There’s a reason a high percentage of dog foods are made with chicken. It’s a lean wellspring of animal protein, loaded with healthy nutrients, and relatively inexpensive.
The problem is that chicken is one of the most widely recognized food allergens for dogs. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should start throwing away everything in your pantry that contains chicken. If your dog has been showing signs of food allergies or sensitivities, however, it may worth look into.
We’ve compiled a list of the best dog foods without chicken. Before we get into it, however, let’s talk a little bit about healthy alternatives.
Should You Stop Feeding Your Dog Chicken?
Unless your dog is sensitive or allergic to chicken, there’s not a great explanation to remove this ingredient from their diet. Chicken breast contains about 26 grams of protein and a little more than 2 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It’s also rich in selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.
If your dog starts to exhibit signs of an allergy to chicken, that’s another story. In dogs, food allergy symptoms are bound to affect the skin more than the digestive framework. This can make them tricky to diagnose. Dry skin, excessive itching and scratching, hot spots, and intermittent ear infections are all possible signs of a food allergy. You should address these symptoms with your veterinarian.
Confirmation of a food allergy may require a food trial. You could also have a go at switching your dog to a recipe that contains a protein other than chicken.
The 5 Best Dog Foods Without Chicken
The best dog food without chicken is one made with plenty of the animal-based protein your dog tolerates as well as digestible carbohydrates, healthy fats, and essential nutrients. As long as your dog’s basic nutritional needs are met, the choice is up to you.
Here are our top picks for the best dog food without chicken.
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Recipe
Taste of the Wild specializes in dog food without chicken as a main ingredient. Plus, most recipes contain little to no chicken products (yet always check the ingredients for things like chicken fat). Pacific Stream is a particularly good choice. It’s a grain-free recipe without any kind of fowl or eggs and is packed with fresh and smoked salmon along with probiotics to promote good digestion.
Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Rabbit Recipe
This high-protein kibble is comprised of 71% meat, with rabbit as the first ingredient and a freeze-dried raw rabbit coating. It makes for a nutritious and delicious diet free from chicken, as well as from grains and artificial additives.
Stella and Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Freeze-Dried Raw Food
This freeze-dried combination of duck, turkey, and goose patties provides the nutritional benefits of raw food with the convenience of dry food, all in one protein-rich, grain-free formula.
Orijen Regional Red Dry Dog Food
You won’t find a lot of chicken in Orijen’s recipes and all of the proteins are regionally sourced. Regional Red is a dry food formula featuring 85% meat and fish, including Angus hamburger, wild boar, plains bison, Romney lamb, Yorkshire pork, and wild-caught Pacific pilchard. Two-thirds of the ingredients here, as in the greater part of Orijen’s dog food, are fresh or raw.
American Journey Grain-Free LID Venison and Sweet Potato Recipe
American Journey is Chewy’s house brand; this limited-ingredient recipe features fresh venison as the single wellspring of novel animal protein and sweet potatoes as a high-fiber and nutrient-filled secondary ingredient.