken.
According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, salmonella is a type of bacteria found on raw meat that spreads detrimental side effects to both dogs and household members. This solitary reason has persuaded the vast majority of dog owners to refrain from feeding raw meat to their puppies.
Your dog’s disgestive system is strong enough (most of the time)
Though raw chicken meat does contain hazardous pathogens, most of the time your dog’s digestive solid system will be able to prevent any adverse effects.
According to PetMD, dogs have a shorter digestive tract. That is, the digestive system works faster by breaking down the nutrients in the ingested food, such as bones and meats, in a shorter amount of time. Another aspect worth mentioning is that the small digestive tract not only digests food quickly but is also highly acidic, killing any bacterium that gets in the way.
There are rare occasions when raw chicken intake might have severe consequences for dogs, such as Acute Polyradiculoneuritis (APN), a rare condition in which a dog’s nerves are attacked, resulting in tick paralysis.
According to the PetMD, Acute Polyradiculoneuritis(APN) or coonhound paralysis is a paralysis condition usually found on hunting dogs that come in contact with raccoons. Though it is unclear how eating raw chicken might bring such negative consequences, studies suggest that a bacteria called campylobacter is to blame.
As serious as it is, APN is rare, and not all dogs are infected by it.
The American Veterinary Medical Association discourages feeding dogs raw meat
Also, the AVMA strongly discourages the practice of feeding dogs raw meat as the pathogens found on raw meat may pose severe risks to the domesticated pets and the other humans taking care of them.
If specific hygiene measures are followed and the dog is well appropriately prepared, raw meat will possess no risk and will enhance your dog’s immunity levels.
If you are just starting to introduce raw meat to your pet’s diet, you have to start small while watching your dog’s response to the raw flesh. Eventually, raise the portions gradually until your dogs adjust well to the raw meat.
Is Raw Chicken Safe for Dogs?
Wolves and dogs belong to the same species. So, dogs, without a doubt, will like eating raw chicken meat and bones.
Though eating raw chicken carries some harm, the risks are usually minor, and not all dogs are vulnerable to them.
In fact, there are more benefits than risks for dogs consuming raw chicken, which include:
- Vitamin A, E, B2 present in raw chicken aids in improving the dog’ skin to be healthier and their coats more lustrous.
- Calcium and zinc in raw chicken helps in improving the oral health of the canines.
- Chicken’s high protein content contributes to firmer and smaller stools.
- Omega-6 fatty acids present in chicken will boost their energy levels.
Since we’ve looked at the advantages of dogs eating raw chicken, let’s have a look at some of the concerns that come with eating raw meat:
- Both dogs and their caregivers may develop health problems as a result of poor hygiene while handling raw meat.
- Constipation and diarrhea can result from eating too much raw meat.
- There is a risk of choking or injury from fractured bone fragments when consuming raw bones.
- Salmonella-related food poisoning risks.
- Other vital nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, may be lacking in an exclusively raw diet.
Which Parts Of The Chicken Should I Feed My Dog?
When it comes to feeding chicken, any part is delicate. You can feed
- Chicken Breasts
Since chicken breasts contain lean muscles, they are healthy and nutritious and do not cause dogs to gain more weight.
- Chicken Wings
Raw chicken wings are a recommended bone variety for dogs. The bones are soft and easy to eat, but they also aid in keeping the dog’s mouth and digestive tract clean.
- Chicken Neck
Chicken necks are high in calcium, chondroitin, and glucosamine, all of which are beneficial to your pet’s oral and joint health.
- Chicken Thighs
Chicken thighs contain extra fat, and by eating them, your dog can get a more lustrous and healthy coat.
- Chicken Feet
Loaded with beneficial nutrients like glucosamine and chondroitin, chicken feet are safe and healthy for dogs to consume.
- Dark Chicken Meat
The slightly dark regions of the chicken’s thigh and drumstick are known as dark chicken meat. Dark chicken flesh is less fatty, more flavorful, and contains more minerals such as zinc, iron, vitamin C, and protein.
- Chicken Innards
Chicken innards, such as livers, hearts, and gizzards, are high in nutrients, vitamins, amino acids, and lean fat, all of which are beneficial to the health and metabolism of dogs.
- Chicken Bones
Raw chicken bones are excellent sources of protein for dogs. However, make sure to take extra care while feeding raw chicken bones to dogs.
How Do I Prepare Raw Chicken For My Dog?
Through eating raw meat, dogs are able to get more nutrients and strengthen their immunity and overall health. At the same time, however, there are myriads of risks to look out for.
By now, you probably are confused about whether to feed your dogs raw chicken or not.
It is entirely up to you to determine the right decision. Our response, on the other hand, is always affirmative.
You can feed your dogs raw chicken and not worry about any potential health risks by following the following sanitary standards:
- Store Chicken Safely And Adequately
When storing chicken make sure to store them in a proper packaging in the refrigerator.
- Use Gloves Or A Cloth When Feeding Dogs Raw Meat.
When feeding raw poultry to your dog, make sure not to touch the meat directly. Instead, use a towel or wear gloves when handling raw chicken.
