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Can Dogs Eat Chicken Skin? Raw, Fried, Cooked is Bad / Safe?

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Picture this. You’re enjoying a delicious roast dinner, and you look behind you. There, you see your dog looking at you, begging you to share just a little bit of that chicken. You think about sharing that chicken skin with your dog but you hesitate – is it good for your dog to eat chicken skin?

The truth is that while your dogs can eat chicken skin, it’s probably not the best idea to feed it to your pooch. Chicken skin contains a bunch of calories and fat, and it doesn’t contain any good nutritional value for your dog.

It’s not good for your dog, and in some situations it could even upset your dog’s stomach. They may get diarrhea, may gain weight and in the long term they could even get pancreatitis if they are fed chicken skin on a regular basis.

Can dogs eat chicken skin. Gif1

Don’t be alarmed if your dog eats a stray bit of chicken skin every once in a while, though. They will more than likely be totally fine, you’ll just need to keep an eye out for signs that your dog has an upset tummy – for instance, they may be sick or have diarrhea. 

It is a common belief that bigger dogs don’t have a big reaction to eating chicken skin, but it will likely be a totally different story for small dogs. This is because chicken skin contains a large amount of fat.

In reality, dogs all tend to have relatively small digestive tracts, regardless of their size. This means that foods that are high in fact will cause them problems regardless of how big they are. With this in mind, it’s often best to avoid giving your dog chicken skin.

Healthier Alternatives

Every dog loves the smell and taste of chicken, whether it’s raw, cooked, roasted or otherwise! You don’t want to deprive your dog of some delicious chicken, so what should you do?

Well, you can find some fantastic alternatives online that are going to be a lot better for your dog. If you’re looking online for healthy chicken based treats for your dog, you should look for options that are organic.

They shouldn’t have any additional preservatives or salt, and it’s always better that they come from the chicken’s breast rather than the thigh or any other part of the bird.

 Will Chicken Skin Be Bad for My Dog?

As discussed earlier, chicken skin is usually unhealthy for your dog to eat because it contains a large amount of fat. This fat doesn’t contain any yummy nutrients for your dog, so it’s essentially dead calories for them. 

In addition to this, eating chicken skin can cause issues in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. If your dog is exposed to foods that are high in fact over a long period of time, there’s even a chance that your dog could develop pancreatic inflammation disorder. This is especially bad if your dog is older or is obese. 

We don’t mean to alarm you, however. If you do choose to feed your dog a little bit of chicken skin every once in a while, it will probably be totally okay. It only really becomes an issue if your dog eats chicken skin or other foods that are high in fat on a regular basis. 

If you do plan on giving your dog chicken skin though, you should try to cut it up into little pieces first if at all possible. This makes it a lot easier for your dog to digest it and it reduces the risk of choking. In addition to this, make sure that there are no bones in the chicken skin and try to remove as much grease and fat as possible. 

One other thing. Chicken can often be seasoned with a wide variety of different things, such as oil, pepper, salt and garlic. You need to be very cautious about feeding your dog chicken skin that has been heavily seasoned. For instance, garlic and onion is toxic for your dog, so always check how the chicken has been seasoned and cooked before feeding it to your dog.

Will Anything Bad Happen If My Dog Eats Chicken Skin?

This ultimately depends on the dog in question. In most instances your dog will likely be fine and experience no issues whatsoever.

On the other hand, some dogs can have an adverse reaction to eating chicken skin. There’s no real way of knowing unless you feed your dog the chicken skin. With that in mind, it’s often best to avoid taking the risk entirely. 

In some cases, your dog may have a bad reaction. In this situation, you may notice that they start to vomit or get watery stools. If you consistently feed your dog fatty foods and chicken skin though, your dog may gain weight or develop pancreatitis. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Swallowed Chicken Skin?

There are some situations where you simply cannot control the things that your dog eats. Perhaps you dropped some chicken skin on the floor while cooking.

If you have any doubts, you should always speak with a vet as soon as possible as they can advise you what to do next. In the event that the vet thinks that the issue is serious, they may ask you to put your dog under 24 hour surveillance to ensure that everything is fine. This situation is highly unlikely, however, so try not to panic. It’s just a good idea to be cautious.

