Many dog breeds are known to enjoy chicken-based food. After all, some vets recommend feeding dogs boiled chicken and rice as a home remedy to help their digestive system if they’re feeling sick. However, does the same tip apply to poodles?
Poodles certainly can eat chicken. Chicken is commonly found in many store-bought dog food products and can be fed to poodles as their primary source of protein in kibble form, as home-prepared food, or as an occasional treat. Avoid feeding your poodle cooked chicken bones as they easily splinter and harm your dog.
Dogs are facultative carnivores, meaning their diet should be primarily meat, although fruits and veggies are good for them too. A lack of certain nutrients can lead to issues in a dog’s coat, bones, and general health, so when accompanied by a variety of other foods, chicken can be an excellent food option for your poodle.
Is Cooked Chicken Good for Poodles?
Chicken is a wonderful source of protein and nutrients for canines—poodles included. Some pet owners believe a raw food diet is the best way to feed a dog, but there is no research to support raw food being better than cooked foods. Cooked chicken can be fed to your poodle in different ways, such as a store-bought food or as part of a homemade meal.
Kibble is the most common form of food given to dogs with chicken being the most common protein source. Not all kibbles are created equal, though.
Animal protein is much more expensive than fruits, vegetables, and grains, so to lower the cost of making dog food, some companies trick you into thinking your dog’s food has more animal protein in it than it actually does.
When choosing a chicken kibble, be sure to read the label. The ingredients listed are listed in order from highest percentage to lowest. Dog kibble should always have the first two, or more, ingredients listed as animal protein.
On the ingredient list, chicken protein may be listed as:
- Chicken Meal
- Deboned Chicken
- Chicken By-Product
- Chicken By-Product Meal
Pet food companies are sneaky with the wording they put on the bag. Check out the article from Dogs Naturally to learn about how the ingredients in dog food might not be what they seem.
When it comes to feeding your poodle chicken kibble, a few brands on Amazon worth trying. Click the links below to see more information, as well as current prices on Amazon:
- Wellness – Complete Health Chicken & Oatmeal
- Instinct Original – Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken
- Canidae Pure – Real Chicken, Lentil & Pea Recipe
- ORIJEN – Original
- Nulo Frontrunner – Chicken, Oats, & Turkey Recipe
- Halo – Adult Recipe
These brands do come with a higher price tag, but that is because there is more animal protein in it than the cheaper bags of food. Many of these brands are also very conscious of their impact on your pet, the environment, and local communities. They source sustainable and non-GMO ingredients to help keep your dog and the environment healthy.
Home-Cooked Chicken Meals
If you prefer to stay away from store-bought dog kibble, feeding your poodle home-cooked food is a great option. However, for your poodle’s health, it is vital to make sure any recipes you use can fulfill all their nutritional needs. The nutrients a dog needs to be healthy are not the same as what a human needs. Feeding your poodle the same food you eat can be harmful to your beloved companion.
A simple online search will result in numerous recipes for homemade pet food. The problem is many of these recipes don’t provide all the necessary nutrients. A study showed that even recipes created by veterinarians usually did not meet nutrient requirements.
In the United States, the Association of American Feed Control Officials sets nutrient standards for pet food companies. When you purchase a bag of dog food, you can be assured that it meets the minimum requirements, even if they are coming from not-ideal sources.
Since there are no regulations for foods prepared at home, it is easy for meals to be unbalanced and missing hard-to-source nutrients. If you decide that serving your poodle home-cooked chicken dinners is the best for their health, speak with a certified veterinary nutritionist or use a dog diet formulator app to ensure they are getting everything they need.
A few resources that can get you started as your poodle’s personal chef are:
- American College of Veterinary Nutrition
- Animal Diet Formulator
- Pet Diet Designer
- The Healthy Dog Workshop
As long as you do a little research before serving up your poodle’s next meal, you can cook a delicious, well-balanced chicken recipe.
Use a Meal Delivery Service
If you don’t have the time every day to devote to creating nutritious meals for your poodle, you could consider outsourcing the meal prep to a dog food prep and delivery service.
