What happens if dogs eat raw chicken?
It depends on the dog. Most of the time, nothing really happens. Dogs have stronger stomachs than we do, which can easily deal with the bacteria and other nasties that you’d expect from raw chicken. Their digestive tracts are shorter than ours, which means that the usual bugs that we get don’t have a lot of time to settle in.
But it’s important to note that not ALL dogs can eat chicken. Some dogs (especially the smaller breeds) are actually allergic to poultry. Other dogs can also get sick from a sudden introduction of raw chicken or meat to their diet, so it’s always best to consult with your vet if you’re thinking of changing your dog’s diet.
Why can dogs eat raw chicken?
Our house dogs are modern descendants of wolves and wild dogs, both which would happily munch on chicken liver, chicken skin, chicken feet, and even chicken bones. A few million years of evolution won’t really take those instincts away, as they are uniquely equipped by nature to eat meat.
But is raw chicken GOOD for dogs? Yes, but with certain precautions. According to Natural Vets Australia, chicken necks are generally poor feed for dogs as the amount and size of bones can present potential choking hazards. You should also avoid giving your dog cooked chicken because cooked chicken bones splinter easily and can hurt their throat and irritate their stomachs.
What to do if my dog ate raw chicken?
If you find your dog in the middle of munching some raw chicken, don’t panic. If it’s raw chicken that you’ve bought from a supermarket and prepared for cooking, they’ll be fine. However, if it’s unwashed and fresh from the market, take it away from your dog at once and watch them very carefully for the next few days.
If you have a smaller dog, check if they haven’t ingested anything that can block their airways. Most dogs will vomit up any irritants in their throat, but on rare occasions they may ingest the entire bone. Keep a close watch on their poop to see if they aren’t bleeding internally.
If they start acting strangely or show symptoms of distress, take them to the vet immediately. Even if nothing seems to have happened, take them to the clinic and tell your vet what happened. They might offer you additional information on what to expect from a dog that’s eaten raw meat.
What are good substitutes for raw chicken meat?
Chicken and rice (or chicken broth) can be a good middle ground for owners who want to give their dog a healthy diet and a mixture of raw and processed food. Most dog food or kibble in the market can provide all the nutrients a dog needs, although throwing a carefully prepared and cleaned chicken wing or leg their way won’t hurt.
Another alternative for meat is fish. The American Kennel Club specifies that “Table scraps, including fish, are not necessary for your dog's health, but fish can make a good occasional treat for dogs, as long as owners keep an eye on their dog's weight.” Steamed, cooked, grilled, or plain fish is fine, but they’re quick to remind dog owners to “consult your veterinarian about appropriate serving sizes of fish for your dog, especially if you plan to feed fish as a regular part of their diet.”
So, can dogs eat raw chicken?
Can dogs have raw chicken? Well, it depends. It's always best to consult with your vet before changing your pet's diet. Always be sure to feed your dog a well-balanced diet, and you’ll have a happy tail-wagger on your hands.
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