Cooking Chicken Hearts for Dogs [Nutritious and Yummy Treat]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Do you ever wonder if your dog’s meals could use a little more love and nutrition? And are you tired of scanning endless aisles of commercial dog food, questioning the quality and ingredients?

In this blog post, I’m about to unveil a culinary secret that could revolutionize your furry friend’s diet and well-being: cooking chicken hearts for dogs.

Read on to find out the benefits, how frequently you should feed it to your dog, as well as how you can do it safely.

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How to Cook Chicken Hearts for Dogs?

How to Cook Chicken Hearts for Dogs

Chicken hearts are going to become your furry pal’s next favorite treat. These small protein-packed wonders are loaded with flavor and essential nutrients

And the good thing is that you don’t have to serve them just basic boiled or dried meat. There are so many other ways to cook chicken hearts that your pet won’t grow tired of them.

Boiling

Boiling chicken hearts is a simple and easy method. 

Just toss those chicken hearts into a saucepan with boiling water or chicken broth. 

Simmer that for about 10 to 15 minutes until they’re nicely cooked up.

You can also give your pet the liquid that you used to boil the hearts in.

Grilling

Grilling chicken hearts can add a smoky flavor that dogs love. 

Fire up your grill to medium-high heat, and then toss those chicken hearts on there. 

Just flip ’em over and let ’em sizzle for around 5 minutes on each side until they’re all cooked up and sizzling.

Baking

If you want to achieve that crispy goodness with chicken hearts, just bake them. 

Heat your oven to 375°F, and then lay those chicken hearts out on a baking sheet. 

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until they are fully cooked and crispy. 

Sauteing

Sauteing chicken hearts in a bit of dog-friendly oil can unlock a world of flavors. 

Warm up that pan with some oil over medium heat. 

Toss in those chicken hearts and let ’em sizzle for roughly 5 minutes until they’re fully cooked and sporting that lovely golden brown hue. 

You can blot the excess oil if you want.

Steaming

Steaming chicken hearts can keep them moist and juicy. 

Add the chicken hearts to a steamer basket and steam for about 15 minutes until they are fully cooked.

Air-fry

One of the easiest methods for me is air-frying. Just preheat the air fryer to to 375°F. Pop the chicken hearts in the basket and cook them for about 12 minutes.

You don’t have to add any oil. Just serve the tasty nuggets once they’re fully cooked and crispy. 

When cooking chicken hearts for your dog, make sure they’re fully cooked. Size-wise, consider cutting them into bite-sized bits for easier munching.

Skip the seasoning! Don’t add salt, garlic, or onion powder to the hearts. Your pup will love the natural taste anyway.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Will a small amount of onion hurt my dog?

Chicken Hearts For Dogs Recipe

Feeding your dog chicken hearts as an occasional treat or as part of a balanced homemade dog food diet can be a good source of protein and essential nutrients.

Here’s an easy-to-make recipe that my family and my dogs love:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of fresh chicken hearts (you can find these at most butcher shops or in the meat section of your grocery store)
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa (optional, for added fiber and carbohydrates)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh vegetables (e.g., carrots, peas, green beans, or sweet potatoes), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil (for added healthy fats)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of calcium supplement (if feeding this as a regular meal, as chicken hearts are high in phosphorus, which can throw off the calcium-phosphorus balance)
  • Water for boiling

Instructions:

