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Can Dogs Eat Canned Chicken? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Annaliese Morgan

By Annaliese Morgan

canned chicken with broth and toothpick

Vet approved

Dr. Ashley Darby Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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This article has been reviewed for factual accuracy by a qualified veterinarian, using information available at the time of publishing. Dog owners are urged to consult with their veterinarian when making dietary decisions for their pet. This article is designed to provide general information but it does not take into account your pet’s health status or circumstances.

Chicken is by far one of the most popular meats used in dog diets today. This white meat is used as the main staple meat ingredient not only for the flavor of the diet but mainly because the protein of chicken is excellent and the body is able to utilize this particular protein very well.

Protein (which contains all the necessary amino acids your dog needs) is an essential daily nutrient for dogs, and this is provided in their normal dog food. Should you wish to add a little extra to their bowl or give them a treat, then you might be wondering if you can use canned chicken. While it’s a convenient food item and can technically be fed to dogs, it comes with a warning label, as it has the potential to negatively affect their health.


What Is Canned Chicken?

Canned chicken is sold across most supermarkets and is a convenient and easy way to purchase, store, and use chicken for yourself and within reason for your dog. Various forms of chicken meat are used in this pre-made and processed food; namely either chicken breast meat or a mixture of white and dark chicken meats. Canned chicken still remains high in that all-important protein, as well as other nutrients.

 opened can of white chicken breast meat chunks
Image Credit: BW Folsom, Shutterstock

Can I Feed Canned Chicken to My Dog?

Yes, dogs can eat canned chicken, as it isn’t toxic or poisonous to them, nor does it contain dangerous chicken bones either. However, it is still a processed meat that has undergone various methods and processes in order to create it. Before feeding canned chicken you should check the ingredients list for anything that could be harmful to your dog. This may include seasonings such as garlic and onion powder which are very toxic to dogs.

Therefore, if you choose to offer your dog this meat, check the ingredients first. The exact safe feeding amounts are better clarified with your veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist. Do note, however, that treats or extra titbits (such as bits of said canned chicken) should not make up more than 10% of your dog’s daily energy or calorie intake.

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Can Dogs Be Allergic to Chicken?

Absolutely! And this applies to all kinds of chicken. Just because chicken is often touted as a healthy meat, which is also perfect for settling dodgy tummies, unfortunately, this is not the case for all dogs.

Quite a number of canines are allergic or intolerant to chicken. It is thought this is due to the type of protein it contains. If your dog shows any of the following signs after eating chicken or chicken-flavored food, have your veterinarian check them over. They may request that your dog do an elimination diet trial.

sad and worried dog lying on a wood floor
Image Credit: Elayne Massaini, Shutterstock

Signs of Food Allergies

Food allergies often show themselves on the skin and fur, but they can also aggravate the gastrointestinal system.

  • Itchy skin
  • Licking paws
  • Nibbling or biting nails and paws
  • Compulsive licking
  • Bald or thinning patches of hair
  • Ear infections and scratching at the ears
  • Gas and/or bloating
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Inflamed pads
  • Face rubbing
  • Hives
  • Skin infections
  • Skin rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Behavioral changes


Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Wash Canned Chicken Before Feeding It to My Dog?

Yes. It is advisable to rinse the canned chicken under plain water before feeding it to your dog, as this helps to reduce the amount of sodium (salt) in the meat. Be mindful, however, that washing the chicken is unlikely to remove 100% of the sodium content.

Rinsed canned chicken in strainer inside white bowl
Image Credit: Merrimon Crawford, Shutterstock

Is Canned Chicken Already Cooked?

Yes, canned chicken is ready to eat. It has already been pre-cooked before the chicken is sealed in the can. It may be eaten straight from the can or added to a variety of dishes.

What Other Canned Meats Can I Feed My Dog?

If they are not allergic or intolerant, dogs can safely eat canned tuna and canned turkey, as well as canned chicken.



Canned chicken is certainly a handy food to keep in the cupboard. Most dogs, if allowed, would likely enjoy a nibble or two as well! However, you need to check for harmful ingredients first and be careful to serve this as part of a healthy balanced diet approved by your vet!

Featured Image Credit: stockphotofan1, Shutterstock

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