Raw Chicken

Showing 1 of 2

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

YES and NO, dogs can eat raw chicken. That being said, we should be very cautious of how we feed this raw chicken to our dogs.

Pug with chicken leg

I think that can dogs eat raw chicken is a more controversial topic that I thought it would be so let me put in my two cents from the beginning. I am not a vet and I am not someone with outstanding knowledge on dogs and raw diets. I am someone who deeply cares about my pet and that’s what makes me curious about the questions I like asking and answering.

The Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Raw Chicken

Even though dogs can eat raw chicken, I personally would not feed my dog raw chicken because he is a small pug and despite what people say about dogs being wild animals, pugs were never bred to be in the wild (they were bred to rub Chinese emperors bellies and make French ladies happy!) and so I do not think it would be suitable for my little pug. I think if you have a bigger dog like a work dog or a hunter of sorts you might be able to feed them raw chicken. I also do not know where the chicken has been and that makes me uncomfortable to feed it raw. I am always scared of all the bacteria growth and diseases that I hear about that come from raw meat.

Despite many people believing that vets get commission off of the kibble they sell, whenever I have asked my vet about kibble, she has only told me about nutritional facts and not tried to persuade me to buy any special brand of kibble. In fact, I ended up buying kibble from a completely different store all together so no I do not believe that my vet is corrupt and is commissioned by kibble-making companies.

All that being said, in this article I would like to write about the point of view of both parties, because if you do your research you will find out that the answer to the question can dogs eat raw chicken is different depending on who you ask and their credentials (or the lack thereof). It seems like yes, dogs can eat raw chicken but with caution.

Our friends at Health Guidance state that there are more and more pet owners today turning to a raw diet for their dogs. Why is this? Generally it is because they would like to see their dog eat something that is more like what he would typically eat in the wild. It is also because more people are becoming aware of the poor nutritional value of many of the commercial dog food brands today (Note MANY not ALL). Unless you buy a high-end dog food that has no corn in it then you may want to look at the ingredients on your bag of kibble. More than likely one of the top ingredients will be corn, which is a known allergen to dogs. For this reason pet owners are enjoying the idea of feeding raw foods to their trusted fur friends.

Can dogs eat raw chicken bones?

Health Guidance points out that there are some misconceptions where chicken bones are concerned. First they are saying that cooked chicken bones are an absolute no-no for dogs as they will splinter and could cause injuries. However, raw chicken bones are soft and therefore quite safe for dogs.

That being said, The Huffington Post states 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: forborne pathogens such as salmonella. Bacteria such as this are a risk not only to the animals eating the diets, but for other pets and people in the household, particularly for the very young, very old and immunosuppressed. The risk isn’t limited to raw meat, by the way, since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that all pet food and treats need careful handling.

Showing 1 of 2


  1. Frankie Furter and Ernie on

    Sometimes when mom is preparing BONELESS Chicken Breasts.. she will give us a few bites.. WE love it…. butt we love all Raw meat… OH HECK.. It is Christmas Eve.. we can not tell a fib.. we LOVE ALL MEAT Raw or COOKED. As long as it isn’t full of spices. I don’t like spicy foods and Ernie doesn’t either.
    You are right… this is a HOT issue. hehhehe that is a PUG PUN fur you… HOT issue.. Raw Foods.

  2. I have been feeding my 30 lb mix (sheltie/austrailian sheep dog) only raw food for the past 7 years. When she was on high-end dog food (IAMS) – at the ages of 2-3, she got fleas, had lots of skin issues (hot spots, constant chewing of paws and tail, horrific breath, lots of plaque on teeth, etc) We tried a number of different formulas, sprays, flea collars – all to no avail. I switched her over to raw within a week (at the age of 4) – vita-mixed fruits and vegt (to break down the cell walls – as would be the food in the stomach and intestines of rabbits/chickens!) and beef rib bones (1 per day or every other day- which is amazing for cleaning their teeth, keeping their poop solid, giving them the calcium they need, delivering all the tremendous nutrients of bone marrow, and strengthening their neck/jaw/upper chest muscles. Also stimulates their mind – as they need to hold the bone while they’re devouring it! – it also consumes them and their attention for about an hour!) They finish worn out and ready for a big long drink and nap. I give her about 1/4 lb of hamburg, raw chicken (a thigh or breast,) or a raw turkey leg. I throw in an occasional omega oil vitamin (4-5 per week), a raw egg 2 x a week and a little plain yogurt (1/4 cup) (probiotics) 2 or 3 x a week. Since we began this she has NEVER BEEN TO THE VET! Never even had a cold! All the skin issues – gone. The teeth issues – gone – her teeth actually GLOW! – no more bad breath (as her teeth are clean!) poop turns white and crumbles within 24 hrs! – (nothing to step in in the yard!) And she’s happy as a clam! and healthy as a horse! At 9 years old, she still acts like a puppy! I will never give my dog anything but raw. And I recommend it to everyone I meet. (it is my understanding that raw food is immediatly digested and kibble is not – so if you are going to “go raw” – feed a little raw in the evening and a little kibble in the am for a week or 2 – So they don’t end up with digesting problems. Then get rid of the kibble – Your dog will thank you!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. It is always great to hear these stories of success with various kinds of diets so that we can be well-informed as we make the best decisions for our special friend.

