Bringing home a new puppy is very exciting, but at the same time you can find yourself feeling apprehensive and anxious.
You may worry about what to feed your puppy and how much food to give, and what they would prefer.
Most puppies would eat whatever you offer them, and chicken (in addition to high-quality puppy food) is usually a great meal choice.
You also have to be wary of giving your dog too much food to avoid excessive weight gain, obesity and all the potential health conditions that come with it.
And that brings us to the question; how much chicken should I feed my dog?
Well, stick around and you’ll find out a lot more than that.
How much chicken can a puppy eat?
The appropriate amount of chicken to feed your puppy depends on their weight and how much they eat a day.
For reference, you can feed between ⅓ and ¼ cup of boiled chicken for every 20 lbs of body weight.
It’s important that you mix boiled chicken with soft puppy food to ensure that your puppy is getting all the essential nutrients their body needs to be healthy.
What are the nutrients in chicken?
Chicken is a very common type of meat, and a significant protein source in many commercial dog foods.
Chicken is not only rich in protein, but contains many other vital nutrients which are essential for maintaining and disease-free a healthy body.
A raw, boneless skinless chicken breast fillet contains;
- 120 calories
- 26 grams of protein
- 2 grams of fat
- 0 grams of fiber
- 0 grams of carbohydrate
- 0 grams of sugar
It also contains many essential vitamins and minerals including selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, potassium, and copper.
Should puppies just eat chicken?
No, puppies should eat just chicken. Chicken should be fed in addition to high-quality puppy food to ensure that your dog gets all the nutrients they need to grow into a strong and healthy dog.
Although chicken is a very critical part of a dog’s diet, it supplies a large percentage of the protein dogs require, including all the essential amino acids and some very important nutrients. However, feeding your puppies chicken alone is not sufficient because it doesn’t contain all the nutrients that a dog’s body needs to function properly.
To ensure that your puppy gets the much-needed balanced diet that will help them grow into a strong and healthy dog, they need more than just chicken. A combination of high-quality commercial puppy food, chicken and vegetables is the appropriate food for your pups. The chicken should be bone-free and thoroughly cooked, diced into small bits and mixed with their puppy food.
To make the food even tastier and healthier, you can add vegetables like carrots, green peas, pumpkins, potatoes, etc. Not all vegetables are good for dogs, so make sure that you don’t feed your puppy vegetables that can poison them. To be on the safe side, always check to know that you have selected only safe ingredients.
Should puppies eat chicken every day?
Puppies can eat chicken every day, provided that it is very well cooked (without dangerous spices like garlic and onions), cut into small chunks and mixed with their soft puppy food.
 What is the most nutritious part of a chicken to eat?
Boneless, skinless chicken breast is often presented as the safest and healthiest part of chicken for dogs to eat, but it’s certainly not the most nutritious. If you want the most nutritious part of chicken, then you will have to go beyond the breast and look inside the animal. The parts of chicken that are packed with the most nutrients are the liver and heart.
Chicken liver: chicken livers are nutrient-dense organs, they are rich in proteins, zinc, iron, vitamin A, B vitamins, copper and phosphorus. They are also a good source of amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are all very important for your dog’s health.
Chicken heart: this is also another very nutritious part of chicken. Chicken hearts are lean protein and contain essential amino acids. They contain iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A and many B vitamins. But that’s not all. Chicken hearts are also rich in omega-3 and essential fatty acids that are crucial to your dog’s health. They are an excellent source of taurine, which is great for bone and cardiovascular health.
Adding chicken livers and hearts to a dog’s diets is very beneficial to the dog’s health. Many vets recommend that pet parents should add raw chicken hearts and livers to dog food, but before you do that, make sure you check with your vet to confirm that it’s okay for your dog. Remember that no two dogs are exactly the same, dogs are individuals, and they sometimes have unique nutritional requirements.
What is the safest meat for puppies to eat?
