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Can dogs eat chicken thighs?

Our love for our dogs is so great that we get a little crazy sometimes, treating them just like people. In most cases, it’s not only fun to spoil your dog, but it’s fine. An exception is when you feed your dog a lot of “people” foods.

Many people foods are toxic to dogs, and the last thing you would ever want to do is make your precious companion sick. Can your dog eat chicken? Well, many dog foods on the market contain chicken, so it is a safe bet that most dogs will be fine eating chicken.

You want to know if your dog can eat chicken thighs. Well, there are a few things to consider first.

Can dogs eat chicken thighs?

In short, the answer to whether dogs can eat chicken thighs is — Yes, most dogs can eat chicken thighs. Your dog is probably safe eating essentially any part of a baked, roasted, or grilled chicken. You could even poach a chicken thigh. However, there are things to consider before feeding your dog chicken.

Dogs can be allergic to chicken.

Dogs can have allergic reactions to chicken. You may not realize it, but chicken is one of the top 10 things that induce allergic reactions. These other nine allergy inducers are dairy, beef, egg, wheat, soy, lamb, pork, fish, and rabbit.

Cooked chicken bones should never be fed to dogs.

Always remove chicken that you’ve cooked off the bone before serving it to your dog. While your dog shouldn’t have any problem eating and digesting soft raw chicken bones, cooked chicken bones are hard and dry. They can splinter and cause all kinds of emergency health issues in your dog like choking and internal bleeding.

Can dogs eat raw chicken thighs?

There are different thoughts on whether dogs should eat raw chicken. While many people state that dogs shouldn’t eat raw chicken due to chances of catching salmonella, others swear by a raw diet for keeping their dog’s health at the top of the scale. Here are the facts.

Are the bacteria in raw chicken bad for my dog?

Healthy dogs, that is those who don’t have compromised immune systems, of any breed and size can eat raw chicken. The reason is that a dog’s stomach is more acidic than a human’s. Their stomachs can fight bacteria better than people can.

The truth is that it’s not unheard of for commercial pet foods to contain salmonella, so as long as your meat is fresh and you use good sense handling the raw food, there shouldn’t be a problem with your dog getting sick from salmonella or other foodborne illness from raw meat.

How does my dog benefit from eating raw chicken?

Your dog can benefit from eating raw chicken in several ways.

Dental Health

You can look for your dog’s dental health to improve with a raw food diet. No fillers mean less plaque and chewing on raw chicken bones is good for cleaning the teeth and working the gums, which keeps oxygen flowing through them, keeping them healthy, so they will last a long time, holding his beautiful teeth in place. Plus, dogs who eat a raw diet are known to have better breath than those who eat commercial dog food with fillers.

Digestive System Health

The benefits of eating a raw diet to a dog’s digestive system include having fewer fillers, so much more of what is eaten by the dog is absorbed by his system. This results in around half the waste, and the waste that is expelled disintegrates quickly, unlike processed dog food, which results in a lot of waste that is resilient.

If you feed your dog very bony pieces of chicken, he will get constipated, and the poop will be crumbly and white. Pieces like chicken thighs, though, have plenty of juicy meat to balance out the bones.

Overall Health

Feeding your dog a raw diet including chicken thighs can result in improvements to his overall health. Many dog owners who have switched to a raw food diet noticed fewer allergies, a stronger immune system, less body odor, more stamina, and healthier coat and skin. They also noticed that raw feeding tends to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Does my dog need vegetables with his raw chicken thighs?

Vegetables are just a bonus to dogs. All they need are meat, fat, bone, and organs. They don’t require carbs at all, so it’s a good idea to avoid grains and starches when at all possible, as feeding them can add unnecessary weight to your dog. The bone content in your dog’s diet should stay between 10-25%. If your dog is allergic to certain meats or has health issues, you can buy a pre-prepared raw diet from a pet store that can simply be defrosted, or you can just design a specialized diet yourself.

What does the CDC say about safely handling raw pet food?

If you are thinking about feeding your pet a raw food diet, you will want to think about handling the raw food safely.

Wash your hands.

You should wash your hands with warm water and soap immediately following the handling of any raw dog food.

Disinfect surfaces.

After handling raw dog food, it is important not only to clean any surfaces that have come into contact with raw food but also to disinfect them. This includes countertops, cutting boards, cookery, utensils, and dishes. Pay special attention to handles on refrigerators and microwaves.

Freeze raw dog food.

Until you use it, keep raw dog food frozen. Keep raw dog food separate from the people food in your freezer or refrigerator. Don’t thaw out frozen dog food at room temperature but in the refrigerator only. Whatever food your dog doesn’t finish, toss it in the trash.

Practice safe interaction.

After your pet eats, don’t let him lick you on the face. If he does lick your face or hands after eating, wash them with soap and warm water. Never let your pet lick an open wound or an area of broken skin.

