Can You Feed Your Dog Raw Chicken?

Can You Feed Your Dog Raw Chicken?

We had a follower ask if it was okay to feed raw chicken wings to their dog. And as with most open, social forums, some people said yes, some said no, some people had conditions on whether or not the answer was yes or no etc.

So, can you feed your dog raw chicken? How about other raw meats?

Lets break this down into 3 categories:

● Raw chicken and meat as a treat

● Raw chicken and meat as a partial diet

● And raw chicken and meat as a full diet

Raw chicken as a treat is fine. As a training treat, not so much. Do you really want to have a treat pouch full of raw chicken? The dog will be fine, but you'll have raw chicken juice on your hands, clothes, and probably all over your dog when you pet him or her. Again, your dog's immune system is very different than yours and they'll be fine. But you might not be. If you want to feed raw chicken or any other raw protein, do so as sanitarily as possible.

Raw chicken and meat as a partial diet is a little different. Not long ago the common idea was not to mix the two. You would commonly see excerpts reading "Kibble and raw meat digest at different rates and can cause gut issues or allow bacteria to multiply inside of the digestive tract." At best, you'd see someone say "If you're going to do it, alternate days."

Now it's commonly accepted that you can feed both at the same time. In fact, Chateau Cheverny, a large Foxhound kennel has been doing it for decades. As have many prominent kennels that specialize in Beagles and other hounds. Some of which are hundreds of years old. If feeding both at the same time were detrimental to a dog's health, we'd definitely know about it by now.

If you're still worried, you can alternate days, or alternate meals, but the truth is, it likely doesn't matter at all and there's no evidence to suggest otherwise. It also makes people who want to feed a raw diet but are nervous about it have more peace of mind, knowing that making a balanced raw diet requires more education on the subject than adding kibble to fill possible holes in nutrition if they don't balance a raw diet correctly.

Last but not least is a completely raw diet. Is it safe and okay to feed? Depends who you ask. If you ask a pet food company, they'll say no. If you ask a raw food pet company, they'll say yes. And both have teams of scientists and nutritionists to back them up. Being paid to support a company's claims means that you'll have conflicting information.

But if you want to feed raw and think it's the most species appropriate diet, you have to keep a few things in mind. No animal can live off of raw meat alone. It simply won't cover all of the vitamins and minerals necessary to life. You must add bone for the benefits of the calcium and bone marrow. You must add organ, like kidney, liver, pancreas, spleen, brain etc as well for the same reasons. Organs contain vitamins and minerals that muscle meat simply doesn't.

Humans often disregard the bone marrow and organs, especially in the Western World. We have that luxury because we eat many different types of food, and even fortified foods like breads and cereals to make up for it. Your dog doesn't have those luxuries, and therefore, you'll have to feed a varied diet that consists of organs and bone so that they can thrive.

Some people can't source such things at their local grocery store and they believe that makes a raw diet unfeasible. But good places to look are small farms who would otherwise discard organs. Some butcher shops have a variety of organ meats as well. Ethnic grocery markets are another place where you can find things like fish with the heads attached, live fish, organ and more.

There's also the internet. If you're reading this, you have the internet. You can have just about anything you'd need shipped to your door same or next day delivery in ice packs. I typed in "beef pancreas" into Google just now and found a few dozen sources that will mail them to my doorstep. They're inexpensive, too. I imagine it's because people don't come asking for it often.

Consider the fact that organ only needs to make up 10% of the total diet, you won't be spending much money on it and can make up the bulk of a raw diet with cheaper proteins like chicken and turkey (which often come with the added bonus of including giblets aka organs if bought whole). Certain cuts of beef are inexpensive and I've gotten a lot of deer from hunters for very cheap or free. There's no use in keeping last year's deer when hunting season is coming up soon and you need space in the deep freezer, right?

To sum it all up, yes, it's perfectly fine to feed raw animal proteins to dogs. Just avoid wild caught fish in the salmon family (unless cooked, so canned is fine), wild pork and wild bear (they can have trich and are often quite wormy, which is why even humans have to cook it well done). Raw bone is fine too, but I personally stay away from large, weight bearing bones to prevent early wear and tear on teeth.

Dogs only exist because a few wolves got comfortable enough to associate with us for raw hunting scraps, cooked leftovers etc. They're still very capable of eating food raw and benefiting from it.

Until next time, thank you for the support and please leave a like and share.

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