A dog with a happy expression looking at canned chicken, highlighting healthy food for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?

Yes, dogs can eat canned chicken, but it’s important to choose the right kind. Opt for canned chicken that is low in sodium and free from added spices or preservatives. These additives can be harmful to dogs and may cause digestive issues or other health problems.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 18, 2024

Did You Know?

Canned chicken, when low in sodium, can be a convenient protein source for dogs.

Canned Chicken



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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Canned Chicken Healthy for Dogs?

Canned chicken can be a good source of protein, which is essential for muscle development, energy, and overall health in dogs. It also contains vitamins like B6 and niacin, which support metabolic functions and brain health. Some studies suggest that lean meats like chicken can help in maintaining a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related diseases.

Do Dogs Like Canned Chicken?

Yes, most dogs find canned chicken quite palatable! Its soft texture and rich flavor make it an appealing treat for many pups. However, every dog is different, so while one pooch might gobble it up instantly, another might need a little convincing.

Can Puppies Eat Canned Chicken?

Puppies can eat canned chicken, but it should only be a small part of their diet. Because puppies have different nutritional needs compared to adult dogs, it is crucial to focus on a balanced puppy-specific diet. As with adult dogs, ensure the canned chicken is low in sodium and free from harmful additives.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Canned Chicken?

Yes, dogs can be allergic to chicken, although it's relatively uncommon. Signs of a chicken allergy can include itching, gastrointestinal upset, or ear infections. If you notice any weird reactions after feeding your dog canned chicken, it might be worth discussing this with your vet.

How Much Canned Chicken Can Dogs Eat?

Moderation is key when feeding your dog canned chicken. As a general rule, treats or supplementary foods like canned chicken should make up no more than 10% of your dog's daily caloric intake. For small dogs, a spoonful or two as an occasional treat is fine. Larger dogs can have a bit more, but always check with your vet for personalized advice.

Best Ways to Incorporate Canned Chicken Into Your Dog’s Diet

Incorporating canned chicken into your dog’s diet is simple. You can mix a small amount into their regular kibble for added flavor and protein. It can also be used as a high-value treat during training sessions or to encourage a picky eater. Ensure the chicken is plain and not packed in unhealthy oils or sauces.

Potential Risks of Canned Chicken

Even though canned chicken can be healthy if prepared correctly, there are potential risks. High sodium levels can lead to excessive thirst, high blood pressure, or kidney issues over time. Always read the labels carefully and opt for low-sodium varieties to ensure your dog’s safety.

Common Misconceptions

One common misconception is that all canned chicken is the same. In reality, some are loaded with preservatives and sodium. Another myth is that canned foods in general aren't healthy for dogs. In truth, many can be quite balanced if chosen wisely.

Other Healthy Food Options

If you're looking to diversify your dog's diet, consider these healthy alternatives:

  • Green beans: Low in calories and high in fiber.
  • Pumpkin: Great for digestive health.
  • Blueberries: Packed with antioxidants.


Incorporating canned chicken into your dog’s diet can offer some health benefits when done in moderation. Always opt for low-sodium varieties and ensure it's free from harmful additives. Remember to consult your vet, especially if your dog has specific dietary needs or health issues. A balanced diet is the key to a happy, healthy pup!