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Chicken Feet for Dogs With Osteoarthritis

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Mazlan has had chickens, ducks, fish, guinea pigs, and rabbits as pets but now is happy to be surrounded by just four cats.

Chicken feet for dogs?

Chicken feet for dogs?

About 20% of adult dogs are afflicted with osteoarthritis. While there are several treatments available to help reduce the pain, taking preventive measures is always better than cure. This article explains the benefits of using chicken feet for dogs with arthritis and why this natural treatment is better and cheaper.

A dog's anatomy makes it susceptible to osteoarthritis in several locations.

A dog's anatomy makes it susceptible to osteoarthritis in several locations.

Osteoarthritis in Dogs

Degenerative problems such as osteoarthritis are not only a human affliction but also affect cats and dogs. For dogs, the cruciate ligament is the main problem. The ligament deteriorates over time, leading to secondary osteoarthritis. Your dog will have difficulty playing fetch, climbing stairs, or even getting into cars.

Dog Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis in dogs develops slowly over time and is only noticeable when the cartilage is already damaged. So it is important to know these early signs of arthritis in dogs for a faster intervention:

  • Lameness or aversion to activities
  • May growl when you pet them and will try to avoid your touch
  • Get irritated easily
  • Slowness in getting up and in other movements
  • Changes in their mobility and posture

Dog Arthritis Treatment

There are several treatments available to reduce the pain and help rebuild the cartilage. This can be in the form of medical and surgical options. In some cases, weight management is recommended.

But as the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure.

Dog Arthritis Supplements

To reduce inflammation and joint pain, dog arthritis supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin, omega-3, curcumin, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and bromelain are recommended by many holistic veterinarians for the following reasons:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin are some of the best and safest natural substances used in the treatment of arthritis in dogs. It helps repair the damaged cartilage and soothes the inflammatory pain before it becomes more severe. It also improves joints lubrication. Both glucosamine and chondroitin are already present in your dog's body, mainly in the healthy cartilage. But as the dog ages, their natural production in the body slows down and so will the natural repair process. This eventually leads to joint pain.
  • Omega-3 is a natural antioxidant that helps suppress inflammation.
  • Curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are important to relieve joint pains.
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) contains sulfur that is utilized by the body to produce glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Dogs with arthritis usually have a low level of sulfur and hence, taking MSM will help them to naturally produce its own glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  • Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem that helps reduce swelling and inflammation.

However, some of the veterinary arthritis supplements are not from natural sources and are synthetically produced and expensive.

Chicken Feet for Dogs

Instead, offer them chicken feet. Here are some advantages:

  • Chicken feet are loaded with natural glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and are one of the safest and cheapest sources of arthritis treatment for dogs.
  • They are a non-greasy, crunchy snack.
  • They are actual feet and do contain bones, but are tiny and easily digestible.
  • Most of it is cartilage.
  • They are about 30% cartilage and 5% glucosamine.
  • Based on studies, each chicken foot has about 450 mg of glucosamine.

But Can Dogs Eat Chicken Feet?

Sure! Your dogs will love them. It is not the prettiest thing, but it provides your dog with a good amount of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.

If this is the first time you feed your dog chicken feet, supervise them in case they try to swallow too much or swallow large chunks. Start slowly and watch for any adverse reactions.

Best Glucosamine for Dogs

Glucosamine is a natural supplement found in many foods. But chicken feet are probably the best glucosamine for dogs, so feed them regularly.


If this is the first time you feed your dog chicken feet, supervise them in case they try to swallow too much or swallow large chunks. Start slowly and watch for any adverse reactions.

Dog Dental Health

Since 80% of dogs suffer from some form of dental disease, doggie dental care is important. Otherwise, it can lead to bad breath, and if left untreated can be a source of infection for illnesses affecting the heart, liver, and kidney.

How to Clean Dog Teeth Without Brushing

Regular teeth brushing will take care of your dog's dental health. But if you are not in the mood to do this often, or your dog won't let you brush their teeth, then give them chicken feet instead. Chicken feet are crunchy and chewy, so they are good for a dog's dental health.

