Can Chicken Broth Cause Diarrhea In Dogs?


These are strange times that we live in or at least that is my excuse for focusing so much on the role that chicken has in causing or preventing diarrhea in our dogs!

You can read about boiled chicken here and on another day I wrote about whether chicken broth needs to be diluted before we use it with our dogs. 

And in this article, I want to look at whether chicken broth can cause diarrhea in dogs. 

So let me start with a simple definition. 

What is chicken broth?

Chicken broth is a liquid that has a consistency similar to soup.

It is made by boiling chicken bones for hours in water and vinegar. 

For those of you who are considering a shortcut, I have written a posts on chicken stock cubes, ready made broth and cream of chicken soup to explain how dog friendly these options are.

Now many of the recipes that are out there are targeted at people who want to make it for their own consumption, not their dogs.

These recipes tend to be a bit jazzier than you would need as they tend to add salt, pepper and numerous herbs to the recipe.

There is nothing wrong with using herbs with our dogs, but the real power of a broth comes from the interaction between the bones, boiling water and vinegar. 

Simple really. 

Want a recipe? Try this one

How does chicken broth benefit a dog’s diet?

Chicken broth is a “super liquid” because the boiling process unlocks some incredible nutrients by melting the bones!

These include vitamins such as calcium and nutrients such as gelatin which provides our dogs with amino acids. 

Gelatin will help and protect dog joints.

Amino acids can promote better digestion by potentially helping with issues such as “leaky gut”. 

How else does it benefit dogs?

Not only can chicken broth provide your dog with much needed nutrients but it can also help dogs who are picky eaters and dogs who seem to be dehydrated. 

If you have a dog who is a picky eater (and the majority of these dogs are being fed dry kibble) then you can dribble some chicken broth over the kibble to make it much more attractive.

Dogs who are dehydrated, perhaps because they have an upset stomach, can also be given some chicken broth to drink.

After all, it has to be a more attractive proposition than water!

Can chicken broth cause diarrhea in dogs?

Really and truly chicken broth shouldn’t cause diarrhea in dogs.

Prepared and cooked correctly it is a very gentle and safe “liquid” for your dog to consume.

But what are things that can go wrong?

[1] Chicken intolerance

Chicken intolerance is a much milder version of a full blown chicken allergy.

Whereas a food allergy can lead to skin rashes, swollen eyes and difficulty breathing, a food intolerance normally just leads to a bit of vomiting and diarrhea.

Chicken intolerance is incredibly rare (there are no figures for how common it is in humans, let alone dogs) but any food can create an intolerance. 

[2] Stray bones and skin

The next potential trigger for your dog’s diarrhea is that after the broth had finished cooking, it wasn’t strained properly and a rogue bone or a flap of chicken skin ended up in the final mix. 

Cooked chicken bones can be especially bad. 

They are small, hard and prone to splintering after being eaten.

They tend to cause diarrhea by cutting the lining of the stomach and causing it to become inflamed and angry…

[3] Added ingredients

What is more likely is that the diarrhea has been caused by other ingredients. Was seasoning added to the broth such as onions? Or perhaps there was a herb or vegetable that has upset your dog?

Does boiled chicken give dogs diarrhea?

It might be at this point that you are thinking of alternatives or a plan B.

“Hang on a minute, perhaps I should try something else apart from chicken broth?”

What about boiled chicken?

Chicken is one of the safest and inoffensive meats that dogs can eat- as long as it has been prepared properly.

In short, chicken that is undercooked and hasn’t been boiled properly could easily cause your dog to have diarrhea. 

Raw chicken hosts some very nasty bacteria, which you and your dog need to stay away from.

And despite what some people say, it is not a good idea to give your your dog out of date meat.  

Why might chicken liver cause diarrhea?

Chicken liver is an incredible rich meat packed full of nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin D as well as iron.

In fact, the list of all the goodies is amazing.

But that in itself presents us with a problem, because there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Your dog needs to be fed chicken liver in moderation- a maximum of 10% of their overall diet.

A side effect of feeding them too much liver will be diarrhea. 

Why might chicken skin cause diarrhea?

Chicken skin is really nothing apart from fat.  

It has no nutritional value and doesn’t add anything to a human diet or a canine one!

But cooked chicken skin is very attractive, as most fatty foods are- just give your dog some in very small amounts if it is raw or grilled or roasted.

Don’t be tempted to feed your dog fried chicken skin as that is a one way street to diarrhea..

An alternative broth for your dog

If you have finished this article and you are uncertain about whether using chicken broth has caused your dog to have diarrhea, why don’t you try another broth?

In this article here, I talk generally about bone marrow broths for dogs.

Chicken broth is very easy to make because many of us buy whole chickens and so the carcass is there to hand.

But, what about a beef bone broth. 

When you next buy your beef joint, buy it on the bone and then make a simple broth with the bone.

Or just visit your local butcher or meat market and see if they will sell a few beef bones directly. 

After making your beef broth, try a little bit with your dog.

Hopefully it will pass the “stomach test” and there will be no sign of soft stools or any diarrhea.

Let me know how you get on. 

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!