Can dogs eat chicken thigh bones?

While cooked chicken bones are brittle, hard, and unsafe for dogs, as they can splinter. Raw chicken bones are softer and safe for dogs. Even tiny dogs don’t have problems eating raw rabbit and chicken bones, but bones from larger animals like pigs should be avoided, as they are very hard and can cause damage to a dog’s teeth.

An exception may be a dog that already has dental problems or is just too old to chew bones normally. In these cases, an option is to grind up the bones and feed them with food that is chewable — ground or otherwise. You can also buy bone powder to add to a diet of meat and organs.

Percentage of Bone in Chicken (from the USDA nutrient database)
Part of ChickenPercentage of Bone
Whole chicken25%
Split breast20%
Leg quarter30%

Under Does my dog need vegetables with his raw chicken thighs?, we said to keep a dog’s bone content between 10-25%, so it only makes sense that it would be fine to include chicken breasts and thighs, even the occasional drumstick, in a dog’s diet, but other pieces are very high in bone content, will cause constipation, and should be avoided unless there are mitigating factors.

If your dog should swallow a cooked chicken bone, though, here is what you should do.

Can dogs eat chicken thigh skin?

Chicken thigh skin smells so good, and dogs perk up when they get a whiff, but while it’s fine for dogs to eat chicken meat, bones, and organs, it is not healthy for them to eat chicken skin. Here are the facts.

Many people have begun feeding their dogs a raw food diet. As you read above, you must be extremely careful if you do so, but it can be good for your dog. 

There is no consensus whether dogs should be given chicken skin. People who feed raw food mostly encourage it, but here is what we found.

Whether the fresh chicken you feed your dog is raw or cooked, you should not feed your dog the chicken skin. Here’s why.

Raw Chicken SkinWhile a dog’s system can usually do what it needs to do to fight the bacteria in raw dog food (salmonella, E. Coli), dogs that eat raw meat do have higher levels of bacteria in their systems, and because of this, it is easier for you to catch bacterial infections from your dog.
Raw chicken skin is rubbery and tough, but dogs will eat it anyway, and a large portion of skin may get stuck in his throat and choke him.
The fat content in chicken skin is the biggest problem, as dogs can’t digest fats as easily as humans can. Eating too much fat like that in chicken skin can cause bloating and diarrhea in dogs.
The fat content in chicken skin can lead to long-term complications, too, like pancreatitis, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Some common symptoms of pancreatitis are dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, and pain in the abdomen.
Cooked Chicken SkinEven cooked chicken skin can result in your dog experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort or pain, and many times, this is due to seasonings on it.
Garlic, salt, and onions can all be toxic to dogs and can cause them to experience terrible pain after ingestion. This is true with many seasonings, including dry rub spices. They can cause gastrointestinal upset like vomiting and diarrhea.
You can also cause your dog to get pancreatitis by feeding him cooked chicken skin. This is especially true with fried chicken skin. It’s adding fat to fat.
Feeding your dog too much fat can cause him to gain unnecessary weight, which, as we all know, can lead to a plethora of other health problems. Eating a chicken breast with the skin on adds roughly 100 calories, taking the number 386 to 486.

How many chicken thighs can a dog eat?

A 50-80 lb. dog should be given up to 3 chicken thighs per meal. A dog weighing 20-50 lbs. should be given up to 2 chicken thighs per meal. A dog under 20 lbs. should be given 1 chicken thigh per meal, and a dog over 80 lbs. should be fed accordingly.

Is chicken breast or thigh better for dogs?

There is a reason why so many commercial dog foods have chicken as a main ingredient. Dogs love chicken, and it’s full of amino acids, fatty acids, Omega 3s, and Omega 6. Both chicken breasts and thighs are good choices for your dog. Chicken thighs generally have a stronger flavor, but breasts are easier to handle. Maybe just consider price and what your dog likes best.

Are chicken thighs good for dogs?

Chicken thighs are good for dogs, and dogs find them delectable. Here are some facts about dark meat chicken, and chicken thighs in particular.

You should always remove the fibula bone from a chicken leg before feeding it to your dog.

If you are feeding a thigh quarter to your dog, always remove the fibula bone before you feed it to your dog. The fibula bone is a bone running down the leg that looks like a needle. It can be sharp and thus, dangerous for your dog to chew or swallow, as it can puncture any area from the mouth to the intestines.

Doesn’t dark meat chicken contain twice the fat as white meat chicken?

Yes, dark meat chicken is twice as fatty as the white meat, but it’s unsaturated fat — it’s the good kind of fat, which is healthy. The thigh and drumstick are the legs of the chicken. They are constantly active and can’t hold bad fat. Dark meat chicken has a bit less protein than white but has more iron, zinc, and vitamin C.