The shape and size of chicken feet produce a brushing effect on their teeth. This helps rub plaque off the tooth surface when chewed. It also spreads the protective saliva around their teeth.

Dog Healthy Gums

So, chicken feet are not only good for joint pain but also improve the dog's teeth and gum health. Think of it as a natural toothbrush for the dog’s daily teeth maintenance.

Vitamins, Minerals and Protein for Dogs

Although chicken feet are mostly bones, cartilage, skins, and tendons, they do have a fair amount of vitamins, minerals, and proteins in the form of collagen.

They are also low in calories; lower than processed meat and hence, good if your dog is on a special diet.

Chicken Feet Nutritional Value

Based on the nutrition facts for chicken feet, 35 g or 1 chicken foot provides:

  • Calories: 75
  • Cholesterol 29 mg (10 % of the daily value)
  • Sodium 23 mg (1 %)
  • Protein: 6.8 g (14% )
  • Fat: 5.1 g (7%)
  • Carbohydrate: 0.1 g (0%)
  • Calcium: 30.80 mg (2%)
  • Phosphorus, 29.05 mg (4 %)
  • Potassium: 11 mg (5%)
  • Iron 0.32 mg (2%)
  • Vitamin D: 0.07 mcg (0%)
  • Vitamin A: 10.50 mcg (1%)
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 30.1 mcg (8%)
Here are just a few benefits of chicken feet for arthritic dogs.

Here are just a few benefits of chicken feet for arthritic dogs.

How Often Can I Give My Dog Chicken Feet?

  • One or two chicken feet daily should suffice. Nails and all. If you worry about the nails, you can clip them before feeding.
  • If your dog is a large breed, two chicken feet is more than enough, but if he asks for more, another chicken foot should be okay provided you have enough stock!
  • If getting regular stock is a problem, feed them once or twice a week.

Where to Buy Chicken Feet

Raw Chicken Feet for Sale

In Asia, raw chicken feet are sold in most wet markets. In the West, they are sold at some butcher shops, Asian grocery stores, and Asian markets. Some are sold as frozen chicken feet. Check if they are free of hormones and antibiotics. Ideally, it must come from free-range chicken instead of production chicken.

Feed your dog raw or frozen chicken feet but not cooked as the bones can get hardened and can splinter.

Dehydrated Chicken Feet

Dehydrated chicken feet are available online, and the best place to buy them is on Amazon. Alternatively, buy raw chicken feet and dry them out in a dehydrator, if you have one.

Dehydrated chicken feet don't smell bad and are not messy, but you must keep them in the fridge once the package is open. Some companies also sell dehydrated rabbit and duck feet for dogs. Try all three and see which feet your dog prefers!

Puffed Chicken Feet

Puffed chicken feet are similar to dehydrated chicken feet, but are air-dried. They retained most of the nutrients, the chicken feet shape (or looked puffed up) and whiter in color compared to dehydrated chicken feet that are shriveled-looking and yellow in color.

How Much Do They Cost?

Raw chicken feet in Asia are very cheap at $1 per pound or less, but in the West, they are $6.00 per pound.

The dehydrated chicken feet cost more at $68 per pound but are still cheaper than glucosamine supplements for dogs (without chondroitin sulfate) that sell for $70 per pound.

More FAQs on Chicken Feet for Dogs

Here are more queries on chicken feet for dogs and if you have other questions not covered here, please leave them in the comment below.

Is it Safe for Dogs to Eat Chicken Feet?

Yes, chicken feet, dehydrated or fresh are safe for dogs to eat.

Is Chicken Feet High in Glucosamine?

Yes. As mentioned earlier, they are about 30% cartilage in chicken feet, of which 5% is glucosamine. Based on the studies highlighted above, each chicken foot has about 450 mg of glucosamine.

How to Store Chicken Feet for Dogs?

If you buy fresh chicken feet in bulk, keep them in the freezer and they can last up to six months.

Is Chicken Feet Unsuitable for Some Dogs?

