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

Can Dogs Eat Poultry?

Yes, dogs can eat poultry! In fact, many dogs love poultry, and it can be a great source of protein for them. However, it's important to ensure the meat is properly cooked and free of any bones, seasoning, or skin to prevent any health issues.

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

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

Updated on Jul 8, 2024

Did You Know?

Poultry in dog food is known for its high digestibility and nutritional benefits.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Poultry Healthy for Dogs?

Poultry is packed with lean protein that supports muscle growth and repair in dogs. It's also rich in essential amino acids, vitamins such as B6 and B12, and minerals like zinc and phosphorus. These nutrients contribute to your dog's overall health, including a strong immune system. Some studies and veterinarians support incorporating poultry into a balanced diet for these very reasons.

Do Dogs Like Poultry?

Most dogs find poultry irresistible! The aroma and texture of cooked chicken or turkey can make it a favorite treat or meal addition. Just like people, dogs have their own preferences, but generally speaking, poultry is a crowd-pleaser in the canine world.

Can Puppies Eat Poultry?

Yes, puppies can eat poultry, and it can be beneficial for their growth. Ensure the meat is fully cooked and finely shredded to make it easy for them to chew. Always start with small amounts to see how their digestive system reacts.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Poultry?

Though uncommon, some dogs can be allergic to poultry. Symptoms of an allergy may include itching, digestive upset, or respiratory issues. If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet to properly diagnose and manage the allergy.

How Much Poultry Can Dogs Eat?

The amount of poultry a dog can eat depends on their size, breed, and overall health. As a guideline, small dogs can have about 1/4 cup, medium dogs about 1/2 cup, and large dogs up to 1 cup of cooked poultry once or twice a week. Remember, poultry should be a part of a varied diet and not the mainstay. Overconsumption can lead to nutritional imbalances.

Best Ways to Incorporate Poultry Into Your Dog’s Diet

Introduce poultry by adding small, bite-sized pieces of cooked, unseasoned chicken or turkey into their regular food. You can also use it as a training treat or mix it with their favorite vegetables for a wholesome meal. Always remove any bones, skin, and fat to keep it safe and healthy.

Potential Risks of Poultry

Feeding your dog raw poultry can expose them to harmful bacteria, such as salmonella. Bones, especially cooked ones, can splinter and cause choking or internal injuries. Also, fatty skin and seasoning can lead to digestive upset or pancreatitis. Always ensure the poultry is plain and cooked thoroughly.

Common Misconceptions

  • Myth: Raw poultry is just as safe as cooked. Fact: Raw poultry can carry harmful bacteria, unlike properly cooked meat.
  • Myth: Puppies can’t handle poultry. Fact: Puppies can enjoy poultry, provided it's properly prepared and given in small amounts.

Other Healthy Food Options

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

  • Beef: Another excellent protein source that's rich in iron.
  • Salmon: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, great for skin and coat health.
  • Pumpkin: High in fiber, it helps with digestion and can be a tasty, low-calorie treat.


Incorporating poultry into your dog's diet can provide numerous health benefits like lean protein and essential vitamins. However, moderation and preparation are key. Always cook the meat thoroughly, avoid bones, and consult your vet, especially if your dog has specific dietary needs. With a balanced approach, poultry can be a delightful and nutritious addition to your dog's meals.