home Forums Problems or Issues Pressure Cooking Chicken for Dogs

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    I have tried to pressure cook thighs and other pieces of chicken for my dogs. I thought by doing this the bones would be soft and safe for the dogs. The meat comes out really good, in fact sometimes my husband dives right in, however the bones seem to still be very brittle. I can buy canned drumsticks for the dogs and the bones are very mushy, so I know that it is possible. Suggestions, please.

    In the past, I only used pressure cookers to can fruit.


    Laura Pazzaglia

    Diane, I don’t have pets anymore so I haven’t had the opportunity to make food for them from the pressure cooker.

    I do hope that those who have will jump in to add their advice.

    I have, however made chicken stock, and after about 45 minutes the smaller bones from a very young chicken nearly dissolve – that’s because a young chicken’s bones are still cartilage. I haven’t needed to pressure cook a chicken stock for longer but I it is true that the longer you pressure cook a bone, the softer will become.

    I stumbled on this neat video you YouTube from a lady who has a unique solution. She pressure cooks her bones in batches until they become soft – it’s a great idea because you don’t have to supervise your pressure cooker for long periods.




    Please contact your veterinarian to confirm, yet I believe one should never feed an animal cooked bones, ever.

    Dr. Karen Becker, a vet that has a wonderful newsletter in conjunction with Dr. Mercola, she practices holistic medicine has repeatedly mention cooked bones are inappropriate. This is a vet that also is a big believer in animals eating a raw natural diet. Might check this out before you harm the animal you love in your efforts to give them a yummy loving treat!



    Caution is the word! Slivers of bone can annihilate a dog’s digestive system. If your dog needs “bone” buy sterilized bones. We once had a huge well-cooked beef bone we thought was safe to give our dog. Wrong! She wouldn’t give up on the bone — threatened to attack us if we tried to remove the bone — and had so much she got sick. Do not underestimate the damage those surgically sharp bone slivers can do to your dog’s digestive tract.


    Dogs can get bacterial born illness from raw meat just like we can veggies (but it’s rare since their digestive systems work fast). The bacterias are all over the place; the problem is when someone colonizes and nurtures them. If you de-bone some raw meat; I wouldn’t let the bones set around.


    Wow – there is a LOT of misinformation out there about what dogs can and can’t eat; it’s worth keeping in mind that dog nutrition knowledge has been heavily influenced by pet food companies, which have been funding the nutrition units of veterinarian university courses for decades now. Dogs eat bones, and have done so for millennia… which is why we still have dogs.

    Anyway: on to pressure cooking chicken bones. I cook the entire carcass. After a whole hour, all I need to do is stir the contents with a wooden spoon, and they disintegrate into nothing. No sharp bits or anything. The leg and thigh bones remain intact, so I’ve been throwing them away, but after seeing the nifty little vid above, I think I’ll just save them and cook them separately.


    Welcome vibes,
    Yes dogs have been eating bones for millennia. But raw not COOKED bones.
    As it was explained to me by a vet, (and yes I take your point about funding) the act of cooking bones make them brittle and more likely to shatter into sharp shards. Of course she was referring to normal cooking. Pressure cooking does other things entirely. The bones are likely to go through the brittle stage and be soft and friable by the time the dogs get them. But I would test first.

    Your practice of tossing the larger bones after they have contributed their goodness seems sound to me.


    Thanks, Greg. I think we’re both saying the same things! As far as chicken bones go, they only go to my dogs a) raw or b) pressure-cooked to a mush – anything in between is asking for trouble. Our dogs are both outrageously healthy, and in fact, one of them was brought back to health (literally from brink of death, alas) by home-cooked food.

    I think the fear of bones in general, however, is unfounded, and we need to remember that these animals can handle them – even if they are domesticated. The one exception are large, weight-bearing bones, which are iron-hard and tough both on dogs’ teeth and their insides. And you also need common sense: smaller dogs can only handle smaller bones! :)


    Yes, the pet food industry has brainwashed people into thinking their animals need all sorts of things that are not natural for them. Dog, and cats especially, are carnivores, therefore the majority of their diet should be meat. Dogs eat bones in the wild, but only raw meat, not cooked. Chicken bones become brittle when cooked, so they are especially dangerous. Most people that I know who feed homemade diets to both dogs and cats, grind whole chicken pieces, bones and all, and feed it raw. That way the animal gets the calcium and other benefits without any problem of brittleness.


    I made my bone broth by putting the whole carcass in pressure cooker and I cooked it for 2 hours at least. After draining the broth, I grinded the remains throughly with a wooden spoon, everything just turned mushy and I fed it to my dog and it loves it.

    To rebuke some of the comments above, i think it makes sense to say normal cooked bones (ribs, chicken wings) can be bad for dogs because they might be broken in sharp pieces that might poke the digestive tract. But dogs aren’t limited to raw bones, dogs had lived with human for a very long time and they ate the scrapes from human food. (And they rarely hunt for themselves when they are with human.) Unless our ancestors debone every single time before they cook, I do not think dogs are limited to raw bones. There were soups and mush our ancestors made that dogs could eat (no chocolate back in the days though)

    I was once working with a pharmacist and I asked her what brand of dogfood she fed her dog. She told me she fed it with table food; she said when the food is cooked properly (no seasonings to mask the taste), it is food with no boundaries. I found it so true, we now live in this world with consumerisms, a world selling fears to boost the economy, we blindly let other to reason for us and to tell us what we are “allowed” to do, and we miss the simple little things in life.


    I take the bones cooked about 2 hours in the PC and turn them into a gravy in the Vitamix. Then I freeze them in muffin pans. Been doing that over 20 years and all my animals live a very long, healthy life. The vet thinks it’s a good idea.


    I pressure cook a whole chicken for 40 minutes, remove the meat I am using for dinner and the first batch of broth. Then I add more water, cook it all again for 40 minutes to create a bone broth. I separate half for us humans, and add more water and cook it again for 40 minutes. At this point most of the bones are literally turn to mush when I pinch them. Any that don’t you can pull out, or you can cook it all one more time (keep the same broth, don’t add any more water at this point) and then let it cool.

    I then add it to my Vitamix the following day to pulverize it all into a thick but very smooth (and dog awesome smelly) smoothie if you will. I always give my dogs a bit in their bowl right then and there and they lap it up. Then I separate out a couple of cups to freeze and the rest goes into a mixing bowl with paleo/gluten free flour (because why ruin the goodness with something that they have a hard time digesting), and 2 eggs to help bind it all together.

    The dough is much like human cookie dough before adding the chocolate chips! I sometimes do drop cookies baked slow at 275 until crunchy with no moisture (I use a confection oven) otherwise I will press it into a square baking sheet (cookie sheet) so that it is about 1/2 inch thick and bake for 2-3 hours at 200-250 (much like dehydrating them) until they are hard with no moisture left.

    It is has been trial and error, but definitely check that the bones mush and after you pulverize them run some through your fingers. It should be like a smoothie (no sharps, no seedy feeling) If it is, it will be fine for your dogs. My daschaund and my lab both love it.

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