Dog Health

Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?


Question: Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

Verdict: Not Advised

Verdict Explanation: As the raw food movement continues to gain popularity, many pet owners are considering feeding their dogs raw chicken. However, multiple research studies have raised serious concerns about the safety of this practice.

The Risks of Raw Chicken for Dogs

A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that dogs who consumed raw chicken, particularly chicken necks, were over 70 times more likely to develop a debilitating nerve disorder called acute polyradiculoneuritis (APN). This condition can lead to progressive paralysis and even death in some cases.

The researchers believe the culprit is the bacteria Campylobacter, which is commonly found in raw or undercooked poultry. In up to 40% of the dogs with APN, Campylobacter was detected in their fecal samples. This suggests the bacteria may have triggered the dogs’ immune systems to attack their own nerves.

Salmonella and Other Pathogens

Raw chicken can also harbor other dangerous pathogens like Salmonella that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness in dogs. A study by the American Kennel Club noted that the risk of bacterial infections is a major reason most sources recommend against feeding raw chicken to pets.

Cooked Chicken as a Safer Alternative

While raw chicken poses significant health risks, cooked chicken can be a safe and nutritious addition to a dog’s diet when fed in moderation. Unseasoned, boiled, grilled, or baked chicken can be a tasty treat or topper for their regular dog food.

Lesser-Known Considerations

Some dogs may also develop allergies to chicken, which is one of the top 10 most common food allergens in canines. Owners should watch for signs of an allergic reaction when introducing chicken.

Additionally, cooked chicken bones can splinter and pose a choking hazard or internal puncture risk, so it’s crucial to remove all bones before feeding chicken to dogs.

In conclusion, the research clearly indicates that raw chicken should be avoided for dogs due to the serious risks of bacterial infections and nerve disorders. Cooked chicken can be a safer option, but pet owners must still exercise caution and moderation.