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Every good dog owner wants to give their dogs the best possible nutrition, but since dogs require different foods from us humans, knowing what to provide them with and how to cook for them can be difficult. Chicken is an excellent source of protein for dogs, and boiling is the best way to go.
To boil chicken for dogs, place chicken breasts in boiling water for about 12 minutes or until they’re cooked thoroughly. Don’t add any seasoning as it might be harmful to your dog. Shred the chicken, and allow it to cool before serving. Add rice or other dog-safe foods for more nutrients.
Along with the best way to boil chicken for your dog, we’ll also discuss the following throughout this article:
- How to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked and prevent salmonella
- The steps to take to check your dog for any food allergies
- Other foods that dogs can eat along with their chicken
- How often you can feed your dog boiled chicken
- Why boiled chicken is healthier than other cooking options
Table of Contents
When you boil chicken for your dog, you want to use lean chicken breasts. This type of chicken is the healthiest for dogs due to the low-fat content. However, with chicken breasts, you want to make sure to remove any skin before cooking it. The skin on the chicken contains a lot of unnecessary fats that aren’t healthy for your dog.
Buying chicken breasts without bones is the easier option, but you must remove them if you do happen to buy them with bones.
Serving chicken with bones can be a choking hazard to your dog.
Once you have skinless and boneless chicken breasts prepped, you’re ready to start boiling. To ensure that you correctly cook the chicken, only cook enough to where the meat isn’t layered in the pot.
You want to use defrosted chicken, so if you froze it, wait until it defrosts before cooking for the most benefits.
Place the chicken in a pot with enough water, so the chicken breasts are fully submerged. Be careful not to fill the pot too high with water, as it could boil over and cause a hot mess.
Boil the chicken on high heat for about 12 minutes or until it’s thoroughly cooked. Make sure you cover the pot with a lid.
To check if the chicken is thoroughly cooked, take a chicken breast out and cut into it. If you notice it’s still pink, it needs to be cooked longer. The chicken shouldn’t have any pink color to it. Serving your dog undercooked chicken can cause bacterial infections, such as salmonella.
If you fear you may have given your dog undercooked meat, chances are your pup is probably okay. Salmonella in dogs isn’t common, but there’s still a chance of them getting sick. According to PetMD, some symptoms of salmonella in dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
Related article: Your Dog Ate Spoiled Meat? Here’s What to Do About It
After boiling and ensuring you cooked the chicken breasts thoroughly, begin to shred them. Shredding the chicken makes it easier for dogs to eat and prevents choking, especially for dogs who tend to eat fast.
It’s essential to consider the size of your dog when you cut the chicken. Larger dogs might not need the pieces to be that small, while smaller dogs need tiny pieces.
Don’t serve the chicken while it’s still hot, as this can hurt your dog! Allow it to cool off before serving it. You want the chicken to be cool or room temperature to prevent your dog from burning itself.
Don’t serve the boiled chicken breasts with any seasoning, as most won’t taste good to dogs and can be harmful. Dogs enjoy the natural taste of chicken, so making it as bland as possible is the best option. However, there are many other foods that are great for dogs that you can add to make a delicious boiled chicken meal for your dog.
Pumpkin offers many benefits to dogs and makes for a great meal add-in or even a small treat. As pumpkin provides many nutrients, it’s something your dog can have every day. Some benefits include:
- Contains vitamins A, C, and E
- High in fiber, making it great for a dog’s digestion
- Packed with prebiotics, so it will work to boost a dog’s overall digestive health
If you decide to add pumpkin to your dog’s boiled chicken meal, make sure you’re only serving plain, canned pumpkin. A good rule to follow is only to give your dog one teaspoon for every 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of weight.
White rice is another excellent addition to add to boiled chicken. White rice is a popular choice for many dog owners because it’s easy to prepare and easy for dogs to digest. It’s common to see owners give their dogs white rice when they’re sick or when they have to be on a bland diet. Some benefits of white rice include:
- Low in fiber, so if you add it along with pumpkin, it’ll make for a well-balanced meal
- High in carbohydrates, which is essential to a dog’s diet
- It helps the digestive process
- Great for dogs with a sensitive stomach
Many commercial dog foods contain rice. As with the chicken, if you make rice for your dog, don’t add any seasonings or spices.
Related article: Can You Give a Dog Rice for Weight Gain? (We Find Out)
Adding carrots to your dog’s boiled chicken meal is a great way to add in additional nutrients. Carrots also make for great, healthy treats for your dog. There are many other benefits to giving your dog carrots in their meal:
- High in vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium
- It can be served raw or cooked, making it easy to add to meals
- It’s low calorie
- Improves dental health when served raw
If you plan on adding carrots to your dog’s diet, make sure you’ve washed them adequately, so your dog isn’t exposed to any dirt or pesticides.
Peanut butter is another excellent option for your dog’s diet. While it’s not the absolute healthiest option, it can be a great addition to your dog’s diet and offer many incredible benefits in moderation. The American Kennel Club (AKC) lists many benefits of peanut butter, including:
- Excellent source of protein
- It has many healthy fats
- It contains vitamins B and C
If you give your dog peanut butter every day, make sure it’s unsalted and has few sugars or other additives. AKC recommends making your own peanut butter to ensure there aren’t any added sugars.
Chicken is one of the most common ingredients found in dog food, so feeding your dog boiled chicken every day is perfectly fine. If you’re only giving your dog boiled chicken for the time being because it’s sick, just chicken is fine. However, if you’re going to be consistently feeding your dog boiled chicken, it’s essential to add other foods into their meals.
