Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? Yay or Nay?

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Sometimes, there’s nothing better than an order of hot chicken nuggets and savory dipping sauce from your favorite restaurant. While you might be tempted to stop and get some for you and Fido to split, you should think twice before sharing your tasty nuggets with your canine friend.

Dogs should not eat chicken nuggets because they often contain high salt and fat contents, which can be harmful to dogs’ health. Many chicken nuggets also have excess additives and spices that can upset dogs’ stomachs, as well as seasonings that are toxic to dogs, such as onions and garlic.

Even if your dog is begging for a taste of your chicken nuggets, it’s best to refrain from giving him a bite. Read on to find out more on why you shouldn’t give your dog any chicken nuggets.

Why Are Chicken Nuggets Harmful to Dogs?

When you look at the nutritional information of chicken nuggets, you can see that they’re mainly fatty and unhealthy.

Chicken nuggets are harmful to dogs because they’re deep fried in oils and processed with excess salt, both of which dogs cannot safely consume in large quantities. Regular chicken, on the other hand, contains lean protein which is excellent for dogs.

Most of the contents of chicken nuggets are skeletal muscle with significant amounts of fat, while other components are epithelial tissues, bone, nervous tissue, and connective tissue.

Let’s break down the unhealthy ingredients in chicken nuggets further and explore why they’re not ideal for your dog.

Excessive Salt Can Cause Sodium Ion Poisoning

Salty foods are not suitable for dogs and can lead to dehydration, causing their kidneys to work overtime. Dogs have a recommended daily sodium intake of 200 mg (1/16 tbsp). Excessive salt intake will lead to sodium ion poisoning, which can cause neurological damage.

When this happens, all the cells in the body release water to mitigate the effects of the salt, which leads to brain cell damage from lack of water. Excessive salt intake also causes your dog to experience diarrhea, seizures, lethargy, brain swelling, excessive urination, or loss of appetite.

In most cases, processed chicken nuggets have increased amounts of salt added to them to enhance their flavor and prevent them from drying out. Therefore, it’s safe for you to indulge in them every once in a while, but dogs aren’t able to properly digest the high amounts of salt as easily.

The Vegetable Oils Used for Frying Are High in Fat

Dogs need healthy oils for a softer and shinier coat. Healthy oil also helps to relieve dry skin and skin itching while assisting them in maintaining healthy joints.

Vegetable oils used to make chicken nuggets typically contain soybean oil, canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, and corn products that dogs can be allergic to. Vegetable oil is processed and refined to remove its nutrients and flavors, leaving behind only low-quality fats.

When your dog eats processed vegetable oil, it can lead to pancreatitis, obesity, diarrhea, and vomiting. Heated oils break down into acrolein, which is toxic to your dog, and reduces protein, serum albumin, and calcium levels in dogs.

The high-fat content in chicken nuggets means that it can lead to gastric distress, lethargy, clogged arteries, or slow blood circulation.

Flour Used to Make Breading is Overly Processed

Whole grain flours like oats, millet, almond, coconut, barley, and buckwheat have nutrients such as proteins, polyunsaturated fats, low carbohydrate, fiber, vitamins, and iron. They are suitable for dogs to consume with a lot of health benefits.

However, chicken nuggets are made with bleached wheat flour, yellow corn flour, or vegetable starch, all of which have undergone processing and lost some nutrients.

When your dog eats this type of flour, it can lead to swelling of the colon, inflammatory bowel syndrome, dog colitis, and allergic reactions such as itching of the skin on the face, feet, ears, and whole body. This itching can then lead to hair loss and skin infections. It’s also a known fact that corn is a source of allergens for dogs.

Leavening Agents Can Obstruct Dogs’ Digestion

Leavening agents used to make chicken nuggets such as baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, sodium acid, calcium lactate, and monocalcium phosphate are also harmful to dogs. Leavening agents cause gastrointestinal problems, spasms, seizures, and heart problems.

Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, lethargy, shortness of breath, seizures.

Can Dogs Eat Vegan Chicken Nuggets?

Dogs cannot eat vegan chicken nuggets because most vegan nuggets are made with soy, a common allergen for dogs. Similar to traditional chicken nuggets, vegan nuggets also contain excess salt, breading, and seasonings, such as garlic and onions, which are harmful to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Quorn Chicken Nuggets?

