Best Chicken Free Dog Food
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Best Chicken Free Dog Food

Because of its prevalence, chicken has become a very common ingredient in many dog foods. However, some of our unfortunate furry friends are allergic to chicken while others do not like its taste. If this sounds like a familiar story to you, you might also agree how difficult it is to find the best chicken free dog food out there for dear fido.

Here, we have compiled a list of what we think is the best dog food your pooch will absolutely love despite being chicken free.

Budget Conscious Pick

Purina Dog Chow Real Beef Adult Dry Dog Food

Our Top Pick

Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food

Readers Pick

Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural Limited Ingredient

01 Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food

This Natural Balance dog food is not only free from chicken, but it is vegetarian, appealing to those who feel conflicted about feeding their furry friends meat or who have dogs that are allergic to most meats. This formula manages to provide all of the necessary nutrients for canines while remaining vegetarian. You will not find any artificial colors or flavors. 

The balanced omega fatty acids in the formula encourage your dog to have a shiny coat with healthy skin underneath. The sources of natural fiber ensure your dog’s digestive system continues to remain healthy. 

Dogs who consume this Natural Balance food will feel energized thanks to the highly-digestible potatoes, oatmeal, and brown rice. Meanwhile, the green peas provide complex protein and carbohydrates. For added confidence, every batch of Natural Balance food undergoes nine safety tests. 

Pros
  • This food’s vegetarian formula will appeal to owners of canines with allergies to chicken, beef, or other common protein sources. It provides protein, complex carbohydrates, and omega fatty acids via vegan sources for a balanced diet. The formula promotes overall health, including specific ingredients for digestion, fur, and skin and undergoes rigorous quality control.

02 Purina Dog Chow Real Beef Adult Dry Dog Food

For those who are on a budget, this Purina Dog Chow offers complete nutrition with real beef as the primary protein source. The recipe also features 23 essential minerals and vitamins, to ensure your pooch receives all the required nutrition. The formula is 100 percent balanced for adult dogs. 

The ingredients also provide immune system support. The food is made in the United States and features quality ingredients that you can count on. This is one of the rare options at its price point that feature real beef instead of just meat meal or other by-products. The presence of the high-quality beef protein helps your dog stay active by maintaining his strong muscles. 

As your dog chews, the crunchy texture of the kibble will help keep teeth clean. Your furry friend will also appreciate the flavor. 

Pros
  • This Purina food makes it possible to feed your dog without chicken while on a budget. It uses real beef as the primary protein source and contains 23 essential minerals and vitamins for all the nutrition that your four-legged friend needs.

03 Purina Beyond Simply 9 Natural Limited Ingredient

Purina Beyond Limited Ingredient features lamb as the primary ingredient, with no chicken in the recipe. That ingredient is real lamb that was raised on a ranch, a choice that means the lamb was likely treated better during its life and may have fewer chemicals in its system. 

As part of the brand’s Limited Ingredient line, this dog food only contains the nutrients that your canine needs. As such, you will not find any soy, wheat, corn, or other fillers that have no nutritional value. There are also no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. 

Pros
  • This Purina Simply 9 recipe gives your furry friend a delicious combination of ranch-raised lamb and whole barley without any artificial flavors or preservatives and without soy, wheat, or corn.

04 NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Dry Dog Food

There is no chicken in this NUTRO Limited Ingredient food, with venison meal providing the main source of protein instead. This is the main ingredient. The recipe contains ten key ingredients or less, just like all of the other foods in this NUTRO product line. There are also natural nutrients, flavors, minerals, and vitamins. All ingredients are non-GMO, including the sweet potato which is the other main ingredient. 

The exclusion of chicken, dairy protein, beef, soy, wheat, and corn is deliberate in this recipe, as those are the most common food sensitivities in canines. The recipe was also formulated to help nourish sensitive skin. 

Pros
  • As a limited ingredient diet, this dog food does not contain the most common ingredients that cause allergies or sensitivities in dogs. The main ingredients are venison meal and real sweet potatoes.

05 AvoDerm Natural Duck Recipe

Dogs that are sensitive to chicken can enjoy this duck recipe that is fully chicken free. Duck is the main ingredient and it is real duck protein from a single source, reducing the risk of food sensitivities. It is also designed to allow you to switch this food with other recipes in the line without stomach irritation. 

This AvoDerm chicken-free dog food contains avocados to help your canine’s overall health as well as that of the immune system, skin, and coat in particular. There are no grains, soy, corn, by-product meals, or artificial preservatives and flavors. 

Pros
  • As a grain-free recipe, this food is unlikely to irritate your four-legged friend’s tummy. It features real duck as the main ingredient and its formula lets you swap your dog to another recipe in the line without stomach problems.

