Maybe I shouldn't let my dog stand in the kitchen drooling while I chop up dinner, but I do love having him around. I also like to put some some small pieces of raw food, both meat and veg in his bowl after prep is done. I feel that I am giving him some variation and some good healthy treats. His favorite are raw carrots and raw broccoli.
Even though dogs are carnivores, I thought I'd best check on giving my dog raw meat and in particular whether dogs can eat raw chicken. You can read more about a raw diet in our article: Raw food diet for dogs – pros and cons.
Chicken is a good source of protein and without the fat and skin, is very lean and healthy. The concerns seem to be raised due to the susceptibility for chicken to host all sorts of bacteria and nasties like salmonella.
What Are The Benefits Of Chicken
According to Livestrong the benefits of eating chicken are many. Here are some below:
Chicken is high in protein, as much as 7g protein per ounce of meat. It is also a complete protein which means it it contains all nine essential amino acids. Protein aids the human body but building body tissues and muscles.
Carbohydrates, Calories and Fat
There are no carbohydrate in chicken and by removing the skin and fat, chicken is very lean. The chicken breast or white meat is the leanest of the cuts of chicken. Dark meat is higher in fat. The dark meat of chicken has lightly more calories and fat content.
Chicken is a rich source of two B vitamins: niacin or vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. Niacin help to release energy from carbohydrates. It also aids in the formation of red blood cells. Chicken is also the best source of vitamin B6 is also important for protein metabolism and proper immune system function. Importantly it also helps to produce certain neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals.
Chicken is rich in two minerals; phosphorus and selenium. Phosphorus is essential for healthy, strong bones and teeth and helps activate the B vitamins. Selenium aids immune system function and regulating the thyroid hormone.
Nutrition in foods is diminished or altered when cooking foods, including chicken. Raw chicken will contain these nutritional elements but be sure of the freshness. Small the chicken and don't use chicken past the use by date as bacteria may be present.
So, Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
Yes, dogs can eat raw chicken. Your dog will love a piece of fresh juicy raw chicken. However there some thing to think about before you go feeding your dog raw chicken willy nilly.
Remember that dogs are carnivore and historically used to hunting and eating raw meat. Dogs are designed to take a certain amount of bacteria but there is no need to risk this in our pet dogs with out of date food..
Good quality chicken
I have put this little section in because these days, there is chicken and there is chicken. I am very cautious about the chicken I buy and try to only buy local, free range chicken that is free from the nasty additives that large scale chicken produces give their little chickens. Healthy chickens should be scavenging for grass and little bugs it find in the ground.
Anything that food produces give to their produce whether animal or vegetable will inevitably be stored and transferred to the end eater. Hormones, antibiotics and the food that they have been fed. Alway eat and feed your dog good quality food if possible.
How To Feed Your Dog Raw Chicken
Don't feed your dog old or out of date chicken as this is likely to have bacteria. Feed your raw chicken It is best to remove the fat from the chicken and be careful with small sharp bones. Cooked bones are definitely a no-no for dogs but i tend to avoid raw chicken bones as well. small bones with cartilage like necks and wings are mostly ok for your dog but nothing is without risk. Piece can get lodged and cause choking or obstructions. Cross fingers this hasn't happened to me.
If your dog is not used to eating chicken, introduce it slowly in small quantities. Your dog will usually be quite excited about a juicy raw piece of chicken. Some of the ways to introduce some raw or cooked chicken to your dogs diet include:
- mix small pieces into your dog's normal daily food
- Small pieces as a training reward or treat
- Make a blend of raw or cooked chicken, rice and raw or steamed vegetables.
If in doubt of the chicken freshness or you are still dubious about feeding your dog chicken, there is no harm to cook the chicken and feed your dog small pieces once it has cooled down, Don't give your do hot food, that's just mean.
As dogs are sensitive to a change in food which may cause stomach upsets and diarreah, only feed in small amounts. Chicken as a treat or reward is a good idea.
What Can Go Wrong When Feeding Dogs Raw Chicken
A nasty bacteria will cause your dog some discomfort with gastro-intestinal issues including upset stomach, , vomiting and diarreah. Make sure your dog has water to avoid dehydration and watch your dog incase the symptoms get worse. If this reaction is severe, see a vet.
Acute PolyradiculoNeuritis (APN)
APN is a rare but debilitating condition where dog’s hind legs first become weak. It can progress to the front legs, neck, head, and face. Most dogs eventually recover without treatment but can take up to six months. Unfortunately other dogs may die from the disease.
A study at the University of Melbourne says the bacteria Campylobacter is now considered the trigger . This bacteria may be may be present in undercooked chicken, unpasteurized milk products, and contaminated water.
Like us, dogs can be allergic to some foods. Watch your dog when introducing new foods for any sign of allergy or reaction. If you do see a reaction, stop immediately, you may be to consult your vet. Some food may not be suitable for all dogs particularly those with serious health conditions.