    • Hi
      Thanks for all the info on raw food. Have you got any tips on how to get our dog to eat raw food. She will not eat chicken breast/thigh/wings raw, or marrow bones or lamb. She has bad breath and bad teeth and I would love to improve that.

    • hi,
      RAW EGGS??!! isnt that really bad for the dogs?
      i have a labrador who is 8 months old.
      we fed her raw egg once….and she started vomiting a day later…blood and mucus in the vomit..
      took her to the vet..he askd us wether she had eaten which ws out of the ordinary….RAW EGG…..he confirmed it ws definately because of that..

      never ever gonna repeat that….

      • Our three dogs get raw eggs everyday. Never had a problem with it. We do however get the eggs from our own organic fed, free range chickens. Maybe the eggs you gave your dog were old? They do sit in the stores for quite a long time.

      • I have given my 1yr black lab raw free range eggs for months and he ended up with a great shiny coat. Unless the VET is for a raw diet, I beleive they frown upon it.

  3. There are so many things stated that are false, I’m not sure where to begin.

    First of all, just because your dog is small and bred to royalty does not in any way preclude him from being a hunter. The game size for him is simply different. Eating a mouse or bird would be no problem for your pug.

    Secondly, the ideal diet of any animal can be determined very simple by looking at its teeth. How are they shaped? A dogs teeth are shaped for pulling, cutting(sawwing), and gulping. Not biting and crushing, like human teeth are.

    The dog is a canine. It has canine teeth throughout its mouth, no molars. The human mouth has a total, out of all the others, of only 4 canines. What that says is that our diets should NOT consist primarily of meat, ut a dogs should.

    Also, the length of the animals gut is important as well. A dogs is a very short ride for food. This is one reason it is so important that dogs be allowed more frequent elimination than they usually are given by unthinking humans around them. They’re not designed to have food sitting around in their guts. In and out, in and out. The human gut, on the other hand, is quite long. When we consume food, it takes days sometimes before our bodies eliminate it. Our bodies evolved for a multiplicity of foods because we are, by nature, omnivores. Not carnivores.

    While a dog will eat fruit and veggies, they’ll also gulp down lots of things they should not. Thankfully, their guts are designed to get that stuff out quick. I saw a lady pull a piece of hosiery out of her dogs butt. That’s one of the components of being a meat eater in the wild…you HAVE to gulp your food or another canine will pull it right out of your mouth and take it for themselves. Sorry, but if you let your little doggies run off into the wild with other little doggies, and you could find them in a couple of months – those dogs would be ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ANIMALS than the one you have on your lap now. They would not recognize you and they would not wish to go home with you. They would prefer their pack of dog friends. I understand that’s difficult for human egos to deal with, but it’s their nature we speak of here, not ours.

    Look at any animals teeth. Any one at all. A sharks or a horses; a coral eating fish or a deer; an elephant or a tiger. All you need to understand about the engineering of that animals diet lies there.

    • Stephan, nice to see someone on here who knows their stuff regarding canine nutrition! There really is a lot of misinformation in the article above (of course, I understand the author points out that he is not a vet, etc.) but I can only hope that other readers do not take this info too seriously. On a separate note, asking people to list their sources is only useful to a certain (and limited) extent because at the end of the day, an internet site is just that – an internet site. Anyone can put up a website or blog (case in point here) and express their ideas (which is great!) but everything on the internet should obviously be taken with a grain of salt.

      Regardless, Bunk thank you for taking the time to put this blog together and provide information on a subject that you clearly care about!

  4. BTW, I forgot. As far as bones go, please think about the act of eating an animal, particularly for a predator.

    MOST predators will never get around to eating the bones of an animal if the animal has enough meat and meat parts ( heart, liver, kidneys ) to fill the animals stomach. The bones and head are usually left over for scavenger animals. On occasion, if the animal has not had enough to eat and is famished, they may linger near the carcass of their kill to gnaw on bones and may allow the young to do so as well. The purpose is not to eat the bone but to crack the bones and eat the marrow. Please do not confuse your dogs love for chewing on bones as an actual love for the bones themelves. If you are going to give your dog bones to chew on, most butchers will sell you butchered bones that are ‘raw’ and still have the marrow. They are cheap and can keep in the fridge. Make sure the bones are FEMURS so that the bone casing is too thick for your dog to crack, if you are concerned about them choking on bones. They’ll get the marrow, they’ll get the pleasure.

