Written By : M Samy

Which part of chicken is best for dogs & puppies ?

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Which part of chicken is best for dogs?

The best chicken parts for dogs are lean breast meat, nutrient-rich organ meats like liver, and bones for dental health. Thighs, chicken necks and wings can also be given in moderation, while fatty skin and cooked bones should be avoided.

It is also known that there is nothing better than chicken rice for a recovering dog, lets now dive in more details about the best chicken cuts for dogs and puppies as well.

Best chicken parts for dogs

Can Dogs eat chicken?

Yes, dogs can eat both raw and cooked chicken, it will just be necessary to pay attention to some cautions and recommendations that we will develop in this article that I invite you to read with a lot of attention.

Raw or cooked chicken, which is better?

When it comes to feeding your pup chicken, you might wonder: raw or cooked?

Well, here’s the scoop: while raw chicken can carry risks like Salmonella, cooking it up removes that danger. Plus, cooking makes it easier for your furry friend to digest.

So, if you’re looking out for your dog’s safety and health, cooked chicken is the way to go. It’s a win-win: safer and more nutritious.

So next time you’re prepping your pup’s meal, opt for the cooked version for some peace of mind.

Why is chicken meat good for dogs?

Chicken is good for dogs and that’s why pet nutritionists always advise starting feeding your puppy or dog chicken-based food or raw chicken when you are trying to figure out which protein is safe for your dog and which one won’t cause allergies.

Chicken is found in many brands of dog food, and it’s one of my favorite dog foods. This is not by chance, because chicken is good for them, meat that provides energy, and it is rich in fatty acids, amino acids, and Omega 3 and 6, eating chicken allows our pooches to frolic all day without getting tired while having a healthy and shiny coat.

You will find more about this subject at the bottom of this page. Here’re now, some of the good reasons why chicken or poultry meat should be a part of your dog’s diet:

Just boil it without seasoning or salt, and add a little rice and vegetables if your dog loves them to make a recipe that will quickly cure your dog’s stomach problems.

Same thing with chicken bone broth with white rice (never give cooked chicken bones to your dog).

Best chicken parts for dogs

Chicken is good for dogs with upset stomachs

So, what Is the Best Way To Prepare Chicken for a dog with an upset stomach? Boiled and Shredded chicken is an excellent eating incentive for dogs with an upset stomach

Chicken meat should be cooked just as it is, without adding butter or oil, without salt or other seasonings or sauces, but above all, the meat should always be cooked thoroughly, even internally (internal temperature of 175°F/80°C) to destroy any bad bacteria.

2- Chicken meat is an excellent source of lean protein for dogs:

Chicken is a great choice for your dog because it is a good source of low-calorie lean protein, you can give him chicken meat recipes, or just give him cooked or raw chicken (human grade) as a supplement if you feed him kibbles.

3- Chicken meat is a good ( Topper ) appetizer for picky dogs:

If your dog refuses to eat his kibbles, just boil a diced chicken breast and add it with some of the cooking water on his kibbles and your dog will quickly swallow it all.

4- Chicken meat is good for obese dogs:

Since it is low in calories, chicken meat is excellent for dogs that are on a diet. You just need to remove the skin and the excess fat and the best piece is the chicken or turkey breast.

5- Chicken is an excellent training treat for dogs:

Chicken is an excellent treat if you want to start training your puppy or dog, cut the chicken breast into small cubes, boil or bake them at low temperature and you have your treats to train your dog with.

You can do the same thing with the chicken giblets (heart and liver), for those, it is better to cook them in the oven.

Can we give all the parts of a chicken to a dog?

Yes, when it is raw, all parts of the chicken are good for the dog, but if you cook it, you must take care to bone the chicken before giving only the meat to your dog.

You can give raw chicken bones to your dog but I advise you to read, this article on the subject

1- Is chicken breast good for dogs?

Absolutely, chicken breast is a healthy option for your furry friend with a protein content of 80% and 20% fat.