06 Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula Dry Dog Food

This dog food is free from chicken as well as grains. Instead, it features protein from trout and salmon meal from the northwestern United States. This food is appropriate for all life stages, including puppies and those with common dog food allergies. 

Zignature prioritizes healthy ingredients in this canine food, including low-glycemic carbohydrates, antioxidants, and no grains. Not only is there no chicken, but you also will not find any chicken by products or eggs in this food, making it appropriate for dogs with chicken allergies. There is also no dairy, soy, wheat, or corn. 

Pros
  • Due to the use of salmon and trout meal as the main source of protein, this dog food is good for puppies to adults, offering convenience for households with multiple pooches.

07 Taste of the Wild High Prairie Bison and Venison

The combination of roasted venison and roasted bison make this a one-of-a-kind food that your furry friend is bound to love. Protein makes up 32% of the formula for highly digestible energy. The formula also ingredients fruits, vegetables, and legumes for powerful antioxidants. 

The food also contains K9 Strain Probiotics which gives your furry friend live cultures to boost the immune system and digestive health. There are also omega fatty acids to encourage healthy coat and skin in Fido. Extra prebiotic fiber comes from the dried chicory root. 

Pros
  • Your canine companion will get a unique recipe with the combination of venison and bison. The formula provides complete nutrition with omega fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants.

08 Supreme Source Premium Dry Dog Food Grain Free

The protein in this dog food comes from turkey meal, which offers more protein in each ounce compared to fresh turkey. The recipe also has sweet potatoes for complex carbohydrates without grains. The included fruits and vegetables boost Fido’s longevity and health. The chickpeas and peas provide manganese for brain function and bone health along with natural fiber. 

There are prebiotics and organic seaweed to help with digestion. You will not find any grain, soy, wheat, or corn. The company behind this canine food is also family owned and makes it a priority to exceed industry standards. 

Pros
  • The turkey meal in this food offers a delicious alternative to chicken. The formula has specific ingredients to boost brain function, bone health, digestion, immune system health, and overall health of your furry friend.

09 Crave Grain Free Adult Dry Dog Food with Protein

Real beef is the first ingredient in this dog food, providing your canine with high-quality protein. This formula prioritizes high protein content at 34%, a decision which the brand says is inspired by the ancestors of your furry friend. 

The recipe contains only high-quality ingredients without any chicken by-product meal. There is also no soy protein, corn, wheat, or artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors. Instead of those additives, you will find vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your four-legged friend needs to thrive. 

Pros
  • This high-protein formula provides 34% protein thanks to its use of real beef, which your dog will love. The formula is designed to maximize Fido’s health and energy thanks to that high-quality protein.

10 Lucy Pet Formulas for Life – Limited Ingredient Diet Dry Dog Food

This limited ingredient dog food was formulated to do well for dogs who are allergic to chicken or who have sensitive stomachs. It is grain free and uses all-natural duck meat without any duck by-products. The ducks all come from the USA and France and their protein encourages your canine’s coat, skin, and muscles to be healthy. 

The formula is the result of 40 years of veterinary research and is appropriate for all breeds and life stages. As such, you do not need to buy multiple foods even if you have several dogs in your family.

Pros
  • This chicken-free dog food appeals to those who want a veterinarian-designed food with high-quality duck as the primary ingredient. The limited ingredient formula promotes gut health and is good for dogs with sensitivities.

11 Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dry Dog Food with Grains

The lamb meal in this Natural Balance food comes from a single animal protein source, helping to ensure quality and be tolerated by dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. The use of lamb meal gives your canine essential amino acids which help to maintain strong muscles.

The inclusion of brown rice provides Fido with fiber, encouraging healthy digestion. The fatty acids boost the health of your canine’s skin as well as the coat appearance. You will not find any artificial colors or flavors, soy, corn, or wheat in this food.  

Pros
  • Thanks to its limited ingredient formula, this lamb meal formula will appeal to owners of dogs with food sensitivities or allergies to chicken. The inclusion of high-quality carbohydrate and protein sources boosts digestion while the omega fatty acids help your dog’s fur and coat.

Buyers Guide

Buyer’s Guide

As you search for the best chicken-free dog food, you will want to keep a few important factors in mind. 

Source of Protein

Dogs require plenty of protein to remain healthy and have enough energy. If your dog is allergic or sensitive to chicken, then the food must contain a different source of protein. 

Look for protein sources that are unambiguous. If a food refers to a protein source as a type of “meat,” be aware that this can include gristle, meat, heart, esophagus tissue, and more, in addition to the type of meat that humans typically consume. “Meat meal” is a rendered product and “by-products” are non-rendered animal parts without meat. 

The best foods will be clear about the protein source, using terms such as “real” or “all-natural.” However, some companies may use these terms without them being true, so take a quick glance at the product’s website or reviews before buying. 