If your dog is allergic to chicken, is obese and on a strict diet, or has a pancreatic problem, then don't feed your dog chicken feet. Young puppies should not be given chicken feet as it might be difficult for them to bite and chew.

Can Dog Have Diarrhea From Eating Chicken Feet?

No, it will not if your dog has healthy guts.

Are There Any Alternatives to Chicken Feet for Dogs?

If your dog is allergic to chicken, you can try these alternatives:

  • Duck feet: These are also rich in glucosamine, chondroitin, protein, vitamins, and minerals, but higher in fat and calories, and harder to buy.
  • Rabbit ears: You can buy rabbit ears in the dehydrated and air-dried form. Unlike chicken feet, the dehydrated rabbit ears are chewy and this helps clean the dog's teeth and strengthens the jaw muscles. They are also high in protein, low in fat, a good natural de-wormer, and have glucosamine and chondroitin.

Chicken Feet Benefits for Human Consumption

Do you know that chicken feet are also rich in collagen and have many benefits for human consumption? To find out more, read the Benefits of Chicken Feet.

Ready to Give Chicken Feet for Dogs With Osteoarthritis?

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are an important part of the dog's diet to prevent osteoarthritis affliction. It helps cushion the cartilage between joints for their active lifestyle!
  • Chicken feet are the natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
  • They are crunchy, chewy, and great for joint problems as well as for the dog's dental health.

So, give your dog this great, non-messy snack—they will love it!


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Did you know in the southern US you can buy chicken feet (paws) in Walmart and other grocery stores for a couple of dollars a pound?

Answer: That is interesting and important info to know especially for readers who live in that part of the USA. Is this the wet or dried chicken feet? In Asia, chicken feet are easily available both in the wet market and in some supermarkets. Unfortunately, these are wet and not the dried chicken feet.

Question: Do you know, in the southern US you can buy chicken feet (paws) in Walmart and other grocery stores for a couple of dollars a pound?

Answer: Wow, that is good to know. Thanks for sharing this useful info.

Question: Are rabbit's feet also good for dogs?

Answer: Dehydrated rabbit feet are also a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin and should be good for dogs. Cost-wise, chicken feet is cheaper.

© 2018 Mazlan A


MDJ on July 09, 2020:

i give my dogs chicken feet everyday. they love it!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on January 31, 2019:

Simon, what did your wife say?

Anyway, give it a go and see what happen after a few weeks of chicken feet. I am sure your dogs will love it.

SimonTW on January 29, 2019:

This is interesting as it was only last week I asked my wife to go get chicken feet from the butcher to try feed our dogs! She said it is outrageous. So now I will show her this article and prove her wrong!

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on December 17, 2018:

Hey Liz, thanks for dropping by again and sharing this info.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 17, 2018:

I now recall that a friend recently recommended glucosamine for joint pain to me.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on December 17, 2018:

Hi DrMark. I searched your site and found your article and am happy to replace the earlier link that I had referenced, with your site. Please check. Hopes this helps.

Mark dos Anjos DVM from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 17, 2018:

The reason that I mentioned that is because those are numbers that I was able to determine through independent research. When I saw where you got them, I realized that person was the one who stole them, and then cited them in his article as if he was the person who came up with those numbers.

If people like that cite sources, it is not a problem.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on December 16, 2018:

Hi Liz. Yes, chicken feet are surprisingly rich in glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and also collagen. Asians have been using chicken feet in their recipes for ages and help them with their joint pain and to give good complexion. You can also have it in a supplement form. I personally take them for my joint pain. And, yes, it works with our canine friends as well. Raw and fresh chicken feet are inexpensive in our part of the world and is not a problem to buy them in the wet market.

Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on December 16, 2018:

Hi Dr. Mark. Thanks for pointing this out. I have now inserted the link to the article that I was referencing to.

Liz Westwood from UK on December 16, 2018:

I had heard that dogs can be prone to arthritis, but I had not heard of the use of chicken feet before.

Mark dos Anjos DVM from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 15, 2018:

Please include a source for your numbers on the amount of glucosamine per chicken foot.