Kibble is a convenient food for most dog owners to feed their dogs. Unfortunately, not all dogs thrive on kibble. For these dogs, a raw diet that includes chicken may be a suitable alternative.
Meaty Chicken Parts
Whole chicken parts, such as backs, necks, legs or necks, count as “raw meaty bones.” If the meat is ground or removed from the bone before feeding, these parts still fulfill the requirements for muscle meats. Contrary to popular belief, dogs can eat raw bones without any risk of injury. Small dogs need little accommodation while eating raw meaty bones; however, larger dogs should not be fed any parts that are small enough to present a choking hazard.
Raw chicken feet might not be the prettiest things you’ll ever feed your dog. However, they will provide him with a good amount of glucosamine, a nutrient vital to joint health. Chicken feet can also act as natural toothbrushes, playing a role in your dog’s daily teeth maintenance. Raw chicken feet are available at Asian markets, farmer’s markets and some grocery stores.
Raw chicken organs, such as giblets and livers, are readily available at local grocery stores. Hearts, while also readily available, are considered to be a muscle meat, not an organ meat. A raw meat diet should consist of approximately 5 to 10 percent organ meats to provide a balanced diet. Not only do they provide essential amino acids to your dog, but they are also a highly digestible form of protein.
There is a risk of salmonella contamination when feeding raw chicken. However, dogs’ digestive systems have developed to process even contaminated foods with relative safety. You can control the amount of contamination to which you are exposed with the same food handling and handwashing techniques that keep you safe when handling raw meats for human consumption. The bacteria that causes salmonella has also been found in highly processed dog kibble, so merely using dry food is not sufficient to protect yourself and your dogs from contact with salmonella.
The AVMA on Raw Feeding
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that all meats or milk be fully cooked or pasteurized before feeding them to pets. They have taken this position due to the possibility raw meat and milk could be contaminated with various disease-causing bacteria, including those causing salmonella and listeria. The AVMA recommends that commercially prepared food be fed instead of raw food and that people observe proper handwashing procedures when feeding pets, even when commercially prepared foods are used.
- Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals
- Justamere Ranch, LLC: Raw Feeding FAQ
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Updated: Correct Production Code Information: Diamond Pet Foods Expands Recall of Dry Pet Food
- American Veterinary Medicine Association: Resolution #5--2012
- chicken feet image by TiG from Fotolia.com