It’s crucial to portion it correctly, aiming for 43 grams per 20 pounds of your dog’s weight, not exceeding 50 grams.

When preparing, boil the chicken breast to eliminate harmful bacteria, opt for high-quality poultry, and consider freezing and cutting it into 1/2-inch cubes for convenient use as treats.

Remember to remove the skin, especially for overweight or arthritic dogs, as it’s high in fat.

Finally, chicken breast, whether cooked or raw, is suitable for dogs with weight management needs, it is also, a nutritious treat beneficial for canine cardiovascular health.

2- can dogs eat raw chicken thighs?

Yes, dogs can eat raw chicken thighs but usually, raw dark meat chicken is not recommended for dogs with health problems, especially heart problems and pancreatitis, but if your dog is healthy, exercises, and loves raw meat, you can give it to him from time to time.

3- Can dogs eat raw chicken legs (feet)?

Yes, dogs can eat raw chicken feet, just make sure to wash them thoroughly and remove the chicken nails to avoid any bad incidents.

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are chicken feet good for dogs ?

Chicken thighs and feet are rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, supporting muscle growth, joint health, and overall well-being in dogs.

They also promote dental health by reducing plaque buildup and satisfy a dog’s natural chewing instincts, providing mental stimulation. Incorporating them into a dog’s diet enhances vitality and health

It is not recommended to cook the chicken feet before giving them to the dog.

4- can dogs eat chicken thighs?

Yes, dogs can eat chicken thighs, chicken can not have bad fat in its thighs !! it’s using them all day to support her body !!!

Dark meat chicken contains twice as much healthy unsaturated fat as white meat chicken! , more zinc, iron, and vitamin C but a little bit less protein than white meat.

So, will dark meat chicken trigger pancreatitis in my dog? absolutely not! especially if you feed your dog skinless chicken thighs.

No ! even if skinless dark meat chicken or chicken thighs contain two times more fat than white meat, this fat is not saturated fat ! on the contrary, it is a good fat for your dog!

To summarize, I recommend that you remove at least half of the skin from the chicken thigh before feeding it to your dog and if your dog is overweight, remove all the skin from the thigh.

5- Can Dogs Have Chicken Backs?

Yes, dogs can eat chicken backs and this part of the chicken is made up of approximately 20% meat which will provide protein and a little fat, and 80% bone, tender and easy to chew which will provide Calcium.

This part of the chicken is a source of glucosamine, iron, niacin, essential fatty acids, and vitamins A, and B.

This is what is left of the chicken after removing the thighs, wings, and breasts, so don’t cook it, otherwise, you will have to give the dog only the meat that you will remove from the bones!

So give this raw carcass to your dog

6- Can dogs have chicken wings?

Chicken wings are safe, highly nutritious, and excellent for dogs. You can give them to your dog as a treat, dehydrated ( baked for a long period at low temperature ), cooked, or raw.

Chicken wings are rich in Calcium and Vitamin B, they are a great way to strengthen your dog’s teeth and joint health.

Like any other piece of chicken, you should just buy your chicken wings from reputable suppliers to avoid contaminated meat especially if your dog is going to have them raw.

It is best to give them raw to puppies and small dogs, but also watch them to make sure they chew their food well, hold the chicken wing on one end and let your puppy cut small pieces from the other end of the wing.

7- Can Dogs Have Chicken Broth ( chicken Soup )?

Serve it only once a day when you introduce it to your dog and then you can give it twice a day after your dog gets used to the chicken broth diet.

Chicken bone broth contains collagen, which is good for joint health, like dogs that suffer from arthritis, and glycine which will restore your dog’s intestinal lining, an amino acid that helps detox your dog’s liver and kidney.

Not only easy to digest and very hydrating, especially for dogs fed exclusively with dry food, chicken soup is also rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, collagen and has many anti-inflammatory properties which make it an excellent choice for your dog.

8- Can Dogs Eat Chicken Heads?

