Feeding raw chicken to your dog might seem like a health risk, especially because uncooked meat doesn’t go well with human digestion. Some vets also warn against a raw chicken diet because of salmonella, escherichia coli (e.coli), and other bacteria that may be present in raw meat. However, since a dog’s stomach is more acidic than a human’s, it provides a safer environment against pathogens. Their digestive tract is also shorter than that of a human; so, the food processing is faster, leaving little to no room for bacteria to thrive.
So, this brings us to the question, “Can dogs eat raw chicken?” And the answer is, it is quite controversial. If your canine companion is a healthy bud and is used to a raw diet, then feeding some chomps of uncooked chicken is mostly safe. But, puppies, dogs with weak immune systems, and older/senior dogs might be more at risk of gastrointestinal problems by consuming raw chicken.
Read on to know the truth behind feeding raw chicken to your dog.
Dogs and Raw Food
Raw food for canines isn’t necessarily bad. Dogs evolved as carnivores intended to gnaw on carcasses. They were primarily meat-eaters long before they were domesticated. Therefore, their digestive system has adapted to cope with raw meat and its microbes. A raw food diet generally contains bones, muscle meat intact with bones, organ meats like kidneys and livers, uncooked eggs, vegetables like spinach and broccoli, and apples.
Providing this kind of diet to dogs comes with potential benefits such as:
- Shinier coats
- Improved dental health
- Better skin
- Improved stamina with high energy levels
- Smaller poop
Besides, some trainers often feed their dogs with BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) for improved athletic performance.
What Happens if My Dog Eats Raw Chicken?
How your dog will react after eating raw chicken depends on whether they are compatible with raw food. In most cases, nothing harmful happens. Since dogs have a more acidic stomach and shorter digestive tract than ours, bacteria like salmonella have a hard time settling in and causing any harm. However, we recommend that you avoid feeding raw chicken to your pooch regularly.
It is also essential to know that not all dogs are the same. Some might be allergic to poultry. Therefore, such allergic dogs can be sick due to the introduction of uncooked meat in their diet.
Troubling symptoms that require a vet’s attention are:
- Rigid stomach
- Severe abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
What Are Salmonella and E. Coli? And How Do They affect My Dog?
As a responsible pet owner, you need to know about common bacterial threats like salmonella and e. coli if you plan to introduce a raw diet to your pup.
Salmonella is a bacteria that affects the intestinal tract of most animals. It is found in foods like eggs, chicken, and cheese. When dogs eat raw chicken, they can get infected with Salmonella. Such infected dogs show some forms of intestinal distress such as vomiting, nausea, and a loss of appetite. And, if the infection further ingests into their bloodstream, it can become life-threatening. However, this is uncommon in most healthy dogs whose immune systems can fight off such bacteria.
E. coli (Escherichia coli) is a kind of bacterium mostly found in the intestinal tract of mammals. It occurs in various strains. While some strains are healthy and harmless, others can cause diseases. The latter strains, mainly E. coli 0157 H7, can cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. These kinds of pathogens usually affect puppies and senior dogs
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Regularly?
No, dogs cannot eat raw chicken regularly. Many vets and organizations warn against such a diet. For instance, the AVMA highly discourages the feeding of any animal-source protein that has not been cooked to eliminate harmful microbes. This is because these microbes can cause food-borne diseases in dogs. Moreover, there is an increased risk of pet owners getting a secondary infection due to the transmission of such pathogens.
Therefore, we highly recommend that you provide raw chicken only once in a while to your four-legged companion. You might also want to check whether they are compatible with such a diet to avoid any risks of infection.
Help! My Dog Ate a Piece of Raw Chicken. What Do I Do?
First off, don’t panic. Most dogs can digest raw chicken without needing any immediate action. However, if you see your puppy munching on some bones, check whether they have gulped down anything that could be a choking hazard. And then, carefully examine their poop to see whether there is internal bleeding. Also, look out for any distress or symptoms that require a vet’s immediate attention.
How Can I Feed Raw Chicken to My Dog?
When it comes to feeding raw chicken, make sure that you are providing it safely to your dog. Here is how you can create a safer space while feeding raw chicken to your pup:
- Treat with smaller servings of raw chicken along with other food.
- Or, mix it with healthy vegetables.
- Make sure that the chicken is always properly stored or refrigerated.
- Use a clean and sanitized bowl.
- If you can, try to stick with organic chicken than inorganic ones.
- Also, closely monitor your dog for any distressful signs after feeding them raw chicken.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Bones?
Yes, dogs can eat raw chicken bones, which are known to be better than cooked ones. Uncooked and chewy bones, especially ones that are rich in meaty parts like chicken wings, promote your pooch’s dental health. They also clean your dog’s digestive tract.
Learn more about whether your dog can digest bones here.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken Liver?
Chicken liver is a good source of vitamin A, several forms of vitamin B, and other minerals to your dog. It contains more nutrients than muscle meat. Therefore, an occasional treat with a raw chicken liver can be a good treat for your pup. But make sure that the liver feeding doesn’t exceed 10% of the dog’s overall diet, though. It is because too much liver can cause your pup to release loose stools. You can start with half a spoon of serving every few days, and carefully examine your pet’s reaction.
Can dogs eat raw chicken? Yes, but make sure to closely monitor for any signs of illnesses after feeding raw chicken to your dog. It also largely depends on whether your canine companion is raw diet-friendly. You might as well want to skip the raw chicken diet for puppies and older dogs due to their sensitive digestion.
Have you fed your dog raw chicken? Let us know in the comments below. For more information on what dogs can and cannot eat, please visit our website.