Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? 

By Britt Kascjak

While dogs can eat chicken nuggets, they should not be part of their regular diet. Chicken nuggets contain high levels of fat and other unhealthy additives. They aren’t toxic but eating too many can make your dog very sick.  Eaten in excess, they can also cause serious long-term health problems. 

Can my dog eat chicken nuggets safely?

Do you love chicken nuggets and want to share them with your dog? Has your dog stolen some chicken nuggets and you want to know if they will make him sick?

The good news is that nuggets aren’t poisonous or toxic, so there is no serious immediate concern.

A healthy, adult dog will likely be fine or experience a slightly upset stomach. Offer him fresh water and keep an eye on him to make sure he’s feeling okay.

But, take note if your dog has an existing health condition that makes him sensitive to the higher fat levels.

Can I give my dog Chicken Nuggets?

Unlike chocolate and grapes, chicken nuggets aren’t toxic to your dog. But, that doesn’t mean that they are a good choice for his next snack.

Chicken meat does offer some potential health benefits for your dog.

Unfortunately, the benefits are overshadowed by the health risks that chicken nuggets present.

Health Benefits of Chicken Nuggets for Dogs

The chicken itself is a great source of healthy, lean protein.

This is the reason why so much dog food is made using chicken as one of the main ingredients.

Lean proteins provide the benefits of protein with fewer calories. 

A diet based on lean meat proteins helps to:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Grow healthy muscle tissue
  • Form new skin cells
  • Grow a shiny, healthy coat
  • Boost the immune system

Many pet professionals recommend the use of chicken for both food and treats.

Health Risks of Chicken Nuggets for Dogs

The biggest problem with your dog eating chicken nuggets is the amount of fat that they contain.

Eating a high fat diet can lead to serious health complications.

This includes increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, hypothyroidism, and pancreatitis. It can also cause negative reactions with some medications.


This is a major problem faced by many dogs across the country.

In the United states, over half of all dogs are considered overweight or obese. Many owners aren’t even aware that their dogs are overweight.

While the idea of being overweight may not sound that bad, it can have a major impact on a dog’s life. According to experts, being 10% overweight is enough to reduce a dog’s lifespan by one-third.

It also increase their risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease

With the high fat levels in chicken nuggets, they can cause unwanted weight gain.


Studies have found that a high-fat diet can lead to problems with thyroid function.

Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough hormones. This can impact many areas of your dog’s life.

Symptoms of hypothyrdoisim include:

  • Slowed heart rate
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Lack of energy
  • Cold intolerance
  • Thining or dull-looking fur
  • Dark pigmentation of the skin
  • Thickening skin
  • Reproductive issues
  • Recurring skin and ear infections
  • Lameness
  • Loss of coordination

While there is no cure for hypothyroidism, there are ways to manage it.

A prescription for synthetic hormones can replace the hormones the thyroid isn’t creating. This will address the effects of hypothyroidism.

To manage the condition, ad dog will need to be on hormone replacement for life.

Your veterinarian will likely also prescribe a specific diet. This will help to support thyroid help and prevent the problem from getting worse. 


High-fat diets can cause inflammation in your dog’s body. When this inflammation occurs in the pancreas, it is known as pancreatitis.

The pancreas plays  an important role in both digestion and the regultion of blood sugar. If not treated, pancreatitis can cause serious organ damage.

Signs of pancreatitis include:

  • Nausea
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Painful abdomen
  • Hunched posture
  • Lethargy
  • Fever

If you notice your dog showing any of these signs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

They will be able to provide immediate treatment and pain management. Also, they can discuss any long-term care your pet may need.

Can Dogs Eat McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets?

It’s a question that many dog parents have. When you are going through the drive-thru, can your dog have McDonald’s chicken nuggets?

These fast-food nuggets are deep-fried in oil, making them a less than healthy choice for you or your dog.

McDonald’s chicken nuggets will often upset your dog’s stomach. This can also lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

Fast-food chicken nuggets are also more likely to cause long-term health problems.

You should not feed McDonald’s chicken nuggets to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Burger King Chicken Nuggets?

Like McDonald’s chicken nuggets, the nuggets from Burger King aren’t a healthy snack.

They are also deep-fried, meaning that they are likely going to leave your dog feeling ill. They are also high in calories, contributing to unwanted weight gain.

Burger King’s chicken nuggets aren’t toxic, but you should avoid giving them to your dog.

Can i give my dog Frozen Chicken Nuggets?

Frozen chicken nuggets are slightly healthier than those purchased from fast-food restaurants. This is due to the fact that they have only been fried once.

But, the ingredients that they include aren’t all safe for your dog.

These nuggets often contain preservatives and sugar, or sugar substitutes. They may also be flavored with a variety of different spices.

If you plan to give your dog a bite of your chicken nuggets, read the ingredients first.

As long as the nuggets don’t have any harmful ingredients, they aren’t an immediate danger. But too many can cause problems over time.

Can Dogs Eat Tyson Chicken Nuggets?

Tyson Chicken Nuggets are a popular choice as they are considered to be healthier.

The company says that they are made from 100% all-natural ingredients. They are also free from antibiotics.

The claim that they are all-natural means that they are minimally processed. It also means they don’t include any artificial ingredients.

Even with these efforts to make the nuggets healthier, they still aren’t a good choice for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets from Wendy’s?

Another popular fast-food restaurant, Wendy’s chicken nuggets are also highly processed.

They aren’t toxic for your dog. But, the high fats and oils can upset his stomach. They may also cause other digestive issues such as vomiting or diarrhea.

