Chicken Free Dog Food

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Can dogs be allergic to chicken?

Chicken is one of the most popular components in modern dog food, and without a doubt, the most frequent meat ingredient.

It’s high in protein and low in fat with a nutritional value comparable to that of fish.

So why would you want to eliminate this diet? The issue is that chicken is one of the most common dietary allergies for dogs!

VIDEO: What are the benefits of a limited Ingredient diet for a dog?

What is the biggest food allergy for dogs?

“The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins…” The most common food allergens in dogs are proteins, especially those from dairy, beef, chicken, chicken eggs, soy, or wheat gluten. Each time a pet eats food containing these substances, the antibodies react with the antigens, and symptoms occur. [1]

Is chicken fat in dog food OK for dogs with allergies?

It is the protein in chicken, not its fat, that is the most common cause of chicken allergies. Most dog foods contain chicken fat, which can be included in the diet of dogs who are allergic to chicken.

Can dogs outgrow chicken allergies?

Typically, dogs are placed on a diet without chicken, which is called a prescription diet.

Following a period of time when your dog has eaten that food and its allergy symptoms have subsided, you can try to reintroduce chicken to its diet.

chicken free dog food
You can try to re-introduce chicken after a while

Are dogs more likely to be allergic to chicken or beef?

The most frequently reported food allergens involved in CAFRs in dogs were beef (102 dogs, 34 %), dairy products (51 dogs, 17 %), chicken (45 dogs, 15 %), wheat (38 dogs, 13 %) and lamb (14, 5 %). [2]

Table of Contents

What to feed a dog that's allergic to chicken?

If you have reason to believe your dog is allergic to chicken but can’t confirm it, we recommend trying a Limited Ingredient Formula.

A limited ingredient diet takes the most common ingredients out of your dog’s diet and then reintroduces them gradually until you can identify or trace down the problem component.

Fortunately, there are several excellent protein alternatives to chicken for dogs! I looked into the leading brands of chicken-free dog foods and discovered that Merrick Classic Real Beef + Green Peas Recipe with Ancient Grains to be an ideal food without chicken.

But not all dogs with chicken allergies are the same. So I’ve also reviewed chicken-free formulas in every category.

Best Chicken Free dog food

Whether you go dry or wet food, one of the easiest ways for you to determine good dog food is by reading the label and looking out for the AAFCO Statement. [3] Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your dog’s diet. 

All of the dog foods on this list are in accordance with the AAFCO nutrient profile [4] recommendations for dogs.

Poultry free dog food with grain

Merrick Classic Real Beef + Green Peas Recipe with Ancient Grains

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Pork Meal, Brown Rice, Barley Meal, Oatmeal, Pork Fat
  • Key feature: Chicken-free formula suitable for Adults
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 11% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 435 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free, High-Protein, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: All Breeds

This dry food for dogs features real deboned beef as the very first ingredient. It’s combined with essential vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced diet that includes brown rice and ancient grains such as quinoa to aid in digestion.

This dry dog food is developed with high levels of omega fatty acids to help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat while glucosamine and chondroitin support hip and joint function and does not contain any potatoes, peas, or lentils.

Nutritional Profiles includes:

  • 30 percent protein, starting with real deboned beef as the first ingredient
  • First five ingredients: Deboned beef, pork meal, peas, brown rice and barley
  • Potato-free and poultry-free recipe
  • Made with Ancient Grains
  • Developed with high levels of omega fatty acids, glucosamine and chondroitin.
  • Includes essential vitamins, minerals, brown rice and ancient grains such as quinoa to aid in digestion.

Best Chicken Free Dog food for Sensitive Stomach

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Grain Free Dry Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas, Dried Potatoes, Dried Sweet Potatoes
  • Key feature: Chicken-free formula suitable for Adults
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 434 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free, Non-GMO, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Large Breeds Dogs

Specially crafted for large breed dogs, this clean diet can help minimize food sensitivities, make digestion easier, and ensure that your dog receives the natural nutrition he needs.

With metabolism-enhancing nutrients, each bite is infused with optimal levels of omega-6 fatty acid, zinc, and B vitamins to guarantee a soft coat that shines. Plus, this limited-ingredient formula is made without corn gluten, corn, wheat, or soy protein.

