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Help! My Dog Ate Raw Chicken

5 raw chicken drumsticks in yellow commercial packaging

It doesn’t matter how hard you try, dogs will always find the food that is not meant for them. One of those ingredients that canines love to eat is raw chicken. If your pet has consumed uncooked chicken, use the following information to figure out the most suitable plan of action.   

Is it Safe for My Dog to Eat Raw Chicken?

If you are looking for a quick answer, raw chicken is generally SAFE for healthy dogs. In normal circumstances, there is nothing to worry about if your canine companion has eaten a portion of raw chicken.

The digestive systems of dogs are strong enough to handle the bacteria that are present in uncooked chicken. Similarly, they have shorter digestive tracts (than us) that didn’t allow the intruders to cause havoc. Having said that, it’s important to realize that raw chicken is NOT always suitable for dogs.

For instance, some of the smaller dog breeds are allergic to poultry and can get sick. Similarly, the sudden introduction of chicken into a dog’s system can lead to diarrhea and/or vomiting. Last but not least, if your dog consumes raw chicken with bones, choking and intestinal obstructions are also possible.

If your dog eats raw chicken with bones or if they have an allergy, you should always call your vet or the pet poison control line at: (888) 426-4435

What to Do When My Dog Ate Raw Chicken?

Golden Retriever with paws on counter with white plate with chicken bone in front of him

Although uncooked chicken is not as harmful to dogs as humans, it is NOT necessarily safe for your pet. Therefore, it is important to observe your pet closely and look for any signs of trouble.

Gastrointestinal Issues

It is quite possible that your dog experiences vomiting or diarrhea for a few hours after ingesting raw chicken. In extreme cases, these gastrointestinal disturbances might prolong for a day or two.

If the situation starts to improve within 2 days, the troubles were (most probably) NOT caused by bacteria. Instead, the digestive system of your dog was finding it difficult to cope with the new kind of food. However, it is highly recommended to get some veterinary attention for your pet.

Weak Immune System

Puppies or older dogs who have a weaker immune system might fail to fight the bacteria present in raw chicken. In such cases, you must keep a keen eye on your dog’s poop. As soon as you observe signs of diarrhea, visit the vet to seek some professional help.

Chicken with Bones

3 raw chicken drumsticks on a slate background with herbs, peppercorn and garlic

The bones of chicken are a lot more dangerous for your canines than the meat. As a result, boneless raw chicken might not be exceedingly dangerous for your pet. On the other hand, if your dog swallowed some chicken bones, the complications could be quite serious.

The very first thing that you need to ensure is that the dog is not choking. After that, keep a close eye on your pet and look for any signs of panic or abdominal pain. Likewise, if your companion is having difficulties in defecating, there could be an intestinal obstruction that will require immediate treatment.

Why Can Your Dog Eat Raw Chicken?

Black and white dog with raw chicken leg quarter in mouth on white background

Being the descendants of wolves and wild dogs, our canine pets are naturally equipped to eat raw meat. Although modern-day dogs have lost some of the hunting instinct due to domestication, they do enjoy raw chicken. However, there are certain precautions that must be kept in mind while giving your dog uncooked meat.   

For example, feeding chicken necks to your canines is a horrible idea because they have too many bones in them. Not only do they cause choking, but these bones can also injure the throat and digestive tract of your pets.

Salmonella and Other Bacteria

bacteria on a white background

Due to the shorter gastrointestinal tract of dogs, the food passes quickly through the body. Consequently, bacteria like Salmonella have very little time to settle. If the bacteria do manage to stay in the body, the acidic strength of a dog’s stomach kills them.

Following these lines, some trainers that are preparing canines for dog sports use a raw diet, called BARF. They believe that items like raw chicken help the dog to gain extra strength and stamina. The term BARF is an abbreviation of Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.  

On the other hand, Salmonella can cause serious health problems for dogs with weaker immune systems. The treatment of a dog suffering from Salmonella infection will depend on the severity of his/her condition. In extreme cases, the vet may prescribe antibiotics and IV fluid therapy for the recovery of your pet.

How Can You Serve Raw Chicken to Your Dog?

raw cubed chicken meat on a wooden cutting board

If your dog shows a little too much interest in raw chicken, you can incorporate this ingredient in his/her diet. However, it is highly recommended to consult your vet before making any changes to your dog’s food.

Once the vet approves, make sure that you introduce uncooked chicken in your canine’s meals gradually. Ideally, you should mix a small quantity of raw chicken with your dog’s usual food and see how it goes. You can also dehydrate chicken meat and give it your canine friend as a chewy treat.

Another thing that you must ensure is to give your dog boneless chicken. Chicken bones are quite dangerous for your pet because they can cause choking and intestinal obstructions.

Substitutes for Raw Chicken Meat

Hand with butcher knife sliding chicken onto plate with mound of white rice

Chicken and rice are an ideal replacement for raw chicken because of their nutritional value. In addition to that, they offer a safer combination of raw and processed food. Alternatively, you can also give your pet an occasional breast piece (carefully cleaned, deboned, and prepared).

My Dog Ate a Chicken Wing

3 whole raw chicken wings on a cutting board surrounded by herbs and spices on a white background

Unfortunately, it is pretty common for dogs to eat what they shouldn’t. Once the dog has consumed a chicken wing, the first thing that you need to do is to stay calm. Observe your companion closely for the next 24-48 hours. If the dog is suffering from mild diarrhea and/or vomiting (but eating normally), things are most probably not very serious.

On the other hand, if the pet stops eating and there is blood in his/her poop or vomit, it’s time to visit the vet. This could well be an indication of an intestinal perforation (caused by bones) that will require instant treatment. Similarly, if diarrhea persists for more than 2 days, you should consult your vet about your pet’s condition.

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