Can I Feed My Dog Canned Chicken? Plus A Few Alternatives

Dogs eat the same food pretty much every single day, so what do you do when you run out?

We all know that there are loads of foods that are bad for dogs, so the last thing anyone wants to do is accidentally give them something that they can’t have. 

If you’ve just run out of dog food and you’re wondering what you can feed your dog out of the cupboards, you’re in luck!

Today we will be discussing whether or not you can feed your dog canned chicken, and also give you a few alternatives that you can use as treats! We’ve also listed some of the foods that your dog can and can’t eat, just to help you out. 

The Importance Of A Healthy Diet

Dogs, like any human or other animal, need a balanced diet, and too much of one thing might not be good. 

Dogs need loads of water, alongside proteins, minerals and vitamins. Fats and carbohydrates are good too – but not too much of them!

If they eat too much of something, even if that thing isn’t harmful, it might be taking up room and energy that their body could be using on more of the important things needed for a dogs diet.

Dogs can’t exactly get up and make sure they’re getting all of the right things, so that’s down to you!

Having an imbalance within their diet can lead to all sorts of health problems, from obesity to more severe diseases and deficiencies. These are all treatable, but also preventable!

This is why you should make sure that your dog is getting a healthy diet with all of the things they need in it.

Canned Chicken

Now, chicken might be really good for your dogs, but canned chicken… not so much. Depending on what the chicken is packed in, it could contain extra salt and preservatives, which can be harmful to your dog in large quantities. 

It’s okay to give your dog a little bit of canned chicken every now and again, but if they eat this too often they will have a high salt intake which is harmful. 

Symptoms Of Salt Poisoning Include

  • Vomiting
  • Stiffness
  • Diarrhea
  • High temperature
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Salt poisoning can even lead to death when untreated. 

These symptoms will only be present if your dog has had an excessive amount of salt over a long amount of time, or a huge amount of salt within a short time.

If you’ve run out of food, a can of chicken will suffice, but only for that night, and make sure that they have water close by. You shouldn’t really make a habit of it, no matter how often your dog tells you that they like it!

But What About Canned Dog Food?

Canned dog food is a different kettle of fish altogether, as it is intended to be eaten by dogs.

Different brands might be better for your dog or suited to their needs. If you think that your dog has a deficiency or isn’t getting what it needs from its canned food, it’s worth mentioning it to your vet or changing the brand of food. 

Alternatives to canned chicken 

Fresh Meat

If you’ve had a look in your fridge and you’ve happened upon some nice, fresh meat, you might be thinking that this is the perfect substitute for their nightly meal.

For the most part, this is correct – however, it would be a good idea to avoid bacon, ham and meat trimmings, as these are all high in salt and fat.

Too much of either of those things would be bad for your pooch! This can be cooked or served raw, but when dogs aren’t used to being fed raw food, their bodies need to adjust and so they might get a bit of a bad tummy. To be safe, it might be better to cook it.

If you’re cooking it, make sure to cook it unseasoned, as your dog doesn’t need any extra flavour to enjoy a good piece of meat and any extra flavourings can actually be harmful to them, similar to the salt in canned chicken. 

Frozen Meat

Whilst it’s better to use fresh meat for texture purposes, in a pinch, you can defrost and give your dog some meat for a quick substitute to their normal meal.

Your dog may prefer this cooked (make sure to cook it unseasoned!), and if they’re not normally raw-fed it can give them a bit of a bad tummy, so this should be considered – and possibly avoided.  


Rice is something that most people have in their cupboards, and it can come in really handy if you’ve run out of dog food and can’t get to the store.

Dog’s can actually eat rice every single day, as long as you’re giving them a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein in. If you’ve completely run out of meat though, you can serve them just rice to make sure that they don’t go without. 

Fresh Cooked Or Raw Vegetables

Dogs are carnivores, so they don’t really need vegetables as much as humans do. Despite this, they can still eat them, and often enjoy them, too!

We’ve listed a few examples of good vegetables for your dog to eat below.


Whilst dogs can’t eat too much of this, they can have small amounts. They really enjoy broccoli steamed or raw. 


Carrots are really good for dogs! Not only can frozen carrots be used as a good teething food to relieve discomfort for little puppies whose teeth are coming through, but they can also help to keep their teeth clean and healthy!

Fresh Corn

Fresh corn can be given to dogs, as long as it is stripped of the cob and completely unseasoned – just the corn. 


Dogs can also eat potatoes either steamed or boiled. It’s really important to make sure that you don’t give dogs raw potato though, as it’s toxic to them.

Foods You Shouldn’t Give Your Dog

Whilst there are plenty of alternatives to their normal meal, there are also a lot of nasty things that are really bad for your dog. 

  • Mushrooms (some mushrooms can be toxic to dogs)
  • Onion
  • Rhubarb 
  • Tomato (the green parts are toxic, so its better to just not give it to them to be certain)
  • Plums (the stone can get stuck in their throat, the stone can also be toxic for them)
  • Garlic
  • Cherries (stones are toxic to dogs because they contain cyanide)
  • Raw potatoes
  • Lemon and lime (the acidity can give your dog a bad tummy)
  • Leeks
  • Chocolate
  • Avocado

Alongside these are a few that we thought we should talk more about. 

Artificial Sweetener (Xylitol) 

The artificial sweetener, Xylitol, is used in a lot of our foods – especially any sweet or diet/sugar-free foods.

Although this might seem harmless to many, it can actually cause your dog to go into something called hypoglycaemia, which is where they don’t have enough glucose in their bloodstream.

This has been linked to serious things like blood clotting disorders and even liver failure. 

Cooked Bones

Cooked bones might seem like a really good treat to give your pup, but they can cause them a great deal of damage! Whilst tasty, cooked bones are more prone to splintering, which can happen whilst in your dogs mouth.

If they swallow the splinter, it can cause anything from constipation to even causing internal holes or bleeding, which can be fatal. 

Grapes And Raisins

Grapes and dried grapes (raisins) are both equally as bad for your dog. Many people don’t realise that grapes are also toxic for your dog, despite seeming harmless. No one knows what makes them toxic – but we do know that you should make sure your dog doesn’t eat any!

Final Words

We’ve covered some of the foods that your dog can and can’t have, but it’s always important to do your research bere giving your dog any food outside of their normal diet – no one wants a trip to the vet.