  1. Boil the chicken hearts: Place the chicken hearts in a pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the hearts simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until they are cooked through. You can check if they’re done by cutting one in half; there should be no pinkness or visible blood.
  2. Prepare the rice or quinoa (optional): While the chicken hearts are cooking, prepare the brown rice or quinoa according to the package instructions. This step is optional but adds some carbohydrates and fiber to the meal.
  3. Chop the vegetables: While the hearts and grains are cooking, finely chop the fresh vegetables. You can use a food processor to make the chopping process easier.
  4. Drain and cool the hearts: Once the chicken hearts are cooked, drain them and let them cool to room temperature. Be sure they’re cool before feeding them to your dog.
  5. Mix everything together: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked chicken hearts, cooked brown rice or quinoa (if using), chopped vegetables, and a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil. Mix well to ensure all ingredients are evenly distributed.
  6. Add calcium supplement (if necessary): If you plan to feed this as a regular meal, consider adding a calcium supplement to balance the phosphorus in the chicken hearts. Consult your veterinarian for the appropriate dosage.
  7. Serve to your dog: Depending on your dog’s size and dietary needs, you can portion out the chicken heart mixture accordingly. Remember that this is a treat or supplemental meal, so it should not replace their regular dog food.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: How much boiled chicken for dogs?

Benefits of Chicken Hearts for Dogs

Chicken hearts are more than simply a tasty snack. Use this ingredient to upgrade your pet’s diet.

  • They’re packed with lean protein. We’re talking muscle-building, tissue-repairing awesomeness. 
  • Plus, they’re so rich in vitamins and minerals. Your pet can enjoy a boatload of immunity-boosting vitamin B12, iron, and zinc from each serving. 
  • Chicken hearts are also a good source of taurine. Your pet’s eyes and heart will thank you for this.

Negative Health Effects of Chicken Hearts for Dogs

Negative Health Effects of Chicken Hearts for Dogs

While chicken hearts can be a wholesome addition to your dog’s menu, it’s good to be aware of a few potential drawbacks.

  • First on the list is the potential extra pounds that your pet can put on if they eat too much of this delicious treat. Chicken hearts are quite fatty so they can cause weight gain if consumed too often. 
  • Some dogs can also be allergic to chicken. The meat can cause swelling and itching if you give your pet chicken hearts.
  • Finally, there are the potential stomach problems if the chicken heart isn’t properly prepared. Those small nuggets can carry bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella. 

Are Cooked Chicken Hearts Good for Dogs?

Yes, cooked chicken hearts are great for your canine companion. 

They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

You won’t have any trouble feeding them to your pet because they are tasty as well. 

They would be adored even by finicky eaters.

However, chicken hearts should only be eaten occasionally as part of a healthy diet. 

Is Raw Chicken Heart Good for Dogs?

Yes! Raw chicken hearts can be good for your pet. Feeding them this uncooked treat ensures that your furry pal gets the maximum amount of nutrients from it. 

However, there are some drawbacks like potential food poisoning. That’s why handling and preparing raw chicken should be done meticulously to avoid any risk of bacterial contamination. 

Plus, you have to find a reliable source for the meat. 

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Are Dried Chicken Hearts Good for Dogs?

Yes, just like its raw and cooked counterparts, dried chicken hearts are a good choice for a doggy treat. 

Not only is it nutrition-packed, but it’s also convenient to serve and has a longer shelf life compared to fresh or raw chicken hearts. 

Very convenient for us fur parents looking to give our pets a healthy snack on the go.

Bonus! Chewing on these can do some good for their teeth by keeping plaque and tartar in check. 

Dogs usually enjoy the taste of dried chicken hearts, so they’re surely going to be a hit as training treats.

Are Frozen Chicken Hearts Good for Dogs?

Freezing helps keep the meat fresh longer, so it is also a good option if you want to give your pet more protein.

Just be sure to thaw the chicken hearts before serving them to your dog, as frozen treats might be a bit challenging for their teeth and digestion. 

Thawing them in the refrigerator or using a microwave on a low setting can make them more suitable for your furry pal to enjoy. 

Are Chicken Hearts Too Rich for Dogs?

If by “too rich” you mean high in fat, then yes, chicken hearts can be too rich for dogs. They contain around 4.5 grams of fat per ounce, which is quite a bit. 

This might be tough on some dogs’ stomachs and could potentially lead to digestive problems if given in large amounts. 

Overconsumption may not just be bad for their digestion but for their weight as well. 

They can be added as a supplement to your dog’s current diet, but should not be the main component.

How Many Chicken Hearts Can a Dog Eat?

