How to Cook Chicken for Dogs (Solved w/ Boiled & Baked Chicken Recipes!)

Has your dog been feeling sick lately? When this happen to our rescue Ella the vet recommended we feed her plain boiled chicken and possibly some plain boiled rice.

In this article, we’ll cover several ways to cook chicken for your dog including how to boil chicken and how to bake chicken. We’ll also cover how to add rice.

Plus we’ll include how much chicken and rice to feed your dog based on their height and weight.

Quick Facts:

  • The pet food industry 8.65 million tons of animal and plant products annually (source).
  • Of that 855,000 tons were made of chicken and 1.87 million tons were whole grains (source).

In the article below we’ll cover the most popular ways to cook chicken and mix it with rice for either your healthy or sick pup.

How to Boil Chicken for Dogs

One of the best ways that you can cook chicken for your dog is by boiling it. (1) While that may seem bland to humans, dogs love the taste of meat on their own.

Boiled chicken also contains all of the protein and nutrients that a healthy dog needs. (2) Here are a few steps on how to properly boil your chicken for your dog.

Quick Steps – Boiling Chicken

  • Place chicken breasts in a pot
  • Cover chicken breasts with water and add the lid to the pot
  • Bring to a boil
  • Boil chicken breasts for 12 minutes
  • Remove chicken breasts and shred
  • Let fully cool
  • Feed chicken to your dog with rice or alone
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 days

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1. Get 3 boneless and skinless chicken breasts.

First, you’ll need three chicken breasts. They should be boneless and skinless.

Place those chicken breasts in a medium-sized pot. You want to make sure that the meat doesn’t lay on top of one another, and instead, they all lay across the bottom of the pot.

You can also use a covered deep skillet.

Take the time to ensure that the chicken is thoroughly defrosted. Having chicken that is only semi-defrosted could affect the cooking time.

It might also cause the chicken to not cook thoroughly throughout it. The last thing you want is to give your dog raw chicken.

2. Add the chicken breasts to a pot and cover them with water. Leave 2 inches of space at the top so the water doesn’t boil over.

With your chicken breasts put into place, you’ll need to fill the pot with water. The amount may vary depending on what kind of pot you’re using, but the goal is to have the chicken breasts completely submerged in water.

To keep your water from boiling over the pot, you should give about two inches of headspace from the surface of the water to the top of the pot.

At this stage, you may feel an urge to add some seasonings to the pot. This should be avoided.

Certain seasonings can upset your dog’s stomach. Instead, just keep the chicken bland.

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3. Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil the breasts for 12 minutes.

With your chicken submerged, it’s time to cook it. Place a cover over the pot and let it boil for 12 minutes.

You’ll want to make sure that the stove is at high heat. The 12-minute mark shouldn’t begin until the water has started boiling.

Only then should you start the timer for 12 minutes to fully cook the chicken for your dog.

After those 12 minutes are over, you can inspect the chicken. Take out a breast and split it apart to check the inside.

If it’s pink or gummy, then it isn’t cooked yet. Put it back in the pot and allow it to cook for another few minutes.

4. Pull out the chicken breasts, let them cool, then shred them (save the broth!).

To keep your dog from burning their mouths, it’s a good idea to let the chicken cool off for 10 or 15 minutes. You might have enough sense to let hot chicken cool off before eating it, but you can be sure that your dog will stick its nose right into the dish regardless.

If you want to speed up the process, you can place it in the fridge for a few minutes.

Once the chicken is cooked, you can place it on a plate. While you may be tempted to just drop it into your dog’s bowl then and there, this isn’t the best practice.

You’ll want to help your dog eat it in small bites. Otherwise, they could have digestive problems.

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You can use two forks to start shredding the meat into smaller pieces. The pieces should be small enough that your dog can easily chew and swallow them without the risk of choking.

The size of your dog is also important. Larger dogs can handle larger pieces while smaller dogs may need it to be shredded twice over.

5. Optional – Use the broth to make rice. Bring the broth to a boil again. Mix in white rice (one part rice to two parts water). Turn down to a simmer. Cover tightly and let simmer for 12 minutes.

I almost always use the leftover broth to make rice. A meal of just chicken for a sick dog can get expensive. Mixing it with plain rice was both recommended by my vet plus it makes the food last longer!