Dogs may occasionally eat chicken heads, just as a treat because they are too high in fat. Despite this, chicken heads are nutritious and tasty, you just have to remove the beak and stay with your dog to prevent him from gobbling it up without chewing it.

You can also boil the chicken head and remove the beak, although some dogs will love it just raw.

Puppies should not be fed chicken heads, you can just use a knife to open the head and cook the chicken brains with just a teaspoon of oil before adding it to your puppy’s kibble but not that often!

Is chicken head good for dogs?

The chicken head contains the brains and the eyeballs which are an excellent source of good fat and minerals that your dog will benefit from.

9- Can I give chicken liver or heart to my dog?

Rich in proteins, vitamins A and B, zinc, and phosphorus, chicken liver and heart are excellent as a food supplement for the dog, they should only constitute less than 5% of the dog’s daily diet, also make sure that these giblets come from free-range chickens fed with grains and not with growth hormones! 

You can serve them raw or cooked, your dog will love the heart and liver of the chicken, you can even use them as high-quality treats to reward your dog during training for example.

how I would prepare treats for my dog with chicken offal?

make treats with chicken offal

I’m used to buying good quality chicken offal, free-range chickens raised without GMOs and growth hormones (this is very important).

To prepare these giblets (chicken liver and heart) as Treats, I cook them at low temperatures in the oven, and then I freeze them after cutting them into small pieces and putting them in a box.

10- Are chicken intestines good for dogs?

If by “chicken intestine” you mean “internal organs”, you should know that the answer is yes and I have talked about it in this article.

Dogs can eat the liver, the heart, and the stomach of the chicken, preferably baked, but you should never give him the guts, I mean the digestive tract of the chicken! It is full of bacteria, leftover chicken food, and chicken droppings, and your dog should not eat it.

11- Chicken necks for my dog?

can dogs have chicken necks?

The chicken neck is composed of 40% bones and 60% meat, I usually give them to my dog raw and frozen, but they are not a complete meal for dogs, they should constitute only 30% of your dog’s plate.

Never give the neck of cooked chicken to your dog, the cooked bones can cause him an intestinal obstruction, but when they are raw, chicken cuts are excellent for small and medium size dogs.

I just advise you as a precaution to hold the chicken neck in one of its cups and give the other end to your dog if you are afraid that he swallows the whole piece, same for the chicken wings, it’s a solution also if your dog is a Gobbler.

12- Can dogs have Chicken Jerky?

According to The US Food and Drug Administration, Chicken Jerky dog food products like chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats can cause kidney problems and even death in dogs. Personally, I recommend that you make your own dog food and chicken treats for your dog.

First of all, be aware that chicken that you will not eat yourself would not be good for your dog either, so choose human-grade chicken.

I would say that the head of the chicken presents a risk for the dog, the beak of the chicken and the bones of the head can injure the dog although the brains of the chicken could be a good treat for your pooch.

The tail ( the butt ) of the chicken and its skin are saturated with fat and can cause pancreatitis in your dog especially if he eats it regularly.

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The dog may swallow one or two feathers by accident, but if he eats too much, he risks an intestinal occlusion, so it is necessary to pluck the chicken or the piece before giving it to your dog

Can dogs eat chicken feathers?

No, surely not! don’t give your dog chicken feathers. A dog can safely swallow chicken feathers and they will usually come out intact in his stool.

But, you should know that there are dogs with various allergies who eat food made from chicken feather powder, “Royal Canine” has created a recipe, served only by veterinarians for dogs allergic to other brands and other common foods.

Chicken feathers are rich in protein but not digestible unless processed, but when natural, chicken feathers should only be used as fertilizer.

If you want my opinion, stay away from this kind of product, made with industrial waste; especially chicken feathers.

The chicken bone that I never give to my dog even if it is raw

IMG 20200906 180508

This chicken bone that I hold in my hand (look at the picture), I took it out of the chicken’s thigh.

If you bone the chicken thigh, you will find the big bone, and there is this little bone pointed like a needle!

I think that this bone is dangerous for dogs even when raw, I invite you to do like me and remove it from the raw chicken leg before giving it to your adorable Pooch.

