Chicken feet is a common dog chew very much like pig ears, but it does have a lot of health benefits and risks. Do the risks outweigh the benefits and can dogs eat chicken feet? Yes, dogs can eat chicken feet but only as long as they’re raw. Dogs, no matter what breed or size, should never eat cooked, boiled, or fried chicken feet because of health risks.
If you’ve always wondered if you can give your pet canine a few chicken feet to chew on, then you need to read this guide before it’s too late. While chicken feet are safe for dogs to eat, there are certain risks involved, which can be life-threatening. If you don’t know the risks yet, please refrain from feeding your dog any form of chicken feet.
What are Chicken Feet?
Chicken feet are a common food staple in many Asian dishes and it’s packed with nutrition. It’s also delicious, depending on how you cook it. They’re mostly discarded in meat shops but they’re a great dog chew because of their contents, which are mostly bones, cartilage, tendons, and chicken skin.
Chicken feet are also a good source of protein with 70% of this made of collagen, which is a structural protein beneficial for the shape and strength of a dog’s skin, tendons, bones, muscles, and ligaments.
Chicken Feet Nutritional Facts
One serving is equivalent to 2 pieces of chicken feet, or 70 grams. Here are its nutritional facts for one serving:
- Calories = 150
- Fat = 10 grams
- Protein = 14 grams
- Carbohydrates = 0.14 grams
- Calcium = 0.62 grams
- Iron = 0.06 grams
- Potassium = 0.22 grams
Chicken feet also have Folate or vitamin B9, Phosphorus, and vitamin A.
Most importantly, chicken feet are a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are ingredients found in most dog joint supplements. In fact, one chicken foot is equivalent to one joint supplement, making it a more natural and affordable alternative to supplements.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Feet?
The answer is yes, dogs can eat chicken feet. However, they can only eat raw chicken feet because cooked, fried, or boiled chicken feet can pose a health hazard to dogs.
Raw chicken feet are crunchy and chewy, making them a great dog chew, aside from being a nutritious treat. They’re completely safe for dogs to eat and are not toxic.
However, there are risks to eating raw chicken since they may contain parasites or bacteria. While dogs are resistant to Salmonella, which is often found in raw food, some canines may have weakened immune systems that may respond adversely to eating raw chicken feet.
As a matter of fact, dogs can and will eat most parts of a chicken, like its heart, the giblets and the neck.
The Benefits of Eating Chicken Feet for Dogs
In this section, we’ll talk about why giving chicken feet to your dog as a treat can be a good thing. Here are the benefits of chicken feet for dogs:
- Boosts Joint Health
Older and aging dogs suffer from a wide range of diseases and conditions, one of which is arthritis. Chicken feet, as mentioned earlier, contain high amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are ingredients often used in joint supplements for dogs. Because of these two compounds, eating chicken feet can be beneficial in lowering the symptoms of joint pain, while also boosting your dog’s cartilage production.
Each chicken foot is said to contain at least 450mg of glucosamine, making it a natural alternative to supplements. It is a great source of arthritis treatment, improves mobility in dogs, and improves overall joint health.
- Improves Dental Health
As mentioned earlier, chicken feet are a great dog chew treat. Your dog will love chewing on the bony and crunchy feet, as well as the chewy cartilage and tendons. But aside from being a gum and tooth treat, chicken feet can also help clean your dog’s teeth, as the bones naturally remove tartar build-up and plaque.
Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs, with 76% of all canines in the US suffering from one form or another. If you’re having trouble cleaning your dog’s teeth and gums, having your pet chew on a few chicken feet can help prevent dental disease.
- Fewer Calories But With Dense Nutrition
Chicken feet are very low in calories but they pack a punch when it comes to nutrition. They’re a great source of protein, carbs, vitamins A, B9, and other nutrients that promote your dog’s overall health.
Potential Risks of Chicken Feet for Dogs
Chicken feet may be safe for dogs to eat when raw, but there are other risks involved. Let’s discuss what these are:
- Raw Chicken Feet Might Have Bacteria and Parasites
Any kind of raw meat will always pose a risk for dogs. If you don’t clean the chicken feet properly some bacteria may remain and can cause health problems in your dog. The best place to buy chicken feet is at a butcher shop where chicken is prepared and chopped fresh daily. When you bring the meat home, wash them thoroughly before feeding some to your dog.
- Cooked, Fried, or Boiled Chicken Can Cause Problems in Your Dog
Cooked chicken feet mean the meat was exposed to very high temperatures that make the bones brittle. When your dog chews on cooked chicken feet, the bones may easily break and will cause splinters in your dog’s mouth, and when ingested, could cause perforations in your dog’s esophagus and stomach, leading to serious health problems.
Splintered chicken feet bones can be as sharp as a scalpel blade, and if your dog’s digestive tract is injured, it could lead to peritonitis or sepsis, which are life-threatening.
How Much Chicken Feet Should I Feed to My Dog?
Depending on the size and diet of your dog, you can give it one to three pieces of chicken feet per day. If your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, avoid giving it to your dog since it consists of 25% fat, which is dangerous for dogs who have this condition.
If your dog is suffering from joint pain, or if it’s an aging dog, you might want to give more pieces to take advantage of the natural collagen and cartilage-boosting compounds present in the meat.
Can dogs eat chicken feet? The answer is a big yes, but only raw chicken feet. Never feed cooked chicken feet to your dog because the bones can be so brittle that they break easily, becoming as sharp as a scalpel blade, which will hurt your dog.
Wash the raw chicken feet as thoroughly as you can before feeding one or 3 pieces to your dog per day if you want to reap the benefits of the meat for your dog’s diet.
Photo by Kacper Chrzanowski on Unsplash
Photo by Hayley Ryczek on Unsplash