Chicken gizzards

Chicken gizzards are considered fabulous cuisine around the world. Mexico uses them in soups, and they are popular street food in Haiti and Southeast Asia. Different cultures prepare them in different ways, and you can buy them by the pound in grocery stores across the United States.

But what if your dog just ate a chicken gizzard? Is your dog in danger?  The answer is no, your dog is not in any danger, and it’s certainly not a medical emergency. In fact, chicken gizzards are extremely healthy for dogs! Keep reading to learn more about this nutritious treat and how to feed them to your dog.

What Are Chicken Gizzards?

A chicken gizzard is a small organ inside a chicken’s stomach that grinds up food before sending it through the digestive tract. Chickens need this organ because they have no teeth, and the gizzard acts like teeth so that the food can be digested.

As chickens peck on the ground, small bits of gravel and similar particles travel down to the gizzard. The small bits of gravel and other particles aid in grinding up the food inside the gizzard as it contracts.

Gizzard of Chicken
Gizzard of Chicken (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

How Can I Feed Chicken Gizzards to My Dog?

In the United States, especially in the South, people like to fry gizzards up and serve them with hot sauce, but you can prepare them in many different ways. Now that you know what they are, let’s explore the topic of feeding them to your dog, as this organ has many health benefits.

As we’ve mentioned, some people like to serve them fried with hot sauce. This is one method that you want to avoid if you plan on feeding any to your dog, as hot sauce is certainly something dogs should not ingest. Fried gizzards are not the healthiest option either, but there are other ways to prepare gizzards that will provide your dog with nutritional benefits.

You’ll want to rinse the gizzards and cut them into bite-size pieces before cooking them. An easy way to prepare them is to place them in a saucepan with some water and cook them for roughly 15 minutes over medium heat. Avoid putting any seasonings in with the gizzards. You can mix the gizzards into your dog’s regular food or give them as a treat.

If you have a slow cooker, place them in with a cup of water, along with carrots and hard-boiled eggs (leave the shells but crush them up). Cook everything for 2–3 hours until the meat is tender. If so inclined, you can add rice to this with another cup of water. When the mixture cools, it’s good to go for your dog to enjoy.

Can I Give My Dog Raw Chicken Gizzards?

As unappetizing as raw chicken gizzards sound to us humans, they are actually very nutritious for your dog. In fact, feeding them raw to your dog is the healthiest option, and dogs love them this way. Dogs are obligate carnivores, meaning the majority of their diet should have a meat source.

If you don’t want to cook them, go ahead and feed them raw for extra nutrition. Be sure to wash them first and cut them up into bite-sized pieces before giving them to your pup.

Final Thoughts

Chicken gizzards contain glucosamine and cartilage, which are excellent for your dog if it suffers from arthritis or muscular atrophy. They also contain iron, zinc, protein, and vitamins B12, C, and E. You can feed your dog chicken gizzards around three times a week. Your dog will love them, and now that you know they have excellent health benefits, you can feel at ease feeding chicken gizzards without any worry.

Featured Image Credit: Chicken gizzards, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0 Universal