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Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies?

As a dog owner, are you really skeptical and watchful about what your husky eats? These days, husky owners are always looking for ways to keep their pups happy and healthy. In the last few years, raw food diets have become extremely popular. Husky parents are more and more enthusiastic about raw foods because they believe that it is healthier than cooked ones. Raw chicken for dogs is one of the popular choices, being high in protein and calcium, which helps your husky’s bones stay strong and healthy.

So that begs the question, is raw chicken actually safe and beneficial for huskies? In this article, we will answer that question to help you as a husky owner decide the best for your beloved husky companion. But first, let’s discuss the secrets behind raw diets.

Secrets Behind Raw Diets

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken

First and foremost, we are going to answer an important question: why should you even feed a husky raw food in the first place? 

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Body Composition

Huskies are considered to be the most beautiful of all dogs, and they’ve earned this distinction. A large part of the husky’s unique beauty is derived from their thick double coat, made up of a soft undercoat and guard hairs that give them a velvety look. The husky’s coat also has an added benefit: it acts as a natural weather-proofing agent for your pup. But just because huskies have a naturally-waterproof coat does not mean that you should let them run around in the rain or snow without some form of protection from the elements.

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Raw Contents

As lovely as their thick coats make them look, it may be tempting to treat these lovely coats through raw diets, which are popularly known to grant soft and shiny coats to huskies. So in order to conserve their beautiful coats’ natural glow, owners opted to feed them a raw diet, which is conventionally known to contain hefty amounts of protein. These nutrients aren’t anything to scoff at, as they are basically the building blocks of everything that is organically created, which includes cells, organs, and of course, hair (or fur in this case).

Knowing this, raw diets aren’t only for preserving a huskies’ shiny fur coating but they can also benefit their physical health in general. Lack of protein can lead to detrimental effects on their bodies, such as malnourishment and even hair loss. Raw chickens, which are one of the most accessible forms of white meat, can be used in raw diets to help huskies achieve a fur coating that suits their beauty.

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Purpose

Although processed foods can be highly hazardous to your husky’s health, many experts think that raw chicken may not be as bad as some people think. Raw chicken has a lot of benefits for huskies though it still needs to be carefully fed. Some owners feed their pups raw chicken after a day or two because they think it will help their pets hydrate better and prevent bloat in the abdomen area. 

But this is not exactly the case; instead of getting rid of the bloat in the stomach, you might actually make it worse by feeding your husky raw chicken, too. It would also be a good idea to consult with your veterinarian before you try anything new with your pet’s diet as there may have other suggestions on how to best feed your husky based on its medical case.

However, as the next section will tell you, there can be some harmful and unwanted effects if you ever attempt to feed your husky some raw chicken.

Why Avoid Giving Raw Chicken To Huskies?

raw chicken
Photo credits: Karyna P.

Your beloved furry companion should not eat raw chicken, according to experts. While a human diet rich in protein and nutrients like chicken can be healthy for people, huskies should eat a balanced diet specially formulated with their needs in mind. 

One common diet recommended by veterinarians includes a balance of meat and carbohydrates in order to keep the husky’s energy levels up throughout the day. Eggs are often included in this diet, along with fruits and vegetables. In contrast, raw chicken contains many harmful bacteria that can affect your husky’s health if ingested.

How does this apply to you as a husky owner? Well, there are a bunch of consequences that your husky may face if you ever try to give them raw chicken, especially if it is served the wrong way. Some of the negative effects are listed below:

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Foodborne Bacterial Infections

Various foodborne infections caused by bacteria that the chicken has may make their way into your husky’s plate. Chickens, especially those who are raised in the industry or in unethical conditions, are likely to have contracted some form of bacteria one way or another. You may ask, aren’t chickens being fed or injected with antibiotics to help prevent foodborne bacteria? Unfortunately, because of the mass amounts of antibiotics being used on livestock, many strains of harmful bacteria have ultimately adapted to become resistant to such medications.

>> Salmonella

One of these bacteria is the infamous Salmonella bacteria, which is one of the most common foodborne bacterias known to people. Salmonella is usually one of the things people worry about when it comes to intentionally or unintentionally consuming undercooked meat. This pesky microbe has adapted to most industrial antibiotics, which means they can still survive and be transferred to another host when the livestock’s meat is eaten.

