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How To Cook Chicken For A Dog — What’s the Healthiest Way?

Most dogs love chicken, and preparing it yourself is easy. We show you healthy ways to cook chicken for a dog.

When it comes to our dogs, we always want to do what is best for their health, happiness, and wellbeing. This includes providing them with a proper, nutritional diet. Chicken is a common protein in many dogs’ diets, as it is fairly inexpensive and readily available. So how do you cook chicken for a dog?

To cook chicken for a dog, there are a few methods you can use. You can boil it, grill it, or for the healthiest option, you can bake it. And whichever method you choose, care should always be taken when handling and feeding chicken to a dog.

We’ll explore these issues in more detail and cover everything you need to know about preparing chicken for your dog.

Should We Feed a Dog a Human-Grade Diet?

One thing we may want to try is feeding our dogs a human-grade diet, rather than buying ready-made, meat-filled dog cans or kibbles.

This can be a good choice if you want to know exactly what is going into your dog’s diet. We generally assume that higher grade ingredients pose less health risks than processed foods using lower grade ingredients.

In addition to chicken, other human-grade foods that we prepare for dogs are liver and eggs.

By preparing our dogs’ meal ourselves, we also eliminate a lot of the extraneous ingredients found in kibbles and canned dogs foods.

Why Chicken Is a Good Choice for a Dog

Chicken is fantastic choice for a dog’s meal if you want to add lean protein to their diet. It is excellent because it plays a role in forming brand-new skin cells, helps build muscle tissue, and contributes to healthy fur growth. 

The protein in chicken also provides the dog with energy and a strong immune system, essential to your dog’s wellbeing.

Chicken Includes Omega-6 and Glucosamine

Chicken also contain a significant amount of omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital to a dog’s health. It not only helps with reproduction and growth, but also the function of the immune system, their skin and having a lovely, healthy coat. 

Chicken is also full of glucosamine, which is essential for the dog’s joints such as tendons, ligaments and cartilage – with cartilage being a shock absorber.

How Often It Can Be Eaten by a Dog

Just like with us humans, eating certain foods is best in moderation. Even though you can feed a dog a chicken-exclusive diet, it may cause your dog to reject other food types.

It also does not provide your dog with all the beneficial nutrients such as minerals and vitamins it needs for a healthy lifestyle. These are things you cannot find in chicken, so it is best to provide them with a balanced, all-round diet.

How Much a Week to Feed Your Dog Chicken

With this in mind, one approach is to aim to feed your dog chicken around once to three times a week. For an extra special treat, add other sources of food such as rice and veggies to add extra health benefits. They will usually enjoy the additional flavors.

If you are looking to change your dog’s diet dramatically, remember to consult with a vet before making any big changes. 

The Things You Need to Know Before Feeding a Dog Chicken

While chicken is a great food source for a dog, like with a lot of things, it comes with its own risks. Here are things to look out for before feeding your dog this delicious treat:

  • Do Not Feed a Dog Chicken Along with the Bones

Even though dogs are known for eating an animal’s bone, keep chicken bones out of the dog’s meal because they are soft and can easily split.

They are just too small and present a choking hazard, as well as the possibility of puncturing the dog’s stomach or intestines.

Be sure to dispose of all bones in a secure trash bin or down the garbage disposal as curious dogs will find them and eat them. Chicken bones can do significant damage to your dog that can result in major vet bills and even death for your dog.

  • Salmonella and Other Bacteria May Be Present In Raw Chicken 

Bacteria that can cause an upset stomach or illnesses may be present if the chicken is not cooked well enough. So to avoid this, cook the chicken thoroughly.

Just as when handling chicken for human consumption, rinse the chicken and wash your hands well after handling it or surfaces the chicken has touched. Salmonella from chicken is a real thing that neither you nor your dog want to get.

  • Keep the Cooked Chicken Plain

Keeping the cooked chicken plain will be best for your dog. That means no special seasoning, garlic, onions and certainly nothing from the local fast food joint.

