Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 9 Dangers + 5 Safety Tips (2023)

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 9 Dangers + 5 Safety Tips (1)

There’s no doubt about it:

Chicken nuggets are tasty (and it looks like our dogs would agree).

However, is it safe for dogs to eat chicken nuggets (on a regular basis)?

Or are they harmful to their health and wellbeing?

Read on to discover:

  • What the harmful ingredients of chicken nuggets are for dogs.
  • 11 dangers of dogs eating chicken nuggets that you must know.
  • How to recognize an allergic reaction if your dog gets one after eating a nugget.
  • 5 easy tips that will give you ideas on what to do if your dog eats chicken nuggets.
  • And a lot more…

Table of contents

  • People also ask:
  • Common situations:
  • 9 dangers of feeding chicken nuggets to your dog
    • #1: Gaining weight
    • #2: Developing nutritional deficiency
    • #3: Salt
    • #4: Pancreatitis
    • #5: An allergic reaction
    • #6: Digestive issues
    • #7: The effects of yeast
    • #8: Toxicity
    • #9: Diabetes
    • BONUS: Some chicken nuggets are more breading than chicken
  • 5 tips on what to do if your dog eats chicken nuggets
    • #1: Check the ingredients
    • #2: Moderation
    • #3: Exercise
    • #4: If your dog eats a frozen chicken nugget, do this
    • #5: Give your dog a healthier substitute
  • Why it doesn’t make sense to give your dog chicken nuggets

Can dogs eat chicken nuggets? (McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A & more)

Dogs can eat chicken nuggets from Wendy’s, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and others but they shouldn’t because it could be harmful to them. The dangers lie in the fact that chicken nuggets are high in fat, as they’re deep-fried in oils, plus the breading contains seasonings such as high amounts of salt.

People also ask:

Can dogs eat Tyson chicken nuggets?

Dogs can but shouldn’t eat Tyson chicken nuggets. The following ingredients aren’t suitable for a dog: brown sugar, dried garlic, dried onion, dried yeast, salt, spices, breading set in vegetable oil. Onion and garlic are toxic to dogs; vegetable oil is fat, spices can lead to stomach problems.

Can dogs eat frozen chicken nuggets?

Dogs can eat frozen chicken nuggets, but healthwise, they shouldn’t. Even though frozen chicken nuggets are precooked, there’s the danger of the ingredients used in the making. Even though the contents from different brands vary, the base is the same, including salt and frying.

Can puppies have chicken nuggets?

Puppies shouldn’t have chicken nuggets. Puppyhood is a time when your dog will need food that develops their growth. This means their diet should be rich in minerals and vitamins. Since junk food lacks these, it’s not a suitable option to give to a puppy. Plus, it might cause nutritional deficiency.

Can dogs eat vegan chicken nuggets?

Your dog can but better not eat vegan chicken nuggets because they contain soy which is one of the top allergens for dogs. It should be avoided if your dog’s allergic. Plus, the crumb mixture is often made of seasonings such as sea salt, onion, and garlic powder, and nutmeg.

(Video) Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets?

Common situations:

Now, let’s look at a few specific situations. They’ll help you understand the risks of your dog eating chicken nuggets better:

Situation 1: My dog ate chicken nuggets

If your dog ate more than just one chicken nugget, they might get sick. This depends on your dog’s size and the number of nuggets eaten. As a result, they could start vomiting, act lethargic and/or get diarrhea. The high levels of salt in chicken nuggets can cause excessive thirst and urination.

Situation 2: My dog ate frozen chicken nuggets

If your dog ate frozen chicken nuggets and this is a one-time event, your dog will most probably be fine. It’s best to check the ingredients and keep an eye on the dog’s bowel movements in the next few days. Your dog might get diarrhea if the change in diet upsets their tummy.

Situation 3: My dog ate a spicy chicken nugget

If your dog has eaten a spicy chicken nugget, then you should watch out for these signs: lethargy, vomiting, stomach pain. If you notice any of these, take your dog to a vet right away. It’s also possible that your dog won’t experience any discomfort.

Situation 4: My puppy ate chicken nuggets

If your puppy ate chicken nuggets, they might get a loose stool. This will happen due to a change in their diet. But it could also occur if one of the batter’s ingredients or breading has irritated the dog’s tummy. If so, your puppy could throw up or have diarrhea.

Situation 5: My dog eats chicken nuggets

If your dog eats chicken nuggets regularly, they’re likely to become obese and suffer from diabetes. They could also get pancreatitis due to the high amount of fat contained in the batter or breading. And there’s also the danger that they might develop nutritional deficiency.

