Can Dogs Eat Chicken Neck? Maybe?

Writer, teacher, and animal advocate with extensive animal handling experience and a soft spot for large breeds and monkeys. Don't forget a proud parent to two adorable dogs.

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Can Dogs Eat Chicken Neck

One of the most common ingredients in dog food is chicken. But can dogs eat every part of the chicken? Before you dig any further for answers, remember that the world of all things dog food can be pretty intense. Pet parents are very passionate about the foods their dog eats! (This is a good thing!) But trying to find out what foods you can and can’t give to dogs can be a challenge. There is much information and so many different opinions that are out there! So, back to our chicken question- can dogs eat all of the chicken? Even the neck? 

Quick Answer: Yes, Dogs can eat chicken necks since they have many advantages. Keep in mind that they do pose some risk factors too.  

How do you feed your dog chicken neck? 

The idea of feeding your dog chicken neck, especially feeding raw, can be daunting. And sure, our dogs will probably love it, but some of us may find it kind of gross.  

For beginners, one of the easiest things to do is give your dog prepared chicken neck. These can be found in pet stores, in person, or online. There are a couple of different ways these dog-friendly chicken necks are prepared. For example, they might be slowly air-dried, freeze-dried, or dehydrated.  

Ensure that the chicken neck has not been prepared with high temperatures or cooked. Cooked bones from any part of a chicken become brittle and will shatter or splinter. These shards of bone can cause life-threatening trauma to your dog’s digestive system.  

Chicken necks can also be given to your dog raw. But you must be sure to sanitize carefully. (More on that later)  

Why Feed Your Dog Chicken Necks?

Though they may not be appetizing to us, chicken necks can be chock-full of benefits for your dog. For example, dehydrated necks are usually crunchy. Any crunchy or abrasive food helps remove plaque and build-up on your dog’s teeth. And who doesn’t love a dog with a clean and sparkly smile? 

Chicken necks also provide joint health benefits thanks to their glucosamine and chondroitin contents. These are found in the connective tissue and cartilage in the neck.   

Chicken necks are high in protein and calcium. They also contain a high amount of fat, which can be good or bad, depending on your dog. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, a history of bowel issues, or a history of pancreatitis, it is probably best to avoid chicken necks and other foods with high fat content.  

Risk of feeding chicken neck  

As with any food, there is a risk of choking. The risk is more pronounced when dogs eat chicken neck. Big dogs especially have a high risk of choking since they can easily bite the neck into smaller pieces that they could easily choke on.  

When feeding your dog any raw food, there is always a risk of coming into contact with pathogens like E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella, which can cause serious illness in pets and humans.  

Additionally, recent research at the University of Melbourne has found that there may be a link between feeding raw chicken necks and cases of dogs with polyradiculoneuritis. This rare paralysis can result in respiratory failure.  

Can Puppies Eat chicken Necks? 

Puppies should not eat chicken necks. It is not suitable for puppies for a couple of reasons. First, the high calcium content can be too much for puppies and be detrimental to your puppy’s bone growth. The other reason is that the risk of choking is even greater for puppies since their little jaws aren’t powerful enough to break up the chicken neck thoroughly.  

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Neck? Maybe?

Other options to feed your dog 

If for any reason, you are uncomfortable feeding your dog chicken neck, there are other options for you to try. For example, you could try chicken feet for your dog. Chicken feet have similar nutritional benefits but have smaller, more fragile bones that are far less likely to get stuck in the throat or be abrasive or damaging.  

Another option would be to give your dog chicken wings! Of course, not cooked or with sauce as you may like them. You could also try raw turkey or raw duck necks. You may be able to find these at farmer’s markets, but you may have better luck at a butcher shop. Like chicken necks, you can also find dehydrated turkey necks and duck necks online or in pet stores.  

Duck necks and turkey necks may even be a better option for your bigger dog since it will be more difficult for your dog to accidentally choke on, whereas a chicken neck is more suited for a smaller dog.  

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Hearts and Gizzards?  

Yes, your dog can eat other chicken products like hearts and gizzards. Interestingly, hearts and gizzards are not considered raw organs in the raw feeding community since they don’t have secretions. Secreting organs might include the liver, kidney, or pancreas, for example.  

Be sure to check the sodium levels before feeding these items to your dog. Too much sodium can lead to dehydration and even salt poisoning. (Read more about salt poisoning here-Hash brown article)  

Helpful tips 

On a hot summer’s day, another great option might be to try feeding your dog frozen duck, turkey, or chicken neck, depending on your dog’s size. Since the neck is frozen, chewing can be more of a challenge. You’ll want to make sure that the dog’s teeth are in good condition before introducing frozen foods.  

If your dog tends to take big bites and not chew his food, make sure you hold onto the neck you are feeding him, so he is forced to chew. Just watch your fingers! Holding the neck will help teach your dog to slow down a little! And it may help with your dog’s manners and self-control.  

Raw feeding safety 

There are risks associated with feeding your dog anything raw. But there are some things you can do to help prevent illness. First, don’t wash meat. Doing so only increases the risks of cross-contamination.  

Second, keep raw food either frozen or in a refrigerator below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above this temperature welcomes the growth of bacteria and foodborne illness.  

Thoroughly sanitize before and after preparing and giving any raw food. Disinfect everything with hot soapy water. Most importantly – wash your hands!  

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Neck? Maybe?


In conclusion, there is no one clear answer as to whether dogs should eat chicken necks. It will depend entirely on who you ask. Yes, in theory, dogs can eat chicken neck, but there are important things to consider first. Take this information and your vet’s advice and do what you think is best for your pup. 

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Writer, teacher, and animal advocate with extensive animal handling experience and a soft spot for large breeds and monkeys. Don't forget a proud parent to two adorable dogs.

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