Choosing a product with a meat versus a meat meal is your decision. Meat will not be processed, but it contains a great deal of water weight, so your canine will not end up with that full amount in protein. By contrast, meat meal has more meat per gram without water weight, so your dog will receive all of the meat and protein. 

If your decision to give Fido chicken-free dog food is due to food sensitivities or allergies, then it would be wise to stick to foods with a single protein source. This reduces the risk of your furry friend being allergic to one of the proteins in the chosen food as well. Additionally, if your canine is allergic to the protein, you will instantly know which protein it is so you can avoid it in the future. 

Although rare, it is possible to find vegetarian dog foods that provide sufficient protein. Depending on your pooch’s allergies and sensitivities, this may be a necessary decision.

Avoid Filler Ingredients

As you read the ingredient list on the dog food you are considering, look out for various filler ingredients that do not provide nutritional value. Most dogs are not allergic or sensitive to grains, but they provide no to minimal nutritional value. If you want Fido to have the best food, then it is best to avoid foods with corn, wheat, and other fillers. 

In the case of dogs with sensitive stomachs, you should make it a priority to avoid these filler ingredients. Because they are not as common in the natural diet of dogs, they are more likely to be tough on your pooch’s sensitive stomach. 

For these four-legged friends with sensitive stomachs, consider one of the limited ingredient foods. These are more likely to have proteins that are not chicken. Additionally, there will be fewer ingredients that could potentially irritate Fido’s stomach. Limited ingredient foods also make it much easier to pinpoint which ingredient, if any, causes digestive issues and which are fine for your pooch. 

Check for Balanced Nutrition 

All of the foods on our list of the best chicken-free dog foods meet the AAFCO requirements and so should any other food you ever buy your canine. The Association of American Feed Control Officials enforces strict requirements and it will not allow its stamp of approval on foods that fail to meet those requirements. 

In other words, if a food has a statement that it was formulated to meet the AAFCO nutritional levels, you know that it has the proper balance of nutrients that your canine needs. 

To further confirm the chicken-free food has balanced nutrition, look at the guaranteed analysis. When looking at chicken-free formulas, pay particular attention to the protein section, as it is harder to reach sufficient protein without chicken. 

Most chicken-free foods will make it clear that they offer balanced nutrition by listing some of the key ingredients and their benefits for your canine. It is always a positive sign if you notice a description that mentions specific ingredients and their purpose such as “fatty acids for skin and coat health.” The right balanced food will support your canine’s overall health, including that of the digestive and immune systems, coat and skin, and joints. 

Think About Your Canine Companion 

The best chicken-free dog food for your canine may also be different than that for your neighbor’s pooch. Nutritional requirements vary based on activity level, age, and breed. When thinking about your canine’s nutritional needs, pay careful attention to the protein content in these chicken-free foods, as this lets you ensure that there is not a lack of protein due to the lack of chicken. High-quality foods will use an alternative protein source to ensure your canine still receives enough.

Some of the foods on this list are formulated to meet the nutritional requirements for all breeds and life stages. Others will work best for specific dogs. For example, if your furry friend is very active, you should opt for a formula with plenty of fat and protein. Consider a formula that uses a protein source that is fattier than chicken or one that includes extra fat from other sources. By contrast, an inactive dog would do best with lean protein sources. 

Confirm It Is Chicken-Free

It is also wise to take at least a few minutes to read about the brand of chicken-free dog food you are considering and check the ingredient list. 

Remember that chicken is a very common ingredient in dog food. As such, just because a food advertises that its main ingredient is a different protein, that does not mean it does not contain chicken. Avoid this problem by making sure you actually read the ingredient list. 

Additionally, spend a few minutes researching the brand and their ingredient-selection process. This will further let you confirm that they will not use any chicken by-products or related products in their chicken-free formulas. That is particularly crucial for those who are making the switch to chicken-free because of their dog’s sensitive stomach. 

In the case of a switch due to extreme stomach sensitivities or allergies, you may even need to check if the company produces any chicken products. Although this level of sensitivity is rare, your canine could theoretically have some mild stomach irritation or an allergic response with cross-contamination. 

You should not usually have to worry about that unless your furry friend has a severe problem. In those cases, consider a brand that has separate product areas for various protein sources or does not have any chicken-based products. 

Conclusion

The best chicken-free dog foods feature alternative high-quality protein sources with a lower risk of allergies. For dogs with sensitivities to most proteins, a vegetarian option that remains well-balanced will be ideal.

As with dog foods that do include chicken, chicken-free dog food must include all of the nutrients that your canine needs, including protein, complex carbohydrates, and fats. The right formula will also have ingredients designed to support your furry friend’s immune system, digestive health, fur and coat, muscles, and overall health.  

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