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Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Feet?

Updated: Apr 4

can dogs eat raw chicken? can dogs eat raw chicken feet?

Can dogs eat raw chicken? Can dogs eat raw chicken feet?


As pet parents, we always want the best for our furry family. One common question is, "Can dogs eat raw chicken?"

This is a topic of much debate, and it's essential to understand what our pets can and cannot eat. What about can dogs eat raw chicken feet?

We shall examine the benefits and drawbacks of feeding raw chicken to our dogs in the upcoming post.

We'll also discuss the nutritional value of different chicken parts, such as the bones, wings, and breasts, and how they can affect our dogs' health. 

The Debate Around Raw Chicken


The debate around feeding raw chicken to dogs is a contentious one.

On one hand, proponents argue that raw chicken, including bones and wings, is a natural diet for dogs and can provide essential nutrients.

On the other hand, critics warn of the potential risks, such as bacterial infections and choking hazards.

Chicken bones, readily available in any supermarket, are often a point of contention.

While some believe that raw bones can be safely digested, others caution that they can splinter and cause internal damage.

It's important to note that cooked bones are universally considered dangerous due to their tendency to splinter easily.

Chicken wings, another supermarket staple, are also part of this debate. They are smaller and softer than other parts, making them a popular choice for raw feeders.

However, they must be fed cautiously as they can also pose a choking risk, especially for small breeds.

Potential Benefits of Raw Chicken


Feeding raw chicken to our furry family can have several potential benefits, particularly regarding the nutritional value of parts like the breast, drumsticks, and liver.

Lean protein, such as that found in chicken breast, is crucial for building muscle and providing energy.

It's a healthy option for dogs that need to control their weight because it's low in fat.

Additionally, dogs with sensitive stomachs will benefit from the ease of digestion of the breast meat.

The lower leg and thigh comprise the drumsticks, which offer a well-balanced combination of flesh, bone, and cartilage.

Numerous minerals, including calcium, chondroitin, and protein, are provided by this combination.

These nutrients are critical for keeping bones and joints in good shape, especially in tiny breeds more susceptible to certain joint disorders.

One of the chicken's most nutrient-dense sections is the liver.

It is brimming with vital minerals and vitamins, including B, iron, and vitamin A. These nutrients support various bodily functions, including vision, blood clotting, and metabolic processes.

However, it's important to note that while these parts can offer nutritional benefits, they should be fed as part of a balanced diet and not make up most of your dog's meals.

Overfeeding any one part can lead to nutritional imbalances. 

Potential Risks of Raw Chicken


Although there are certain advantages to eating raw chicken, it's essential to understand the risks and hazards of giving it to our animal family members.

The risk posed by chicken bones is one of the main worries. Raw bones may be dangerous for choking and can rip or tear the digestive tract if ingested.

Dogs frequently enjoy chicken skin, but it may also be dangerous.

High fat content in raw chicken skin can eventually cause obesity and other health problems, including pancreatitis.

It's also critical to remember that raw chicken skin could harbour bacteria like Salmonella or Campylobacter, which can seriously harm humans and pets.

Even though they are juicy and nourishing, chicken legs can be dangerous.

Particularly for tiny breeds, the size and form of chicken legs might present a choking threat.

Additionally, the bone in chicken legs can splinter and cause internal damage if swallowed.

Case Study: Small Breeds and Raw Chicken


This section will present a case study involving small breeds fed raw chicken. The focus will be on three specific parts: the thigh, frozen chicken, and chicken feet.

Firstly, let's consider the chicken thigh. Rich in protein and fat, the thigh is a favourite among many dogs.

In our case study, small breed dogs were fed raw chicken thighs for six months.

Their energy levels had increased, and their coats' overall health had significantly improved, according to the data.

However, it's important to note that the thigh bone was removed to prevent any choking hazard.

Next, we'll discuss frozen chicken. Some pet parents find it convenient to feed their dogs frozen chicken, which can be stored for extended periods.

In our case study, other small breeds were fed frozen chicken. It was observed that while the dogs enjoyed the frozen treat, some did show signs of sensitivity to the cold, such as mild discomfort while eating.

Lastly, let's talk about chicken feet.

Though they're sometimes disregarded, chicken feet are a fantastic source of glucosamine, which is good for joints.

In our case study, a group of small breeds were given raw chicken feet as a part of their diet. Over time, improvements in their joint mobility were observed.

This case study highlights the potential benefits of feeding raw chicken to small breeds.

Raw vs Cooked Chicken


When it comes to feeding our furry family chicken, one of the critical decisions is whether to serve it raw or cooked. Both options have their advantages and considerations.

Raw chicken, including the leg and skin, can provide a range of nutrients in their most natural form.

The leg, for instance, offers a balanced mix of meat, bone, and cartilage, providing protein, calcium, and chondroitin.

While high in fat, the skin can also be a source of dietary fats necessary for energy and the absorption of specific vitamins.

However, raw chicken must be sourced carefully (ideally from a reputable supermarket), stored correctly, and prepared hygienically to minimise the risk of bacterial contamination.

It's also important to remember that raw chicken bones can pose a choking hazard, especially for small breeds.

On the other hand, cooked chicken is often seen as a safer option. 

Cooking makes the chicken more manageable to digest and kills any potential bacteria.

However, cooking the chicken thoroughly without adding oils or seasonings that could harm dogs is crucial.

Additionally, dogs should never get cooked bones since they might shatter and harm their internal organs.

So, whether you choose to feed your furry family raw or cooked chicken depends on various factors, including your dog's dietary needs, comfort and convenience, and advice from your vet.