What are the best chicken cuts for a puppy?

You can start feeding raw chicken to your puppy as early as 7 or 8 weeks of age as long as you grind it a little with special meat or kitchen hammer and remove any bone debris you find a little too sharp.

Chicken neck and wings are better in this case, you can also use the thigh, and don’t forget to supervise your puppy so that he doesn’t swallow the whole piece at once.

Can Puppies eat Chicken?

Yes, puppies should be able to eat chicken (raw or cooked but boneless) from the age of 8 at 12 weeks, because at this age they have developed their permanent teeth and they can eat meat and even some tender bones such as those of the chicken neck or even wings and thigh when the chicken is small.

You can even give a 4-week-old puppy one or two small pieces of cooked chicken, just as a treat, a puppy needs protein but already has enough in his kibbles.

What about feeding chicken Bones to puppies?

As I said before, from 12 weeks ( 3 months ) onwards, puppies have teeth that can already crush small Bones, as long as the Bones are a little soft, raw, and have a little meat stuck to them.

Can Puppies eat chicken necks?

Your puppy can have chicken necks but just as a treat, once every two or three days, you should give him fresh or freeze-dried chicken necks, avoid dehydrated ones by using heat, as the neck bones may become sharp and dangerous for your puppy and their digestion difficult.

Chicken necks contain bones that are digestible when raw, your puppy needs the calcium they contain, but don’t overfeed them because his kibbles already contain the amount of calcium he needs.

Chicken necks will improve your puppy’s joints and dental health.

Puppies can also have, chicken thighs, wings, and feet.

Can Puppies eat Raw Chicken Breast?

Puppies can have raw chicken breast, just as a treat or as a food topper and as a complement to their usual meal, you will just have to calculate the protein and fat that the meat contains to remove some from their usual food to avoid that he becomes obese quickly!

However, if you want to put your puppy on a raw chicken diet, you can wait until he is at least 3 months old, and you must absolutely make sure that the meat comes from a source that contains as little bacteria as possible because your puppy’s immune system is not yet well established.

Cut the meat into small pieces and choose a chicken that is not too fatty.

Can Puppies eat Chicken Liver?

Yes, chicken liver is high in protein, fat, and vitamin A, which makes it an excellent food for growing puppies.

You can give your puppy up to 5% of his daily ration of chicken liver.

Otherwise, you can give him from 25 gr (6 months old puppy) to 50 gr (one-year-old puppy) every 2 to 3 days. 

Make sure that his kibbles don’t contain chicken liver as an ingredient otherwise you risk making your puppy obese or overdosing on vitamin A.

You can also bake chicken liver in the oven at a low temperature, let it cool and store it in the refrigerator, and use it as a training treat for your puppy.

Raw chicken liver should be avoided for puppies because of the risk of salmonella and other germs. 

The chicken liver may also contain residue from medications given to chickens, so be sure to check the source of the offal before giving it to your puppy or adult dog.

Can Dogs Live on Chicken Alone?

All veterinarians agree that to provide a nutritionally adequate diet for your dog, you should not just feed him chicken every given day.

Your dog should not be fed chicken exclusively, because according to The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, chicken meat will only provide the dog with its dose of protein and amino acids, but the dog also needs folate, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamins A, E, D and B-12, and minerals (calcium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper) that chicken meat alone cannot provide.

You should always include vegetables in your dog’s meals and also give him pieces of fruit from time to time, just as a treat because some fruits, even if they are rich in vitamins and minerals, can also contain a lot of sugar.

How much chicken meat should I give my dog daily?

Regarding the amount of meat and protein needed for your dog for his well-being, I completely trust Founders Veterinary Clinic and the Animal Veterinary Association (Calorie Ranges for an Average Healthy Adult Dog ), who advised on average ⅓ Cup of animal protein for 20lbs of your dog’s weight ( between 40 & 50 Gr ), which means 1 full cup ( 128 Gr ) of protein for a 60lbs dog, don’t give other treats!