    Some dogs have no idea, initially, what to do with these things. But it won’t take too long before you see how much more a dog naturally prefers them over a blueberry.

    • Thank you for your comment.

      The information we have provided in this article (as already mentioned in the article) is quoted from many different sources, including ABC News, Huffington Post, Health Guidance and, finally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As we mentioned at the very beginning, we are not vets, and there is a lot of debate about these issues. We also do not claim to point out any “facts” (again, as stated in our post).

      Also, please provide your sources so that our readers can be well-informed and do their own research.

      • Alexandria on

        Dogs were bred by wolfs, so they have a little hunting instinct. So they LOVE meat, just like they’re ancestors.
        P.S Bunk, your the cutest little dog I’ve ever seen!

  5. Be very careful of what you guys who do feed kibble may think is high end kibble, I’ve known quite a few dogs who have been fed “high-end” kibble like Iams, Purina, Science Diet, Ekunuba and a lot of these dogs at older ages have grown these huge benign tumors that vets these days think is normal . All these kibbles are highly advertised, we question ourselves when advertisements come around with sugary foods for our kids, so why not question advertisements for dog food. I personally feed my dog raw but it didn’t start out that way. I feed raw because I know where I get my meat, I have a supplier who has 4 dogs he gets his meat from farms who only have grass fed beef. I’ve talked to these people, I don’t just walk into a grocery store and pick up chicken or beef for my dog when it’s on sale. My trainer and vets have both told me that checking ingredients is a good way to tell whether a dry dog food is good or bad, its obvious dogs don’t need much grain which most foods include, but please even be cautious of foods that are grain-free, even if a batch of vegetables are moldy, it will still list as that type of vegetables.
    I’m not saying everybody should feed raw, it won’t work for everybody but please consider the options (like cooking or changing the brand)and be very careful of what you feed to your dogs, do some research on ingredients especially if they’re very vague like “meat meal or fish meal”

  6. Here is the books I had read and loved.
    “Holistic guide for a healthy dog” by Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown, D.V.M.
    “The Goldsteins’ WELLNESS & LONGEVITY program” by Robert S. Goldstein, V.M.D., and Susan J. Goldstein

    I feed raw food diet for my dog since she was 2 yo. now 11 yo. She is 25 lb Cocker spaniels. She had few health problem when she was eating commercial can dog food. and it all went away after feeding raw meat, veg., some oils etc.
    I buy mostly chicken backs from Wholefood. Very inexpensive. I cut them about 1 inch or little bigger. It contains muscle meat, bone which my little dog can chew and swallow very easy, some organs and skin. I add Bragg apple cider vinegar, raw ginger, cinnamon for raw meat not to be spoiled.
    Above 2 books change me and my dogs life. I even start eating very healthy myself too. Same thing works for people and dogs. (Eat real food)

  7. I have a Border Collie x Newfoundland around 57kg’s….when he was a pup he injured his back leg on the root of a tree…everything was good until now. He’s otherwise healthy, apart from sleeping a little more now. He is now 9 and has started to limp on that leg, which leads me to believe he now has arthiritis…I hate seeing him in pain, but cannot afford the vet right now, and so, I’ve been periodically giving him a tblspn of Flaxseed oil, although now I’m being told that’s no good and won’t help his arthiritis! I will now buy him fish oil! Now I’ve been introduced to a raw essentials diet. I was told that beef and beef bones have inflams in them which would only aggravate and inflame his joints even more! I have also been told that dogs shouldn’t eat grain. they don’t eat it in the wild so why should they eat it in their food (fair enough), thing is I need a balanced diet for him and to help him alleviate his pain through his diet….I am at my wits end….should I just go for the cortisone injection? Really confused….has anyone heard of green lipped mussel as a supplement….HELP! any comments would be most gratefully accepted.

    • Hey Charlee…sorry to hear that your big buddy is having arthritic pain. I had similar issues with one of my boxer dogs, Rocky, and was recommended to try a product called D.G.P. which stands for “Dog Gone Pain”. The bottom line…it works! You can find it at most “natural” pet stores. I get mine from “Mary’s Natural Pet” in Florence, Oregon. Or just Google it to see where its at near you.

      Hope it helps your canine kid.

