Joint health for my pup personally hits home for me, after watching my first weimarner, Sassie suffer from hip dysplasia and arthritis in her later years, which made me do a “deep spiral” into researching if there is anything I could have done… and little did I know the answer is literally on our farm as we speak – chicken feet. But first, let me explain.
As a dog ages, its body doesn’t make as much Glucosamine and chondroitin as it once did. A dog needs Glucosamine for its ligament deterioration and joint health. It can even help prevent and reduce inflammation. “Glucosamine is naturally produced within the joints, combining with collagen to produce and repair cartilage…. Glucosamine can help maintain the viscous consistency.” (Henriques, Julie dogs naturally) If not for glucosamine, your dogs joints would end up stiff. Approximately, 20% of dogs suffer from osteoarthritis. At your dogs annual check up for shots, your vet may ask you if you have noticed anything different about your dog or they may just take note of the kind of breed you have and go ahead and recommend your dog get on glucosamine thus helping you save money in the long run by preventing the onset of arthritis or joint pain. This was me 10 years ago with Sassie, and ended up walking out the door with a months supply of pills that averaged about thirty dollars a month and little did I know these pills are often made from shellfish and synthetic ingredients. They may also contain maltodextrin, which is a topic all on its own but for now it is made artificially by highly processing corn (typically GMO), potatoes or other starches and becoming an artificial preservative.
So where does chicken feet come into place? Turns out chicken feet are a natural source of Glucosamine. In fact, 30% is cartilage and 5% of a chicken foot is Glucosamine, which equals to about 450mg of Glucosamine. I know you’re probably thinking “but aren’t chicken bones dangerous for dogs?” First, raw or dehydrated chicken feet are considered safe. Chicken bones become unsafe for pets when they are baked, fried or boiled (cooked) – producing dangerous splinters. Never feed your dog cooked chicken bones. This is not the case with raw or dehydrated chicken feet.
Chicken feet also make a fantastic toothbrush for your dog! When your dog has bad breath, that can be a sign that your dog has plaque build up and as it builds up over time it can lead to liver, heart and kidney problems for your pet. As Fido chews, they naturally clean his teeth.
Some people choose to cut the nails, some do not, it’s up to you. We personally don’t cut the nails for our dogs when feeding them our raw pasture raised chicken feet. As always, its advised to be near by the first time you give them to your dog. You can give a dog 1 or 2 (if you have a large dog) chicken feet a day 2-3 times a week.
We always opt for the pasture raised chicken route. Known to be enriched with Omega 3’s – it’s a core 1915 value (fed non GMO feed and never any drugs), even for the pups. If this is important to you, be wary of the chicken feet a the grocery store, as now chicken can be processed in China, clearly not up to the same standards.