Dogs cannot eat Quorn chicken nuggets because Quorn nuggets still contain high fat and salt contents, and are deep fried in oil. Although they don’t contain soy, they don’t provide any health benefits for your dog, and therefore, are not an ideal alternative to standard chicken nuggets.

Can Dogs Eat Fried Chicken?

Tyson White Meat Chicken Nuggets | Frozen Fully Cooked Breaded Nuggets, All Natural, 3 Pack (15 Lbs Total) | By Gourmet Kitchn

We can wrongly assume that since chicken is an excellent source of lean proteins and almost all dog foods and treats contain chicken as major ingredients, anything with chicken will be good for dogs.

Dogs cannot eat fried chicken because most fried chicken is slathered in spices and deep-fried in oils. Like chicken nuggets, fried chicken can also lead to a range of potential health problems in dogs, such as gastric distress, clogged arteries, or low blood circulation.

However, instead of fried chicken, unseasoned boiled chicken is the healthiest option for dog consumption. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your dog, and it is most often recommended as a recovery meal for sick dogs and dogs with sensitive stomachs.

How To Boil Chicken for Dogs

Unseasoned and bland chicken isn’t tasty for humans; however, your dog doesn’t care about the taste. Feed this to your dog, and he’ll gobble it up wholeheartedly. Boiling boneless and skinless chicken breast in just water will retain its nutritional contents, making it healthy for your dog. All you need is boneless and skinless chicken breast and water.

To do this, here are the steps:

  1. If chicken is frozen, make sure you thoroughly defrost before boiling to allow it to cook evenly.
  2. Place chicken breast in a pot and spread it out to avoid layering.
  3. Pour water until the chicken breast is completely covered.
  4. Make sure you don’t add any seasonings, such as onions or garlic, because these ingredients can be harmful to dogs.
  5. Cover the pot and boil at high heat for 12 minutes. Check to ensure that the chicken breast is well cooked.
  6. Bring down and allow cooling. After cooling, shred into small pieces according to your dog’s size using a knife or a fork.
  7. You can also feed the broth to your dog. Chicken broth is often recommended for convalescing dogs.

You can also take a peek at this article if you want to read more about how to boil chicken for your dogs.
How To Boil Chicken for Dogs? (The Perfect Recipe!)

Safe Homemade Chicken Nugget Recipe for Dogs

Whole chicken is a source of lean protein for dogs, and it’s almost always used when dogs have stomach upset. Whole chicken has essential amino acids and glucosamine for bone health. Chicken broth is often recommended for dogs recovering from food poisonings.

The American Kennel Club suggests you can mix chicken with healthy grains and vegetables before feeding your dog. On this basis, we’ll recommend this recipe for a homemade chicken nugget using grains, vegetables, and other ingredients that are safe for your dog.


  • Boneless chicken breast
  • Oats
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Vinegar


Here are the steps to make homemade chicken nuggets:

  1. Bake chicken breast at 350°F (177°C) degrees for 30 minutes, allow it to cool, and shred it.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes at 400°F (204°C) degrees for 45 minutes and allow to cool.
  3. Allow the oven to cool down to 225°F (107°C) degrees.
  4. Steam carrots for 25 minutes.
  5. Put sweet potatoes and carrot in a bowl and mash together.
  6. Add olive oil and vinegar and stir well. After, add salt and cinnamon and stir also.
  7. Add the shredded chicken and oats to the mixture and knead well.
  8. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes and pour into small silicone molds.
  9. Bake at 225°F (107°C) degrees for 2 hours, flip over, and bake for another 1 hour.
  10. Let them cool before serving your dog as a treat.
  11. You can store it in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for about a week.


Although natural chicken is safe and healthy for your dog, chicken nuggets don’t offer the same nutritional benefits.

When it comes to sharing snacks with your dog, it’s important to take precautions because many junk foods, such as chicken nuggets, contain high fat and salt contents, which are dangerous for dogs.

Chicken nuggets are also enhanced with many seasonings and spices, and feeding nuggets to your dog can potentially lead to pancreatitis, obesity, clogged arteries, or low blood circulation. Therefore, it’s best to avoid giving your dog chicken nuggets, and stick to boiled, unseasoned chicken.

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