As always, it's important to introduce any new foods gradually and monitor your dog's reaction.

Veterinary Opinions on Raw Chicken


Veterinary opinions on feeding raw chicken to dogs can vary. Still, there are some common themes regarding the parts most often mentioned by vets: the bones, wings, and breasts.

Many vets caution against feeding dogs raw bones.

Raw bones can be a choking danger and, if eaten, can create blockages or rips in the digestive tract, even though they can supply calcium and other minerals.

Because they are more likely to shatter, cooked bones are considerably more harmful.

Chicken wings are often considered safer because they are smaller and softer.

However, vets still advise caution as they can pose a choking risk, especially for small breeds.

Suppose you do choose to feed your dog chicken wings. In that case, it's recommended to supervise them while they're eating to prevent any accidents.

The chicken breast is generally considered a safe and nutritious part of the chicken to feed to dogs.

It's a lean source of protein and is easy for dogs to digest. However, vets often recommend cooking the breast to kill any potential bacteria.

Alternatives to Raw Chicken


While raw chicken can be a nutritious part of a dog's diet, plenty of alternatives can provide similar benefits.

Let's explore some of these options, focusing on the nutritional value of drumsticks, liver, and thigh from other sources.

Firstly, turkey drumsticks can be a great alternative to chicken drumsticks.

They're larger, making them a more satisfying meal for your furry family. They also provide a good source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals.

Beef liver is another excellent alternative. It's packed with nutrients like vitamin A, iron, and B vitamins, much like chicken liver.

However, because the liver contains a lot of vitamin A, which may be hazardous in excess, consuming it in moderation is necessary.

Lastly, consider the thigh meat from other poultry, such as duck or goose.

These can be a bit fattier than chicken thighs, but they also provide a rich source of protein and other nutrients. Plus, some dogs might enjoy the change in flavour.

It's worth noting that these alternatives can be fed both raw and cooked, depending on your dog's preferences and dietary needs.

As always, it's recommended to introduce new foods gradually and to consult with your vet before making significant changes to your dog's diet.

How to Safely Introduce Raw Chicken to Your Dog's Diet


Introducing raw chicken into your furry family's diet should be done gradually and carefully.

Here's a guide on how to do it safely, focusing on the legs, frozen chicken, and chicken feet.

Start with small amounts. If introducing raw chicken legs, begin with small pieces and monitor your dog's reaction.

Some dogs might find the change in diet unsettling, so it's essential to go slow and watch for any signs of digestive upset.

When it comes to frozen chicken, the same rule applies. Start with small amounts and gradually increase the portion size.

However, be aware that some dogs might find the cold temperature of frozen chicken uncomfortable. If this is the case, let the chicken thaw before feeding.

Because chicken feet are high in glucosamine, which is good for joints, they may be a terrific addition to your dog's diet.

However, they should be introduced slowly and always under supervision to prevent choking.

Remember, safety is paramount when handling raw chicken.

Always wash your hands and any utensils or surfaces that come into contact with the raw chicken to prevent the spread of bacteria.

faqs can dogs eat raw chicken? can dogs eat chicken feet?


Can dogs eat raw chicken? 

Yes, dogs can eat raw chicken. Pet owners must be mindful of dangers such as bone splintering and bacterial infections.

Can dogs eat raw chicken bones? 

Dogs can be given raw chicken bones under supervision. Still, if the bones split, there is a chance they could choke or suffer internal injuries.

Can dogs eat chicken bones raw? 

As mentioned above, raw chicken bones can be risky due to the potential for splintering.

Can dogs eat raw chicken wings? 

Raw chicken wings can be fed to dogs, but they should be given under supervision to prevent choking.

Can dogs eat raw chicken breast? 

Raw chicken breast is generally safe for dogs to eat. However, it's always best to consult with a vet first.

Can dogs eat raw chicken drumsticks? 

Raw chicken drumsticks can be given to dogs, but like other bones, they should be given under supervision.

Can dogs eat raw chicken liver? 

Nutrient-dense raw chicken liver is a beneficial supplement for your dog's diet. However, it should be fed in moderation.

Can dogs eat chicken drumsticks raw? 

Yes, but as with other raw chicken parts, they should be given under supervision to prevent choking or bone splintering.

Can dogs eat raw chicken thighs? 

Raw chicken thighs can be fed to dogs, but they should be given under supervision due to the bone.

Can dogs eat raw chicken livers? 

As mentioned above, raw chicken liver can be a nutritious addition to a dog's diet when fed in moderation.

Can dogs eat raw chicken legs? 

Raw chicken legs can be given to dogs, but they should be given under supervision due to the risk of bone splintering.

Final Thoughts


In this article, we've explored whether our furry family can eat raw chicken.

We've delved into the potential benefits and risks, discussed the nutritional value of parts like bones, wings, and breasts, and presented a case study on small breeds.

We've also compared raw chicken to cooked chicken, shared veterinary opinions, and discussed alternatives to raw chicken.

While raw chicken can provide certain benefits, it's not without its risks.

Therefore, it's crucial to introduce it into your dog's diet gradually and with care, always prioritising their health and wellbeing.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

Before you go...!

Check out these related articles for your small dog's food here:

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mary puppins can dogs eat raw chicken

mary puppins can dogs eat raw chicken

mary puppins can dogs eat raw chicken

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny, an expert in small breed dogs and a pet parent to her own beloved small dogs.

With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families,

Kate shares her top tips with you.

Kate guides readers on small dog breeds, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate lifestyle for their small dogs.



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