Quick answer: YES! Our dog Bingo, a lab/shepherd cross, gets raw chicken almost every day. We buy it frozen as a mince from the grocery store and he loves it.
In fact, most dogs love chicken, which is why it’s one of the most common ingredients and flavors in dog food formulas. Dogs’ digestive systems are designed to digest raw food freely and a lot of dog owners are adopting the new raw diet trend for their dogs.
In this guide, we’ll tackle everything you need to know about raw chicken and whether you should feed it to your dog or not.
Our dog Bingo eats raw chicken in a variety of forms.
He’s a Labrador German Shepherd cross and is 6 months old in these pictures. In the image above, he is waiting outside the kitchen window while I prepare his lunch – chicken mince and necks. And yes, that is my work boot he has also been chewing!
We often feed him raw chicken in a variety of forms, including:
Raw chicken mince
Offcuts from chicken breast we’re cooking for ourselves
Raw chicken skin
We also raise our own chickens for eggs and which we sometimes use for food. A dog can have many bits and pieces leftover from processing chickens.
To show you that dogs will eat and can eat chicken, I’ve prepared this delicious meal of chicken mince and necks. We don’t exclusively feed him chicken, but he also gets a good kibble and often eats beef and lamb as well.
Look at that tongue giving that raw chicken a good lick!
The little man loves his raw chicken meals, though I do feel a bit grossed out if he comes and licks me in any way afterward! He always prefers raw meat to kibble or dog roll (which he gets irregularly).
He always takes the chicken neck away to be eaten elsewhere. The atmosphere needs to be perfect to really enjoy it.
For those who want to go deeper on the subject of whether or not raw chicken is good for dogs, keep scrolling!
Can Dogs Have Raw Chicken?
Before dogs were domesticated, wild dogs used to have a fully raw diet. They’ve descended from wolves and they have a very similar digestive system.
Similar to dogs in the wild, your house dog is an omnivore, which means it can eat just about anything from meat, chicken, vegetables, and fruits. For that reason, it’s in dogs’ genes to eat raw meat, such as chicken, and thousands of years of breeding and adaptation won’t just take these instincts away.
In fact, eating raw chicken breast isn’t a bad thing either. After all, chicken is an excellent source of animal protein, which is the best type of protein and the easiest to digest by the dog’s stomach.
Some people may not recommend dogs eating raw chicken because it carries a risk of bacterial contamination and suggests cooking the chicken for safety. Some will prefer freshly cooked dog food, such as the dog food delivery service Pet Plate provides.
However, dogs’ stomachs are much stronger than ours and can tolerate bacteria better than we do. Pet Food Sherpa explains that this is because their stomach is much more acidic in nature, which provides much better protection against bacteria.
Yet, you should keep in mind that dogs used to eat raw meat that they’ve just hunted, so there wasn’t room for a huge bacterial buildup. That’s why if you want to feed your dog raw chicken meat, you should make sure that it’s relatively fresh or has been freeze dried.
Instinct Raw Boost is one great example of raw chicken breast for dogs. This has pieces of freeze-dried raw chicken in it, and it’s cage-free chicken nonetheless!
Raw Boost is natural, made from real meat & whole food ingredients, protein-packed & minimally processed. It’s made in the USA with the best ingredients from around the world.
Also, eating raw food doesn’t mean it has to be unclean food. In other words, you should always rinse the chicken breast well before serving it raw to your dog as an extra precaution – this goes for cats eating raw chicken as well.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?
As you know, dogs love bones and a lot of vets will suggest that you feed your dog raw meaty bones.
In addition to their nutritious composition, eating meaty bones helps in keeping the dog’s dental health intact by cleaning the dog’s teeth and gums. Not only that but it will also help in cleansing the digestive tract.
You might be worried because bones are hard. However, the enzymes in a dog’s stomach are able to digest it. One thing you need to know is that you should not cook them before giving them to your dog. It’s also best not to give dogs the chicken leg bone.
Chicken bones are not as tough as beef bones, so they’re much easier to break and splinter when they’re cooked. This can lead to painful cuts or blockages in the dog’s mouth or gums. Even worse, it can puncture its digestive tract or choke them.
That’s why some owners that choose to feed their dogs raw chicken meat will still not feed them raw chicken bones.
What Happens If a Dog Eats Raw Chicken?
Based on what you now know about raw chicken, in the majority of cases, nothing will happen if your dog eats raw chicken.
If you’ve recently bought the eaten chicken from the grocery store, don’t panic, as your dog will be fine. However, if the chicken is unwashed, you better take it away from the dog and wash them before they eat it.
Keep in mind that some breeds are actually more allergic to chicken than others, especially the small ones. Large chicken chunks can also block the airway of a small breed dog, so you have to cut it into smaller pieces for these pets.
How Much Raw Chicken Can a Dog Eat?
Ideally, a dog can eat 2% to 3% of its body weight in raw meat. This amount is usually split over two meals a day. This also applies to raw chicken. However, you should remember that raw chicken meat isn’t as “complete meal” as raw beef meat.
For that reason, you shouldn’t rely solely on chicken as the complete nutrition of your dog. Instead, you may want to add them as an alternative every few days or use them as treats.
How to Feed a Dog Raw Chicken
Feeding your dog raw chicken is a simple process because they usually love it. If you don’t feed your dog raw food, it’s better to start with raw beef meat instead, as it’ll be much easier to incorporate raw chicken directly.
To feed your dog raw chicken, remember to make sure that the chicken isn’t outdated or lift outside for a long time. Start by giving the meat a quick rinse before you prepare it.
If you’re unsure about the chicken’s fragile bones, you can take the easy path and remove it altogether.
An optional step here is to remove the fatty skin too if your dog is overweight or inactive. Small bones and cartilages are usually okay and your dog can digest them with ease.
To help your dog accommodate the changes in diet and avoid diarrhea issues, cut the chicken into smaller pieces.
My Dog Ate Raw Chicken
Can dogs have raw chicken? Yes!
If you did not want to prepare your own raw food for dogs, then check out these dog food delivery services, many of which exclusively create raw dog food meals.
As you can see, raw chicken is usually not a cause for concern and can actually be an inexpensive alternative to raw meat if you feed your dog raw food. Yet, you shouldn’t count on chicken alone for feeding your dog because this counts as an unbalanced diet. Healthy dog food will contain a mixture of ingredients.
If your dog ingests raw poultry, they’ll most likely be fine, if not actually benefit from the meat.
However, some pets, like these small dog breeds with short hair (Jack Russels, Foxies, or Dachshunds), can be allergic to chicken. In that case, make sure that you consult a vet if your dog shows extended or serious symptoms of hypersensitivity after eating chicken.