Can Dogs Eat Chicken Legs

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Legs?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

It is healthy, very nutritious, and a rich source of protein for dogs to eat chicken legs. Chicken leg meat should, however, be properly cooked and deboned before it is served to your dog. Chicken feet and bones are also good for dogs, but only when they are raw or freeze-dried. Avoid giving your dog cooked bones to avoid painful accidents.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Chicken Legs?“.

These and many other questions about what dogs can and cannot eat trouble many pet parents.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Legs

There is a lot of confusion surrounding chicken legs feet wings necks and chicken bones in general. 

Chicken is a very popular meat with about 9 billion chickens killed for their flesh in the US every year.

The pets will naturally be able to eat plenty of chicken legs meat and bones.

Fortunately chicken legs can be eaten by dogs so theres no confusion.

Unfortunately how the chicken legs are prepared determines whether you’ll be able to eat them. 

Can dogs eat chicken skin?

Especially skinless chicken and turkey meat are great for dogs when cooked.

The high-fat content in chicken skin makes it unsuitable to feed to dogs.

Dogs can suffer painful pancreatitis or gastrointestinal distress if they eat chicken skin because of its high-fat content.

Even if your dog does not have a negative reaction to eating chicken skin too much fat in their diet will leave them vulnerable to obesity. 

The fat in animal fats or the fatty parts of meat is not good for dogs the best meat for dogs is lean meat which is easily digestible.

You should never give your dog the skin of the chicken turkey or fatty parts of meat. Dogs should eat lean meat that has been properly cooked without any seasoning and with the bones removed. 

Should dogs eat chicken leg meat?

The meat of chicken legs can be eaten by dogs.

Boneless skinless chicken leg meat is ideal for dogs especially the thighs.

It is however important to cook the meat properly in order to prevent infection.

The glucosamine in chicken feet benefits your dogs joints as well since it is great for its joints.

Before giving your dog chicken meat it should be thoroughly cooked and deboned. 

If you want to give your dog raw chicken bones to chew on be mindful of the risks and make sure to supervise them while they do so.

Chicken feet and bones are small so they should not be given to large dogs. Only small dog breeds (not puppies with milk teeth) should be given chicken feet and bones and they should be supervised while chewing.  

How does chicken leg meat compare to chicken breast meat or turkey leg meat?

Chicken leg meat and chicken breast meat differ in some ways but the nutritional difference between them is very small.

As a first note chicken breast is white meat and has a lower fat content whereas chicken legs are dark meat and have a higher fat content. 

Both chicken legs and breasts have about the same amount of iron sodium and good cholesterol despite their different fat and calorie content.

Comparing a 3-ounce skinless chicken breast with a 3-ounce skinless chicken thigh a 3-ounce skinless chicken breast has about 140 calories while a 3-ounce skinless chicken thigh has about 164 calories and 9 grams of fat. 

Three ounces of skinless turkey thigh contains about 155 calories and 6 grams of fat. Therefore meat with fewer calories and less fat is clearly the best choice for your dogs which is skinless chicken breasts.

Can dogs eat chicken leg bones?

Well this question does not have a simple answer. In fact there are two options. Chicken leg bones can or cannot be consumed by dogs. No matter what the condition cooked chicken bones should never be given to your dog as they pose a real health risk. 

Bones that have been cooked become brittle and splinter into smaller pieces when chewed. These pieces can lodge in your dogs throat causing a painful tear or obstructing part of their digestive system. If the bones are raw the only way to feed them to dogs is to give them chicken leg bones. Raw chicken leg bones can be eaten by dogs but there is one caveat. 

Since chickens are small animals and chicken bones are naturally small giving a large dog who loves to gulp things down a chicken bone can be very risky if they swallow the bone whole without properly chewing it first. 

A blockage can occur along the digestive tract as a result. Chicken bones should not be given to dogs. Chicken bones should only be given to adult small dog breeds (or to dogs who take their time to properly chew their food) who should be well-supervised when eating them. 

What is the best way to use cooked chicken leg bones with your dog?

As dogs should not eat cooked chicken leg bones there is no best way to use cooked chicken leg bones with your dog. Do not give cooked chicken leg bones to your dog. 

Can dogs eat raw chicken legs?

