Raw chicken feet for dogs are a yummy snack that most pups start drooling for!
My pups Missy & Buzz sure did, and so did Wally, at least until I had to stop feeding them to him.
He had them for a while until I did a dog allergy test with him.
Turned out that he has a chicken allergy, which is why the chicken feet contributed to his itchiness. These days, he gets duck feet or duck wings instead.
But either way, chicken feet are so much more than just a single-ingredient dog chew, especially when we’re talking about their role in raw feeding!
So in this blog post, I’ll point out:
- The benefits of chicken feet
- How to use them in raw feeding
- How many chicken feet dogs can have
- Where to buy chicken feet for your dog
Raw Chicken Feet For Dogs
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn compensation when you click on the links at no additional cost to you.
Benefits Of Raw Chicken Feet For Dogs
So, first things first, why are chicken feet good for dogs?
Because they’re rich in various nutrients, including:
- Collagen: Structural protein that supports skin, joints, and connective tissues.
- Gelatin: Derived from collagen and has numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion and promoting joint health.
- Calcium: Vital for bone health and muscle function.
- Phosphorus: Important for bone health and overall cellular function.
- Chondroitin: Promotes joint health and helps support dogs with arthritis or joint issues.
- Glucosamine: Also supports joint health and helps with joint problems and aging-related joint issues.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Supports joint lubrication and overall joint health.
- Magnesium: Plays a role in various bodily functions.
- Potassium: Important for nerve and muscle function.
- Iron: Essential for oxygen transport in the blood.
- Zinc: Involved in various enzymatic reactions and immune system function.
- Copper: Plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and connective tissues.
- Vitamin B12: Essential for nerve function and energy metabolism.
- Vitamin B6: Important for metabolism and brain health.
- Vitamin A: Beneficial for vision and immune system support.
- Vitamin C: Though in smaller amounts, chicken feet also contain some vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system.
Keep in mind that the nutrient content in raw chicken feet varies depending on the diet of the chicken.
Generally speaking, pastured chickens are better meat quality with a higher nutrient profile than caged, traditionally raised chickens.
That’s because they get to eat their pick of insects, grasses and seeds as opposed to just grains.
On some farms, pastured chickens are also given kitchen scraps. For example, vegetable peels and leftovers to supplement their diet with additional nutrients.
By the way, pastured chickens also absorb Vitamin D from sunshine, which is something that caged chickens lack – for obvious reasons!
How Do You Prepare Raw Chicken Feet For Dogs?
Now, as far as how to prepare raw chicken feet for dogs, all you have to do is thaw and then use them for raw dog food meal prep.
That’s when you gather the different components of raw dog food and puzzle-piece them together to make balanced raw meals.
In the YouTube video I link to below, you can get an idea of how to include raw chicken feet in your dog’s bowl:
Along those lines, it’s important to understand that raw chicken feet are classified as raw meaty bones (RMBs).
That said, they’re best for small to medium size dogs UNLESS your large dogs aren’t gulpers.
Since Missy and Buzz didn’t just swallow them, they were fine having chicken feet although they were larger pups.
Now, in raw feeding, that’s one of 3 mandatory ingredient categories:
- Raw meaty bones
- Secreting organs
- Muscle meat
And then there’s also plant matter as an optional fourth category for those following the BARF approach (like me).
For more information on what balanced raw dog food consists of, click here.
But either way, RMBs like chicken feet are fed as 10% of an adult dog’s daily raw dog food allowance.
Just FYI, puppies and pregnant/lactating dogs need to eat more than that in raw meaty bones because they’re still growing/require more energy.
How Many Chicken Feet For Dogs?
That depends on the:
- Weight of the chicken foot. Once you know the weight, you can calculate its bone content.
- Your dog’s age (puppy vs adult). Puppies need 17% of daily bone content while adult dogs only need 10%.
- Your dog’s weight. The heavier your dog, the more bone content they need to eat per day.
Once you know all of these numbers, it’s super easy to calculate how many chicken feet your dog can eat per day.
Let’s break it down together!
1. How To Figure Out The Bone Content In A Chicken Foot
On average, a chicken foot weighs 1 ounce and has 60% bone and 40% meat.
That means that a 1 oz chicken foot has 0.6 oz bone and 0.4 oz meat.
But make sure to weigh your chicken foot to get the right numbers!
