Chicken heads can be a nutritious and surprisingly tasty (for your dog) meal or treat to give out to man’s best friend. They can be given raw, or cooked up in a skillet with oil and salt. Serving your dog chicken heads is easy and it can be a nutritious snack or meal for your pup.
There is more to know than this about giving chicken heads to your dog, though. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to cook chicken heads for dogs.
Table of Contents
- The cooking process
- What to know before serving your dog chicken heads
- Serving size for chicken heads
- How often should you feed your dog chicken heads?
- Are chicken heads healthy?
- Health benefits of chicken heads
- Negative health effects of chicken heads
- Are chicken heads good to feed sick dogs?
- Alternative proteins for dogs
- Good sides to serve with chicken heads
- Can you mix chicken heads with Kibble?
The cooking process
For starters, many people choose to serve chicken heads to their dogs raw. This is a far easier method and you don’t cook off some of the nutrients in the heads. However, there are some owners who aren’t comfortable with raw diets.
If you’re one of these owners, rest assured that chicken heads can be cooked as well, and it’s not too difficult of a process! First, you can optionally remove the beaks (although they’re softer than you think and your dogs will often be fine with them) and bones.
Next, heat up some oil and salt in a skillet and place the chicken heads on. Cook them thoroughly, just like any other kind of chicken.
Although when cooking them for humans you’d use plenty of spices, flavorings, and seasonings, you’ll want to avoid using these when serving chicken heads to dogs. These can upset your dog’s stomach and/or cause unnecessary weight gain, both of which you obviously want to avoid.
What to know before serving your dog chicken heads
Before you serve your dog chicken heads, it’s important to realize that they are the same as any other raw chicken. Many times, feeding your dog raw food is fine. However, raw chicken can be a carrier of bacteria, including salmonella. Be careful with where you get your chicken heads and how you handle and prepare them!
Serving size for chicken heads
Chicken heads are mostly bone and fat, but there is some nutritional content. That being said, since they are high in fat content, be careful not to feed your dog too many in a day. Two for smaller dogs and three for medium and larger dogs is probably enough for a meal.
How often should you feed your dog chicken heads?
Chicken heads are quite high in fat, so they are not an incredible daily meal. Try limiting your dog’s chicken head intake to once or twice weekly at first. Study closely how this affects your dog’s weight and digestion. After this, you can change how often you feed chicken heads to your dog.
After all, every dog is different, so there’s a different answer to this question depending on your dog’s digestive system, weight, breed, and other factors! As a general rule of thumb, though, try not to make a habit out of feeding your dog too many chicken heads, just because they are high in fat.
Are chicken heads healthy?
Chicken heads can be quite nutritious besides their high fat content. They are high in protein and vitamin-rich, much like a lot of other organ meat. This means they are a great once in a while supplement to the rest of your dog’s diet.
Health benefits of chicken heads
The main health benefits that come from chicken heads are protein and vitamins. The brain of the chicken is quite rich in protein, which is essential for allowing your dog’s muscles to grow and give it the strength to engage in activities like walking, exercise, play, and more!
Chicken heads, like a lot of other organ meat, are extremely rich. This means that it, as mentioned earlier, is pretty high in fat content. However, it also means that they have a ton of protein, vitamins, and minerals that are essential nutrients for your dog’s general physical health.
Negative health effects of chicken heads
Other than the fat content mentioned throughout this article, there aren’t many negative health effects as far as feeding chicken heads to your dog. That being said, be careful of that extra fat that they present.
The beak and bones present can also pose a bit of a choking risk for smaller dogs. Be careful of this when you’re trying out chicken heads for the first time! Cutting the beak off is an option, but the bones in the chicken head will always be there.
Are chicken heads good to feed sick dogs?
Chicken heads aren’t great for feeding sick dogs. This is because their fattiness can further upset the stomach of a dog undergoing gastrointestinal distress. Avoid feeding chicken heads to dogs that are sick or have been sick recently.
Alternative proteins for dogs
Since chicken heads aren’t fantastic for feeding your dog on a daily basis, what proteins might be better options to make up the bulk of your dog’s diet?
Chicken breast or thighs are always a good option, as they are an incredibly lean protein that is low and fat and high in nutrients. This makes them an excellent option for daily feeding.
Salmon, although expensive, can also be a great choice due to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids for immune system health, as well as protein and vitamins and minerals as well.
Good sides to serve with chicken heads
Vegetables are the best thing to serve alongside chicken heads. This is because they can provide vitamins and minerals that chicken heads aren’t able to. This will ensure that your dog’s diet is complete and it stays healthy!
Veggies like carrots, kale, cucumber, zucchini, and others can be a great source of minerals that can be great for your dog’s dental health, eye health, fur health, and general physical health as well.
Can you mix chicken heads with Kibble?
Yes! Mixing chicken heads with kibble is a great way to get them into your dog’s meal. However, make sure you give less chicken heads to your dog if you’re feeding them to your dog along with kibble, as you don’t want to overstuff your pup.