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To make boiled rice for your sick dog do the following:

  1. Measure how much broth you have. You want to mix 1 part rice with 2 parts water. You’ll likely have 4 cups or more of water. Let’s assume 4 cups for these instructions but measure to be sure.
  2. Bring the broth back to a boil.
  3. Assuming you had 4 cups of broth, add 2 cups of white rice.
  4. Bring it back to a boil then turn it down to a simmer.
  5. Cover tightly and let simmer for 12 minutes.
  6. Open it and check it. When done the rice grains will turn from white and opaque to almost see-through. You can always tell it’s not done yet if you can still see some brighter opaque white color in the center of the rice grains.

6. Mix the chicken with their dry food or some rice then feed it to your dog

Some dogs may not find three chicken breasts filling enough. In that case, you could add the chicken to their dog food.

The mixture creates a yummy treat for the dog while also ensuring that it receives a wholesome and filling meal.

Otherwise, you could use the shredded chicken as a snack or with rice.

For dogs with upset stomachs, you could also add the shredded chicken with some white rice. This helps your dog’s digestive system and can offer some additional nutrition as well.

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How to Bake Chicken for Dogs

Another way that you can cook chicken for your dog is by baking it. Many of the steps are similar to that of boiling the chicken, as listed below.

Quick Steps – Baking Chicken

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F
  • Place chicken breasts on a non-stick baking tray (or using parchment paper or a silicone mat)
  • Bake chicken breasts for 20-30 minutes
  • Use a knife to cut into the center and make sure it’s fully cooked
  • Remove chicken breasts and shred
  • Let cool
  • Feed chicken to your dog with rice or alone
  • Store in the fridge for up to 4 days

How to Cook Chicken for a Dog

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Get 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Use a silicone mat or a non-stick spray on a cooking tray. Place the breasts on the tray.

You’ll want three chicken breasts, a cooking tray, and a non-stick agent. The first step should be to add the non-stick agent to the bottom of the cooking tray.

Your chicken can then be placed on the baking tray with no additional seasonings added to them.

2. Add the tray of chicken breasts to your preheated oven then bake for 20-30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The oven should be pre-heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches that temperature, you can place your chicken in the oven and let it bake for 20-30 minutes.

Keep in mind that smaller pieces of chicken will finish sooner than larger pieces of chicken and may need to be removed first.

3. Remove the chicken breasts. Cut into the center and confirm it’s fully cooked (no pink meat).

4. Let cool for 10-15 minutes then shred the chicken.

Just like with boiling, you’ll want to shred the chicken for your dogs to eat a lot easier. You’ll also want to let the chicken cool for 10-15 minutes.

5. Add the baked shredded chicken to plain boiled white rice and give it to your dog.

So how much should you feed your dog for each meal? To answer that we’ll need to dive in and do some quick calorie math.

Let’s use my dog Ella as an example. She’s a chihuahua mix that weighs 11 pounds. She eats 1/4 cup of dry food twice a day.

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We use Taste of the Wild which has about 360 calories per cup. The average cup of dry dog food has about 400 calories so this example should work for just about anyone.

So, back to Ella, she eats 1/2 a cup a day of dry food which is about 180 calories (200 on average for most dry foods).

One 3.5-ounce boiled chicken breast has 284 calories. We made 3 in the example above so that’s 852 calories of cooked chicken.

A 1/2 cup of cooked white rice boiled in chicken broth has about 113 calories. In our example above we boiled 2 cups of dry rice which usually turns into 3 times that cooked or 6 cups of cooked rice.

6 cups of rice boiled in broth come out to about 678 calories.

678 calories of rice mixed with 852 calories of shredded chicken come out to 1530 total calories.

So, if I was trying to match how much Ella would need at each meal so she isn’t gaining or losing weight I’d need to figure out 180 calories of chicken and rice for each meal.

Based on the numbers above the 1530 calories of chicken and rice would provide about 8.5 meals. Let’s be indulgent and call it 8 so she gets a bit more. She is sick in this example.

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Finally, to feed your dog based on the example in this article use the following table. It’s based on the rough number that a dog needs about 25 calories of food per pound of body weight per day. If you want to nail down a number you can use the complicated formulas in this article (or just use 25).