But a dog doesn’t only eat meat, he will need a balanced diet, composed of vitamins, nutrients, carbohydrates, and fiber.

In case your dog has stomach problems or suffers from severe diarrhea, you can give him a daily meal consisting of ⅓ cup chicken meat ( 50 gr) cooked in water with 100 gr rice.

Maintain this diet until he gets better.

How to feed chicken breast to your dog?

how to cook poultry breast for dogs

If your dog is used to eating raw, you only need to make sure that the chicken breast is healthy, has no Salmonella, and gives your dog his daily ration.

You can even freeze it.

Otherwise, you will put it in a small pan, cover it with water and cook it for at least 15 to 20 minutes, without salt and without spices.

Let it cool down, cut it into small pieces and give it to your dog or mix it with his kibble, especially if he refuses to eat dry food.

Here’re now the best chicken recipes for dogs, you can of course make them with ingredients that already are in your fridge.

How to boil chicken for dogs?

  • Choose a cut of chicken that does not contain small bones, preferably a chicken breast or thigh. Remove the skin and the fat that appears underneath the skin.
  • Leave the bones in and only remove them once the meat is cooked, so you can use the cooking water to cook rice for your dog or add it to his kibble.
  • Boil these pieces of chicken for 15 minutes ( no salt and no seasoning)
  • Once cooked, let the meat cool, remove all the bones, cut it into small pieces and finally give it to your dog and reserve the rest in the freezer.

What Are the Risks of Feeding your Dog Chicken?

Most of the risks of feeding chicken to your dog can be easily avoided:

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To avoid Pancreatitis and upset stomach, remove the skin and fat from the chicken piece before cooking it without adding anything, just boil it in water.

To avoid a nutritional deficiency, don’t just feed your dog chicken exclusively, vary his food.

To avoid bad bacteria, you need to buy fresh chicken of good quality and then cook it well to eliminate all the germs and bad bacteria.

To avoid choking, you will have to remove all the bones from the piece of chicken once the meat is cooked or stay with your dog when he eats if you feed him raw chicken.

is chicken good for dogs with kidney disease?

I am not a veterinarian but I have read on many occasions that boiled chicken meat mixed with white rice is good for dogs with kidney problems, just make sure to remove the skin and bones and do not use salt or other seasonings in this recipe.

Remove the skin from the chicken because it contains more phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.

Is chicken good for dogs with liver disease?

If your dog has a liver problem, you can give him skinless cooked chicken with mashed potatoes or rice, but also eggs, small fish like sardines, and salmon. Just avoid giving him red meat often and just as treat.

Is Chicken good for dogs with allergies?

For dogs with allergies, it is safer to give duck meat instead (has lower incidences of allergic reactions). You can give your dog some chicken meat and watch him if he shows signs of allergy, like vomiting after eating grass, obsessive licking, diarrhea, or ear infections.

If your dog shows these signs of allergy, avoid giving him eggs as well and be careful with the amount of cheese you’re giving to your dog too, and replace the poultry meat with salmon or venison for his treats.

Will feeding my dog chicken make him overweight?

It is important to know how much food you can give your dog, treats made with chicken should only constitute 10% of his daily meal.

Compared to other sources of protein for dogs such as beef or lamb, chicken meat, especially lean cuts like a chicken breast has almost half the calories for the same amount of meat.

100 grams of chicken has only 165 calories while 100 grams of beef has 350 calories. Chicken meat will not make your dog overweight and is still one of the best sources of protein for overweight dogs.

Can chicken help dogs with constipation?

Chicken and rice will certainly help a dog with diarrhea, but the best thing to do for a dog with constipation is to give him high-fiber food, especially vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and kale.

It is rare but some dogs can be allergic to chicken and poultry meat in general!

When you give your dog chicken, watch him and if you detect these symptoms, he is probably allergic to poultry meat:

  • Severe itching and scratching around the head ( face )
  • The appearance of Bald patches (hair loss)
  • Obsessive biting (of its paws) and licking
  • Scratching and even bleeding due to scratching.
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Chronic gas.

