If you are looking for a natural, relatively healthy treat for your dog, look no further than chicken feet. Yes, they may look gross and too real for some people, but chicken feet are actually good for dogs. They are good for a dog’s dental health, and they improve the health of the dog’s joints. But, let’s dive deeper into the subject and learn more about these amazing dog treats.
What Are Chicken Feet?
Well, the answer is fairly obvious. We get chicken feet as a byproduct from slaughtered chickens. To ensure no part of chicken is wasted, chicken feet are used as dog treats and even as a delicacy for humans in some parts of the world.
There are several types of chicken feet. You can buy raw chicken feet, puffed chicken feet, or dehydrated chicken feet.
Raw chicken feet
Raw chicken feet are great, fresh, or frozen treats for your dog. You can buy them at the farmer’s market or from the local butcher.
Puffed chicken feet
These are air-dried chicken feet which means they have retained more nutrients and vitamins. Puffed chicken feet are usually whiter in color than dehydrated feet.
Dehydrated chicken feet
You can either buy or make your own dehydrated chicken feet. These are usually yellow and have a longer shelf-life (over six months).
Why Are Chicken Feet Good For Dogs?
Chicken feet are actually a very good treat for dogs due to their nutritional values. They are rich in chondroitin and glucosamine. These compounds are crucial for the health and mobility of joints. Also, due to their texture, chicken feet are basically digestible toothbrushes.
Chicken feet will clean the tartar buildup from your dog teeth and support gum and dental health.
Generally, chicken feet are one of the healthiest treats for dogs. They are also a great alternative to artificially made joint supplements.
As we have already said, chicken feet contain glucosamine and chondroitin. These are the building blocks for the joint cartilage of a dog. Therefore, feeding your dog chicken feet can help improve the health of dogs that suffer from arthritis, elbow, and hip dysplasia.
Each chicken foot has around 450 mg of glucosamine which is a daily dose for a medium-size dog.
Chicken feet are also good for the dental health of dogs. When the dog crunches the chicken feet, it creates mild abrasion which helps in the removal of plaque and leftover food. However, make sure to regularly brush your dog’s teeth, as no treat can replace regular brushing.
Can Chicken Feet Be Bad For Dogs?
As we have already said, chicken feet are one of the healthiest treats for dogs. However, this doesn’t mean they are automatically safe and good for all dogs. Unfortunately, chicken feet are not a good option for some dogs.
Dogs that suffer from pancreatitis shouldn’t eat chicken feet as this will only worsen the condition. Also, dogs that are allergic to chicken should avoid eating chicken feet.
Chicken feet are also a big “No” for obese dogs due to their high-fat content.
You should also remember not to give chicken feet to young puppies. Their teeth are still developing, and they can sustain considerable damage. Generally, you shouldn’t feed puppies until their teeth are fully developed. This will happen when the puppy is around the age of seven months.
Also, some dogs are allergic to chicken. Therefore, chicken feet are a clear “No” in this case.
Chicken Feet Alternatives
If you like the idea of feeding your dog chicken feet, but can’t do that due to the above-mentioned reasons, you can always look for alternatives.
For dogs that are allergic to chicken, an alternative treat would be duck feet. Duck feet also contain high levels of chondroitin and glucosamine. The con of duck feet is that they are very high in fat, which makes them a bad option for obese dogs and dogs that suffer from pancreatitis.
Rabbit ears are another great alternative to chicken feet. They are lower in fat than chicken feet, don’t smell and it takes longer for a dog to finish them.
Rabbit ears often come with hair on, which acts as a natural dewormer. However, some people simply don’t like the look of it. Rabbit ears are available in the dehydrated or air-dried form.
Pig ears are also a great alternative to chicken feet. They are made of skin and cartilage, similar to chicken feet. However, they are much higher in fat, so it’s not recommended for obese dogs and those who suffer from pancreatitis.
Pig ears are a great natural product to keep your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. However, they are also a bit smellier and greasier than chicken feet.
People Also Ask
How to store chicken feet?
If you are feeding your dog fresh chicken feet, you need to keep them in the freezer or fridge. Remember they can’t last forever, so use them as you would use them when cooking for yourself.
If you are using puffed or dehydrated chicken feet, store them in an airtight container after opening the bag. This way they can last around six months.
How many chicken feet can I give my dog on a daily basis?
The amount of chicken feet your dog can eat on a daily basis depends on the dog’s size and diet. We use chicken feet as a tasty healthy treat. The general rule is that treats shouldn’t make more than 10% of your dog’s daily diet. Therefore, if you own a small dog, one chicken foot per day is enough. If you own a medium or large dog, two to three chicken feet will be just fine.
Can chicken feet cause a blockage?
Chicken feet have some bones, and we all know what we heard about chicken bones and dogs. When fried, boiled, or cooked, chicken bones turn into hard structures that tend to break into sharp splinters when a dog chews them. Therefore, these bones can cause serious injuries to dogs.
However, bones in chicken feet are tiny, they aren’t cooked, but instead dehydrated and air-dried, which makes them safe for dogs to eat.