As you would have guessed, your husky will be at risk of this particular species of bacteria especially since you are feeding them raw chicken. Even though thorough cleaning and/or boiling of the raw meat, the bacteria can still survive temperatures of up to 165 degrees; and even then, there is still a pretty good chance the meat will still contain the bacteria. 

Though Salmonella is treatable and rarely leaves any permanent effects on huskies, it is still not worth putting your husky through this risk. The infection can be quite painful for dogs and humans alike, especially if it is not quickly detected or treated. 

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Chicken Bones Can Act As A Choking Hazard

Though most dog breeds are known to be able to eat bones easily as depicted in various media, not all of them are meant to. Bones can pose a serious choking hazard especially if they contain sharp edges that can act as a hook to your husky’s throat or digestive tract. 

Not only can chicken bones choke your husky, but they can also cause damage to various internal components of the intestines. Some chicken bones can also be too big for smaller huskies, which can elevate this problem to a degree where your husky may even require immediate medical attention.

Raw chicken can especially be more threatening since the bones aren’t cooked to a degree where they will slightly soften. The bones in the raw chicken are still dense, durable, and rough since they are literally the framework of a chicken’s entire body. Without the help of cooking or boiling the bones may stay that way, and they are definitely not meant to be eaten easily if the chicken is still raw. 

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Some Huskies May Be Allergic Or Intolerant To Chicken

Huskies are also victims of the common allergies a dog may develop throughout their life. One of these allergies is triggered by certain types of protein that are found in white meat or chicken. Raw chickens usually contain more of these proteins, as they are completely safe from being destroyed during the process of cooking. 

However, the larger amount of proteins found in raw chicken can trigger the allergies of huskies that are allergic to this specific nutrient. There are also some huskies that are intolerant to raw chicken, wherein they may vomit or show signs of an upset stomach after ingesting the raw meal.

Triggering such allergies and intolerance-related conditions can cause harm to your husky. The effects may not be permanent or fatal, but it is an avoidable sickness that you can spare your husky from by knowing their allergies before attempting to feed them raw food. Several forms of allergies can be detected by vets through clinical tests such as blood tests.

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Thoughts On Giving Raw Chicken

Wondering if you can feed your husky raw chicken? The short answer is yes, but there are limitations you need to be aware of. As you can see, the negative effects of feeding your husky raw chicken seem to outweigh the positive effects due to the fact that domesticated huskies, despite ascending from wild wolves (which is noticeable through their appearance), have evolved to adapt to cooked food or commercial dog food. 

Raw chicken is not meant for every dog, and one canine may react differently from the other based on their medical background. This is why it is crucial for husky owners to have their furry companions see their vets at least once a year. 

Other Types of Food For Your Husky

food for huskies other than raw chicken

If you want your husky to have a balanced diet without the risks that come with raw chicken, you may refer to our list below:

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Commercial Dog Food

Despite having a constantly fluctuating reputation in the pet care industry, commercial dog food (whether dry or wet), is still a reliable and classic choice for husky owners. Commercial dog food is packed with various nutrients that your husky can rely on to achieve a balanced diet. Of course, this is with the assumption that you offer them other healthy side meals such as fruits, vegetables, and treats such as beef jerky. 

The nutritional values of each product can usually be seen at the back of the cover, which allows you to view all the nutrients the dog food has to offer. Knowing what your husky needs based on their medical background can allow you to choose the correct commercial dog food that is best suited for your pooch.

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Following The Important Ratio

An important ratio that most husky owners, in general, know is the 1:10 ratio when it comes to treats and the husky’s actual meal. This means 10% of your husky’s diet may be composed of treats. However, it is important to note that this recommendation indicates the maximum amount that you can give, which means treats shouldn’t exceed ten percent of the husky’s diet.

For this to be calculated accurately, you have to know the calories of your husky’s meal and their treats. So for example, if your husky’s daily calorie count is 400 calories, then their treats shouldn’t exceed 40 calories within a day. 

Following this ratio ensures that your husky still enjoy their treats while still maintaining a balanced diet. Oftentimes, treats can contain higher amounts of sugar which can get out of hand and cause health conditions later in your husky’s life, such as diabetes. 

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Home-Cooked Food

Contrary to raw diets, you can offer your husky some of your own cooking. This can be various kinds of meat, (such as pork, chicken, beef, and lamb), seafood (fishes such as salmon), grains (such as wheat), and some types of fruits and vegetables. You can feed your husky a variety of meals as long as it is not harmful to them.