Nutritional Profiles includes:

  • NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Recipes are grain free, and avoid ingredients that commonly cause food sensitivities in pets like corn, wheat, soy and dairy protein
  • Clean recipe is always made with 10 ingredients or less plus natural flavors, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
  • Contains no chicken and no beef. Number one ingredient is lamb, which delivers amino acids to build muscle and maintain a healthy metabolism.
  • Expertly tailored for large breeds using non-GMO ingredients. Naturally sourced glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain healthy joints.
  • Promotes optimal digestive health in dogs with sensitive stomachs and helps to nourish sensitive skin and deliver a shiny coat.

Best Chicken Free Dog Food for Skin & Coat

Wellness Complete Health Adult Whitefish Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Whitefish, Ground Barley, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Oatmeal
  • Key feature: Chicken-free formula suitable for a wide variety of dogs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 22% Crude Protein, 12% Crude Fat, 4.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 435 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Overall

This chicken-free formula uses whitefish as an alternative nutritious lean meat. The moderate 22% protein content is suitable for a wide variety of dogs.

Fish also provides high levels of omega fatty acids that promote a healthy coat and reduce inflammation. These healthy fats are essential for providing support to dogs with sensitive skin.

The recipe is grain-inclusive. Whole-grain ingredients such as barley provide healthy sources of digestible carbohydrates. While grain free dog food can benefit some sensitive pups, they are not suitable for all breeds. [5]

This filler-free formula only uses natural ingredients. The dog food does not contain any wheat, corn, soy, by-products, or artificial additives. Pups who suffer from chicken sensitivities may also react to these ingredients.

Additional biotin further supports skin and coat health. And taurine promotes a healthy heart.

Owners of a variety of dogs recommend this formula for pups who have chicken allergies and sensitive skin. But, it does have a strong fishy odor

Best Puppy Dog Food Without Chicken

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes
  • Key feature: Chicken-free puppy food
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 360 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Growth
  • Best for: Puppies

This puppy chow excludes chicken in favor of salmon, which provides an easily-digestible protein source for the formula’s 27% protein content. Adequate high-quality protein is essential for muscle development in growing dogs.

Salmon is a preferred alternative to chicken for feeding growing dogs due to its high omega fatty acid content. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish promote healthy brain and eye development in young dogs. [6]

Natural oxidants from real fruit and vegetables help support young immune systems. And dried chicory root provides healthy fiber to encourage healthy digestion, plus a canine strain of probiotics also enhances nutrient absorption.

All essential minerals are chelated with amino acids to ensure that they are absorbed correctly. [7] Balanced nutrition is critical for preventing developmental issues in growing pups.

This formula is an excellent choice for owners who want to provide their puppies with a chicken-free alternative. But, it may not be specialized enough for the unique needs of toy breeds or giant puppies.

Best Senior Dog Food without Chicken

Blue Buffalo Basics Senior Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Potatoes, Peas
  • Key feature: Chicken-free formula with nutritional support for seniors
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 18% Crude Protein, 10% Crude Fat, 7% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 348 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Best for: Seniors

Older dogs suffer the most from food sensitivities. This senior dog food eliminates common allergens like chicken that may irritate the sensitive digestive systems of elderly pups.

A lower 18% crude protein content from deboned turkey is ideal for seniors. As dogs age, they become less active and require less protein than younger pups.

Easily digestible carbohydrates like peas and potatoes provide healthy sources of energy for your long-term companion. And a concentrated blend of antioxidants protects tissue from the oxidative damage caused by aging.

Senior dogs frequently suffer from arthritis. The added glucosamine in this formula helps keep older dogs comfortable and mobile. [8] And additional taurine helps keep aging hearts healthy.

Senior dog owners found that this turkey-based formula helped encourage a healthy appetite in their old pals. But some exceptional picky pups will spit out the “LifeSource” bits of kibble that contain concentrated vitamins and minerals.

Best Budget Chicken Free Dog Food

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
  • Key Feature: Affordable chicken-free formula with skin support
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 14% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 337 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Best For: Budget Chicken-Free Dog Food

Chicken is an inexpensive ingredient commonly used in even the best budget dog food formulas. But this Skin & Coat dog food from Diamond Naturals swaps out chicken without a drastic price increase.

