Any loving dog owner that loves their pets always thinks about what’s best for them, especially the foods that end up in their bellies.
How much more for a puppy that has yet to grow and needs all the energy they can get?
With that in mind, natural dog foods, such as chicken might actually be a viable option for your pup’s diet, provided you keep some things in mind before throwing a chicken leg into your dog's food bowl.
First and foremost is the most important question: is it safe?
The answer to this question depends on one important factor. Is the chicken cooked or not? Chicken generally, is safe for dogs of all ages, and there are countless brand dog foods that have chicken as the main ingredient, so chicken gets the okay.
However, raw chicken is a different story, as puppies can get salmonella just like us people can, and raw chicken can contract bacteria very easily, which might cause problems like infections in your dog.
By cooking the meat before feeding it to your pet, you’re not only killing the bacteria, but also making it easier for your puppy to chew and digest the food.
So knowing that it’s safe provided that you cook it, the next question is how?
Taking a step into the kitchen, you can see there’s all kinds of ways to cook chicken. Because puppies are different from us humans, cooking it the way we cook normal food might not be as good as you think it is.
While cooked chicken itself is safe, and even healthy for our pets, additional ingredients such spices and seasonings might just change the story entirely.
Some spices could be poisonous to your pets, or cause other kinds of stomach problems for your puppy. When cooking for your four legged friend, the simpler the better.
One of the easiest ways that’s safe for your dog to eat is to simply boil the chicken without any other additional ingredients. Similar to boiling chicken for yourself, the boiling time for a chicken may vary, so scoring the chicken to ensure even cooking, making sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through is some things to take note of.
It is also recommended that you take out any bones that your dog might accidentally eat that could cause problems such as gastro-intestinal ruptures. If you would like to try a different method other than boiling, baking the chicken in the oven is also an option.
Unlike boiling, baking chicken in the oven will take longer, and preheating your oven to 350 degrees beforehand will ensure the chicken will not dry out. Similar to boiling, no additional seasoning is needed for this method, however a little olive oil to prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan is allowed.
When serving the food, some other puppy safe foods that can go with the chicken are things such as green beans, carrot or plain rice so long as you don’t and too much.
If you want to get creative with your puppy’s recipe, you may research every ingredient you plan to use individually beforehand to ensure it’s safety and to observe your pet’s reaction to eating the dish.
Your dog’s comfort and health comes first and foremost, and although everything might be deemed safe, some surveys show that chicken is some of the top foods that could cause allergies in dogs. Puppies also need a lot of other things to compose a healthy diet and chicken alone might not be able to satisfy these needs.
Moreover, a dog that eats chicken regularly may be open to the risk of contracting stomach problems such as diarrhea and chronic inflammation in the stomach due to high amounts of Omega-6 fatty acids contained in this particular meat.
Chicken should only take up at most, a quarter of their diet and feeding your pet chicken should be accompanied with other healthy food to ensure your dog may grow healthy with a proper immune system.
A regular puppy is allowed to eat chicken only when they’re about 8 to 12 weeks old, as this is when they start to grow teeth that can properly chew this kind of food. Additionally, every breed of dog is different and the portion you may give them will be affected by their size and type.
This requires individual research on what is best for your pet. If you’re unsure about what exactly is safe or not, there is no harm in consulting your vet for advice on what would be ideal.