Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

Author WDF Staff


Most dogs love chicken, but should you prepare it for them, or is it safe for them to eat it raw? Whatever you decide to do, there are some things you should know before you decide to make any changes in your dog’s regular diet. Here are the most important things you need to know about feeding your dog raw chicken.

Is raw chicken safe for dogs?

The shortest possible answer - yes. Dogs have a stronger stomach acid than humans, and they shouldn’t have any problem digesting raw chicken meat and bones. In fact, chicken and other poultry would be the biggest part of their diet if they lived in the wild.

Can raw chicken be bad for dogs?

In most cases, dogs will have no problem digesting raw chicken, but you should keep a close eye on them to see how they react, especially if it is their first time eating it. There is a strong movement for the raw dog diet, and raw diet enthusiasts make some good points. Their best point is that chicken is a great source of protein, and feeding a raw diet to your dog eliminates carbohydrates and reduces the chance of your dog becoming overweight.

Although chicken would be a part of your dog’s diet in the wild, it doesn’t necessarily mean they should eat it at home. Vets are usually against it, and they say that benefits are not worth the risk. These are the main issues vets mention when talking about the raw chicken diet.

chicken breast

Breed size

There are some potential problems, especially with small breeds like the Pomeranian or the Chihuahua. Many small breeds are allergic to chicken, so you should avoid chicken-based food and feed them raw chicken.

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Age is another issue that can determine if a dog should eat raw or not. Young puppies should avoid eating it because there were some links to polyradiculoneuritis (APN), an autoimmune disease connected to bacteria often found in raw chicken. However, the connection between these bacteria and APN hasn’t been 100% proven, and the study from Melbourne University is still debated.


One of the strongest arguments for avoiding the raw chicken diet is the possibility of salmonella. This is a bacteria often found in raw chicken, so a safer option would be to cook it or grill it. No matter how you prepare it, the meat should be without seasoning.

Chicken bones

Most dog owners are aware of potential problems that come with feeding your dog cooked chicken bones. Cooked chicken bones become soft and can easily splinter into small, sharp pieces that present a choking hazard. Aside from choking, such small pieces can puncture the gastrointestinal tract and cause serious harm. The best thing to do would be to move the meat off the bones.

sliced chicken

Weak immune system

Dogs with a weaker immune system should not risk eating raw food. Raw meat is usually home to all sorts of bacteria that can seriously harm your dog. Dogs with weaker immune systems should stick to a special diet that will be safe for them and help them boost their health.

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How should chicken be fed to dogs?

When all things are considered, chicken makes a great and healthy protein source for dogs that can eat it. Many industrial chicken-based foods from well-known brands like Purina or Royal Canin contain everything a dog will need for a balanced diet.

If you are skeptical about them for any reason and think that you can get your hands on better quality meat, here are the things you should look out for.

Organic chicken

An organic option might be a bit pricier, but if you can get your hands on organic chicken, that would be a great option for both you and your dog.

Proper storage

Treating and storing meat is extremely important if you are feeding your dog a raw diet. Never leave meat outside at room temperature, and clean the meat before giving it to your dog.

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Some owners forget this aspect, but it is nevertheless very important. Ensure that all the areas around your dog’s bowl and in the fridge are clean and disinfected. You don’t want any bacteria reaching raw meat.

chicken breast on table

Skip the seasoning

While seasoning is great for humans, dogs have no benefit from it. In fact, seasoning like pepper can be toxic for your dog. Even salt should be avoided.


If you are going for a raw diet, make sure you learn as much as you can about it. Learn which parts are safe and how to properly store meat. Make sure that everyone taking care of your dog, like family members or pet sitters, know how to safely prepare your dog’s meal.

In short

It is up to you as a dog owner to decide what type of diet your dog will have at the end of the day. Some owners think dogs get everything they need from industrial food, and some opt for preparing every meal themselves. Think about what works best for you and how your dog can benefit from either diet. Whatever you decide, we are sure you will keep your dog’s best intentions in mind.

World Dog Finder team

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