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Can Dogs Eat Fried Chicken?

By Christy True
published: July 6, 2020 - updated: March 23, 2022 • 2 min. read
Fried chicken

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It’s the season for summer picnics, and that means lots of people will be packing or picking up some fried chicken to enjoy in the sun. If your pup is along for the outing, you may be wondering if he can have a nibble.

While regular cooked chicken is a safe source of protein that dogs find to be tasty, fried chicken contains excessive fats and oils that can be harmful. Fried chicken is also frequently made with spices such as garlic and onion, which are toxic to dogs. It’s not just the fried coating either that’s fatty, the chicken skin itself is high in fat, creating a double whammy of harm should your pup ingest it.

The dangers of fried chicken

It’s not just a stomach ache that you have to worry about should your dog gobble down fried and fatty foods. Overly fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening disease, says the Food and Drug Administration.

Pancreatitis occurs when the pancreas — the organ that helps digest food and control blood sugar — becomes inflamed. This is a very painful condition for dogs, and even mild cases will require veterinary treatment, so you’ll want to avoid it. Older and overweight dogs are especially prone.

So, if you want to treat your dog to chicken and you are sure he is not allergic, cook boneless chicken, or remove the bone, as cooked chicken bones splinter easily and can puncture the stomach and intestines, or even cause choking.

And if he’s looking at you with sad eyes while you try to eat your fried chicken, distract him with a small amount of a safe picnic food such as melon, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, radishes or sugar snap peas, plain cooked shrimp or an unseasoned hamburger patty.

Curious about what is okay (and not so okay) for your dog to munch on? Check out our other articles on what human foods are safe for dogs.

Most outdoor adventures are full of fun times, but the unexpected can occasionally happen. Consider protecting your dog in case he ingests something toxic with a pet insurance plan to help cover the veterinary care. Start by getting a quote.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 28 dog years. She also coordinates media requests. A background in journalism may be why she enjoys writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and she volunteers with a local dog rescue. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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