These meal platforms allow you to totally customize your pup’s meal plan, and then ship each pre-portioned meal to your house free of charge! The best two services I have found are:
Even though both services provide great value and create great nutritious meals for your poodle, my favorite is pet Plate
I signed up for Pet Plate for my dog Angus and was really impressed with the quality and convenience of the service they provide. Since I’m busy with work, and life in general, it was a great fit for my lifestyle. Take a look here to see the meals available on pet Plate and determine if this service right for you and your poodle.
Cooked Chicken Treats
No matter what you decide to feed your dog for their main meals, you can always give them chicken as a treat. Small pieces of cooked chicken can be a topper for your poodle’s kibble, or you can get fancier with store-bought or home-baked chicken treats.
Several store-bought chicken treats your poodle will be delighted with found on Amazon are:
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Wild Bits
- Emmy’s Best Chicken Jerky
- Fruitables Chicken Tenders
- Full Moon Chicken Fillet
- Zuke’s Chicken Recipe Training Treats
If you do enjoy the occasional afternoon of baking or cooking, you can always whip up a batch of treats yourself. Some simple and delectable home-crafted treat recipes are:
- Chicken Jerky from Dog Treat Kitchen
- 3-Ingredient Chicken Dog Biscuits from The Midnight Baker
- Chicken and Wild Rice Dog Biscuits from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Biscuits from My Modern Cookery
- Chicken and Cheese Dog Treats from 365 Days of Baking & More
Straight chicken meat or chicken broth-based treats can be used for training or mental situation. Hiding a treat or two inside your poodle’s toy will require them to put their nose, mouth, and brain to work to get their tasty reward. Here are a few two-paws-up toys to try from Amazon:
As much as your poodle may love their chicken treats, be sure not to spoil their appetite with them.
Is Rotisserie Chicken Bad for Poodles?
Life can get busy, so buying a rotisserie chicken from the store is sometimes a lifesaver. You can certainly feed your poodle the meat from a rotisserie chicken as a treat, kibble topper, or as part of a homecooked meal.
Dogs, unlike humans, need to eat more than just the breast or thigh meat, though. Organs, such as the liver, and a small quantity of bone, hold essential nutrients for your poodle. When you buy a pre-cooked chicken, the organs have already been removed. Another issue is the bones from a cooked chicken can be a choking hazard for dogs.
If you are just using the meat as a treat or an add-on to their regular meals, then the lack of organs isn’t a big deal since they will get those nutrients from their other food. If you plan on using a rotisserie chicken as the primary food for your poodle, though, be sure to supplement it with organ meats and vegetables too. Again, talking to a vet nutritionist will help you learn how to create a balanced meal.
Another issue with feeding chicken to your poodle is the skin. Whether it is home roasted or store rotisserie, the skin is filled with fat but little nutrients. A small piece of skin occasionally can be given as a treat but try not to feed chicken skin regularly. Consumption of the skin can cause weight gain and digestive problems in your poodle.
Is Raw Chicken Good for Poodles?
Among pet owners, there is a hot debate about whether raw or cooked food is better for their pets. As of now, no studies are showing a significant difference between the two preparation methods. While some nutrients may be lost when cooked, you can still give your poodle everything they need.
When serving raw foods, just like cooked or baked foods, you can purchase a commercially made food or make your own.
Prepared at Home Raw Foods
As mentioned before, a dog’s digestive system is not identical to a human’s system. Most people cannot safely eat raw meat. Often raw meat, especially raw chicken, has bacteria on the surface. These bacteria can include Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Clostridium perfringens. When ingested, these bacteria can cause digestive upset and sometimes severe illness.
A dog’s stomach acid is more potent than a person’s, which allows them to safely consume raw meat without getting sick, at least most of the time. There is always a risk that your dog could fall ill if too much bacteria are consumed.
When preparing your poodle’s homemade meal, following proper food handling practices will help keep both you and your pooch healthy. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has information about chicken and food poisoning.
If you notice your poodle exhibiting any of the following, contact your vet immediately:
- Vomiting (sometimes with blood)
- Diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus)
- Loss of Appetite
- Sudden Weight Loss
- Increased Heart Rate
These are all symptoms of a digestive tract bacterial infection. Ignoring the symptoms can lead to health complications or even death.
