We all know our dogs love eating chicken, but the question is can dogs eat raw chicken? There are two answers to it: Yes and Maybe, but one thing is certain, there are some risks involved.
Almost all dog foods contain chicken or chicken flavor. So, one thing is clear that your dog can eat chicken as it provides the much-needed daily intake of protein, and it is a safe bet to add some cooked chicken to a dog’s food.
However, the problem is with raw chicken as a lot of sources like the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the U.S Food and Drug Administration don’t recommend feeding raw chicken to pet dogs.
Why? Because research shows that there is a risk of bacterial infections and Salmonella when dogs are fed raw chicken. Despite these risks, more and more pet owners seem inclined towards feeding their pets raw bones and raw chicken. But there few things you have to make sure of before feeding your dog raw food.
We are going to discuss all the risks of feeding raw chicken to your dogs and the ways to do it safely. So, let’s start by discussing the most important aspect of this topic.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?
To answer it shortly, yes, they can, but a meal that is composed exclusively of raw chicken will cause malnutrition.
Raw chicken is not a balanced diet; it just provides proteins. If a dog doesn’t get other nutrients, carbohydrates, and vitamins, it might create various health problems such as broken bones and organ malfunctioning.
To be healthy and robust, dogs require much more than chicken. Malnutrition is largely eradicated if you offer a healthy and balanced diet together with some raw chicken.
How Do Dogs Digest Food?
The question might seem a little unrelated, but it is very important to know how your dog digests food to have an idea about what you can and cannot feed your dog. If you ask any experienced pet owner whether dogs can eat raw chicken? They will say yes, but…
So, what’s behind the but? Let’s take you to the topic of carnivore digestion, so you understand the risks associated with raw meat.
The first thing you need to know about your dog’s anatomy and digestion is that they have a shorter digestive system than humans. They lack any long digestive tracts or anatomical organs that can digest plant-based food and material.
Having a shorter digestive system is the reason that your dog often signals for a potty break just five or ten minutes after gobbling their meal. This specific anatomy helps them in quick digestion, and the fast digestion process in return does not allow much time for harmful bacteria to fester inside your dog.
Other than having a different digestive system, your pets have a highly acidic chamber inside their stomachs. They also have plenty of gut bacteria and enzymes to fight any invaders or outside bacteria. Therefore, dogs are much more strongly armored to fight outside bacteria and infections despite having a short and simple digestive tract.
Keeping all this in mind, you can say that it is safe for dogs to eat raw meat as they are less vulnerable to harmful bacteria than humans. However, through domestication and pampering, pets’ dogs have become more sensitive. Since they normally eat cooked food or store-brought dog food, their guts are not as prepared to digest raw meat as wild dogs.
Therefore, we need to know how frequently they can eat raw chicken without getting sick. The best way to answer this is by seeking advice from professional vets.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken – A Vet’s Opinion
If you were to ask your vet whether it’s safe to feed your raw chicken to your dog, they will probably say if there were something that dogs can eat in the wild, it does not mean they should be eating that at home.
Moreover, the vet is sure to emphasize a balanced diet according to the age of your canine friend. Adult dogs might not get affected at all after eating raw chicken, but it can cause some serious problems for puppies and aging dogs.
Your vet will definitely warn you about the health risks associated with raw chicken like APN and Salmonella.
Risks Associated with Feeding Raw Chicken to Your Dog
Including raw chicken in a dog’s diet is becoming very common; nowadays, people think of it as a much healthier option than commercially prepared food like kibble or canned meat.
No doubt, organic meat is a much healthier option than processed dog food with artificial flavors and preservatives but is it safer? Raw chicken carries serious health risks for your canine friend.
First, let’s discuss the problems associated with feeding raw chicken to your dog, and afterward, we will discuss the ways in which raw chicken is safe for consumption by canines.
1. Salmonella Infections
So, when the question of can dogs eat raw chicken arises, this is the first red flag. Salmonella infections are caused by a bacterial species known as Salmonella sp. This bacterium commonly brews in uncooked or partially cooked chicken, and its consumption causes food poisoning.
What is worse, Salmonella is contagious; if your pet gets it, chances are you will too! Pet owners usually handle meat with their bare hands, thus presenting a high risk of transferring bacteria onto their hands, utensils, counters, and bowls of dog food. Infection and symptoms of Salmonellosis can emerge if this bacterium enters a person’s or a dog’s mouth in high enough concentrations.
