With the King’s Coronation celebrations fast approaching in May, many people are thinking hard about how best to mark the day. Events are occurring throughout the United Kingdom, ranging from huge organised events to smaller individual parties. Of course, no celebration is complete without food. And there may be a range of special or significant dishes prepared for these events. 

As with any gathering, pet owners must be on the watch for any potential hazards. Large, noisy social events can be stressful for pets; decorations can be tempting to get tangled in or eat; and some foods, such as alcohol and chocolate, can be toxic to pets. 

So, what about coronation chicken? This is certainly a very appropriate dish for the approaching occasion, but can you share some with your dog?

Traditional Coronation Chicken

Coronation chicken recipes vary according to preference, but there are a few key ingredients which remain the same: chicken, sultanas, mayonnaise, mango chutney and spices. Many recipes also include celery, apricot, almonds and coriander.

Chicken is a safe food for dogs, when cooked plainly and with any bones removed. However, some of the additional ingredients in this dish are most definitely not suitable. 


These are potentially very toxic to dogs. Just like grapes, raisins and currants, they belong to the Vitis vinifera family, which can all cause kidney failure in dogs. The exact mechanism is unknown, but the active ingredient seems to be tartaric acid in the fruit. Unfortunately, the amount of tartaric acid varies between sultanas, and the reaction to it seems to vary between dogs. However, even small amounts of sultanas could cause severe problems for your pooch. It’s impossible to tell which dogs will be affected, and as toxicity can occur at such low levels, it is recommended to keep your pet well clear of any part of the grape family. 

There are other parts of this recipe that are also not a great idea for dogs. 

Some of the recipes contain dairy products such as crème fraiche or yoghurt. Whilst many dogs can tolerate small amounts of dairy-based foods, they can cause tummy upsets and their high fat content isn’t ideal either. The inclusion of various spices such as curry powder can also cause digestive problems for your pup, especially if large amounts are eaten. Lastly, recipes that contain almonds are not recommended due to their high fat content and the potential for them to cause gastrointestinal problems and even pancreatitis. 

Safe versions for dogs

It’s perfectly normal to want to give your dog a little treat when you’re celebrating. It’s nice for our pets to join in on the fun! But we also need to make sure we keep our pets safe. Finding the balance between treat food and safe eating is paramount.

So, what can we do to make Coronation Chicken safe for a pooch?

Well, a chicken-based dish is certainly a treat for many dogs! A simple option would be to set aside some plain, cooked chicken and give that to your dog whilst you have the royalty-inspired version. Plain chicken is not only safe, it’s a good source of protein for dogs.

If you’d like to give your dog something a bit more exciting than that, there are some options. However, it’s worth remembering that a dog’s tastebuds are not like ours, and they may be perfectly happy with their chicken plain! 

Some safe additions which are inspired by the coronation chicken recipe would be celery, fresh mango, apricot or coriander. All of these ingredients are safe for dogs in moderation. It is important when your dog is trying new foods to not overload them. Don’t pile a lot of new foods into them at once, and only use very small portions of novel ingredients, else you may be headed for a bout of vomiting and diarrhoea from your pet!

Summing Up

Sadly, it’s not safe for your dog to share a portion of traditional coronation chicken with you, even if they do hang around the kitchen hopefully as you cook! The main problem is the sultanas, which can be extremely toxic for dogs, but some of the other ingredients may cause gastrointestinal problems too. Treating your dog this Coronation can be as simple as adding a little plain cooked chicken to their usual food. If you want to really push the boat out, experiment with small amounts of other safe ingredients such as celery or mango, but remember to only ever feed these new foods in small amounts to avoid a bank holiday tummy upset!

Further Reading