Raw chicken legs are safe for dogs to eat. Legs and feet of chickens especially raw chicken feet contain high levels of glucosamine and chondroitin. Your dog can benefit from chewing on chicken feet by maintaining healthy joints and reducing joint pain caused by inflammation aging or arthritis. If you intend to feed your dog raw chicken feet or meaty chicken legs be sure to supervise them while they chew. 

It is much easier for dogs to chew and digest chicken bones because they are smaller and less dense than beef bones. Large pieces of bones can be problematic for dogs who want to swallow them. When you give your dog chicken bones encourage them to chew them before swallowing them. 

Dogs enjoy chewing and digesting chicken and turkey bones because they are lighter in weight than beef bones. Dogs also love chicken necks wings and thighbones in addition to chicken legs and feet. 


  • It contains a high amount of protein and is easily digestible
  • Suitable for teeth-cleaning
  • Packed with vitamins and nutrients
  • High in glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Beneficial to bone and joint health


  • Contamination with bacteria is possible
  • Dogs are at risk of choking and injuries (thats why they need to be supervised).

Can dogs eat frozen chicken legs?

It is okay for dogs to eat frozen chicken legs but there are still some very important considerations. To begin with freezing chicken does not kill the harmful bacteria contaminants as you might think. Freeze-drying in addition to killing bacteria maintains the freshness and natural flavors of chicken legs. 

Knowing that chicken bones can be dangerous to your dog depends on how they are prepared. A chicken bone that has been boiled fried or cooked should not be consumed. Due to the high temperatures associated with cooking bones they become dry brittle and prone to splintering and shattering leading to serious injuries. 

Freeze-dried or dehydrated chicken feet are an excellent alternative to raw and cooked chicken bones. Puffed chicken feet dried in a dehydrator so that the flavor and minerals are sealed in are a great treat for dogs. 


  • The food contains a lot of protein and is easily digestible
  • Helps to improve dental hygiene
  • Improves joint health
  • Rich in vitamins and nutrients
  • Packed with glucosamine and chondroitin


  • Bacterial contamination (frozen meat still contains bacteria that become active once it thaws)

Can dogs eat fried chicken legs?

Dogs should never be given fried chicken even if they beg for it. Fried chicken is not healthy for dogs. Generally dogs should not eat fried food. Because of the possibility of pancreatitis a dogs diet should contain very little oil and greasy stuff. A dog that is prone to pancreatitis may suffer from a painful episode of the condition when eating greasy fried chicken. 

Fried chicken is very fatty and unhealthy food for any dog just as chicken skin is. If you enjoy KFC frequently and would like to share some with your dog please do not. You need to keep that away from your dog for their healths sake. 

Beyond the fact that KFC is obviously fried chicken the recipe contains many ingredients that cause dogs problems (including garlic salt ginger celery salt oregano etc.).   

Are chicken legs more dangerous to dogs than chicken wings?

There is no difference between chicken wings and chicken legs in terms of their danger to dogs. The bones of chickens (wings legs or necks) do not harm dogs by themselves. When your dog does not chew them properly or swallows them whole the problem arises. 

A dogs teeth are designed for chewing bones including chicken bones. le to chew chicken bones. However they should be closely monitored because impatient or greedy dogs tend to gulp down their food even bones which can lead to problems. 

What are the symptoms of a bone getting stuck?

You will notice your dog pawing scratching licking parts of their mouth or gagging if the bone is stuck in their throat if they have a bone stuck in their teeth gums or throat. 

Other symptoms include restlessness persistent gulping trouble breathing difficulty swallowing drooling and regurgitation. Based on where the bone is stuck and the severity of the problem you will observe different symptoms. 

What should you do if part of a chicken leg gets stuck?

You should contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice your dog acting strangely after receiving a bone. He or she will determine exactly where the bone is stuck and remove it. Your veterinarian may be able to remove the bone without surgery if it is not deeply embedded in the throat. In the event that the bone is stuck deep in the esophagus or in the throat it may need to be surgically removed.


It is healthy very nutritious and a rich source of protein for dogs to eat chicken legs.

Chicken leg meat should however be properly cooked and deboned before it is served to your dog.

Chicken feet and bones are also good for dogs but only when they are raw or freeze-dried. Avoid giving your dog cooked bones to avoid painful accidents.

A few pieces of boiled skinless boneless chicken thigh in your dogs food will add the perfect amount of protein to your pets diet. 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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