I’ve discussed many types of food and whether they’re suitable for dogs. In today’s post I’m looking at canned chicken to understand how safe and nutritious it is for dogs. Can dogs eat canned chicken? Should they?
As a dog owner, you want assurance that your dog has the best diet possible. So, it’s normal to have questions about what food your dog can eat.
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of canned chicken for dogs and explain what types of canned chicken are safe for dogs.
Table of Contents
- Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?
- Watch the Sodium Levels
- Canned Chicken Provides Protein
- What To Look For When Buying Canned Chicken For Dogs
- How To Feed Canned Chicken To Your Dog
- Summary – Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?
- Related Posts
Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?
Well, canned chicken made exclusively for dogs will most likely be a safe choice. Since it’s produced specifically for dogs it shouldn’t be any foodstuffs harmful to dogs. However, you should always make sure the variety of canned chicken you choose doesn’t contain something that your dog has an allergy to.
Canned chicken made for human consumption is an entirely different matter. Assuming the variety doesn’t contain ingredients such as garlic, onions and artificial sweeteners known to be harmful to dogs (like xylitol), a little canned chicken shouldn’t pose a danger.
However, you shouldn’t regularly feed your dog canned chicken produced for humans as it can contain high levels of sodium.
For the purposes of the rest of this article, I’ll be discussing canned chicken made for human consumption.
Watch the Sodium Levels
Before opening a can of chicken for your dog, consider the health risks. According to the USDA, 100g of canned chicken made for humans contains 482mg of sodium, but dogs should only eat around 200mg daily. For reference, humans should eat no more than 2,300mg per day.
If your dog requires a low-salt diet, you should never feed it canned chicken made for humans.
Regardless, your dog shouldn’t eat a whole serving of canned chicken each due to its sodium content. Dogs who intake too much salt are at risk of dehydration, high blood pressure, and other health issues.
That said, salt is necessary to keep a dog healthy. Among other benefits, salt helps maintain fluid levels and keeps muscles and nerves functioning well. This is why dry dog foods contain at least 0.3% sodium.
Canned Chicken Provides Protein
Of course, canines need protein to stay healthy. Ideally, dogs should eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So… a 50-pound dog needs 50 grams of protein daily.
Canned chicken averages about 25.3g per 100g. However, your dog must should most of its protein from foods prepared for canine consumption. While canned chicken made for human consuption contains a high amount of protein, it shouldn’t be fed to dogs regularly.
So while a small portion of canned chicken can add to a dog’s protein intake, don’t rely on it for its daily protein needs.
Please note… if your pooch has kidney disease or is a senior, talk to your vet about protein requirements because they may need to eat less.
What To Look For When Buying Canned Chicken For Dogs
If you decide to give canned chicken a try, either choose a product made specifically for dogs or look for one with low sodium content, that contains no artificial sweeteners and no other flavourings likley to be harmful to dogs.
Usually, chicken in water has less salt than chicken in oil. Furthermore, chicken should be the first and main ingredient on the list of what it contains.
Of course, buying a dog-specific meal is best because it will already be geared toward your dog’s nutritional needs. There are many canned, cooked chicken meals available for dogs with digestive problems, senior dogs, puppies and more.
How To Feed Canned Chicken To Your Dog
First and foremost, always check the ingredients label to see what you’re potentially giving to your dog. If any food contains artificial sweeteners such as xylitol or very high amounts of sodium, you shouldn’t feed it to your dog.
Canned chicken can be an occasional savory treat for your dog, but moderation is key. Start slowly by introducing just a bit of canned chicken and be vigilant for reactions, like vomiting or diarrhoea.
The best way to introduce any new food is by adding it to your dog’s normal meal. So, a small serving of canned chicken on top of its kibble or wet food dinner might be the best introduction.
Don’t try to replace a full meal balanced meal of your dog’s usual food with the entire contents of a can of chicken. If your dog likes this new food, keep it handy for special occasions only… and make sure you’re not delivering huge quantities of sodium.
Also, there’s no need to force canned chicken on your dog… dog’s can get all the protein they need from a high-quality, balanced and nutritious veterinary approved dog food.
Summary – Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?
In summary, canned chicken can be used as an occasional treat for your dog but only if it is low in salt and contains no ingredients likely to cause harm.
Just provide it in moderation, ensure you’re buying quality canned chicken, and always feed them a healthy daily diet.
If you’re in any doubt about feeding your dog any food, check with a veterinary professional beforehand.
Do you feed your dog canned chicken? How has it benefitted your dog? Have you had problems with it? Please let me know about your experiences or ask a question in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
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