Can dogs eat dark meat chicken?

the fibula bone you need to remove before feeding your dog dark chicken meat
A chicken leg quarter with the meat removed, showing the femur, knee, tibia, and fibula

Yes, dark meat chicken is a little bit fatty when it’s raw but of course, dogs that don’t suffer from Pancreatitis and heart problems can eat dark meat chicken, it is the two legs of the chicken, the drumsticks.

Dark meat chicken is mostly chicken thighs, so can dogs eat chicken thighs? is it safe?

This dark meat is not really black, it just turns a little brown when cooked because it contains a high amount of myoglobin, which helps to supply the leg muscles of the chicken with a lot of oxygen because it uses them all day to carry the weight of its body.

Dark meat chicken is generally stronger tasting, more flavorful, and as fatty as the other cuts when baked, you just need to remove the Bones if you have cooked it before giving it to your dog.

You can give the raw thigh to your young and healthy dog but check that the meat is healthy and free of Salmonella; most importantly, you will find a small pointed Bone, attached to the shin, it is called “Fibula Bone”, remove this Bone which looks like a needle before giving the chicken thigh to your dog.

Can Dark meat chicken lead to pancreatitis in Dogs?

First of all, Severe trauma, Obesity, diabetes, or surgery can trigger this disease, but pancreatitis in dogs is mainly caused by an excess of fat consumption (a high-fat diet)!

Okay, Google! what do we mean by ” Dark meat Chicken “?

Dark meat chicken is only found in the thigh and drumstick of the chicken (poultry), which contain 50% red meat fibers and 50% white fibers. Dark meat chicken contains only 3 extra grams of fat per 100 grams !! this is not a big deal when it comes to feeding your dog !!!

Is dark meat chicken high in bad fat?

Table showing the difference between dark meat chicken and white meat chicken

What is the best way to feed dark meat chicken to my Dog?

Since Dark meat chicken is a little fattier than other parts of the chicken, it is best to debone the chicken legs and bake them without seasoning to extract the maximum amount of fat from the legs before letting them cool.

Then crumble the cooked meat and add small portions to your dog’s food as a topper or use it as a treat.

Why do some veterinarians advise against dark-meat chicken for dogs?

Veterinarians advise against dark meat chicken and say it is too high in fat because they have included the skin of the thigh and drumstick of the chicken in their calculation! Otherwise, this part of the chicken is excellent for dogs if you remove the skin!

You should also know that the skin of the chicken’s thighs is thicker than that of the other parts of its body because its thighs do not contain feathers and that is why the chicken stores more fat in the skin of its thighs to support the cold, but in the thigh muscle, there is no bad fat! instead, it is only good unsaturated fat and good for your dog.

Can the iron in dark meat chicken poison my dog?

The standard not to exceed when feeding your dog is 20 to 60 milligrams of iron per kilogram of body weight.

How much iron is there in a chicken leg?

There is 1.1 mg of iron in a chicken leg! This means that dark meat chicken cannot poison your dog or give him an iron overdose!

To conclude, dark meat chicken is good and healthy for your dog, just make sure to remove the skin before giving this meat to your dog because the only bad fat in this dark meat is the skin.

Final Thoughts

Chicken meat is good for the dog, just be careful with the bones if the chicken is cooked, ask your vet before starting a raw chicken diet, because your dog may be allergic to chicken.

Chicken offal is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for your dog, but you should only give it every other day to avoid an overdose of vitamin A which could cause health problems for your dog.

Some Useful Resources

Effects of different chicken protein sources on palatability in dry adult dog food


Functional foods in pet nutrition

M Samy pet blogger and author at famillypet

About Author

Hey! Samy here , Welcome to my Blog I'm an animal lover, especially pets and Really concerned about their well being ; I've been around and caring for all my life and Now ; a full-time Pet blogger at your service . My motto here at Famillypet is: "Pets First" ... Read More

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