Your vet may suggest that you feed your dog boiled chicken and rice for a couple of days if they end up vomiting, since this won’t irritate their stomach further. They may suggest that your dog follows this diet until their stomach gets a little better. Chicken noodle soup is another good choice, but you should always consult your vet before feeding your dog new kinds of food.

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Chicken Skin?

Raw food diets are becoming rather popular for dogs. With that being said, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s entirely safe for your dog. Raw chicken skin is especially a bad idea for your dog.

A lot of vets say that raw chicken can be full of harmful bacteria such as E. Coli or Salmonella, and this can cause some major problems for your dog. With that in mind, it’s best if you avoid giving your dog raw chicken skin if possible.

Can My Dog Eat Fried Chicken Skin?

Can dogs eat chicken skin

So, what about fried chicken skin? It’s been properly cooked, so it should be fine, right?

As we’ve already said, chicken skin is not good for your dog at all. It’s even worse for your dog if it’s been fried in any way. It’s not good for your dog’s stomach and it’s especially bad for their general health and wellbeing. It’s not good for you to eat fried food on a regular basis, and your intestines are a lot bigger than a dog’s. 

Chicken Skin Calories

Here’s the biggest problem with chicken skin – it’s rife with calories. Chicken skin can make your dog unwell, but the calories can cause some major problems for your dog.

Now, let’s preface this first by saying that chicken meat is a good choice of protein for your dog, so long as it’s cooked completely plain and isn’t heavily seasoned. Your dog can get around 284 calories from a cooked chicken breast without the skin, and the vast majority of that is protein which is essential for your dog’s muscles and bones.

The calories keep piling up if you add skin onto that. Your dog could be eating an extra 100 calories per meal if you add skin to the equation. 

Let’s look at it this way. Your dog should really only be eating around 25 calories for every pound that they weigh on a daily basis. If you have a 25 pound dog, that means he isn’t eating more than 625 calories each day. A 70 pound dog shouldn’t be eating more than 1750 calories a day. Of course, this will differ per dog – this is just a general guideline. 

Your dog’s recommended calorie intake is often determined by their weight and breed. If you have any doubts about your dog’s breed and size, you can ask your veterinary practitioner for further advice.

Here are just a few numbers to put this into perspective for you.

If you’re feeding your dog 85 grams of chicken, how does that add up? For raw chicken skin you’re getting 294 calories, for roasted chicken skin it’s 384 calories and for fried chicken skin you’re looking at a whopping420 calories. For just raw chicken skin, that’s 47% of a 25 pound dog’s daily calorie intake. Crazy, right? That’s an awful lot of calories for minimal nutritional value.

It certainly doesn’t look good for your dog. For that same dog, 85g of fried chicken skin is 67% of his daily calorie intake. Your dog also needs to be eating balanced meals of vet recommended pet food too. If your dog constantly eats over his recommended daily calorie intake, there’s a chance that he could gain weight, which could lead to health implications down the line.

So, should you feed your dog chicken skin? While we certainly don’t recommend it, it’s better if it’s provided in moderation. There are also other alternative snacks that will work significantly better for your dog, not to mention they will be healthier. If possible, it’s usually best just to give your pooch a bit of cooked chicken rather than giving them the skin. 


It can be rather difficult to reject your dog’s adorable puppy dog eyes when you’re in the kitchen. We get it – all you want to do is see their face light up as they eat that delicious chicken. You need to show some restraint when it comes to chicken skin though, since it’s just not good for your dog.

As we’ve said above, giving your dog a little bit of chicken skin probably won’t harm them. It’s worth remembering though that if you give your dog too much fat over time, there’s a chance they could develop some health issues.

Instead, it’s best to give your dog his recommended dog food, while supplementing with a few healthy snacks here and there. Many vets suggest following the 90/10 rule – 90% of your dog’s calories should be from his pet food, and 10% of his daily calories should be from delicious snacks!

If you are looking to give your dog some tasty snacks, there are some alternatives. You can get specially made pet treats for your dog, for instance. You can also give them a piece of chicken – just avoid the skin! Your dog will still thank you for their little treat!

1Disclaimer: This article is primarily based on our own research and opinions. We are not vets, so if you have any doubts it is best to speak with your vet for advice. Your pet is unique, after all, and what may work for one dog may not work for yours. 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.