The most common signs and symptoms presented by Salmonella-infected dogs are vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, a loss of appetite, and high temperature. Antibiotics and other drugs, as well as IV hydration therapy, are required to beat the infection. In case your dog’s immunity is weak or it has severe dysbiosis of the intestine, then this condition can be fatal.
You can’t detect Salmonella without a test, so you have no way of knowing if the raw chicken you’re giving your dog is tainted. Foods are frequently rejected owing to Salmonella contamination; however, this isn’t always detected until someone becomes ill. The biggest risk with feeding uncooked chicken to your dog is Salmonellosis.
While looking at the nutritional benefits, you may ask yourself can dogs eat raw meat regularly? However, while you consider an all-meat diet for your dog, you should also consider the dangers of APN exposure. APN is abbreviated as polyradiculoneuritis (APN) that is an autoimmune disorder. This disorder is caused by exposure to bacteria that are generally found on raw meat or chicken.
The University of Melbourne has developed a possible link between raw chicken and this autoimmune disorder in research. However, lack of a healthy diet is related to more negative health outcomes as compared to APN disorder caused by raw chicken.
Apart from the risk of APN, raw chicken is not appropriate for immunocompromised puppies and dogs or with indigestion issues. As a pet lover, it is recommended to keep your pets safe from the risks of infections.
There are some other questions as well that are associated with feeding raw chicken to your pets, and we are going to answer them in detail for you here.
Can Dogs Eat Uncooked Chicken Bones?
Chicken meat includes bones as well. So as a pet owner, if you are offering raw chicken to your pet, there is a greater possibility that a bone will be present. Bones can create gastrointestinal blockages, pierce internal organs, become lodged in the throat, and may damage teeth.
If you are thinking of offering cooked meat to your pet, then cooked bones might be a bigger problem. These bones associated risks can be minimized by removing bones from the feed of your pet.
However, there are some benefits of eating raw chicken bones too. You might have read about the benefits of raw chicken wings for dog teeth. Raw wings, as well as lamb flaps, are something that would help to keep your pet’s gums and teeth healthy. They aid in the cleansing of the digestive tract of your dog and also provide extra nutrition. dog
As good as it may sound, feeding your dog bones can cause choking, gastrointestinal blockages, and more. Therefore, you have to take great care when feeding your raw bones. It’s best to give them bones that cannot be swallowed to avoid choking.
Lastly, avoid cooked bones at all costs. If they are cooked, it is way more dangerous as they can splinter and might cause an injury.
How Much Raw Chicken to Feed a Dog?
There are different opinions about the amount of raw meat you should feed your dog. It varies according to the activity level, age, and metabolism of your pet. A short guide is mentioned below to help you roughly calculate the amount of raw chicken you should feed your dog:
First of all, measure the weight of your dog in pounds and then:
- Multiply with 0.2 for inactive dogs or the ones who are overweight
- Multiply with 0.25 with dogs who have normal activity levels or are in the normal weight range
- Multiply with 0.3 if you have a hyperactive dog or you want your pet to gain a little weight
Moreover, if you want to feed raw chicken to your dog, then keep these things in your mind:
- Try to feed organic chicken to your dog if you can afford it.
- Try not to leave raw chicken at room temperature and store it properly.
- Try not to feed meat with bones to your dog as they can get splinter hence causing injury.
- Try not to add anything to the raw chicken like spices or seasonings etc.
- After feeding raw chicken to your dog, monitor it closely for any signs of distress.
- If you are trusting a pet sitter to feed your dog, then leave proper instructions for them.
- Try to cut small cubes of raw chicken and clean them properly.
- Try to feed him a balanced diet as too much raw chicken can cause malnutrition
What Do We Think Now About Why Can’t or Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?
The one reason you might be inclined towards feeding your dog raw chicken can be its nutritional composition. Raw chicken contains eighty percent protein, has no sugars or carbs, is a great source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and many other dog-friendly nutrients. Moreover, raw meat is good for dogs with food allergies.
However, you have to be very careful while feeding your dog raw chicken and avoid overdoing it. Raw chicken is only safe in small quantities and when given in combination with other food groups. You need to make sure the meat you are feeding your dog is safe and does not contain bones.
If you found this article helpful, then share it with your family or friends who are pet owners. If you have any other questions, then leave a comment below. We would love to answer all your queries.