(Video) 5 Correct ways to STOP your dog from EATING POOP || Monkoodog

9 dangers of feeding chicken nuggets to your dog

What happens if a dog eats chicken nuggets depends on the number of nuggets eaten, their quality, the seasonings used for the preparation, how often your dog eats these, whether your dog is neutered/spayed. You should also take into consideration your pet’s overall health and age.

The below-listed dangers concern health problems in the long term if your dog eats a lot of chicken nuggets often.

The following dangers do not apply if your dog has gotten a bite of a chicken nugget once or a few times. Whether it was given to them or they found it on the floor or ground.

That being said, here are the dangers to look out for:

#1: Gaining weight

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 9 Dangers + 5 Safety Tips (2)

Before we get into the nitty gritty doggy business…

Let’s talk about sex humans, baby.

In specific: The health issues of eating chicken nuggets.

I know. I know. You didn’t come here for a health lecture.

But bear with me for a few seconds.

The thing with fast-food restaurants is that they use the same oil over and over again. This is detrimental to your health because it will lead you to gain weight faster.

The kilos gained will not be easy to get rid of. Take for example, the documentary Super Size Me. The guy was eating only McDonalds food for a whole month.

But the effects were long-lasting. It took him 2 years to lose all the extra fat and weight he has gained in just one month.

Now let’s see how fast food such as chicken nuggets could affect dogs, shall we?

You can take a look at this calorie calculator for canines.

It shows you how many calories you should give your dog a day, regarding their weight and whether they’ve been spayed/neutered.

Note: This is good for giving you an approximate idea of how many calories your dog should have. But for maximum accuracy and relevant advice, you should always turn to your vet.

But hey, you don’t feed your dog only chicken nuggets, right?

The number of calories in a single nugget might not seem that high to you. But consider all the other calories your dog gets from their daily food intake. It all adds up.

Warning: Most of the calories in a chicken nugget come from fat. According to Fast Food Nutrition, fat in these amounts to 55%.

Something else to bear in mind is your size vs. your dog’s size.

Whether you have a small or a big dog, their daily calorie intake will be less than yours. And feeding your dog high-calorie human food will make your dog fat.

Here’s how you can check whether your dog is getting too round for their own good:

Touch your dog’s rib cage with your hand and apply slight pressure. Are you able to feel the ribs? Then all’s good. If not, your dog might need to go on a diet.

But before you put them on one, consult with a vet or a licensed dog nutritionist.

#2: Developing nutritional deficiency

One of the most serious arguments I’d give against feeding your dog chicken nuggets is that they have no nutritional value for your dog. Sure, they’re tasty (and cheap) but that’s about it.

Besides that, if your dog eats chicken nuggets often, this might lead to nutritional deficiency.

Vetericyn lists the signs that point out nutritional deficiency:

  • Depression.
  • Skin disorders.
  • Coat disorders.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Changed excrements.

#3: Salt

Salt can cause a number of problems in healthy dogs. The truth is that dogs cannot handle a high content of salt in their bodies.

Your dog could start vomiting if they have too much salt. What’s more, vomiting might be a sign of sodium ion poisoning. The latter could result in death.

Other signs of ion poisoning include:

  • Tremors.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Drooling.
  • Lethargy.
  • Seizures.
  • Weakness.
  • Depression.
  • Bloody urine.
  • High temperature.

#4: Pancreatitis

“What is pancreatitis and why is it so dangerous?”, you might ask.

Pancreatitis is an infection of the pancreas. According to AKC chronic pancreatitis can lead to diabetes in dogs.

Giving foods high in fat can cause pancreatitis. These include fat trimmings and chicken nuggets.

That’s because chicken nuggets are fried in vegetable oil. As a result, they could lead not only to pancreatitis but also to diabetes.

#5: An allergic reaction

10% of allergies in dogs are food allergies.

(Video) 14 Foods That Could Kill Your Dog

But did you know that your dog could be allergic to chicken?

It’s the most common ingredient of dog food though. So if your dog is allergic to poultry, you’ll likely find out before they even get a chance to taste a chicken nugget.

Note: An allergic reaction will not happen the first time the dog is exposed to the allergen. It’ll take time before it shows.

Signs of allergic reactions in dogs include (but are not limited to):

  • Vomiting.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Chronic gas.
  • Skin injections.
  • Biting the paws.
  • Pawing at the face.
  • Chronic ear infections.
  • Constantly inflamed feet.

#6: Digestive issues

The following ingredients could cause your dog to experience digestive problems:

  • Soy.
  • Salt.
  • Corn.
  • Wheat.
  • Additives.
  • White flour.

