Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?

Having a dog is one of the most beautiful things in the world. The most precious feeling is how they can melt our hearts with loyalty, love, and understanding. So, it’s only logical to treat them respectfully, being especially careful with their diet. Therefore, if you have been wondering: “Can dogs eat canned chicken,” we will answer in this text.

Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken?


In a nutshell, it depends on both quantity and quality. So, if you want to give your pup a little bit as a treat – go ahead. However, if you are only switching to canned chicken, that is not a good idea.

But, What Exactly is Canned Chicken?

To understand better what you are about to give to your dog – it is important to define what canned chicken is.

It is a perfect type of meal for folks who are on the go. It adds greatly to almost any meal: from Caesar salad to dinner sandwiches. Furthermore, you don’t have to cook it since it was pre-cooked and packed in water inside the can. And honestly, it is delicious!

Anyway, canned chicken is normally made of cooked chicken breasts. You can find it as white meat, dark meat, or a combination of both.

As you probably know, canning is a method of preserving food to last you much longer (for canned chicken, the “best by date “is 2 to 5 years). But the biggest downside to canned food, in general, is that it can contain added salt, sugar, or some other type of preservative. To make canned food last such a long time – it is almost mandatory to undergo intense processing.

How Healthy is Canned Chicken?

In general, for humans – it is always better to eat fresh food rather than canned.

Luckily, canned chicken is almost equally healthy as the fresh you buy at the butcher. Eating canned chicken gives you a great source of vitamins B, D, C, and A. Also, canned chicken is rich in lean protein and calcium.

So – if you eat something healthy, it must be good for your dog too. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. Your pet has a different digestive system, so keeping dogs on a balanced diet is important. Otherwise, it can lead to severe problems.

However, even though you shouldn’t give your dog chocolate or garlic – you can treat him with canned chicken from time to time. You may even find some canned chicken brands in pet stores in the dog food aisle. Anyhow, if you give your puppy canned chicken, it is best to follow some simple rules. [1]

Canned Chicken for Dogs: How to Feed Him Safely


First, most canned chicken comes in water, but some brands can offer you chicken breast in oil or with special spices/herbs. So when feeding your dog, buy chicken in water only.

Another important thing to remember is that canned chicken can be rich in sodium. Therefore, if your pet eats a lot of food rich in salt, there is a possibility of ending up with sodium ion poisoning. Also, potential symptoms of too much salt can include vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

To avoid this, always read the label thoroughly. Then, choose canned chicken that is without added salt or preservatives. Of course, this also goes for any other kind of food. Also, before serving it to your dog, rinse it with cold water first. This step will help you get rid of excessive salt.

Besides being careful about the type of chicken you buy – it is important to think about quantity. Think about introducing it to your dog’s diet carefully. Start with a bit now and then – to be sure how he reacts. You can gradually increase the intake, but be sure not to exaggerate.

A good idea would be to consult your vet and calculate your dog’s daily calories. That way, you can determine the right amount of canned chicken you can give him and how to balance the whole diet.

Canned Chicken VS Fresh Chicken


We learned about the good sides of canned chicken. But, if there is an opportunity to give your fresh dog chicken – go for it. Again, there are a couple of guides you should follow:

  • Make sure the chicken is boneless. Chicken bones are a very dangerous choking hazard for dogs. Since chicken bones are very small and can splinter easily, they can cause a puncture in the intestines.
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces.
  • Cook it before serving. Even though there are raw diets made for dogs – with raw chicken, there is a threat of salmonella.
  • Don’t share chicken from your meal. Cook it separately. We assume you want to prepare your chicken with salt, spices, or seasoning. However, the chicken you give to your dog should be as simple as possible: chicken breasts, boneless and cooked in water only.

If you want to go further, mix your chicken with rice. Both canned and fresh will work if you follow the advice mentioned above. As with rice, it is okay to give your dog plain white rice that is cooked thoroughly.

Be Careful about Chicken Allergies

Dogs are similar to people in many ways. But, unfortunately, just like us – they can have allergies. So, there is a possibility that your dog is allergic to chicken.

Therefore, before you go and serve your pup any new type of food, it would be smarter to check if he has an allergy. If you haven’t given your dog chicken, start with small amounts and follow up if he has any chicken allergy symptoms. Those symptoms include red skin on the paws, face, or ears; rashes; loss of fur, or hives. You can also notice ear infections. Digestive symptoms could include vomiting, diarrhea, or similar gastrointestinal issues.

If this is the case, skip giving your dog any chicken and check with your vet what prescription allergy food would be the best option. [2]

What Other Canned Food Can You Give to a Dog?

If, for example, your dog didn’t like the canned chicken you gave him – or you want to mix things up, there are other options to serve him.

Our two favorite choices are:

  1. Canned fish. It is rich in omega-3 acids and lean protein so it can serve as a great treat for your pup.
  2. Canned turkey. Turkey is already a common ingredient in dog food – so he will be familiar with the taste.

The same rule applies for fish and turkey as with the canned chicken: opt for brands with no added salt that are plain and without bones. Also, rinse and drain it well before serving.

Read Next: Can Dogs Eat Salami

Bottom Line

If you want to make your dog’s diet more interesting, feel free to do it by introducing him to canned chicken. However, fresh chicken is also a great alternative, as long as you have time and patience to remove the bones and boil them well.

 Also, choose good-quality canned chicken brands without added salt, herbs, or oil.

In the end, gradually introduce any new type of food into your dog’s life. Then, if you notice any signs of allergic reactions – immediately remove that further steps with your vet.

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