The dog foods you usually find at supermarkets and feed stores have several common ingredients, such as cereals, vegetables, fats and oils, and sodium and chloride. Cereals comprise carbohydrates such as grain, beet pulp, and rice bran. Fish acts as a source of calcium and protein for dogs.
Oils and fats are a source of vitamins and provide dogs with the energy they need to thrive. Canines are carnivorous, but as you can see, this is not wholly true. Indeed, they require non-meat foods and benefit when they consume them regularly.
A common debate among dog owners is about which is better: dog or raw dog food. These approaches have their merits, but many pet parents prefer the regular version because of its convenience.
So, what is chicken meal in dog food supposed to mean? Well, this is regular dog food that pet parents choose for their furry babies. As the name suggests, chicken is the primary ingredient in several other foods that provide dogs with essential nutrients.
What is a chicken meal in dog food?
The chicken meal in dog food can be described as rendered chicken meat that has been dried and ground up. It includes clean flesh skin and may or may not be accompanied by bones.
However, if you ever see a bag of dog food that states proudly that it is made from real chicken, it means that it does not include any bones – it has only flesh and skin.
One of the best things about such meals is that they do not have feathers, feet, head, or intestinal contents.
So, we hope you now know what a chicken meal in dog food is. You will be happy to know that such food is nutritious and safe for your dog. Veterinarians from leading brands that make such food say that when making pet food, they look for a specific balance of dry and wet ingredients – they also aim to balance the food so that the nutritional requirements of the pets eating it are satisfied. This is another reason they use such meals in the pets’ food.
Benefits of chicken meal in dog food
A chicken meal offers several benefits to your dog. It is a great source of energy that helps them build lean muscle mass, provides them with Omega 6 fatty acids, and is a source of amino acids. Since chicken is lean meat, it is the perfect option for canines.
It is also a source of energy for them. Your dog’s body uses the extra protein from chicken but does not need muscle maintenance to maintain its energy levels. Chicken helps your dog build lean muscle mass as well.
When your dog is active, their muscle mass breaks down – the same happens when they age. Thus, their needs get replaced, and it is where chicken helps to an extent!
The Omega 6 fatty acids your dog gets from chicken meals help them shine. Consuming these acids helps their coats shine, and their skin remains healthy. Amino acids, as we all know, are the building blocks of protein.
There are 22 amino acids in all, and your dog needs 10 of them in their diet – they may as well get it from supplements, but food is always a more agreeable source!
Common misconceptions about dog chicken meals
You may think that chicken meals will not be as appetizing as whole chicken for your dog, but these meals are concentrated and rich sources of protein, which is vital for your dog. Many pet parents think these meals contain low-grade ingredients and parts, but they only have muscle meat and skin with some bones at times.
It also ensures your dog gets the nutrients they need from such meals. A common misconception about these meals is that they are fine, only for dogs who do not have allergies.
The reality is that almost every dog can tolerate chicken. Allergies your dog has from their food are usually because of ingredients such as additives in these products. You may be worried that these meals contain hormones and antibiotics, but they are unfounded.
These days, regulatory bodies enforce the most stringent standards on the ingredients used in pet foods. This makes sure that they are safe for dogs to consume. You must know such information to make the best decisions for your dogs.
Choosing quality dog food with chicken meal
When you are trying to find the best chicken meal for your dog, there are a couple of factors that you must focus on – specificity and the overall list of ingredients. Make sure that the chicken meal you are buying for your dog states clearly that it is so instead of using generic terms such as meat meal.
Such specificity ensures you have complete knowledge of the source of protein in the food you are feeding your dog. Along with chicken meal, the food must also include high-quality ingredients.
The most prominent examples of such ingredients are legumes, fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Always avoid dog food containing fillers, excessive carbohydrates, and additives.
The thing with chicken meal is that it is one of the most prevalent ingredients when it comes to dog food. A lot of beef, lamb, and fish formulas for dogs are based on chicken meal functioning as the primary source of protein – this might surprise you, but it is true. This is why, the next time you get the chance, check out the ingredients of such products.
