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Can dogs eat chicken feet?

Written by Ella White

Updated

Chicken feet dog treats in jar

Can dogs eat chicken feet? 

When it comes to feeding your dog chicken, the rules can get confusing. We know the meat protein is good for them but chicken bones can cause them harm. So how come we see chicken feet marketed as a healthy snack for dogs? The answer might not be what you think…

In this blog we’ll look at the health benefits of chicken feet for dogs, and why they’re a safe treat that they can enjoy without fear.

Chicken feet don’t look particularly appealing or nutritional, but for dogs they hold a lot of health benefits. They’re rich in protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin which are all essential components of your dog’s diet. They support joint health and, when chewed, chicken feet act as a toothbrush that supports healthy teeth and gums.

But more on the health benefits of chicken feet later. First, let’s answer a question that might be playing on your mind.

Most dog owners know that cooked chicken bones can splinter when chewed and cause digestive issues and even tears to the throat and gastrointestinal tract. Dried and dehydrated chicken bones can be safe for dogs as they don’t splinter and are fully digestible.

However, chicken feet aren’t just dehydrated chicken bones. They’re actually mostly made up of skin, cartilage, and connective tissue. Because they don’t contain any bone at all, your dog will have no trouble digesting chicken feet and reaping the health benefits.

Protein, glucosamine, and chondroitin all play different roles in keeping your dog’s health in top condition. They help build muscle, keep energy levels up, and maintain healthy cartilage and connective tissue.

Glucosamine and chondroitin are often marketed together as supplements for dogs because they complement one another as an aid for dogs with arthritis. In chicken feet, they’re found together naturally. So if your dog suffers with joint pain, mobility issues, or osteoarthritis chicken feet are a recommended treat as they contain about 450 mg of glucosamine per foot. For more information about glucosamine for dogs, read our blog here [link].

As we’ve already mentioned, chicken feet make a great dental aid for dogs because they remove plaque when chewed. So if you’re not able to brush your dog’s teeth very often or they reject the toothbrush altogether, this can be a good natural alternative that comes with additional health benefits.

Dehydrated chicken feet can be found in pet stores and in most places where you buy your regular dog food. If you’re into raw food for your dog, raw chicken feet can also be found at butchers, farmers markets, and farm shops. 

Cheaper chicken feet are often imported from China but, since they don’t have the same regulations and quality controls in place, they are usually lower quality and therefore less likely to deliver the same benefits for your dog’s health.

Good quality chicken feet should be pure and with no additives or preservatives, nails removed for safety (although your dog can eat them if they come with nails still on), and fully digestible. IDeally, they should be sourced and treated in the country of purchase.

Dogs can eat one to three chicken feet per day, depending on their size. Like with all chews and treats, you should observe them while eating chicken feet just in case they choke, and they should have easy access to water to help them swallow and digest the chewy texture.

If you’re unsure about feeding your dog chicken feet, speak with a trusted vet first for reassurance. And if you want a treat to feed your dog that’s good for their health, rich in meat protein, but easier to handle if you’re put off by the feel or appearance of chicken feet try Front of the Pack’s freeze-dried treats.

They’re made with salmon, beef, or rabbit and lock in all the goodness and tasty flavor your dog needs to enjoy both the taste and the benefits of meat protein. They’re made with 100% fresh ingredients and no added nasties, so you can treat your pet without worrying about their health.