Can your dog eat chicken nuggets? Are they safe for your beloved canine? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat chicken nuggets, but they probably shouldn’t. While chicken itself is a great source of protein for your pooch, chicken nuggets contain a host of other potentially harmful ingredients that are not suitable for dogs. Of course, your dog will love them as much as you do, but just because something tastes good, that does not mean it is beneficial for your canine companion.
In this article, we take a deeper look at why your dog should not be fed chicken nuggets, as well as healthier alternatives to try out.
What exactly are chicken nuggets?
We all know them as a quick and tasty (but unhealthy) drive-through meal, but what exactly are chicken nuggets? Put simply, they are ground-up chicken meat that is battered with an egg and breadcrumb mixture and then deep-fried, but even then, it is not quite that simple. While most fast food outlets claim that the nuggets are made with quality chicken breast meat, they often contain large amounts of fat, salt, and other nasties that come with processed meat. This also includes preservatives, colorants, and flavorings, to name a few.
Health risks of chicken nuggets
Humans should not eat chicken nuggets regularly, if at all, and the same goes for your dog. While the occasional chicken nugget won’t dramatically harm your pooch, there are several reasons to avoid giving these treats to your dog, including:
Chicken nugget alternatives
It can be tempting to add a portion of chicken nuggets to your drive-thru order as a treat for your pooch, but there are several potential concerns and almost no health benefits. Fast food is not good for humans to consume regularly, and the same goes for dogs. While the odd chicken nugget here and there won’t do too much harm to your dog, there are similar alternative foods that your dog will love and that will be beneficial to their health.
Lean chicken meat. Processed chicken meat — or any processed meat, for that matter — contains several potentially harmful ingredients. Lean chicken meat, on the other hand, is an ideal alternative snack for your pooch. It’s even better if it is free-range and certified organic. Lean chicken meat is a great source of protein that is essential for energy and building lean muscle mass and is rich in omega-6, which will give your pooch a healthy skin and coat.
Fat. Fat is an essential component of your dog’s daily diet. Healthy fats will give your dog an energy boost and can help the absorption of certain minerals and vitamins. Healthy fat sources include animal fats and oils made from flaxseeds and hempseeds.
Vegetables. Sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin can be used in a wide variety of ways as a healthy snack for your dog. There are tons of recipes online to make quick and simple snacks using these veggies, using hemp or flax oils to cook with.
Homemade chicken nuggets are also a great alternative. Making your own chicken nugget treats for your pooch allows you to decide exactly what is inside. You can use the best ingredients possible, including whole chicken breasts, and even eat them yourself!
The occasional chicken nugget given to your dog likely won’t do them any harm, and all dog lovers know how convincing those eyes can be. However, chicken nuggets on a regular basis are definitely not recommended, for you or your pooch!
That being said, chicken is a great source of protein and can be given to your dog as a regular part of their diet.
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