Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

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Can dogs eat raw chicken? The answer is yes. Dogs can eat raw chicken including the bones.

Chicken bones become harmful to dogs when they have been cooked. They are brittle and can splinter inside your dog’s throat and stomach, causing terrible injuries. So never cook chicken with the bone and feed it to your dog.

Raw chicken, along with the bone is relatively safe for your dog to eat. The bones are chewy when raw and are a beneficial part of your dog’s diet. Some say the raw chicken meat may contain bacteria that are unsafe, and therefore should not be fed to dogs. We shall discuss this in more detail below.

can dogs eat raw chickenCan Dogs Eat Raw Chicken – The Benefits

Raw chicken bones provide important health benefits including keeping teeth and gums healthy.

Raw chicken organs, such as the giblets and liver are also beneficial for dogs to eat. If you are considering a raw meat diet for your dog, it is recommended that you feed them 5 to 10% organ meats as part of a balanced intake.

Chicken organs can provide essential amino acids for your dog, not forgetting the fact they are a highly digestible form of protein.

Dogs can also eat raw chicken feet. The feet contain high amounts of glucosamine, which is a nutrient beneficial for joint health.

The rough texture of chicken feet also act as toothbrushes, cleaning your dogs teeth as they gnaw at the meat and bone.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken – Precautions

If your dog eats too many raw chicken bones, (or to many bones in general), they may end up suffering from constipation. It is suggested that a dog should only eat bones once or twice a week.

As stated, the bone must not be cooked. It should also be big enough so that it cannot be swallowed whole by your dog.

can dogs eat raw chicken - yesCan Dogs Eat Raw Chicken – Salmonella

There is a possibility of salmonella contamination if your dog eats raw chicken. However, dogs are descendant of wolves. A dog’s digestive system is developed in a way that can process even contaminated foods. This means dogs can eat raw chicken with relative safety.

As a precaution you can control the amount of potential contamination by following the same procedures you would in human food preparation. Namely rinsing the raw chicken thoroughly before serving and making sure worktops are clean.

Starting a Raw Food Diet

There are many excellent resources for owners wanting to try a raw food diet for their dogs. BarfWorld is a leading website on the subject, and there are countless books available too.

One very good website I can recommend on the subject is Raw Paws. This goes into great detail on all aspects of raw feeding, giving you the knowledge to safely feed your dog no matter their size or breed.

Although it is not advised to begin a raw food diet without conducting your research first, the important issue is to do so slowly and with precaution. Rapidly changing your dog’s diet is a major cause of stomach upset and illness.

Do not suddenly throw the old food away and begin to feed your dog raw chicken.

Start by introducing one or two small raw chicken wings into your dog’s regular diet.

Continue to do this over a lengthy period time until you are confident you can completely switch to raw foods without any complication. The dietary change to raw food for your dog should take several weeks to complete, and only if you have not witnessed any adverse effects.

The American Veterinary Medical Association on Raw Feeding

avma - can dogs eat raw chickenThe American Veterinary Medical Association does not actually recommend the raw food diet for dogs.

The AVMA states that all meats or milk be fully cooked or pasteurized before a dog can eat them.

This position is taken from a standpoint of precaution. As we have explained, raw meat and milk can be contaminated with various disease-causing bacteria, including those causing salmonella and listeria.

Although many dog Owner’s swear by raw food diets and the benefits it has, it is something that should be approached with care.

The following link leads to an interesting article regarding feeding raw chicken to dogs.

Other Resources


Can dogs eat raw chicken? If you have any comments on your own experiences with feeding your dog raw chicken please leave them below.