Considerations for specific dog breeds
Breed considerations are imperative when finding the best chicken meal for your dog. Dog breeds have unique dietary requirements, and you must understand those nuances to properly care for their health and well-being.
For example, the smaller breeds could benefit from the high protein content of these meals in maintaining their lean muscle mass and supporting their energy levels. You find supplements such as chondroitin and glucosamine in some well-formulated chicken meals.
They can be immensely beneficial for large dog breeds predisposed to joint issues. It would help if you thought of sensitivities and allergies specific to your dog’s breed. Dogs can usually tolerate chicken, but your dog might have special dietary requirements.
Thus, monitor your dog and check for symptoms of sensitivities and allergies – get in touch with the veterinarian immediately if you see any adverse reaction to the chicken meal you are feeding them. No matter what you feed your dog, their breed has to be considered, and chicken meals are no exception.
Potential drawbacks of chicken meals in dog food
Chicken meals are usually great sources of protein for dogs, but there are a few issues that you need to be aware of. The prominent issues that can be of concern include factors like digestibility, use of 4D animals, artificial nutrients for making them, and not being a whole ingredient.
It is better to feed your dog natural or boiled food as their bodies can absorb, digest, and utilize essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients the best. It may not be possible with chicken meals, powder supplements, and pills.
4D meats are not fit for human consumption. Everything gets killed off in the rendering process used to make these meals, and that is the inherent vitamins and nutrients. Dogs also cannot digest artificial ingredients easily.
This is why, even though chicken meals are supposed to be a good source of protein for dogs, no one knows what pets digest and utilize from such foods. Digestibility is the most significant factor because it contributes to proper nutrition, shiny coats, healthier bodies, and good stool quality.
Popular dog food brands using chicken meals
Redbarn Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a top dog food product with chicken meals. It features turkey, duck, chicken, and turkey meals. Chicken and fresh turkey contribute to the lion’s share of the protein in this product. Its wet recipe contains 31% protein, 7% estimated carbohydrates, and 17% fat. The fat-to-protein ratio of the product is around 55%.
The next name on this list is Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food, which contains deboned chicken, ground barley, oatmeal, and peas.
The formula of this product gets most of its protein from chicken meal and chicken. It has 27% protein, 52% estimated carbs, and 13% fat, which creates a protein-to-fat ratio of approximately 50%.
Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry contains beef, peas, white fish meal, and chicken fat as the main ingredients along with chicken meal. Chicken meal and beef are the sources of protein over here. No matter which product you buy and its brand standing, you must always read the product label and check the ingredient list. This helps you avoid anything that your dog must not have.
Homemade dog food with chicken meal
You can make dog food at home using chicken meal in several ways. You can use a bit of it with some lean meat containing no skin or bones. You can supplement this meal with boiled vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas so your dog gets the fiber and vitamins they need.
Another recipe is one where you use boiled papaya and rice with dry chicken food to provide your dog with a wholesome meal – boiled carrots can be used along with this as well.
You can also use chicken meal with boiled rice, peas, carrots, and beans. Such recipes also involve cooking the ingredients in olive oil and then serving them with the chicken meal for a delicious and healthy eating experience for your dog.
Steel-cut oats, coconut oil, and bone broth are great recipe ingredients! The common thing in all these recipes is that you have to boil or cook the ingredients apart from the chicken meal, and you can also fine-tune them in any way suitable for your dog’s preferences.
You now know what chicken meal in dog food is, but you may still have some reservations regarding how good this would be for your dog. Well, in most cases, chicken meal – especially from the top brands – offers your dog nutritional benefits.
This is another reason it’s used as often as in dog food. For starters, these meals are full of protein. Protein is an essential nutrient for your dog because it plays a role in everything related to your dog – from immune functions to muscle growth. Chicken meals are natural sources of glucosamine!
Glucosamine happens to be a building block of cartilage tissue! It helps your dog maintain healthy joints, and your dog can stay active for a long time. However, for that, you also need to make sure that you choose dog food that contains extra glucosamine that you may not get from chicken meals.
You also need not worry about the safety of these foods vis-a-vis your dog. Once again, purchase it from a brand that values quality and safety. That way, you will never have to worry about whether your dog should have the chicken meal or not.