1 oz is just an average value.
2. How To Figure Out Your Dog’s Daily Raw Dog Food Allowance
Next, you have to figure out how much bone your dog needs to eat per day.
In order to calculate this, you first need to know how much raw dog food they need to eat per day.
Let’s assume that your dog is a 28 lb adult dog who exercises 1-2 hours per day, and who’s at his target body weight.
First, divide his body weight by 100, then multiply it with his maintenance percentage of 2.5%.
The result is your dog’s daily raw dog food allowance:
28/100 = 0.28 x 2.5 = 0.7lb = 11.2 oz
So the 28 lb dog eats 11.2 oz of raw dog food every day.
3. How To Figure Out Your Dog’s Daily Bone Allowance
Of those 11.2 oz, he needs to eat 10% in bone.
10% of 11.2 oz is 1.12 oz.
Now, divide your dog’s daily bone allowance (1.12oz) by the bone percentage of the chicken foot (0.6 oz):
1.12/0.6 = 1.86, let’s round that up to 1.9 oz
So your 28 lb adult dog needs to eat 1.9 oz in chicken feet per day.
At this point, all that’s left to do is grab a scale and start measuring.
On that note, if you could use some help in figuring out the raw dog food & bone math for your pup(s), check out my ebook Understanding the Math in BARF & PMR Raw Feeding!
It has worksheets & pre-calculated charts for puppies and adult dogs, and provides values for both BARF (with veggies) and PMR (without veggies) raw feeding.
Chicken Feet For Dogs Raw Or Cooked?
For feeding purposes, you always want to feed your dog chicken feet raw (or dehydrated).
Cooking changes the bone density in chicken feet (and all other bones) and turns them brittle and sharp. That's when they can cause damage in your dog's throat or intestines.
So as far as how to cook chicken feet for dogs, you'll only want to cook them to make chicken feet bone broth for dogs.
Once the broth is ready, toss the chicken feet! Do not feed them to your pup.
Check out my bone broth recipe here.
Now on to the fun part, shopping for raw chicken feet!
Where To Buy Raw Chicken Feet For Dogs
Over the years, I've found them at several different places:
- Select Walmarts
- Local Farmers Markets
- Online raw dog food retailers
Note that not every Walmart carries chicken feet or chicken paws, as they like to call them.
I've been lucky occasionally at some of the Walmarts in our rural parts of NC, but not so much in more urban areas.
If you have Farmers Markets in your area during spring and summer time, you may be lucky and find chicken feet there.
Raw Paws Pet Food
Raw Paws Pet Food is one of the online raw dog food retailers I'm aware of who carries raw chicken feet for dogs.
They have a basic 2 lb option that has about 15 raw chicken feet.
And they also have a raw chicken feet bundle deal that consists of (4) 2 lb bags with a total of around 60 chicken feet.
If you'd like, use my affiliate code K9Savings at checkout to get 15% OFF (works on other cuts of meat too).
My Pet Carnivore
My Pet Carnivore carries 3 lb bags of chicken feet.
Each bag has about 25 feet.
Hare Today carries 2 lb bags of chicken feet.
They don't specify how many feet are in a bag.
Answers Pet Food
Answers Pet Food also carries raw chicken feet, but the fermented kind!
As a matter of fact, all of their products are fermented.
You can read more about this unique raw dog food brand in my blog post What's so great about fermented dog food?
Dehydrated Chicken Feet For Dogs: An Alternative
Instead of raw, you can also feed your pup chicken feet treats for dogs.
They're usually air-dried or dehydrated.
Both options are safe for dogs as they don't involve any cooking.
Remember, cooking chicken feet for feeding purposes is a big no no.
I used to include dehydrated chicken feet in my pups' Christmas stockings! Since Wally can't have anything chicken, I obviously don't include them in his.
Raw Chicken Feet For Dogs: Bottom Line
So there you have it, all sorts of information on raw chicken feet for dogs!
The most important facts to remember are:
- Chicken feet are a great source of natural glucosamine & chondroitin for joint support
- In raw feeding, they're classified as raw meaty bones (RMBs)
- They have about 60% bone content and 40% meat
- You can feed them raw, air-dried or dehydrated
- Or use them to make chicken bone broth
Do you have any additional questions about chicken feet I didn't cover in this blog post?
Just ask them in the comment section below and I'll get to them, promised!