Last Updated on August 13, 2021 by adrienne hardwick
We all know there are plenty of benefits to a raw diet for your dog. It gives them access to increased levels of protein, fresh cuts of meat instead of derivatives, and a diet that is rich in meat, bone, and vegetables. But the important thing is making sure it is safe and balanced.
Dogs can eat raw chicken and raw chicken bones safely. However, you do need to be aware that dogs are still at risk of salmonella poisoning, so it is important to ensure that you buy the raw meat from responsible farmers to minimise the risk.
If you want to learn more about raw chicken precautions as well as information on how safe raw and cooked chicken bones are for your dog, this is the guide for you.
How Safe is Raw Chicken for Your Dog?
Raw chicken is very safe for your dog, and it is one of the most popular choices among raw feeders because it is such an affordable and readily available meat. The only real risk you have is salmonella, although this is quite rare in the UK due to higher welfare standards for chickens.
Raw chicken is rich in protein, and using actual cuts of meat ensures that they are getting better nutritional value out of their meals. The protein helps to maintain healthy muscles as well as provide them with the energy they need to get through the day.
Chicken organs are also fantastic for your dog. They are rich in amino acids which means they have better support for organ function as well as tissue repairs. Not to mention it’s fantastic for their skin and coats. The best organs to feed them for this is the liver and giblets.
Chicken feet are also commonly overlooked when they shouldn’t be. The naturally rough texture means that your dog can keep their teeth clean when they are eating them, and they are rich in glucosamine which is excellent for healthy and strong joints.
Necessary Precautions with Raw Chicken
Just because your dog can eat raw chicken doesn’t mean they are immune to potential bacterial infections and illnesses that often come with it. Just like humans, there are some risks to raw chicken for dogs and there are precautions that you should take as a result.
For example, you should leave any frozen raw chicken to thaw in the fridge and not on the counter. This is because it prevents bacterial growth in the chicken. In the UK, you don’t need to wash your chicken before cooking because we don’t use chlorine, but you do in the US.
If your dog finishes their dinner and leaves some of the chicken behind (it happens, my dog will only eat until he is full) make sure you throw it out and don’t leave it to sit in the bowl. If it just sits around it will attract bacteria and you cannot feed them to it later for the same reason.
Never put meat in the fridge that has reached room temperature – that goes for dogs and humans. The raw meat will very likely make them sick if you feed it to them later. Just make sure you are safe when you feed it to them.
In the UK, chickens must be vaccinated against salmonella when their meat or eggs are being sold, but it is still important to ensure that you buy your chicken responsible and store it safely to minimise the risk of your dog becoming sick with salmonella – it can pass from them to humans.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Chicken Bones?
No, dogs can’t eat cooked chicken bones. You should NEVER give a dog cooked bones of any kind. The reason for this is that cooking softens the bones, which makes it much easier for them to splinter when they are being chewed and swallowed.
The splintering is dangerous because these sharp spikes can pierce the oesophagus as well as the stomach and intestines. These punctures can be fatal and require immediate veterinary attention. It’s never worth the risk of feeding your dog cooked bones of any kind.
What Age Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?
Dogs can eat raw bones from the 12 weeks old, and it is a good time to introduce them to their diet. At 12 weeks, your puppy will start teething and their baby teeth will fall out (watch your feet, it’s worse than stepping on Lego).
When this happens, they will seek out anything they can that’s hard for chewing. Bones help to relieve teething pains and get those irritating loose teeth out. Raw chicken bones, especially chicken wings can be great for this and are a safe thing for them to eat.
As a little extra, chunky bones like cow knuckles are also fantastic for them to chew when they need something for those little teeth. Plus, bones are the perfect treat to keep them calm on those really hot summer days when they can’t go out as much or have to walk late.
Raw bones for puppies
Raw bones are great for puppies that are 12 weeks or older because it helps with teething and also gives them something to chew that isn’t your furniture. Make sure they are raw and always supervise them while they are munching on their bones.
Check out our full guide on the best dog food for puppies, it’s essential you feed your puppy the correct food.
Can I feed my dog raw chicken liver?
Absolutely, raw chicken liver is rich in protein and contains vitamins A and B, iron, copper, zinc, essential fatty acids – all of which are essential for a healthy body, immune system, and coat. It’s a great nutrient boost and a tasty treat that they are sure to love.
Chicken and chicken bones are a topic of hot debate. Of course, dogs should always be supervised when they have bones in case they end up breaking off small chunks. Just remember, bones must always be raw and NEVER cooked. Key advice right there.
If you found this guide helpful or interesting, make sure you check out the rest of our canine care guide series. To help you become the best dog owner possible, we have compiled everything you need to know about looking after your dog – the experts are here to help.
For over a decade, Adrienne has been a freelance content writer and blogger who’s passion lies in anything related to dogs. Growing up, dogs were a very important part of family life in the Hardwick household. Now, Adrienne is the proud parent to two Swedish Vallhunds called Moose and Pumpkin.