It’s been pounded into your head that raw chicken is teeming with bacteria that can make you seriously ill. There are specific protocols for storing, thawing, and cooking chicken so nobody in your family gets ill. It only makes sense, then, that you’ve been avoiding giving your dog raw meat to protect them. However, using a few precautions, you can safely give your dog raw chicken.
Is Raw Chicken and All Its Counterparts Safe for Dogs?
Dogs can eat raw chicken, including the bones, without any negative side effects if you take the necessary steps to keep them safe. While you’ve been told that dogs should never have chicken bones, that warning is specifically about cooked chicken bones.
When the bones are raw, they’re fairly soft and flexible, meaning they’re easy to chew. If they’re cooked, these bones become brittle and become sharp when chewed. Remember that dogs are descendants from wolves and other wild dogs where bones are a staple in their diet. Raw chicken bones are actually very dense in nutrients essential for dogs, as well as doing the job of cleaning their teeth and gums as they chew on them.
You can also feed your dog raw chicken organs. The organs are actually the most nutritious part of the chicken, but as humans, we tend to stick to the white meat. The liver and giblets are particularly good for your dog, and it’s actually recommended that at least five percent of a raw diet should consist of the organs.
These organs give dogs essential amino acids to support their skin and coat health, help with optimal organ functions, and repair damaged tissues. Organs are also a fantastic source of protein that is very digestible by dogs, making organs a great choice for very active, fit dogs.
Chicken feet are commonly overlooked as a good food source. The rough texture is a great way to naturally clean the dog’s teeth and reduce tartar buildup. The feet are high in glucosamine, a nutrient that’s excellent for joint health. Raw chicken feet are a good choice for older dogs because they combat the deterioration of teeth due to age and help fight against arthritis.
Taking the Necessary Precautions with Raw Chicken
Despite raw meat, organs, and bones being good for your dog, they aren’t immune to bacterial infections, and salmonella is found quite often in most chicken. You should treat raw meat for your dog like you’d treat raw meat for your family. Don’t let frozen meat thaw on the counter; it’s best to thaw it in the refrigerator to mitigate bacterial growth. Before you feed it to your dog, rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Finally, don’t let any unfinished chicken sit in their bowl.
Once your dog has eaten their fill, throw any remaining meat away. Once it reaches room temperature, it’s reached the perfect temperature to grow bacteria and make your dog sick. Don’t re-refrigerate meat that’s become room temperature.
When you feed your dog chicken bones, you have a few more precautions to take. First, ensure that the bones you’re giving your dog aren’t cooked. As soon as they’re cooked, they take on that brittle, splintering quality that can damage the esophagus and intestines, as well as lodge in the throat or digestive tract. The bones should be big enough that they can’t be swallowed whole by your dog. Feed raw bones in moderation.
While they’re good for your dog, too many of them will constipate your dog. Talk to your veterinarian about how many you can feed your dog, but a general rule of thumb is no more than one or two raw bones a week, spacing out each serving by a few days.
Always supervise your dog as they’re eating bones. If they become too enthusiastic, they could try to swallow a large bone whole and wind up choking. Dogs will love their bones, so take care to keep your children and other pets away from your dog while they’re consuming them.
Some dogs might become aggressive as they’re eating bones, and you don’t want your kids or other pets getting bit. Some dogs might develop behavior problems due to the bones. If this occurs with your dog, you should discontinue them and stick to their normal diet.
Finally, avoid giving your dog large marrow bones. These have very thick outer rims and include t-bones, lamb cutlets, and knuckle bones. The biggest risk with these is your dog cracking a tooth on the bone, which will then require surgical removal.
A Note About Raw Diets for Dogs
Raw diets are quickly becoming popular among devoted dog owners. While a raw diet can be exceptionally healthy for your dog, if it is done incorrectly, it can lead to malnourishment in your dog. Wild dogs eat a raw diet, but you have to remember that when they’re lacking a certain vitamin or mineral, they know where to forage to find what their body needs.
Domesticated dogs don’t have that option. Commercial dog food diets are perfectly balanced for your dog and provide all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are required for optimal health. Raw diet proponents say that a commercial diet can’t possibly compare to a raw one, but dog food companies have put years of research and significant amounts of money into their products to ensure dogs are getting a well-rounded food.
If you think a raw diet is the best choice for your dog, talk to your veterinarian or find a vet who’s experienced in helping owners build a proper nutritional plan for dogs.
When you’ve done all of your research, talked to the necessary experts, and taken the necessary precautions, feeding your dog raw chicken, bones, feet, and organs can be very healthy for your dog. Not only will your dog reap the nutritional benefits of the raw meat, you’ll be a veritable god in their eyes.
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.