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Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? What Are the Health Risks Involved?

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Raymond Umpa

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Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? What Are the Health Risks Involved? 1

Can dogs eat raw chicken? How about turkey? Well, your guess is as good as ours.

As a dog owner, you may be used to seeing unusual and sometimes bothersome behaviors of your canine companions. From catching and slurping bugs, smelling and tasting fetid food inside the trash, to eating the poop of their feline buddies inside your house.

It’s also common for dogs to grab a bite or two from the raw chicken meat on your countertop or steal a slab of chicken while you are preparing a dish for dinner. Is this okay? Can they eat raw chicken? Or should this be a reason for you to panic or call for help from your local vet?

While it’s true that dogs have stronger stomachs than us, humans, we should still be careful when we are preparing their food at home. This is especially true if they are on a raw diet as minor lapses can result in the contamination of the meat which can be detrimental to your dog’s health and safety.

Nevertheless, dogs can eat raw chicken, but there are a few considerations to keep your dog safe while devouring on their favorite raw food. Find out more about raw chicken and dogs as we move along in this article.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? Is it Safe to Feed?

A lot of dogs seem to love raw chicken meat, and as pet owners, this often becomes a reason to worry. It is understandable because we frequently compare the food that we serve to our dogs with the food that we eat.

And since we, humans, are not accustomed to eating raw chicken, when our dogs gobble on raw meat, it’s so easy for us to get frantic.

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However, to set the record straight, dogs can eat raw chicken. Is it safe to put your dog on a raw chicken diet? Well, it depends.

The major concern here is not the uncooked chicken meat, but the way it is handled from farm to table, or from the time you bought it from the grocery store or supermarket until it reaches your pup’s mouth.

It is also important to note that not all dogs can tolerate raw chicken. Some pups are allergic to poultry. Whether you are serving them raw or cooked chicken breast, chicken skin, or other meaty and tasty parts, dogs with poultry allergy will really exhibit reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, ear infections, itchiness, obsessive licking, and other skin problems.

Also, if it’s your first time incorporating raw chickens into your dog’s meals, it’s best to consult your local veterinarian and seek answers to your questions.

Your vet can assess your pooch for any underlying health condition, and he can also give you advice on how to properly feed your dog with raw chicken to avoid possible health problems.

Can You Feed Dogs Raw Chicken Regularly?

Incidental ingestion or a bite or two of raw chicken meat rarely causes any problem to dogs. However, it is not recommended to add raw chicken to your pup’s daily diet as it can easily harbor bacteria that could endanger your dog’s health.

Moreover, if you’ve ever watched your dog eat, you know that it can get messy. So, if you are constantly feeding him raw chicken meat, there’s a higher chance that he may spread the bacteria from the chicken all-around your house.

Your dog may even jump and lick you right after munching on his juicy raw chicken. Do you want that to happen? Would it be fine with you to just let your pup run around your house and play with your kids even when he still has chicken juice in his snout?

Whenever you are feeding your pooch raw chicken, you are not only putting his health at risk but also yours and your family. Needless to say, it’s a must that you clean up and disinfect your dog’s bowl, mouth, and eating area right after he is done with his meal. And make sure that he doesn’t drag pieces of raw chicken around your house.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? What Are the Health Risks Involved? 2

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Raw Chicken?

If you are not planning to shift your dog to a raw diet, and then, all of a sudden you saw him chomping on the raw chicken that you’ve just bought from the supermarket, don’t panic. Your dog should just be fine.

Nonetheless, make sure that he didn’t gobble on the chicken neck or other bony parts, which are all choking and intestinal obstruction hazards.

On the other hand, if your dog is feasting on unwashed chicken that is straight from the market, take it away immediately and observe his behavior for the next few days. If you have smaller dogs, make sure that they haven’t eaten any part that can obstruct their airways.

The majority of dogs will vomit any irritants in their throat with the help of their gag reflex, but on some occasions, they may also end up ingesting the entire bone.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten huge chicken bones, carefully observe his stool to check if he is bleeding internally.

If your dog is in distress, take him to the vet immediately. Even if you think nothing serious happened, such behavior is already an indication that something went wrong.

Signs of distress should be taken seriously, and professional interventions should be done right away.  

Why Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

Our house dogs are modern descendants of the wolves and dogs in the wild, both of which would enthusiastically hunt and devour their prey, just like birds. Hence, no matter how much time has elapsed, nothing can take away those instincts from them. As they say, “You can take the monkey out of the wild, but you can’t take the wild out of the monkey.”