One of the ingredients in McDonald’s chicken nuggets is lemon juice solids. If ingested more often, this could cause your dog’s stomach to be upset.

Otherwise, citrus fruits could cause irritation and central nervous system depression in dogs. When consumed in large amounts, that is.

#7: The effects of yeast

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 9 Dangers + 5 Safety Tips (3)

McDonald’s chicken nuggets for example contain yeast extract.

Yeast can be very dangerous for your dog.

The reason?

You know that yeast is put in bread for volume. So it rises. And it might rise in your dog’s stomach.

Mild cases of yeast ingestion include:

  • Gas.
  • Farts.
  • General discomfort.

In severe cases, your dog’s stomach and intestines can get ruptured.

And that’s not all.

As yeast makes the dough rise, it causes fermentation. This could lead to alcohol poisoning in your dog.

Symptoms of alcohol poisoning start showing around 30-60 minutes after your dog has ingested the substance.

Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Seizures.
  • Dehydration.
  • Disorientation.
  • Slow heart rate.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Abnormal blood acidity.
  • Mood swings (from excitement to depression).

#8: Toxicity

Spicy foods can be toxic for dogs. McDonald’s chicken nuggets for example, have spices on their list of ingredients.

Warning: Never feed your dog spicy chicken nuggets.

Signs that indicate general toxicity are:

  • Lethargy.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Sickness.
  • A racing heart.
  • Having difficulty breathing.
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood.
  • Losing consciousness due to low blood sugar.

Now let’s look at the signs of onion toxicity:

  • Nausea.
  • Drooling.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Pale gums.
  • Oral irritation.

#9: Diabetes

As I mentioned in danger #4, one of the culprits for diabetes is vegetable oil.

The early signs of diabetes in dogs are:

  • Weight loss.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Excessive urination.

When left untreated, diabetes in a later stage could cause:

  • Seizures.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Fatty (enlarged) liver.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Cataracts eventually leading to blindness.

Treatment of diabetes includes:

  • Insulin shots.
  • A suitable diet.
  • Consistent exercise routine.

BONUS: Some chicken nuggets are more breading than chicken

Not all chicken nuggets are made equal. So even though the products of different fast-food restaurants resemble each other, some might have more breading than others.

This means more trouble for your dog.

I don’t eat chicken nuggets. But another dog parent from my neighborhood shared their opinion the other day.

From their experience, McDonald’s chicken nuggets contained more breading than chicken. While Burger Kind’s nuggets were mainly meat and less breading.

You can test this out for yourself. But my general advice would be to avoid giving your dog processed food such as chicken nuggets altogether.

Read also: 9 Reasons Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Goldfish Crackers + 5 Tips

5 tips on what to do if your dog eats chicken nuggets

#1: Check the ingredients

Checking the ingredients of certain foods, you plan to give your dog could be a life-saver.

I’d also advise you to keep a list of all the ingredients that are toxic for dogs. And make your choice based on comparing the list with the contents of the product in your hand.

(Video) What to do when your dog not eating food or drinking water l Tips on LOSS OF APPETITE l

Note: Food labels list the quantity of ingredients from the most to the least.

#2: Moderation

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 9 Dangers + 5 Safety Tips (4)

Remember this as it’s one of the most important things you can take away from this article.

If you choose to give your dog chicken nuggets, do so in moderation. But let’s get specific so that it’s crystal clear what to avoid.

Giving a small bite of a chicken nugget will be fine. But not every day.

Giving a whole chicken nugget might be okay if your dog is a big one. But it’s not advisable.

In comparison to that, giving several chicken nuggets at a time is not okay. By that, I mean more than one. And not even a whole one if the dog is small.

Warning: Never make chicken nuggets a regular treat for your dog as this can result in serious long-term health consequences.

#3: Exercise

Do you toss a bite of a chicken nugget to your pooch every now and then?

Then exercising your dog is an absolute must.

I’ve discussed the issue with obesity. A big reason for a dog being obese is the food they eat. But exercise also plays a role.

It’s essential to keep your dog in shape. Or if they’re already obese, to prevent the condition from worsening.

By exercise, I mean playing fetch. Letting the dog run with other canines.

If your dog is obese, you should be careful not to overexercise them though.

Have water with you. Take breaks and keep the exercise routine consistent. It should last at least 30 minutes a day.

#4: If your dog eats a frozen chicken nugget, do this

Did your dog manage to get their paws on a frozen chicken nugget? You’re not alone!

Dog parents whose dog gulps a frozen chicken nugget freak out. And it’s normal since they don’t know what to expect.

But there’s good news. There’s little likelihood that there’ll be a problem.

