Why I Don't Feed Chicken To My Pets
I don't recommend feeding chicken to dogs or cats that have allergies or other forms of inflammation because it increases inflammation in the body, it lacks essential nutrients, and can cause the health issues listed above.
Chicken is a warming protein, meaning it will increase body temperature and any inflammation your dog or cat may be experiencing. This is based on Food Energetics from Chinese medicine. If your dog has allergies, hot spots, excessive itching, fur loss, or digestive upset...stop feeding chicken! Chicken is the leading cause of those diet-related issues and that is why I never recommend chicken or include it in any of my raw meal plans for cats and dogs. Most websites say to start with raw chicken when transitioning to a raw diet, but that is not the way you want to start; especially if your pets already have allergies. I have seen many pet owners turn away from raw feeding when they first began because they started with chicken and their pets allergies and digestion worsened. There are some cases where the owners fed their dog raw free-range chicken without added hormones and the dog did well. Whereas before, their kibble diet made up of chicken caused inflammation issues. However, I have worked with more dogs where this feeding method still did not work, and that is why I still do not recommend chicken to dogs with inflammation.
The below recipe is for a 50 pound dog based on the 80/10/10 raw feeding model that a lot of raw feeders follow and often the style in which I see chicken based raw diets. The nutrients below are what is required by NRC (National Research Council) guidelines and are also similar to AAFCO, which commercial dog food companies have to abide by. The fats, macro-minerals, microminerals, and vitamins listed below are a requirement for dogs, they are not a suggestion. This is the science behind an all chicken based diet:
Learn more about these graphs and what they represent here:
Chicken lacks essential nutrients needed in a carnivorous diet because it is white meat and dogs need to be on a mostly red meat based diet, with some added white meat for certain recipes. Zinc will be lacking in a mostly white meat based recipe. Since zinc will be lacking, the zinc:copper ratio will be off. Zinc and copper need to have a 10:1 ratio, which is also needed to prevent inflammation.
An all chicken based diet lacks other nutrients such as iodine, vitamin E, vitamin D, manganese, magnesium, and omega-3's. Chicken is high in omega-6 fatty acids. When a diet is high in omega-6 fatty acids, but low in omega-3, that's when inflammation occurs. If your pet does not have allergies or health issues and you feed them a raw chicken foot in a meal made up of healthier meats, or example, that is not as much of a concern. However, feeding your pets a mostly, or all, chicken-based diet will do more harm than good. Nutrients can be added into a diet through whole foods and supplements. However, you have to know how much and that is where you need to consult a professional.
If your pet has allergies, digestive upset, skin issues, poor joint health, or any other form of an inflammatory disease, I would strongly recommend eliminating chicken from their diet.