If you do prefer to make your poodle their meal from scratch, be sure to contact a nutritionist or use one of the resources above, so you know your poodle is getting all the nutrients they need. A few additional resources for homemade raw recipes are:
As long as you are diligent about handling raw chicken and serving a well-balanced diet, you can indulge your poodle with raw chicken with minimal worry.
Store-Bought Raw Chicken Dog Food
Since handling raw chicken at home is potentially dangerous, another option is to purchase a formulated raw dog food from the store. Just like baked kibble, these dog food brands provide even the most elusive nutrients your poodle needs.
Several excellent raw dog food brands found on Amazon are:
Raw Chicken Snacks
Of course, you can always use raw chicken as the occasional treat to enhance your poodle’s cooked food diet. Store-bought raw chicken treats are usually freeze-dried, such as these found on Amazon:
Raw Chicken Bones
Bones can also be a delectable treat. While cooked chicken bones are dangerous for dogs, certain raw chicken parts can be given. There are different categories of bones that dogs can enjoy:
- Recreational bones tend to come from cows or other red meat animals and are meant to be cleaned off but not consumed.
- Edible bones are bones that the dog chews on and can eat in entirety.
Most raw chicken bones fall into the edible bone category. Depending on what size your poodle is: teacup, toy, miniature, or standard, the size of the bone matters. For example, for edible bones, you want your poodle to chew it before swallowing. A standard poodle may swallow a tiny bone whole and choke on it. Supervising your dog when they are chewing on bones is necessary to prevent an emergency.
Since raw chicken bones can be a choking hazard, watch for signs of distress. If your poodle is pawing at their mouth or looks like they are trying to cough, immediately investigate the situation. You can learn more about choking and how to handle it from Dog Time.
Other Edible Chicken Parts
Here are a few edible chicken parts to delight your poodle with:
As with any treat, your dog may prefer them over their regular food. Treats can be high in calories, so make sure they are only given sparingly.
Can I Feed My Poodle Chicken Every Day?
As long as you are feeding your poodle a healthy diet, there is no reason chicken shouldn’t be part of it every day. Chicken is a healthy source of protein, so when given in the right amount, your poodle can enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner all week long.
Poodles have an aristocratic air about them; this can sometimes mean they are picky about their food. If you notice that your poodle is turning his nose up at what used to be his favorite chicken dish or she is no longer interested in her shredded chicken treats, don’t worry. While your poodle’s change in taste may be a nuisance for you, it isn’t bad for them to decide they no longer want chicken.
If chicken is no longer on your poodle’s list of preferred foods, try switching their diet up. Have a recipe that uses a different animal protein or choose a pet food brand that offers different flavors. Switching between the two can keep your poodle’s taste buds pleasantly surprised. If your poodle does love chicken, then you can certainly feed them their favorite fowl every day.
How Much Chicken Should I Feed My Poodle?
No two dogs are identical. Even two toy poodles are going to have different needs.
The amount of chicken given to your poodle depends on several factors:
- Age – A poodle puppy is going to have different food requirements than a senior poodle.
- Size – A teacup is going to eat less food than a standard.
- Activity Level – A poodle who enjoys running will need more calories than a poodle who prefers lounging by the window.
A bag of dog food will have feeding guidelines on it. It will recommend how much food to give your dog each day based on their age or weight. These are just guidelines, though. Speak to your vet about what a healthy weight looks like for your poodle. If you notice your dog is losing weight, feed them a little more each day. Reversely, if they are gaining weight, you can choose to help them exercise more or to feed them less.
For a homemade recipe, it can be a little harder to adjust the quantity given to your dog while still providing all nutrients. If you notice changes in your dog’s weight, speak to a nutritionist to determine what ingredients need to be increased or decreased to keep them fit.
When it comes to chicken treats, raw or baked, these should be limited each day. Small pieces of freeze-dried or cooked chicken can be given more frequently for training or as rewards. Larger chicken treats like biscuits or bones should be limited. One or two biscuits a day is a lovely treat, and bones can be more of a weekly indulgence.
Chicken is a lean, healthy source of protein for poodles. It can be fed every day as the main ingredient or offered as a treat. The amount of chicken you give your pet depends on how much energy your poodle has, as well as their age and size. Speak to your vet and nutritionist to design the perfect diet for your poodle.