Chicken Feet for Dogs With Osteoarthritis

Updated on June 26, 2019
greatstuff profile image

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

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.

Osteoarthritis in Dogs
Osteoarthritis in Dogs

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 the 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.

Chicken feet are loaded with natural glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate and are one the safest and cheapest source of arthritis treatment for dogs. They are a non-greasy and 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 450mg of glucosamine.

Chicken feet for dogs?
Chicken feet for dogs? | Source

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 and 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.

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.

How Many and How Often?

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 of the wet markets. In the West, they are sold at some butcher shops and in Asian grocery stores and in 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 could splinter.

Dehydrated Chicken Feet

Dehydrated chicken feet are available online, and the best place to buy 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!

How Much Do They Cost?

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

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

Mix It Up

Don't just feed your dog with chicken feet. Your dog needs protein and other essential minerals. So, feed them their usual dog food as well.

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.

Video of Dog Eating Chicken Feet

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

  • 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?

    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.

  • 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?

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

  • Are rabbit's feet also good for dogs?

    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


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    • profile image


      3 weeks ago

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

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      18 months ago from Malaysia

      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.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      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!

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from Malaysia

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

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      19 months ago from UK

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

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from Malaysia

      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.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      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.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from Malaysia

      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.

    • greatstuff profile imageAUTHOR


      19 months ago from Malaysia

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

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      19 months ago from UK

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

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

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


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