Owners often ask if their Australian Shepherds can eat chicken.
While the general answer is yes, there are differences when it comes to how the chicken is prepared and in what state it’s given. Not to mention, chicken bones!
We’ll also cover why chicken might not be so suitable after all, and discuss something that isn’t widely known!
Can Your Australian Shepherd Eat Chicken?
Yes, Australian Shepherds can consume chicken, both cooked and raw.
With raw chicken, it’s essential to take extra precautions to avoid issues such as salmonella.
Every Australian Shepherd is unique…
Chicken has long been a favorite among dogs as a treat or main meal. The protein from chicken plays a vital role in building a strong, healthy body. But is it suitable for all breeds, particularly Australian Shepherds?
Australian Shepherds, despite being hardy dogs, can have unique dietary requirements. What one might assume is perfectly alright, like chicken, may not always be the case.
While chicken is generally considered bland and easily digestible, it’s also an allergen, which may negatively affect some Australian Shepherds. This does not apply to every Australian Shepherd, but it’s an important consideration.
It’s wise to do a chicken test:
Give your Australian Shepherd a small piece of cooked plain chicken without bones, and observe how they react. Do they experience unusual bowel movements, vomit, or do they continue their day with their normal energy and excitement? This will give you the best indication of whether your Australian Shepherd can tolerate chicken.
The Best Way to Cook Chicken for Your Australian Shepherd:
Boiling the chicken is the healthiest cooking method.
Other methods, such as frying, grilling, or baking, often require oil or may result in burnt chicken portions. While these may taste great, they’re not recommended for dogs.
Additionally, our Aussies DO NOT need seasonings! In fact many seasonings contain garlic and onion powder, both of which are toxic to dogs.
Is It Safe For Your Australian Shepherd to Eat Chicken Bones?
Should you allow your Australian Shepherd to eat chicken bones?
Australian Shepherds can consume RAW chicken bones only.
COOKED bones should never be given to any dog, including Australian Shepherds.
Raw bones offer multiple benefits, including cleaner teeth, healthier gums, and additional vitamins and minerals. They’ve also been shown to cleanse the digestive tract.
Conversely, cooked bones can become brittle and splinter, posing serious harm to your dog’s internal organs, potentially leading to a veterinary emergency.
Can Your Australian Shepherd Eat Raw Chicken?
Yes, Australian Shepherds can eat raw chicken, but it may not suit every dog.
The BARF diet, which includes raw food, is quite common among Australian Shepherd owners. However, it’s important to consider several factors.
Cooked chicken is different from raw chicken in that cooking kills any harmful bacteria present in the meat. Raw chicken, in contrast, might still have bacteria present, although a dog’s stomach acid can often protect against this.
5 Safety Tips When Giving Your Australian Shepherd Raw Chicken:
- Avoid giving your Australian Shepherd raw chicken with kibble. – Mixing raw meat with kibble is generally not recommended because they digest differently and at different rates.
- Buy your meat from a trusted source and check the date. – Buying from a reliable source ensures you’re getting clean, healthy meat. Also, always be aware of the best before date.
- Wash the meat before giving it to your Australian Shepherd. – This can help to wash off any harmful bacteria sitting on the surface.
- Closely monitor your Australian Shepherd after feeding them raw meat. – Look for signs of sickness, vomiting, or excessive diarrhea. While a mild reaction might be expected due to a change in diet, it shouldn’t be excessive.
- Do not give your Australian Shepherd raw meat that has seasoning on it. – Dogs don’t tolerate spices and seasonings well, so only give them plain, unsalted, unseasoned, raw chicken.
How Much Chicken Can Your Australian Shepherd Eat?
Once you’ve established that your Australian Shepherd enjoys chicken and has no adverse reactions to it, you might wonder about the appropriate quantity to feed them.
An average adult Australian Shepherd can consume about 200-250 grams of cooked chicken breast per day to meet their protein/caloric needs. However, if your Australian Shepherd is eating kibble as their main diet, they likely receive most of their protein from it, which means extra protein may not be necessary.
If your Australian Shepherd is inactive or their kibble already contains high protein, it’s not advisable to regularly give them extra chicken on top of their usual diet.
Chicken is beneficial for most dogs. However, if you’re not prepared to figure out the correct proportions, it’s best to only give it occasionally as a treat.
When You Shouldn’t Feed Your Australian Shepherd Chicken
Although chicken is a normal food staple in most dog’s diets, there are a couple of situations where it would be best to avoid giving your Aussie extra chicken.
Your Australian Shepherd is already overweight:
If your Aussie is already overweight, which is quite uncommon for this active breed, then you’ll need to visit your veterinarian to have some health check-ups.
There can be many reasons why a dog becomes overweight. It’s usually to do with exercise levels and his daily diet. But there could be underlying health issues, that’s why it’s always best to see a professional first.
Health issues aside, you will typically need to cut back on his diet, and giving him extra protein through the chicken breast, may not be advised.
Stomach issues or allergies:
Many Australian Shepherds have both stomach issues and are sensitive to common allergens. If your Aussie is having a hard time eating his food, or you know he suffers from allergies, you may want to hold back with the chicken until you fully understand the issue.
Despite being extremely common, chicken is still actually an allergen and can affect dogs in negative ways.
Not many owners realize this! While chicken is included as the main protein in treats and dog food, it’s also one of the most common allergens that upset many stomachs. Go figure.
There are many signs of having a sensitive stomach, such as a lack of appetite, refusing food, only eating a small amount, lack of energy, signs of discomfort or loose stools. It’s always best to see your veterinarian for extra help, but for now, avoid giving chicken.
Other Suitable Protein Sources
If you determine that chicken isn’t suitable for your Aussie, there are other excellent protein sources that can be included in their diet. Fish, such as salmon or tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which promote healthy skin and coat. Lean cuts of beef or lamb are also high in protein and can be a tasty alternative for dogs.
It’s important to note that these proteins should be cooked well and served without any seasoning or sauces. These additions can be harmful to dogs and may cause stomach upset.
Importance of Balanced Diet
While it’s beneficial to include high-quality proteins in your dog’s diet, it’s crucial to remember that a balanced diet should also include a variety of other nutrients. Carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals are all important for your dog’s health.
Consider including safe fruits and vegetables as a part of their diet. These can provide necessary vitamins and fiber, and can also serve as low-calorie treats for your pet.
Remember, the best diet for your Aussie will depend on various factors including their age, weight, physical activity level, and overall health condition. It’s always recommended to consult with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to get personalized dietary advice for your pet.