Moreover, dogs are unlike humans in a lot of ways, that’s why they can manage to eat raw dog food and chicken without getting sick. This can be attributed to their digestive system, particularly their shorter digestive tract. With this unique feature, the bacteria won’t have enough time to cause some problems while inside their GI tract.

Also, many people believe that dogs have stronger stomach acids which help them kill the bacteria from the food that they eat more effectively. Moreover, dogs also have different good bacteria living inside their intestinal tracts, which may provide them with greater protection against the bad bacteria.

Nevertheless, all of these don’t guarantee your dog’s safety at all times. Some dogs may also get sick easier when eating raw chicken, particularly the older ones and those with existing health conditions.

As such, you have to watch out for your dog’s reaction, especially when it’s your first time feeding him raw chicken meat.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? What Are the Health Risks Involved? 3

What Are the Health Risks of Feeding Your Dog Raw Chicken?

Raw chicken meats, especially those that are not handled properly may not just contain bacteria, but they can also promote bacteria growth. To be fair though, raw beef, raw pork, and other raw proteins are also often tainted with bacteria.

However, considering a chicken’s biology and the farming techniques used to raise them, they are typically contaminated with more bacteria than other meat sources. Some of the most common health risks when feeding raw chicken to your dog are Salmonella, E. Coli, and Campylobacter.

There are other health risks involved, as well, aside from bacterial infections. When feeding your dogs chicken, make sure to avoid chicken necks as they can be potential choking hazards.

You should also stay away from cooked chicken bones as these can easily splinter, and can harm your dog’s throat and cause internal bleeding, and/or intestinal obstruction. 

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What Are Good Alternatives for Raw Chicken Meat?

Most high-quality dog foods in the market can provide the nutrients needed by your dog. Another safe alternative for meat is fish. You may cook, steam, or grill a fish for your pup without adding seasonings and other spices that can be toxic to your dog.

However, vets are keen about reminding dog owners to consult them first to get more information about the right serving size of fish for their pups. This is most important if you are planning of incorporating fish into your dog’s regular diet.

Symptoms to Watch Out For That Could Prompt Veterinary Intervention

If your dog just ate raw chicken without your consent, you may observe the following troublesome symptoms that may warrant a trip to the vet:

  • Signs of choking: difficulty of breathing, wheezing or high-pitched breath sounds, coughing, panicking, etc.
  • Signs of intestinal obstruction, such as rectal bleeding, inability to pass out stool, and severe abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Paralysis
  • Vomiting or diarrhea for over 24 hours
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen or rigid stomach
  • Pacing, or other signs of panic
Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken? What Are the Health Risks Involved? 4

Safety Practices When Handling and Serving Raw Chicken

Whether you are using raw chicken as part of your dog’s regular meals, or as treats, you should always observe safety practices and quality control measures. This includes buying chicken from a trusted farmer or buying fresh chicken from the grocery store.

Make sure to wash the chicken thoroughly, and clean your dog’s mouth and his eating area with soap and water after he is done. Rinse her off well after. Don’t let him run around with a chicken in his mouth, as the juice can scatter all over your place and provide a breeding place for bacteria.

You may also want to use a pet-friendly disinfectant in all the places that may have been contaminated by the raw chicken. All of these basic cleaning practices and safety measures are nothing compared to the stress and anxiety that you would have to endure if ever your dog gets ill.

Don’t skip a step. And if you may just stick to feeding your dog nutritious dog foods with occasional healthy and safe pet treats.

Of course, don’t forget to play with your pup and give him regular exercise so he can have a happier and longer life with you and your kids. After all, your dog isn’t just a pet; he is part of your family.  

What happens if you feed a dog raw chicken?

Eating raw chicken meat increases a dog's risk of developing a debilitating and potentially fatal form of paralysis by more than 70 times, according to a new study.

Can dog get sick from eating raw chicken?

YES! Dogs can get Salmonella infection from chickens and other animals carrying the bacteria, by exposure to contaminated excretions (mostly poop!) or by eating contaminated meat.

Can raw chicken kill dogs?

Chicken bones can and do kill dogs. All bones, whether raw or cooked, can potentially fracture teeth and block or tear the throat, stomach and intestines. Raw bones have additional risks that concern both veterinarians and public-health officials: foodborne pathogens such as salmonella.

Should I cook chicken necks for my dog?

For very small dogs (toy breeds) and cats, raw chicken necks and chicken wings do a great job. The concern with feeding large breed dogs and puppies small bones like chicken necks is that they could swallow them whole, so it is recommended that you supervise while your pet is eating these.

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