Onion and garlic can be toxic to dogs and should not be fed them in any form; raw, cooked, fried or powdered. Trust us, dogs normally love cooked chicken and couldn’t care less about seasonings.

  • Chicken Breast Is Best

It provides your dog a low-fat piece of meat which is much more healthier for your dog than full-fat. A lot of fatty foods may cause pancreatitis, so it is best to avoid fattier foods altogether.

  • Watch Out for Allergies

Chicken is a high allergy for dogs, so keep this in mind if you do not know whether your dog is tolerant or not yet. One advantage of feeding home cooked chicken is that if your dog does show allergic symptoms, it’s easy to eliminate the single protein to see if the chicken is the cause.

If you find that your dog is suffering from a chicken allergy, remove the food and contact your vet for further advice. Other foods that commonly cause dog food allergies include dairy, beef, eggs, wheat gluten, corn, lamb, pork, soy and fish — among others.

Dogs Who May Have a Sensitive Stomach

If your pooch has an upset stomach, pairing chicken with some white rice can help settle it down. Keep it simple by not adding anything to the rice, and mix it with the chicken.

Do note that white rice should be used instead of brown rice because dogs find it much more difficult to digest, which will only add to the dogs discomfort.

How To Boil Chicken

Dogs absolutely love the taste of plain boiled chicken, unlike us who prefer a bit of seasoning. Their stomachs would not do well if they ate chicken like us, so always remember to keep it simple and tasty.

Here is a quick step-by-step to boiling delicious chicken for your hungry dog:

  • Using chicken breasts, place them in a medium-sized pot and fill with water.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and bring the water to a boil. It should be bubbling.
  • Keep the chicken boiling over high heat for 12 minutes or until it is completely cooked.
  • Once it is cooked thoroughly (without being overdone), shred the chicken and allow it to cool down to avoid any burning of the mouth.
  • Give your dog a small portion of the chicken with its meal and store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days. Never give your dog chicken that smells foul or looks off.

How To Bake Chicken

If you want to do more than just boil chicken, you can also try baking it. It will not change the flavor, but it does give you a different method option when cooking the chicken for your dog. 

  • Set your oven to 400º F and let it warm up as you prepare the chicken.
  • Place the chicken breast in an oven-safe container that has been a little oiled to avoid the chicken from sticking to the surface and sides.
  • Put the chicken in the oven for 20-30 minutes, making sure it cooks through thoroughly.

Can A Dog Eat Raw Chicken?

It is not recommended to feed your dog raw chicken due to the potential of bacterial infections and salmonella, though there is a controversial growing trend towards feeding dogs raw food which includes raw chicken. 

What Is A Raw Food Dog Diet?

To put it simply, it is feeding your dog uncooked food. This could be:

  • Meat still on the bone
  • Raw eggs
  • Veggies such as spinach or broccoli
  • Fruit
  • Livers or kidney
  • Bones

Adopting Raw Food Into Your Dog’s Diet

If raw food is something you are wanting to adopt, speak with your vet first for professional advice about your dog’s diet.

You can also add a variety of nutrients into his diet another way, such as by feeding them cooked food like veggies. This could be brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and potatoes, broccoli, carrots, celery, peas (though not tinned), and sweetcorn (cut off the cob).

Human-grade food like these veggies are fine to feed dogs, but do keep in mind that they are best left as treats for when you want to spoil your pooch.

They are full of fiber which is great for your dog’s digestive system. However, too much can also negatively affect their digestive system. 

Final Thoughts

Chicken is ultimately an excellent choice when it comes to a healthy meal for our dogs, but as with everything else, it is best fed in moderation, or teamed up with their regular food.

It is a great source of protein, omega-6 and glucosamine, all of which add beneficial nutrients to a dog’s diet. For an extra helping of dog-friendly nutrients like minerals and vitamins, try adding veggies mixed in with the chicken.

Cooking it is easy and simple, especially since all it needs to be is plain without any added ingredients. Adding it into your dog’s diet for an exciting treat is a great way to give him something different to try.

Superb Dog Editor

Superb Dog Editor