Dog with a raw chicken thigh in its mouth

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? No, And…

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Humans have no interest in eating raw chicken, but that does not mean that your dog would not eat it up in a heartbeat. However, anyone that has owned a dog knows the foods they want to eat aren’t all foods they can eat. So, can dogs eat raw chicken?

Unfortunately, it is not a question with a simple yes or no answer. There are benefits but also detriments. As a result, you need to weigh those factors before making an ultimate decision.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

No, you shouldn’t feed your dog raw chicken.

Raw chicken is natural and unprocessed, and as a result, many dog owners are giving it to their furry friends. Some people believe that raw chicken is healthier than cooked chicken food dogs. Unfortunately, it is not 100% safe to give raw chicken to your dog.

Issues can occur when you feed raw chicken to your dog. Notably, dogs can get salmonella infections from raw chicken. Salmonella is a common food poisoning that comes from eating uncooked food.

Salmonella can cause vomiting, lethargy, and diarrhea in your dog. It can even cause a severe fever in extreme cases. If your dog gets salmonella, it will need antibiotics.

Furthermore, dogs are not careful when they eat, and as a result, chicken bones can severely hurt your dog. If a bone gets lodged in your dog’s throat, it can cause severe damage to the esophagus, stomach, or intestines. So, you need to remove chicken bones beforehand.

Finally, feeding your dog exclusively raw chicken will result in malnutrition. While chicken is rich in protein and other vitamins, it is not a balanced diet on its own. So, you need to mix chicken with other foods so that your dog remains healthy.

How Much Raw Chicken Can You Feed Your Dog?

Is raw chicken bad for dogs? We do not recommend that you use raw chicken as the primary food in your dog’s diet. It can be a supplementary aspect of the diet you feed your pet. However, your dog should continue to eat dog food to ensure all the necessary vitamins and minerals are received.

How to Prepare Raw Chicken for Your Dog

Since it is raw food, you do not need to do a lot to prepare raw chicken for your dog. The only thing you need to do is make sure there are no bones left in the chicken. Letting your dog consume bones can result in many health issues outlined above.

We recommend that you give the raw chicken to your dog in small servings to reduce the risk of salmonella.

Tips from Our Vets

The following is a list of tips on how to think about what human foods are (and may not be) safe for your dog from Dr. Jennifer Coates’ article on Foods Dogs Can and Cannot Eat.

There are some human foods that dogs can eat safely, as well as some human foods dogs can’t eat.

If you have a dog, you might be used to seeing adorable puppy eyes begging for a bite of, well, anything that you happen to be eating.

While it’s natural to want to share human food with your furry pal, many of the foods we eat are toxic to dogs. Some reasons foods may be harmful to your pup include:

  • Foods that are a problem due to our physiological differences (foods we can handle that a dog’s stomach can’t)
  • Other foods aren’t toxic, but are still potentially dangerous for dogs because they are hard to digest
  • Another category of foods that are a problem for dogs are foods that may contain high levels of fat

Some tips and words of caution if you are feeding your pet human foods:

  • Always keep in mind that new foods of any kind, including switching to a different dog food, can cause stomach upset.
  • When you find a human food you’d like to share with your pup, go slowly. Give small amounts at first and watch for any problems like vomiting or diarrhea before giving more.
  • Remember that treats should make up less than 10% of your dog’s diet. So all of the foods that are safe for your dog should be given in moderation to avoid weight gain and nutrient excesses and deficiencies.

What To Do if Your Dog Eats Something He Shouldn’t

Now that you know what foods are safe for dogs, it’s a good idea to know what to do if your pup eats food that’s toxic to dogs.

If your dog does end up eating something he shouldn’t, try not to panic. You have a few options for getting the help your dog needs:

  • The first is to call your dog’s veterinarian, who can advise you to either come into the office or to watch for signs of poisoning, obstruction, or other potential problems.
  • If it’s after hours, you can try calling an emergency veterinarian.
  • Another option is to call a pet poison control line. Be aware that there is a fee to use these services. Two that we can recommend are the ASPCA Animal Poison Control at (888) 426-4435 and the Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661.

In some cases, you might be told to induce vomiting in your dog. It is helpful to keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to do this.

Do not induce vomiting unless your veterinarian or someone from one of the pet poison control hotlines advises you to do so, however, because in some cases, vomiting can make the situation worse. [efn_note]Is it ever safe to induce vomiting? ASPCA.org. November 19, 2019. Accessed April 28, 2021.[/efn_note]

Final Thoughts

Dogs fill your life with joy and love you unconditionally, so you should try to keep them as healthy as possible and understanding things like the right foods for them to eat and how big will a puppy get. Sometimes that means not giving them all the raw chicken they want. While raw chicken is okay to give your dog in moderation, it should not be the primary food in their diet.

If you’re looking for more information about which human foods are (and aren’t) safe for your dog to eat, check out our series of guides below:

Can Dogs Eat Asparagus? Can Dogs Eat Cantaloupe? Can Dogs Eat Kiwi? Can Dogs Eat Pineapple? Can Dogs Eat Shrimp?
Can Dogs Eat Avocados? Can Dogs Eat Cauliflower? Can Dogs Eat Lettuce? Can Dogs Eat Pistachios? Can Dogs Eat Tuna?
Can Dogs Eat Beans? Can Dogs Eat Celery? Can Dogs Eat Mangoes? Can Dogs Eat Plums? Can Dogs Eat Turkey?
Can Dogs Eat Beets? Can Dogs Eat Cinnamon? Can Dogs Eat Marshmallows? Can Dogs Eat Popcorn? Can Dogs Eat Walnuts?
Can Dogs Eat Bell Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Coconut? Can Dogs Eat Oatmeal? Can Dogs Eat Pork? Can Dogs Eat Watermelon?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Fish? Can Dogs Eat Olives? Can Dogs Eat Radishes? Can Dogs Eat Yogurt?
Can Dogs Eat Blackberries? Can Dogs Eat Green Beans? Can Dogs Eat Peaches? Can Dogs Eat Raspberries? Can Dogs Eat Zucchini?
Can Dogs Eat Broccoli? Can Dogs Eat Ham? Can Dogs Eat Pecans? Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Can Dogs Eat Hot Cheetos?
Can Dogs Eat Brussel Sprouts? Can Dogs Eat Honey? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Salmon?
Can Dogs Eat Cabbage? Can Dogs Eat Ice Cream? Can Dogs Eat Peppers? Can Dogs Eat Seaweed?

Beyond that, you’re likely also interested in the quality of your dog’s food and your pet’s health, in addition to having questions about what your dog can and can’t eat. We happen to have a ton of resources on these very topics!

One is our guide which will teach you about adding fiber to a dog’s diet, along with or our guide to choosing the best high fiber dog foods. If you’re looking into treating your dog with upset stomach we have a guide for that as well, and we can even help answer how long does it take for dogs to digest food?. If you’re portioning your dog’s food you can also check out our guide to choosing the best automatic dog feeder.

We also have a series of health and nutritional information for your dog. Our puppy size calculator and our dog weight chart can help you determine if your dog is the proper weight and size, and we even have a collection of breed-specific growth charts such as our goldendoodle growth chart, great dane growth chart, golden retriever growth chart, chihuahua growth chart, or our labrador growth chart.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.