Ever watched your dog snooze on a cushy sofa, belly up, and thought, "What a fearsome predator!"? And yet, when it comes to mealtime, we sometimes find ourselves faced with advice to feed our “wolves” a diet straight out of the wild. 

Perhaps the biggest bone of contention in this endless doggy diet debate? Raw chicken. 

Here at A Pup Above, we understand your need for clear, bite-sized answers in the wilderness of pet nutrition advice. So, let's cut to the chase and tackle this big question.

Why Do Some People Feed Raw Chicken to Their Dogs?

It turns out that serving your dog a plate of raw chicken is less about reenacting a nature documentary and more about a diet method known as Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or "BARF." 

The believers of BARF argue that this approach:

  • Can offer a dietary setup that mirrors what wild dogs eat
  • Touts digestion benefits due to less "filler" material found in processed dog foods
  • Promises your dog's coat will shine brighter than the North Star
  • Advocates for better dental health, as gnawing on those chicken bones could supposedly fight off tartar

However, while these points may sound promising, it's critical not to jump onto the BARF bandwagon without knowing the whole story. 

Is Raw Chicken Harmful for Dogs?

Stick a pin in the “dogs are just like wolves” concept for a moment, and let's dish out some science. Wolves might happily gnaw on a raw chicken without an ounce of concern, but our sweet living-room loafing labs and couch-surfing corgis? That's a different story.

Sure, your pup might sink their teeth into a piece of raw chicken with gleeful abandon, but their domesticated years have written a different script for their digestive systems. One particular concern is bacteria. That raw chicken can be full of nasty bacteria like Salmonella and Campylobacter.

And let's not forget about those bones! While Mother Nature may have designed wolves to handle a mouthful of raw bones, domestic dogs aren't quite as well equipped to handle chicken bones in particular. Gnawing on chicken bones can pose a choking hazard or result in harmful bone splinters.

How Might a Dog React to Raw Chicken?

Okay, so you've done it. You've swapped grilled chicken for raw, and now you're watching your dog's reaction. Possibly with one eye partially closed, if you're anything like us at A Pup Above. What's on the horizon?

Well, for starters, you might notice your dog taking the phrase “eat like an animal” to a whole new level. They could gobble it down faster than you can say "raw diet."

Next, you hone in on their physical reactions. Raw diets can, for some dogs, lead to softer stools or even diarrhea as their system adjusts to the new diet

Lastly, be on the lookout for any allergic reactions. Chicken, whether cooked or raw, is a common allergen for dogs. Allergy symptoms may range from itchy skin and ear infections to gastrointestinal upset.

Needless to say, the journey to raw chicken land might be a bit more bumpy than expected! While it might promise a walk on the wild side, the trade-offs need some serious weighing.

Are There Better Alternatives to Feeding Dogs Raw Chicken?

Playing chef and nutritionist for your dog can be quite a task, especially when you're doubting if raw chicken is the right bait for your little predator. Well, take a pause, as we've got a kitchen full of solutions to this raw chicken conundrum. Our secret ingredients? Sous-vide and safety!

And here’s why our meals are the ultimate companions for your dog's dinner time:

  • Slowly Cooked, Sous-vide Method: At A Pup Above, we've embraced sous-vide, a cooking method that seals in nutrients and flavors by cooking at a lower temperature. This means bacteria are shown the door, and nutrition is gracefully escorted to your dog’s bowl.
  • Bone Broth Benefits: Our meals are gently imbued with bone broth, offering an extra layer of delicious, nutrient-rich flavor that dogs go head over tail for.
  • High-Quality, Human-Grade Ingredients: Just as it should be, every ingredient that goes into our meals is of 100% human-grade. There are no questionable components, just an ingredient panel of fresh and nutritious whole foods.
  • Range of Drool-Worthy Flavors: With a flavor variety that can make even the choosiest dog lick their lips, we offer everything from Texas Beef Stew to Porky’s Luau. There's a favorite in line for every canine connoisseur there!

From ensuring quality ingredients and palatability to prioritizing pet health, we are there for you and your pup. 

Dispelling More Raw Chicken Myths 

Let's tackle some more myths and replace them with facts.

Myth: Dogs can easily digest raw meat

Fact: Wolves might call the wild their home, but our dogs have comfortably nested into domestication. This lifestyle change also brought along adjustments in their digestive system, which may make raw meat harder to digest than cooked meat.

Myth: A raw diet will give my dog shinier fur and healthier skin

Fact: While proper nutrition does contribute to shinier fur and healthier skin, there's no proof pointing solely toward a raw diet. A quality diet, whether it's raw or cooked, can help achieve glossy fur.

Myth: Dogs have the stomach acids needed to handle the bacteria in raw meat

Fact: Fact and fiction intertwine here. Yes, dogs do have stronger stomach acids that can kill some bacteria, but they're not invincible. Some harmful pathogens in raw meat can still pose a threat to your pet's health, especially when purchased at the grocery store — the meat you buy for yourself is intended to be cooked to kill of bacteria.

Myth: Raw food diets are more nutritionally complete than processed food

Fact: Not all raw diets are created equal. Sure, raw diets could be more nutritionally complete — if they're appropriately balanced. But, not all pet parents are nutritional experts, and an unbalanced raw diet can lead to deficiencies. 

The truth is, when it comes to what you should feed your pup, the best nutritional path is one that balances palatability, nutritional content, and, above all, safety.


So, can dogs eat raw chicken? While they technically can, it doesn't necessarily mean they should. Concerns about bacteria and bone hazards and ensuring a balanced diet can turn this seemingly simple choice into a puzzle. But fret not! 

At A Pup Above, we've gathered all these pieces and crafted a complete picture of nutrition, flavor, and safety. Our sous-vide, human-grade meals are here to pave the perfect meal path for your pup. So, let's ditch the raw diet dilemmas and serve up the goodness of well-cooked, nutrient-rich meals.

Ready to treat your canine to culinary delight? Dive into our variety of delicious recipes and make mealtime a celebration!


Raw diets for dogs and cats: a review, with particular reference to microbiological hazards | PMC

Can Dogs Eat Chicken? | American Kennel Club

Food Allergies in Dogs: What to Know | American Kennel Club (AKC)

One veterinarian’s experience with owners who are feeding raw meat to their pets | PMC