  8. My dog is part lab part u/k and he is now 10 y/o and suffering from epilepsy. It is so distressing. When I first got him, canned dog food was not available where I live ( in the tropics) as most dogs rely on garbage bins or bread and water if they are lucky. I began buying chicken parts — necks, feet, gizzards, livers and cooking everything in pressure cooker to soften the necks and feet. I make my own cookies using whole wheat flour. Canned food is now available but none of my dogs will touch it nor will they eat kibble. I normally break kibble up and use it with ground chicken to make them meat loaf. They also get ham and hot dogs. I know it is not ideal food but not sure what else I can do. I thought I could give my part lab uncooked chicken necks but then I read meat for human consumption should not be given raw to dogs to the bacteria. It is becoming more difficult to know what to give them. They do not like plain rice but will gladly eat chicken fried rice!!!!!!!! Suggestions would be appreciated.

    • It’s OK to give cooked chicken bones to dogs only if they are pressure cooked, as you do. The pressure cooking turns the bones gelatinous, and they will not splinter in the intestine. Likewise if given raw. I did however give my hound a raw chicken liver and he scraped his tongue across the floor for 5 minutes.

      I now take chicken liver or gizzards, place them on a cookie sheet, and dry them in the oven at 200F for 4 hours, turning once. Same can be done with beef or pork liver, sliced to a 1/4 inch. Prop the oven door open a little to allow moisture to escape. This jerky will last for 2 weeks or so, but if your dog is like mine, it won’t last that long.

  9. I manage a doggy daycare/boarding facility.

    There are 2 sheep dogs who board regularly with us. Their diet consists of a frozen chicken back (aprox 1lb) each morning, and a 1 lb tube of ridiculously priced meat in the afternoon.

    These pups are robust. More important, their stools are tiny and dry, meaning they are utilizing almost every bit of their food. While a raw diet may be inconvenient or cost prohibitive for many, I have personally seen the benefits.

    A previous poster listed what they thought were ‘high end’ kibble (Iams, Purina, Science Diet, Eukenuba). These are probably as ‘low end’ as you can get, perhaps a step above ‘doggie crack’, Beneful. For those on a budget, I would recommend Fromm (grain free is only
    +10% added cost) or Taste of the Wild. For those looking for actual ‘high end’ kibble, go with Stella and Cheweys, or Instinct Raw Boost.

  10. Hi I just bought a 12 week old american bulldog. And my question is if I do feed him raw chicken as he gets a little older is there a chance that he could get sick and I hope not but eventually pass away? Any info about this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  11. Hi my dog is a miniature foxy. She eats raw chicken necks and chicken mince. She loves it. She does not eat dog food. She has cooked veges. Broccili parsnip peas corn beans. Cottage cheese too. 1/4 of a vitamin c tab too.

  12. My head is spinning after all of these comments! They are all great, by the way. I am very satisfied with the diet I feed my 3 dogs, and they have been eating this way since one (who died) was diagnosed with a cancerous liver tumor. Though there is no way of knowing how she got cancer, I tried to analyze what she had been eating, as China was in the news about them. I have always tried to do the very best, per the Vet’s recommendations. The Vet had prescribed the kibble to help with bladder stones, which this dog had as a pup. That was almost the only thing she ate, except for the occasional treat or carrot. When we went to the dog oncologist, vegetables were recommended, as well as small portions of protein. I honestly don’t remember if the Oncologist said uncooked, but I began to read articles about the BARF died. So I tried it. Immediately it didn’t work, for a number of reasons listed above, the main one being that I didn’t take the bones away after the meal time. They were uncomfortable and had loose stools, possibly from the marrow. Anyway, that wasn’t it, so I tried again. My son and I researched a lot, then began to feed them grain-free kibble or quinoa in the am, with a raw egg (or scrambled sometimes), and processed veggies (appropriate ones) with 1 oz of chicken breast or other meat each evening. They are all robust with shiny coats and great teeth, except for one who was a rescue and had very bad teeth to start . . . anyway, the cancer-ridden dog lasted for 10 months eagerly eating this diet until about her last week, so I think it did her very well, also. I have to say that I have had to endure the extreme doubts of the Vet we have gone to for about 11 years now. She had her staff tell me I am “lucky” that the dogs aren’t all sick, and they constantly ask me what I am feeding them. Plus I have noticed on their website an article from “Today” that eschews raw meat completely. I have printed many other opinions for them, but I think I won’t waste my time with that group. We are in the process of changing Vets at this moment. I am sad about that, but one article that I read states that some Vets need a year or two more of school–I think I agree! Why do they all sell kibble in their offices? My Doctor doesn’t sell food to me from his offfice! It’s not like there aren’t any pet stores around–like right next door to them. Anyway, I guess I feed mine a modified raw food diet, no bones and a variety of veggies and they are the better for it. I will always watch them carefully as to their health and think I am fairly well informed.

Leave A Reply