When selecting meat for your puppies, you will have a short list of options to choose from. You will often have to choose from chicken, turkey, lean beef, and ham. These are all great choices, save for ham because your puppy may have a hard time digesting it.
Many pet parents will usually choose lean beef because it’s relatively cheaper than other protein choices. Dogs love beef, it’s very nutritious and affordable, and often used as a protein source in many commercial dog foods. Ground beef is also a good choice of meat for your puppy, it doesn’t need to be cut, so you don’t have to worry about getting the right sizes.
Dogs also love chicken, it’s a very rich protein source and also cheap. Boneless and skinless chicken breast is absolutely safe for your dog. You can serve it raw, if you’re feeding a raw diet, but it’s always best to cook meat thoroughly to kill any harmful microorganisms they may contain.
What are the dangers of feeding raw chicken to a puppy?
Raw chicken per se is not dangerous to dogs, and feeding your dog raw chicken may not make them sick or cause them any harm. However, raw chicken is known to be contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms, especially salmonella.
Salmonella is known to invade the small intestines and cause severe intestinal distress with symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, lethargy and loss of appetite. Dogs are usually not susceptible to bacterial infection by salmonella, many dogs can have the bacteria in their system and not experience any symptom of disease or ill-health. But some dogs can get sick from it; puppies, sick and old dogs, or dogs with a compromised immune system can get sick from the bacteria.
The major reason why vets and other sources advise against feeding raw chicken is because of the exposure to salmonella, campylobacter and clostridium. Feeding your puppy raw chicken indirectly exposes them to these harmful bacteria, and they can get sick from it.
Even if they don’t get sick, they will harbor the bacteria and possibly spread it around your home, exposing you and your entire household to pathogenic microorganisms.
Should puppies eat chicken bones?
Whether you’re feeding raw or not, it’s important to include raw bones in your dog’s diet. Raw meaty bones like chicken wings and duck feet are very beneficial to dogs, they help dogs to maintain healthy teeth and gum. They also provide some added nutrients to your dog’s diet.
Before including raw bones in your puppies diet, make sure that their teeth have become strong enough to chew on bones. Puppies less than 8 to 10 weeks of age should not be given bones to chew because at this age their teeth are not developed enough to handle bones. Giving a very young puppy bones to chew can damage their teeth and cause a serious injury.
Puppies start to develop permanent teeth from 4 to 6 months of age, therefore it’s much safer to introduce raw bones when they are around 12 weeks old. Giving puppies raw bones at this age is very helpful because the constant chewing will relieve teething problems.
Also recall that cooked bones are dangerous to dogs because they can splinter into sharp pieces that can get lodged in the gum or along the digestive tract to cause a serious injury. Cooked bones and dogs should never mix, dogs should only be given raw bones.
How to boil chicken for a puppy?
If you want to make your own homemade chicken meal for your puppy, here’s a simple recipe to follow. For this recipe, you only need 2 or 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
NB: you don’t need any spices when cooking chicken for your dog. No garlic, no onions, no ginger, no seasoning cube.
- Place the boneless skinless chicken breasts in a pot, fill the pot with water until the chicken breasts are submerged.
- Cover the pot and let it cook on high heat for 12 to 15 minutes. The chicken should be completely soft and thoroughly cooked, otherwise, let it cook for a couple more minutes.
- Place the cooked chicken on a plate and shred with a knife and a fork
- To serve your puppy, you mix it in their canned puppy food, or serve with canned pumpkin and cooked vegetables (carrots, green beans and broccoli are great options).
Chicken is among the most popular types of meat, it’s a relatively cheap source of protein for your pooch and also readily available.
Chicken contains many essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to dogs.
The right amount of chicken to feed your dog will largely depend on their weight and how much growing they need to do.
Chicken should not be the only food your puppy eats, it should be mixed with canned puppy food and healthy vegetables to make a balanced diet with the complete nutritional requirements to nourish your puppy.
¹ Photo by Zoe Schaeffer on Unsplash