Repeatedly eating Wendy’s chicken nuggets could also cause long-term health problems.

Wendy’s chicken nuggets are technically safe. But they aren’t recommended as a snack for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Vegan Chicken Nuggets?

The major difference when considering vegan chicken nuggets is the meat. But the chicken itself is the source of any potential benefits your dog could gain.

For this reason alone, it is not recommended to feed your dog vegan chicken nuggets.

Another slight change that some may point to is the oil used. Healthier oils are great, but the nuggets are still fried. This means that they are still going to be a high-fat food and can cause health problems.

Like regular nuggets, plain vegan chicken nuggets aren’t toxic. Offering a taste of vegan chicken nuggets on occasion won’t do any serious harm.

But, before giving into your dog’s puppy eyes, read the label carefully. Make sure there are no spices or added ingredients that could be dangerous to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Quorn Chicken Nuggets?

The meatless nuggets made by Quorn may seem like a safer alternative for your dog. After all, they are low in saturated fats.

But, the biggest concern with Quorn chicken nuggets doesn’t come from the fat content.

Quorn chicken nuggets and chicken tenders are made with unsafe ingredients. This includes onion powder and sugar.

It is safer to avoid Quorn chicken nuggets when choosing a treat for your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Chicken Nuggets?

For dog parents that are insistent on giving their dog nuggets, homemade is the safest option.

This gives you full control over the ingredients and how they are cooked. It also allows you to make adjustments where needed to make your nuggets safer.

Homemade nuggets are free from the preservatives and additives of prepared foods.

These artifical ingredients are commonly used to make it easier to ship and store foods. But, they can make your dog sick both short term and over time.

Consider making oven-baked chicken nuggets instead of frying them. By removing the oils, you are creating a healthier treat that your dog can enjoy.

They may not be traditional nuggets, but your dog doesn’t have to know!

How Many Chicken Nuggets Can Dogs Have?

It’s not recommended to feed your dog any chicken nuggets due to the potential health issues.

But, if you are at the drive-thru and can’t say no to your dog, one or two nuggets will be safe. Only do this on rare occasions.

The long-term problems that come from nuggets are tied to eating them repeatedly.

Each time your dog eats nuggets, the risk of long-term health problems increases. So too does the severity of any illnesses he is already experiencing.

When possible, the best choice is to skip the chicken nuggets. Treat your dog with a healthier alternative.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Chicken Nuggets?

There are no immediate concerns unless your dog fails to chew the nugget causing him to choke. 

Offer your dog plenty of fresh water and keep an eye on him for signs of trouble. If he is allergic to or sensitive to any ingredients, he may start feeling ill in the coming hours.

The most common signs include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If the nuggets don’t make him sick shortly after eating the nuggets, then you can focus on a healthy diet.

The worst complications that can come from eating chicken nuggets are long-term. They are the result of eating nuggets repeatedly over time.

If this is the first time that your dog has eaten nuggets, the best choice is to avoid eating them in the future.

Focus on providing your dog with a healthy and balanced diet. This includes any food and treats that he is provided.

But, if your dog has been eating chicken nuggets for a while, you may want to contact your vet.

By taking your dog in for an examination, the vet can check on his health and well-being. This will give you an idea of whether he is experiencing any long-term problems from the nuggets.

Healthy Alternatives to Chicken Nuggets

If you are wanting to give your dog a special treat, there are healthy alternatives. These offer similar elements to chicken nuggets without the unhealthy fats.

Keep in mind that any food could trigger an allergic reaction or sensitivity.

Anytime you are introducing a new food to your dog, consult your veterinarian. Start with a small amount and supervise your dog to make sure he is feeling okay after.

Doggy Nuggets

One great option is to bake your own doggy nuggets.

While they are called “nuggets”, these treats aren’t quite the same. They aren’t fried but they do have a crunchy texture like the nugget breading.

Boil 1/2 pound of plain chicken breasts then allow both the chicken and the water they were cooked in to cool. In a blender, create a paste-like mixture by blending the chicken and chicken water.

If you have a lot of chicken water, add it slowly until you make a dough-like paste.

Add 2 1/4 cups of ground flax to the mixture and blend until it’s fully mixed in.

Form your chicken paste into nuggets. You can do this by rolling them into balls and flattening them slightly with a spoon. Or, if you want fun shapes, roll it out and use small cookie cutters.

Bake your doggy nuggets in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Store the treats in the refrigerator. They will last up to two weeks if kept chilled in an airtight container.

Fresh Vegetables

If you want to offer an easy dippable snack for your dog, try fresh vegetables and Greek yogurt.

Some safe vegetables that work well for this include:

  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Celery

The vegetables and the Greek yogurt both offer some great nutritional benefits.

Plain Chicken Breast

For dog owners that are interested in the benefits of chicken, that part is safe!

You can treat your dog by cooking up a plain chicken breast. Skip any salts or seasonings as these can make your dog sick.

Cut it into small cubes that can be used as a food topper, training treat, or a delicious snack.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets?

If you are asking if dogs can safely eat a chicken nugget, the short answer is yes. They are not toxic.

But, they are also not a health choice to add to your dog’s diet. Even eating one or two chicken nuggets may upset your dog’s stomach.

They contain a surprisingly high level of fats. Dogs that regularly eat high-fat foods are also at risk of serious health problems.

You can make safe, dog-friendly “chicken nuggets” by making a similar treat.

Oven bake your doggy nuggets instead of frying them and avoid any toxic ingredients. They won’t have the crispy texture of fried nuggets, but they are much healthier.

As for traditional chicken nuggets, they are not recommended for dogs.

Photo of author
Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.