Note – It’s likely your dog weights something in between these numbers. Simply use the 5-pound row to add in how much it should be. The same thing goes if your dog weighs over 100 pounds. Again, these are rough numbers for a small time frame. In the long run, you’ll learn the actual amount by seeing if they are slowly gaining weight over time (or losing it). Then you can add in an extra 1/4 cup or remove it as needed.

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Ask a Pet Nutritionist

We asked a few vets and pet nutritionists their advice on this topic and this is what they had to say.

Dr. Alex Schechter, DVM

Dr. Schechter of Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Hell’s Kitchen said the following:

Hey Ken, boiled chicken is a good source of low-fat protein, omega-6 fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins, and it helps your dog to build lean muscle mass.

Boiled Chicken and Rice

You can offer boiled chicken with rice for a sick dog. The food is especially nutritious for dogs with an upset stomach or diarrhea.

To prepare the food at home, use the ingredients: 3 boneless chicken breasts, 1 cup of white rice, and water. To prepare the food for you your pet, you can follow the steps mentioned below:

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  1. Boil the chicken and remove the chicken broth. Bone broth is a nutritious and delicious way to add moisture and flavor to dry food and encourage the pet to eat if it has a reduced appetite.
  2. Boil rice separately in a pot. You can add chicken broth or water. Avoid adding salt, butter, or any other seasonings.
  3. Shred the boiled chicken into bite-sized pieces and mixed it with rice. The recommended measure is ⅓ cup of chicken and ⅔ cup of rice.

You can offer the blended diet three times per day for the puppies. For large pets, you can feed them 1 cup of the diet three times each day. Offer small portions so the pet can digest the food easily. You also can add peeled and steamed carrots and minced boiled zucchini to the recipe.


Another diet you can follow is the BRAT Diet if your dog has digestive problems. For the recipe, you’ll require chicken, white rice, pumpkin without pie filling, and non-fat plain yogurt.

Boil the chicken in water, or you can use bone broth for an extra nutritional kick. Once done, let it cool and shred the chicken. Cook the rice in broth and stir it until cooked. Let it cool, and mix one cup of chicken meat with 2 cups of rice. Add two tablespoons of plain yogurt and ¼ of pumpkin puree.

Cooked, peeled, and unseasoned pumpkin contains vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium, copper, manganese, that offer a nutritional boost along with digestive help.

However, If your pet has prolonged sickness, ensure to get specific nutritional instructions from your vet.

Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, We Love Doodles

Dr. Sabrina Kong, DVM, of We Love Doodles, said the following:

I’m Dr. Sabrina Kong DVM, a dog trainer & veterinary consultant at WeLoveDoodles.

Chicken is one of the best ingredients you can feed your dog, as long as you do it after having your vet’s approval and cooking it in a safe way. For chicken to be safe for your dog you need to consider these aspects when cooking:

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  • Cook it thoroughly; you want to avoid the risk of salmonella.
  • Leave it plain and unseasoned, seasoning can upset your pup’s stomach and they don’t appreciate that flavor as humans do.
  • Be aware that chicken can trigger an allergic reaction in some dogs, so keep an eye on your dog after feeding and stop doing so if you notice any kind of reaction.
  • Keep the bones out of the plate, chicken bones can cause digestive issues, and ruptures of blockages.
  • Use the breast, it is easier to cook and shred and it’s lower in fat.
  • The easiest and fastest way to cook it is boiling. Boil for 12 minutes or until the breast is completely cooked through, then shred it and serve cold.


How long should you boil chicken breast for dogs?

Boiling whole chicken breasts for dogs should take about 12 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the center is no longer raw. Use a high heat rolling boil. Cut a slit in the center to check for doneness.

Can I feed my dog chicken every day?

If your dog requires additional protein, then eating chicken could be a great way to get that chicken. Canines are meat-eaters.

Chicken is great for them, however, you should ensure that the chicken you’re cooking is free of additives, hormones, and other unpleasant ingredients. Wholesome meat is the best thing to serve your dog.

You should also watch their digestion. Too much chicken could upset their stomachs.

How do I know if my dog is allergic to chicken?

More likely than not, your dog might be allergic to the stuff inside of the chicken rather than the chicken, itself. However, there are a few symptoms that can help you determine if your dog has an allergy.

Itching, inflammation, skin injuries, vomiting, hair loss, and infections are clues that your dog might have a food allergy. They tend to scratch their hair out.