17 April 2023

Chicken feet for dogs – Benefits and how to give them

By Killian

Chicken feet for dogs - Benefits and how to give them

Chicken feet are by-products of animal origin that are currently not widely consumed in Western countries. However, these by-products contain a number of compounds that are highly beneficial to dogs, especially their joint health. Do you want to know more about the chicken feet for dogs? If so, do not hesitate to join us in the following AnimalWised article, in which we will talk about the benefits of chicken feet and how to give them to the dogs. We already anticipate that chicken legs for dogs are a completely suitable and safe food for our dogs.

Are chicken feet good for dogs?

Chicken feet do not contain any compound that is toxic to the organism of dogs, which is why they are considered a suitable food for these animals. In addition, its contribution offers a series of very interesting benefits for dogs, especially to maintain their joint health. In the following section we explain in more detail what benefits chicken feet bring to dogs.

What are chicken feet used for dogs?

Chicken feet are mainly made of connective tissue, as they contain skin, cartilage, tendons and bones. This means that they do not have great nutritional value in terms of their carbohydrate, fat and protein content. However, chicken feet contain some very beneficial compounds for the health of our dogs. These compounds are:

  • collagen: almost 70% of its protein content is collagen, one of the main components of the joints. It is present in the ligaments, tendons and cartilage, and its function is to provide flexibility, elasticity and support.
  • Glucosamine: is an amino-sugar present in the body naturally, which stimulates the formation and repair of articular cartilage.
  • chondroitin sulfate: a glycosaminoglycan, also naturally present in the body, which prevents the degradation of articular cartilage components.

Taken together, all these components make chicken feet an ideal food to maintain joint health of dogs, as they help prevent and treat chronic and degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis.

Also, when chicken feet are offered in the right way, they also help maintain oral health of dogs, as they help clean teeth and prevent the accumulation of tartar. We give you some Tips to remove tartar in dogs, below.

Chicken feet for dogs - Benefits and how to give them - What are chicken feet for dogs for?

Chicken feet for dogs, raw, cooked or frozen?

Now that we know what the benefits of chicken feet are, we are going to analyze what is the best way to offer this food to our dogs: raw, frozen, cooked or dehydrated? Let’s see it next.

It is likely that you have read or heard that the best way to offer chicken feet to dogs is raw. The truth is that providing raw chicken feet is an extra benefit for dogs. In addition to providing a good dose of glucosamine and chondroitin, the raw legs favor the cleaning of the teeth, which prevents the appearance of periodontal disease. However, the contribution of the raw legs carries a significant risk.

Chicken meat may contain pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella and Campylobacter, which are responsible for numerous food poisoning. Although there are those who maintain that freezing eliminates this risk, this is not the case. Freezing stops the multiplication of these microorganisms and can destroy a small part of the bacterial population of the food, but not all. Thus, Even when frozen, chicken feet can be dangerous. microbiology for our dogs. The only way to eliminate these pathogens is by applying a heat treatment above 65-70ºC. So, is it preferable to provide cooked chicken legs? We’ll tell you then.

By cooking chicken legs, we eliminate the risk of our dogs suffering from food poisoning. However, with cooking comes a new danger. The bones present in chicken feet, when cooked, can easily splinter and cause significant damage, such as ulcers in the oral cavity, lesions in the digestive tract, choking, etc. However, there is an alternative to avoid these risks.

Instead of offering the whole cooked paws, you can mash them up and use them to make homemade treats for your dog. In the next section we explain in detail how you can do it. Discover “What are the best treats for your dog?” in the following AnimalWised post.

Finally, we are going to talk about dehydrated chicken feet, which are nothing more than chicken feet that have been subjected to heat treatment, at a low temperature, but for a long period of time. This heat treatment is sufficient to eliminate the microbiological dangers that we have mentioned above, and also, as it is carried out at a low temperature, it does not alter the nutritional benefits of chicken feet.

On the other hand, its crunchy and slightly hard texture favors the cleaning of the teeth, which helps prevent the appearance of periodontal disease. From all this, we can conclude that one of the best ways to include chicken feet in a dog’s diet it is in dehydrated formsince in this way, we eliminate the risks involved in the contribution of this raw or cooked food, but without giving up any of its benefits.

How to prepare chicken feet for dogs?

As we have seen, feeding raw chicken feet to dogs carries certain risks to their health. For this reason, it is preferable to opt for other safer alternatives, such as preparing treats based on chicken feet broth, or dehydrating chicken feet. In this section, we explain in detail how you can prepare chicken legs in these two ways.

How to make chicken feet broth for dogs?

The steps to follow to prepare some homemade treats based on chicken feet broth are the following:

  1. Wash the chicken feet: generally, the legs are sold blanched, peeled and washed. However, it is advisable to wash them with water before cooking to ensure that they are completely clean.
  2. Place the chicken legs in a casserole, cover with water and cook until very tender (about 40-45 minutes). Salt should not be added to the cooking water.
  3. once cooked, crush the legs together with the cooking water.
  4. Pour the mixture into small molds or ice trays
  5. Finally, leaves cool the molds in the refrigerator until the mixture solidifies.

Although these treats can be used on dogs of any age, They are especially recommended for puppies. Whole chicken feet can be difficult to chew for dogs that have not yet fully developed their final teeth, so these treats are the best way to feed puppy dogs chicken feet.

They are also a good alternative to provide chicken feet for small dogs, or for dogs with difficulty chewing (due to lack of teeth, gingivitis, periodontal disease, etc.)

How to dehydrate chicken legs?

Chicken feet can be dehydrated in two ways:

  • Or in a electric dehydrator: It is an appliance specially designed to dehydrate food.
  • or in the oven, at about 70ºC for 8 hours.

As you can see, dehydration is a long and tedious process. Therefore, if you prefer, then opt for buy dehydrated chicken feet directlysince there are many brands on the market that sell chicken feet in this way, as a snack for dogs.

How to give chicken feet to a dog?

To finish, we are going to explain the amount and frequency with which this food can be provided to dogs.

  • In terms of frequency, chicken feet are a safe food for dogs, so they can be offered regularly. If you wish, you can contribute 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Regarding the amount, it is appropriate to contribute a chicken leg for every 10 kg of weight.

In any case, remember that whenever you incorporate a new food into your dog’s diet, it is important that you monitor the possible appearance of adverse effects.

If you want to read more articles similar to Chicken feet for dogs – Benefits and how to give themwe recommend that you enter our Home Diets section.