- No Seasonings
Because some seasonings like garlic may create allergies in your dogs, raw meat should be fed uncooked without any processing or seasonings.
- Wash Your Hands
Last but not least, take care of your hygiene. After feeding your dogs, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water.
How Much and How Often To Feed Your Dog Raw Chicken?
As a general rule of thumb, one should feed 2-4% of the pet’s body weight. Considering the size of the raw chicken meat, you can provide about 2-3 chicken thighs or quarters with skin to your pet’s diet.
For example, if your dog weighs 20 pounds, you can feed him 0.4 to 0.8 pounds of raw chicken meat per day.
You can also take the activity of your dogs into consideration when feeding your pets.
According to Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, here is quick math on how to calculate the appropriate amount of food for your dogs:
Take the weight of your dogs in pounds and multiply them with:
- 0.02 if they are plump in size or are couch potatoes.
- 0.025 if they are of normal size and are moderately active.
- 0.03 if they are underweight or are very active all day.
For instance, for a 50-pound active dog, the appropriate raw food amount is 50 x 0.025 = 1.25 pounds per day.
If you are having an adult dog, you can feed them a raw diet once a day. According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, DVM, puppies may need to eat more than 2-3 times per day.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Accidentally Ate Raw Chicken?
My dog ate raw chicken accidentally. Should I worry?
Normally, no. It is usually not a reason to be alarmed if your dog eats raw chicken by mistake. Most of the time, dogs will be able to handle ingesting a small amount of raw chicken.
However, if your dog is allergic to chicken, then the circumstances will be different.
Remove the raw chicken if any is left and clean your pet and its surroundings first. Then keep an eye on your pet’s behavior or symptoms for the next 48 hours.
If your pet is experiencing any mild symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or abdominal pain, it could be due to food poisoning. Continue to observe your dog and provide comfort to it.
If your dog starts to have more severe symptoms like vomiting continuously for several hours, blood in either vomit or poop etc, bring your dog to the vet for further investigations.
However, if your pet exhibits any of the following allergic signs, the best course of action is to take him to the veterinarian and have him treated:
- Bald patches
- Severe diarrhea
- Obsessive licking
- Skin rashes
If your dog isn’t exhibiting any of these signs and is acting normally, you shouldn’t be concerned; your pet is probably fine.
What To Do If My Dog Looks Uncomfortable After Eating Raw Chicken?
The odds of your dogs developing adverse effects from eating raw chicken are usually slim to none.
If you notice any side effects like vomiting or diarrhea, you can probably wait for a day or two to see whether the symptoms are fading. However, if your pet seems to defecate normally after a day, it means that there is nothing to worry about.
Take your pet to the vet straight away if the symptoms don’t go away in a day and instead get worse.
When Do I Need To See A Doctor After My Dog Ate Raw Chicken?
Canines can get sick from eating raw chicken. However, the chances are low.
In some cases, it is the ingested bones rather than the meat that causes health problems for the dogs.
According to the AKC, monitor your dogs’ behavior and check their stool every time they discharge for bones. If you don’t see any bone fragments in the stool, there might be chances of bone fragments getting stuck on the esophagus or intestinal tract.
The best remedy is to take your dog to the vet for a checkup.
Can A Puppy Eat Raw Chicken?
Raw chicken is safe to consume by puppies. Puppies who are at least 3-4 weeks old can start eating raw chicken.
Although make sure to have a consultation with your vet and ask them whether it is safe to feed your puppy raw meat.
How To Feed A Puppy Raw Chicken?
Always start with lean flesh when feeding raw chicken to pups. Providing them with fat-saturated chicken parts such as the liver, heart, and kidney is not a good idea.
Start by feeding them minced meat and gradually progress to solid chicken pieces.
Puppies can also be fed raw chicken bones. For little puppies, raw chicken neck and wings are recommended.
When feeding puppies raw meat, it is best to feed them 2-4 times a day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Wings?
Feeding chicken bones to dogs improves their physical appearance and boosts physical activity. Chicken wings are one of the best options when it comes to bones because they are not brittle and are also low in fat and calories.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Thighs?
You can feed raw chicken thighs to your pets. Chicken thighs are a good source of healthy fats and are safe to feed to dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Necks?
Raw chicken necks are often smaller in size and are best served to dogs since they are soft and can be eaten and crunched by them. Always flatten the chicken necks to make it easier for your dogs to eat them.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Fat?
Despite the fact that dogs can eat chicken fat, it is recommended that pet owners avoid fat from their pup’s raw food diet. When your dog is given too much chicken fat, he is more likely to get pancreatitis.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Liver?
Chicken liver is high in essential minerals, proteins, and good fats. Therefore, raw chicken livers are one of the healthiest raw food choices for feeding young and underweight dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken From Supermarket?
Including raw chicken in your dog’s diet will improve the quality of their fur as well as their overall health. Purchasing raw chicken meat from a supermarket or neighboring grocery store will suffice. Just make sure they’re thoroughly cleaned before giving them to your pets.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Beef?
Not only raw chicken, dogs are carnivores that can also eat raw beef. Whether it is the meat or bones, the results of eating beef will bring positive effects on the dog’s overall health and temperament.