How Many Chicken Hearts Can a Dog Eat

As I mentioned earlier, moderation is important when feeding your pet chicken hearts. 

How many hearts can you include per meal? It would depend on the size and weight of your furry pal.

Most experts recommend feeding your dog one chicken heart per day for every 20 pounds of body weight. 

Additionally, they recommend feeding dogs chicken hearts no more than 2 to 3 times a week.

Are Chicken Hearts a Good Daily Meal for Dogs? 

Although these yummy treats come with protein, amino acids, and a few nutrients, they might not cover all the vital stuff our pets need to stay tip-top. 

Plus, they contain quite a large amount of cholesterol and saturated fats.

With that being said, it’s okay for your pet to chow down on them some days of the week, but not every day. 

This way, your dog can enjoy the nutritional perks without going overboard on the not-so-great parts.

How Often Should I Feed My Dog Chicken Hearts and Gizzards?

The size or weight of your pet is one of the variables that will determine how frequently you should and can give them chicken hearts. 

Smaller dogs might be able to get by with only a few pieces every week, while larger breeds could be able to tolerate a little more. 

You also need to factor in your pet’s activity level. More active dogs need more protein. 

Experts recommend feeding your dog chicken hearts and gizzards no more than three times a week, and they should be mixed with normal meals in moderation. 

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What Can You Serve Along With Chicken Hearts to Your Dog?

Many different foods go well with chicken hearts.

Cooked carbohydrates like rice, sweet potatoes, or quinoa can provide additional energy and fiber to your dog’s meal. 

Adding steamed vegetables such as carrots, green beans, or broccoli to the chicken hearts can offer essential vitamins and minerals to your furry friend’s diet. 

Our own pets love mashed pumpkins with their hearts as it’s very yummy and they get an additional serving of fiber.

You can also consider blending chicken hearts with a balanced commercial dog food that offers a wide range of nutrients.

This way, your pet can enjoy a complete and diverse diet.

Where to Buy Chicken Hearts for Dogs?

Many pet supply stores carry frozen or fresh options.

If you’re looking for convenience, online retailers specializing in pet food and treats often offer chicken hearts. 

Be sure to buy your ingredients from a reputable source. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can dogs get salmonella from raw chicken hearts?

Dogs can be at risk of salmonella due to bacterial contamination in raw chicken hearts. It’s a must to handle and store the meat appropriately to reduce this risk. Opt for chicken hearts from reputable suppliers to ensure the quality of the meat and reduce the chances of contamination.

Can chicken hearts cause diarrhea in dogs?

Yes, excessive consumption of chicken hearts, especially when they’re raw, can lead to diarrhea in dogs. This is because of their high-fat content. To avoid any tummy troubles, it’s best to feed chicken hearts in moderation.

Can I feed raw chicken to my dog every day?

Feeding your dog raw chicken daily isn’t recommended. It increases the chances of your pet catching salmonella and campylobacter. Additionally, it has been proven that there is a connection between eating raw meat and contracting polyradiculoneuritis

Can I give my dog raw chicken giblets?

Definitely! Raw chicken giblets, including the liver, heart, and gizzard, can be a nutritious addition to your dog’s diet. Just make sure to handle and prepare them safely to avoid any potential issues. 

Are chicken hearts good for sick dogs?

Whether chicken hearts are suitable for sick dogs depends on their illness and specific health conditions. While chicken hearts can give your pet a nice protein boost and some essential nutrients, it could be tough on the tummy. 

Can a dog that is allergic to chicken eat chicken hearts?

It really depends on the severity of the chicken allergy. If your dog has a mild allergy, they might tolerate chicken hearts. But if the allergy is severe, it’s better to steer clear of all chicken products.

In Conclusion: Cooking Chicken Hearts for Dogs

As you can see now, cooking chicken hearts for dogs is not just about preparing a tasty meal; it’s a way to show that you can upgrade your canine companion’s diet plan too.

By opting for this nutritious and flavorful addition to their diet, you’re taking a proactive step toward their well-being!

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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