Only giving your dog chicken will be great for protein, but dogs need additional vitamins and minerals every day, including potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, carbohydrates, and many more. Therefore, giving your dog boiled chicken every day, along with some of the other healthier options we’ve already discussed, is perfectly healthy for your dog.
The amount of boiled chicken a dog needs a day greatly depends on the size of the dog. In general, many vets recommend giving your dog ¼ or ⅓ cup of meat protein per 20 pounds (9.07 kg) of weight a day. However, if you’re just beginning to give your dog chicken, start with a little less and work your way up to ensure your dog isn’t allergic.
Dogs can have many different food allergies. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be hard to tell that your dog does have an allergy. Chicken is a prevalent food allergy seen in dogs, as well as beef and eggs. So if you notice your dog is acting strange, something in their diet could be the reason.
There are many different signs you can look out for to see if your dog might be allergic to something you’re serving:
- Itching: If you notice your dog scratches at their ears, paws, or stomach, this can be a sign of allergies.
- Skin problems: Allergies can cause hives or bumps that are causing your dog to scratch.
- Upset stomach: If your dog lacks an appetite, is vomiting, or has diarrhea, this could be a sign of a food allergy.
- The face is swelling: A more alarming sign can be face swelling due to food allergies. Face swelling can affect the dog’s lips, ear flaps, or eyelids.
If your dog seems to have a very sensitive stomach, it might be a good idea to get an allergy test done. Many vets will recommend the elimination diet before taking any other tests. This test involves removing one food from your dog’s diet for about two weeks to two months to see if any symptoms continue. If they do, you’ll know that specific food isn’t what’s causing discomfort. You should continue this process until you find the food allergy.
This method can take a long time. Although it’s less expensive than having an allergy test done, if your dog is very uncomfortable, doing this can become a hassle.
However, a vet can give your dog blood tests, known as serum IgE tests, for a proper diagnosis.
While there are many other ways to cook chicken, such as grilled or baked, boiled chicken is the best option for dogs. Since boiled chicken doesn’t contain as much fat as other cooking methods, it makes for a healthier option. However, we’ll discuss a couple of different ways of serving chicken and compare it to boiled chicken.
There’s not much difference between boiled and baked chicken, besides the prep work. With baked chicken, you’ll need to add the chicken to a 400°F (204.44°C) oven for about 20-30 minutes, whereas with boiled chicken, you only need to cook it for about 12 minutes.
As with boiled chicken, you should check baked chicken to ensure that it’s fully cooked, shredded, and allowed time to cool off before giving it to your dog.
Many people commonly think of grilled chicken as a healthier chicken option, and it is! While it’s not as healthy as boiled chicken, it’s still more beneficial than anything with a lot of fat, such as fried chicken. Grilling chicken for your dog is much the same as baking it—the process is longer, but the results are the same.
Feeding your dog chicken will take longer than feeding it kibble, no matter which way you go about it. Boiling, however, is the best choice simply because it’s a faster process and much healthier for your pup!
If you feed your dog boiled chicken every day, it might be tempting to make enough for the week, so it’s easier during feeding time. While our boiled chicken recipe is fast and straightforward, making separate dinners for your dogs and family every day might get frustrating.
Boiled chicken typically lasts for about 3-4 days in the refrigerator. However, if you really want to stock up, you can always freeze the leftovers, and they will stay good for months.
So, now that you know how to boil chicken for your dog, you probably want to know which ingredients to add to the meal to give your dog the best possible nutritional benefits.
If you’re feeding your dog boiled chicken because it’s sick or has an upset stomach, you should only feed it chicken and white rice—the blander the diet, the better for a sick dog.
However, if you want to make your dog delicious meals out of boiled chicken every day, adding pumpkin, carrots, white rice, and peanut butter to your dog’s diet will do just that. PetMD believes dogs need a mix of the following (which each of these ingredients will offer):
- Protein (chicken)
- Fats (peanut butter)
- Vitamins and minerals (carrots and pumpkin)
- Carbohydrates (rice)
While these foods are typically excellent, always consult with your vet before changing your dog’s diet too much or adding several different foods!
Boiled chicken is a great way to get your dog the protein they need in their diet. The process only takes about 12 minutes to boil, and serving boiled chicken is easy. To make the meal even better, adding ingredients such as rice, pumpkin, carrots, or peanut butter will give your dog more nutritional benefits.
However, food allergies are common with dogs. So, before you add too much to your dog’s diet, consider talking with a vet. Sometimes finding the recipe that’s perfect for your dog can be complicated, but it’ll always be worth it.
- PetMD: Salmonella Infection in Dogs
- WebMD: Can I Give My Dog Pumpkin?
- WebMD: Can My Pet Be Allergic to Their Food?
- WebMD: The Facts About Dog Nutrition
- American Kennel Club: Can Dogs Eat Rice?
- American Kennel Club: Can Dogs Eat Carrots?
- American Kennel Club: Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter?
- Wikipedia: Elimination Diet
- Pet Place: Can Dogs Live on Chicken Alone?
- Public Goods: Can Dogs Eat Chicken? How to Prepare It For Your Pup
- VCA: Food Allergies in Dogs
- Paw Tracks: The Right Way to Cook Chicken For Your Dog
- Pet Lover Guy: How to Cook Chicken For a Dog
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