Amongst the questions we commonly get asked by owners, what dogs can and can’t eat, is right up there. The topic is continually a source of confusion. After all, dogs and humans digest and metabolise differently. Therefore, we can’t just serve them the same grub we’re cooking for dinner. We all know dogs love a juicy steak or tasty bone. But can dogs eat chicken? Well, that’s where things get a little more complicated. Follow us through a quick guide to the ins and outs of how to feed poultry to your pooches.
Can I cook it?
Cooked chicken is safe for dogs to eat. I mean, loads of dog foods contain it. Actually, chicken is great for dogs, providing a fantastic source of lean protein, rich in vitamin B6. Chicken helps heart health and even prevents bone loss over time. Feel free to add chicken to your dog’s bowl as a substitute or as a treat with their meal.
So, what’s the confusion? It seems straightforward enough.
Well, firstly, you need to be aware that some dogs are allergic to chicken. In fact, it ranks among the top ten allergy-inducing foods. So, if your dog begins to suffer digestive or stomach-related symptoms after eating chicken, find out if they’re actually allergic.
It might not just be the chicken. If you’re cooking the chicken as part of a meal, make sure the meat hasn’t been prepared with any foods that can cause dogs harm, e.g. garlic or onions. Also, deep-fried or heavily-salted chicken does not make an advisable meal for your dog.
But you can mix the chicken with healthy grains or vegetables (that are safe for dogs such as carrot) if you wish, or serve alone, poached, grilled, or roasted.
Is Chicken ok raw?
Next is the elephant in the room—raw chicken. While there has been some movement towards feeding raw chicken to dogs, it’s not advised. Dogs do have a stronger ability to handle raw meat than humans. However, they are still susceptible to bacterial infections, such as salmonella. Therefore, to save your dog and yourself the hassle, stick with cooked chicken.
Beware of the Bones!
The main thing to be careful of when serving cooked chicken is the bones, especially if you’re removing the meat directly off the carcass. Chicken bones are prone to splintering, and can even be small enough for your dog to swallow when eating. These splinters can cause choking, or worse, a gastrointestinal puncture. So, take the meat off the bones before serving, and remove any small bones.