In case the frozen nugget causes discomfort to your dog, they’re likely to throw up or get diarrhea.

Plus, a frozen chicken nugget has already been precooked. It just needs to be reheated so you can eat. This means that your dog should be okay.

People I know have been in this situation, and their dog was fine afterward. The chicken nugget didn’t hurt the pooch.

Just to be sure, monitor your dog’s bowel movements. Some dogs might get a sore tummy.

#5: Give your dog a healthier substitute

By this I mean give your dog boiled or baked chicken meat. Without any seasoning of course.

Chicken meat in this form is a great source of protein for your dog. Another benefit is that it contains far less fat than meat like beef or pork.

But raw chicken bears dangers as well. It sometimes is contaminated with Salmonella. That’s why it’s crucial to wash your hands well after handling raw chicken.

Plus, to not touch any door handles after you’ve just held the chicken. Otherwise, you and anyone living with you might become sick.

Don’t also forget to wash any surfaces and utensils the chicken has touched. After that, make sure you cook the chicken at 165 degrees.

But hey, if you want, you could also make chicken nugget treats for your dog. Here’s a recipe shared by Modern Dog Magazine.

Why it doesn’t make sense to give your dog chicken nuggets

Did you know that dogs’ sense of taste is inferior to humans’?

That has to do with the number of taste buds dogs have compared to humans. We have 9,000, while our canine companions have the modest 1,700.

As an article written by Stanley Coren on Psychology Today states:

“In a taste sensitivity contest with dogs, humans clearly win.”

In other words, your dog may not enjoy the chicken nuggets even as half as much as you do. But they’ll eat them nevertheless.

This is because the taste buds on a dog’s tongue are developed to register meat. It’s a survival thing that their ancestors used. After all, 80% of the diet of wild dogs was meat.

(Video) Human Foods that Are Actually Good for Dogs

So, even though your dog gives you puppy eyes when you eat nuggets, don’t feel guilty. Rest assured that by not giving them chicken nuggets, you’re doing your furry friend a favor. 🙂

Related posts:

  1. 37 Human Foods Chihuahuas Can And Can’t Eat (#2 Is Great)
  2. Can Dogs Eat Croissants? 15 Must-Read Dangers
  3. 21 Fruits Pomeranians Can And Can’t Eat (Ultimate Guide)
  4. 9 Reasons Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Goldfish Crackers + 5 Tips


Are chicken nuggets safe for dogs? ›

Don't give your dogs chicken nuggets. This human food is made of processed meat and is fried, and that is why chicken nuggets will hurt your dog's health. Canned chicken is… slightly better but natural cooked chicken or dehydrated chicken feet are perhaps ideal.

Are chicken nuggets high risk food? ›

High risk foods include:

Cooked meat and poultry.

Can dogs drink milk? ›

Milk is a safe treat in small quantities. A few tablespoons of cow's milk or goat's milk on an occasional basis can be a nice reward for your dog. But, you should probably hold off on offering your dog an entire bowl in one sitting, as it can cause unpleasant reactions, including diarrhea, vomiting, and loose stools.

What if I ate smelly chicken? ›

Some good news: If you eat chicken that smells a little bit off, you're most likely going to be OK. Pathogenic bacteria like salmonella, listeria, and E. coli are your biggest risks with raw chicken, and cooking it to a proper 165 degrees Fahrenheit will render those harmless.

Is nuggets a junk food? ›

Nuggets are fried in hydrogenated oil and contain high amounts of sugar, fat, and preservatives. This makes them an unhealthy choice, especially if you eat them often. This is because the main component of the chicken nugget is not chicken.

Is there blood in chicken nuggets? ›

The three researchers selected one nugget from each box, preserved, dissected and stained the nuggets, then looked at them under a microscope. The first nugget was about half muscle, with the rest a mix of fat, blood vessels and nerves.

Can I give my dog 1 chicken nugget? ›

Not all good things are bad for the gut. But unfortunately, it is the case with Chicken Nuggets for both dogs and humans. Very first thing is that it is fried and that is a big NO for dogs. Most of the dogs are prone to obesity and something which is deep fried in any kind of oil doesn't help.

Can dogs eat chicken nuggets and fries? ›

Fries offer no nutritional value to your dog. In fact, they're saturated in fat and heavily salted, which makes them a very poor choice for any pet. However, as with chicken nuggets, fries are not considered a toxic food for canines. So, the occasional fry won't hurt your pup.

Can my dog eat chicken nuggets from McDonald's? ›

Is it okay to feed my dog chicken McNuggets from McDonald's? Not as a steady diet, or even as a regular training treat—too high in fat. But if your dog scores one once in awhile, it probably won't harm him.


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