Without a doubt, dogs love eating chicken.
Unless your fur baby has an allergy, a peculiar sense of taste, or is vegan, chicken is one of their favorite meals. It’s highly nutritious and perfect for puppies with tummy issues.
Like many pet owners, commercial pet food makes life easier. But there are days (especially holidays) when you may want to give your dog a special treat, like preparing a chicken meal. If you are stuck on what to do next, there is no need to panic. Keep reading and learn how to cook paw-licking chicken for your dog.
Sourcing the Chicken
To cook chicken for your dog, you must have the most crucial ingredient – chicken. But which parts are best for your furry buddy? Is it okay to get the chicken from your local butcher or store?
Beginning with the second question, yes, you can buy from any trusted seller. You can also check out companies that produce human-grade dog food. Only get what would be good enough for you. On the question of which parts are best, your furry buddy would best enjoy boneless chicken. Even if you have a large breed with powerful jaws, avoid bones because they could gobble up small bones and choke. If you purchased frozen chicken, ensure you completely thaw it before you start cooking.
There are three methods to cook chicken for your dog: boiling, baking, or grilling. Here’s how to do the first two.
Boiling Chicken for Your Dog
- Have everything you need in one place: A few pieces of boneless chicken, a pot, and enough water to cover the chicken.
- Place the chicken on the pot, and take care not to layer them.
- Pour enough water to submerge all the chicken pieces. Watch out not to fill the pot to the brim. Allow about 1-2 inches so that it doesn’t boil over.
- Cover the pot, and bring the water to boil over high heat.
- Let the chicken pieces cook for approximately 12 minutes.
- After 12 minutes of cooking, remove one piece and check if it is ready. If not, put it back and allow all the chicken to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- When ready, remove the chicken pieces, place them on a plate, and use two forks to shred them while still hot. Be careful not to scald yourself.
- Let the chicken cool, and it will be ready for serving.
Benefits of Boiling Chicken
Dogs love the taste of boiled chicken, and the health benefits are really amazing. For instance, plain boiled chicken (without the skin or high-calorie additives)is a super-lean, protein-packed meal. It’s an excellent way to control calorie intake and is beneficial for colon health. There is more; chicken collagen extracts (a top component of boiled chicken) promote joint and bone health in dogs. It is excellent for older dogs with arthritis and other bone and joint issues. Boiled chicken also helps to control blood pressure, promotes digestion, and can encourage appetite.
However, boiling chicken also has a downside. A lot of the nutrients in the meal are soluble in water, and you risk losing them during cooking. You might want to consider an alternative method of cooking the chicken.
Baking Chicken for Your Dog
- Have everything you need in one place: A few pieces of boneless chicken, an oven, and oven-safe containers.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205oC)
- Prepare your oven container. Place a silicone cooking mat or foil, or pour oil on it, so the chicken doesn’t stick.
- Place the chicken pieces in the oven container and place them in the oven.
- Let the chicken cook for about 20 minutes. However, time may vary depending on the size of the chicken and how your oven functions.
- After 20 minutes, remove the chicken and check if it is well cooked.
- Using two forks, shred the chicken into small pieces and let it cool.
Benefits of Baking Chicken for Your Dog
Baking chicken has immense health benefits. Since there is no leaching, the meal is nutrient-packed. For instance, a 4-ounce serving of baked chicken contains 35 grams of protein, and the same quantity of boiled chicken contains 27 grams. Baking chicken also boosts the absorption of iron and vitamin B 12. Both are crucial in the circulation and respiration process. Vitamin B12 also contributes to the regeneration of cells and tissues and promotes energy absorption. Your furry buddy is likely to become more playful and energetic.
What if Your Puppy has a Sensitive Tummy?
Chicken is excellent for dogs with sensitive tummies. However, since it is homemade, you should be extra cautious and precise in preparation. After all, the last thing you want for Fido is a stomach upset.
Start by either boiling the chicken or baking it using the steps above. Remember not to season the food; dogs love the natural taste. If the food contains spices or seasoning, your dog may not like it and turn away. Worse still, if they eat it (perhaps because they are famished), chances are, the seasoning would aggravate the conditions of their tummies.
Most puppies with tummy issues often have a history of infections or allergies. If your puppy is allergic, consult a vet, they will help you be sure it is chicken sensitivity. On the other hand, if the tummy issue was due to an infection, ensure the chicken is well-cooked. Then serve it with plain boiled white rice. Use white rice and not brown because dogs find it easier to digest. You can also include plain yogurt, but only if a vet approves. Observe your dog for some time, while on this diet, and if the condition does not improve, take him to the vet. If Fido gets better, keep at it until he is fully recovered. Then diversify the diet.
Serve the chicken plain boiled. Alternatively, you can make it more enticing by mixing it with other foods your dog loves. This way, your dog will be fuller and you can add more nutrients to the meal. For example, you can mix it with plain boiled rice if your dog has had tummy upsets in the recent past. You can also add dry or wet pet feeds according to the nutrients you want to boost. For example, canned pumpkin is perfect for fiber, and plain yogurt is excellent for growing pups.
A few reminders when preparing chicken for your dog
- Check with the vet before preparing homemade chicken meals for your dog, especially if your dog has a food allergy.
- Be creative; don’t just serve chicken every day. Check out other recipes for your dog. Fido will love the different tastes. Plus, it is a great way to provide wholesome nutrition.
- If your dog was unwell (had a tummy issue), serve small quantities to avoid wastage.
- You can cook any part, not just the breasts and thighs. Just remember to keep it boneless.
- If you have some leftover chicken, keep it in an airtight bag and store it in the freezer. Since it does not have any preservatives, do not keep the food in the freezer for more than 3-4 days.
- Do not season or add flavor to the chicken.
A Final Word
Chicken is a perfect treat for your dog. It tastes great, is gentle on the stomach, and is nutrient-packed. As long as you provide lean chicken meat, and prepare it at home, you can feed it to Fido daily, and they will not complain. On the other hand, if you rely on commercial pet food, buy only high-quality, human-grade brands. Low-quality brands are often full of fillers which could be unhealthy for your dog. Use the recipes and tips above to keep Fido excited about their feeding bowl.