Chicken feet are a healthy treat that offers a number of benefits for dogs. Chicken feet are a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin that help maintain your dog’s joint health. And they act as edible toothbrushes that keep your pup’s teeth nice and clean.
Can Dogs Eat Chicken Feet?
Contrary to popular opinion, your dog can eat raw or dehydrated chicken feet without having any problems.
They consist mostly of bones, skin, connective tissue, and cartilage. Don’t worry about the chicken bones. Chicken feet bones are tiny and fully digestible for dogs.
If you’re worried about the nails, you can clip them off first before feeding your dog.
Whereas raw or dehydrated chicken feet are fine, you should never give your dog cooked, boiled, or fried chicken feet. In high temperature, chicken bones can get hardened and could splinter, which causes serious injuries to your dog.
Benefits of Chicken Feet for Dogs
If your dog is suffering from arthritis, chicken feet are one of the most effective and cheapest arthritis treatments for dogs.
They are naturally full of protein, glucosamine, chondroitin, minerals, and collagen. Glucosamine and chondroitin are natural compound found in cartilage.
It contains about 30% cartilage, and this cartilage is about 5% glucosamine. With 5% glucosamine, each chicken foot has about 450mg of glucosamine.
Glucosamine and chondroitin are especially beneficial for treating dogs with arthritis or stiff joints. These two natural compounds help repair the damaged cartilage and reduce the inflammation and joint pain before it becomes too severe.
Chicken feet are also a natural toothbrush. As your dog chews and gnaws chicken feet, they rub plaque off the tooth surface, keeping your dog’s teeth clean.
Arthritis in Dogs
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in dogs, affecting around 20% of adult dogs in the US. It is a degenerative bone disease that slowly breaks and wears down the cushioning cartilage inside a joint.
Arthritis causes your dog’s ligament to gradually deteriorates over time which affects your dog’s mobility. As a result, your dog will have difficulty playing, climbing, or even moving around the house.
How to Treat Arthritis in Dogs
In dogs with arthritis, excess weight can make the cartilage breakdown faster. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight and identifying early signs of arthritis in dogs are the first steps in treating arthritis in dogs.
Here’re some early signs of arthritis in dogs:
- Slowness in movement.
- Easy to get irritated, annoyed, and angry.
- Change in movement pattern and posture.
After a change in diet, your vet most likely will prescribe dog arthritis supplements to reduce the inflammation and joint pain.
In addition to the use of joint supplements, your vet may recommend other treatment modalities such as physiotherapy, weight management, acupuncture, and cold laser.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the damaged cartilage.
Dental Health for Dogs
Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions in dogs. Your dog’s dental health is more important to your dog than you might realize.
The first early sign of poor dental health is bad breath. Don’t just assume bad breath is something natural for dogs.
When left untreated, this bad breath can lead to periodontal disease that can cause a lot of damage to your dog’s mouth. Over a period of time, plaque and tartar will start to build-up and eventually cause gum disease, tooth decay, and even abscess.
Further studies have shown that periodontal disease doesn’t only affect your dog’s mouth, but can also cause damage to the heart, kidney, and liver of your dog.
Regular brushing is one way to keep your dog’s dental health in top form. If you’re too lazy to do it often or if you think your dog is giving you a hard time, provide them with chicken feet instead.
Chewing on chicken feet naturally rubs plaque off the tooth surface, and spreads the protective saliva around your dog’s teeth.
So chicken feet are not only good for your dog’s joint but also keep your dog’s teeth sparkling and healthy.
Other Natural Sources of Glucosamine
Chicken feet are probably the best and the cheapest natural source of glucosamine. Other natural sources of glucosamine include beef trachea, pig ears, duck feet, and the necks of ducks, turkeys, and lambs.
Like chicken feet, the beef trachea is an edible chew treat loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin. Each beef trachea contains about 5% glucosamine.
This means a 30-gram chunk of the beef trachea has about 1,400 mg of glucosamine. And that’s it enough for most dogs since a medium-sized arthritic dog only needs about 1,000mg of glucosamine daily.
How Many Chicken Feet to Feed Dogs?
For most dogs, one or two chicken feet daily is sufficient. If your dog asks for more, it’s okay to give them more, as long as you have enough stock.
Always watch your dog when they’re eating chicken feet to ensure their safety and make sure they have access to plenty of freshwaters.
Where to Buy Chicken Feet for Dogs?
In the west, you can buy raw or frozen chicken feet at butcher shops, in farmer markets, in Asian markets, in Asian grocery stores, online stores and sometimes in the meat department of supermarkets.
Be sure to check if the chicken feet sold are free of hormone and antibiotics.
As for dehydrated chicken feet, you can get them online at Amazon. If you have a dehydrator, you can buy raw chicken feet and dry them out if you want.
When choosing between raw or dehydrated chicken feet, I would recommend buying the dehydrated ones.
Dehydrated chicken feet are neat, easier to store, and don’t smell bad. But once you open the package, you must store them in the fridge or freezer as they can go bad at room temperature.
Avoid buying chicken feet imported from China. While they may be cheaper than local chicken feet, chicken feet from China do not have any quality control over their product.
How Much Do They Cost?
On average, raw chicken feet cost only $6.00/lb. Dehydrated chicken feet are more expensive, they cost around $68/lb, but are still cheaper compared to glucosamine supplements for dogs.