Foods to avoid include some fruits and vegetables such as grapes, raisins, and avocados. You will also need to avoid any additives that contain caffeine and too much sugar. Lastly, you should also know what foods your husky may be allergic to as some of these cooked meals can trigger an allergic reaction (some types of meat, seafood, and even foods containing gluten.).

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken A Diet Prescribed By Your Veterinarian 

This will be your safest bet as your vet will surely know your husky’s medical background if you see them regularly. Vets will be able to offer unbiased recommendations on what you should feed your husky whether you choose commercial food or cooked food. Your vet will be your go-to person when it comes to these kinds of questions as every dog should be suited to its own diet based on its health status.

Raw Foods For Your Husky

raw food alternative for raw chicken

If you still want to feed your husky with a raw diet, you may pertain to some safer and more commonly used options on our list below:

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Organ Meat

Organ meat is typically safer to eat as long as they are cleaned and served properly. The most popular organ meat is known for containing most of the necessary nutrients in the liver. This type of diet can be fed to your husky every day as long as you know how to properly disinfect it before serving. Some organ meat also includes the kidneys, heart, brain, stomach lining, and even reproductive organs of livestock.

Besides organ meat, you may also offer some muscle meat, which you can serve without the bone to prevent choking hazards. However, if your husky is accustomed to eating bones and if your vet tells you it is safe to do so, then you may keep the bones along with the muscle meat.

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken Raw Fruits And Vegetables

Some huskies live their whole lives while eating vegan diets. Since huskies are omnivores, they can live off of raw fruits and vegetables as well, even though it is not recommended as meat is still very important for their health. You may offer fruits and vegetables as a side dish or as additives to their main meal if it consists of meat.

However, it should be noted that there are a variety of fruits and vegetables that you will need to avoid as they can be harmful and even toxic to them. This includes grapes, raisins, avocados, some types of nuts, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and potatoes. 

Raw Chicken: Is It Safe For Huskies? raw chicken You May Also Add Dairy To Their Meals

Some dairy, such as yogurt, can be added to their meals to offer some protein, calcium, and probiotics. However, it is necessary to remember that you shouldn’t make dairy their main meal as it can’t serve as a balanced diet. It should also be noted that several huskies are lactose intolerant or have allergies to certain proteins found in dairy, which means this raw food is definitely not suitable for every husky. 

Are Raw Diets Good For Huskies In General?

You can say that offering your husky a raw diet can be considered a double-edged sword for husky owners. On one hand, you can provide your husky with fresh and organic sustenance that contains a variety of nutrients. But on the other hand, you are practically exposing them to different species of pathogens that can cause infections that can range from a mild fever to confinement at the clinic.

Several vets don’t recommend raw diets as huskies don’t deal with pathogens the way they used to. Because wild dogs are exposed in the wild, it allows them to build immunities against bacteria that would otherwise harm them. However, domesticated dogs (which includes huskies) are bred to live with humans, who mainly live indoors. This means that huskies have less immunity against pathogens as they do not need to protect themselves from these unwanted visitors. 

In a nutshell, you have to consult your vet and decide whether or not you want to take the risk of feeding your husky a raw diet. Some owners have huskies who are happy and healthy eating a raw diet. However, as we have explained in previous sections, raw diets require careful planning and are not meant for all dogs, regardless of their breed. 

Bottom Line

In the wild, the ancestors of the Siberian husky ate mostly meat, which is evident in their teeth and digestive systems. As such, it’s fine to feed your husky meat, especially chicken. However, before you do so, be sure to cook it thoroughly! Raw chicken contains Salmonella bacteria that could make your dog sick. If cooked properly (to an internal temperature of 165 degrees), this risk is mitigated.

Also, consider whether or not raw chicken fits into your husky’s overall diet. If they’re getting most of their calories from dry kibble (and they should if they’re likely to receive many treats), then adding in a small amount of raw meat shouldn’t be an issue for them at all and will help keep them happy and healthy.

If on the other hand, it’s something in addition to their regular meals or instead of those meals, that could lead to problems with both weight gain and nutritional balance. In other words, just because a husky can eat something doesn’t mean it’s good for them. Talk with your veterinarian about what types of foods would work best for a husky in their specific situation.

With this scenario, are huskies really hard to take care of? To find out, read the next article by clicking here!