The 25% crude protein content comes from salmon instead. Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can be valuable for promoting coat health in sensitive dogs who struggle with skin conditions. [9]

This kibble is hypoallergenic, limiting the risk of other allergies causing skin reactions. 

High levels of antioxidants and a proprietary blend of probiotics help boost your puppy’s immune system. Immune health is critical for managing allergic reactions from chicken and other food.

Dog owners note the added benefit of a shiny coat when feeding this formula. But, this dog food may not solve all itchy skin conditions.

Best Chicken Free High Protein Dog Food

Instinct Original Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chickpeas, Canola Oil
  • Key Feature: Premium chicken-free dog food based on rabbit meat
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 36.5% Crude Protein, 20% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 525 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Soy, No Wheat, Chicken-Free, Natural
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Premium Chicken-Free Dog Food

Farm-raised rabbit provides a healthy alternative to chicken that provides a high protein content of 36.5%.

This dog food features kibble coated in freeze-dried raw ingredients that are 71% animal-based and only 29% plant-based.

This formula also has a high 20% crude fat content. It is ideal for active dogs with chicken-sensitivities that need high-calorie diets. This fat features a high portion of healthy fatty acids from salmon and fish meal.

Live probiotics help support digestive regularity in dogs with sensitive stomachs. [10] And antioxidants from fruits and vegetables help combat free radicals in the body.

Many owners report increased energy levels in their dogs. But the high caloric content of this formula may not be suitable for overweight pups.

Chicken free wet do food

Natural Balance LID Canned Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Duck, Duck Broth, Potatoes, Dehydrated Potatoes, Potato Protein
  • Key Feature: Wet food with a simple chicken-free recipe
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 5% Crude Protein, 4% Crude Fat, 2% Crude Fiber, 82% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 420 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Sensitive Digestion, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Chicken-Free Wet Food

This simple wet food features a formula based solely on duck and potatoes. The limited ingredient formula eliminates common causes of food sensitivities like chicken, corn, soy, and peas.

Real duck provides a quality protein source that is also high in healthy fats and energy. The lower crude macronutrient percentages of this wet food reflect the high moisture content of the formula.

Potatoes are an excellent grain-free source of digestible carbohydrates. They are also high in potassium, which is essential for nerve function. [11]

Added vitamins and minerals ensure that this simple diet provides balanced nutrition to meet your pup’s needs.

If you struggle to find dog food that your pup will eat, wet food could be the answer. Most dog owners recommend this formula for the fussiest eaters. But this canned food can have a smoky smell

Best Small Breeds Dog Food without Chicken

Health Extension Little Bites Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Buffalo, Deboned Whitefish, Buffalo Meal, Whitefish Meal, Chickpeas
  • Key Feature: Chicken-free recipe suitable for toy and small breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Crude Protein, 15% Crude Fat, 5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 405 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Non-Gmo, Chicken Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Small Breeds

Small dogs have unique needs that most chicken-free formulas don’t meet. They also have little mouths that may struggle to chew regular kibble.

This chicken-free dog food features an exclusive formula designed for teacup, toy, and miniature dogs. Buffalo and whitefish are the primary ingredients, providing a high 25% protein content.

The limited proteins make this formula ideal for mini pups with sensitive stomachs. There are no by-products, rendered fats, hormones, or preservatives in this recipe.

A high fat content of 15% and digestible carbohydrates from chickpeas provide adequate energy for your small pup’s fast metabolism.

Unique supplements like apple cider vinegar and colostrum may help support immune function in vulnerable dogs. [12]

Toy breed owners appreciate the small kibble size of this dog food compared to competitors. But, this is not a limited-ingredient diet for dogs with severe allergies

Best Chicken Free Grain Free Dog Food

Nutro Limited Ingredient Large Breed Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas, Dried Potatoes, Dried Sweet Potatoes
  • Key Feature: Chicken-free formula designed for large breeds
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Crude Protein, 13% Crude Fat, 3.5% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 475 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Non-GMO, Chicken Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Large Breeds

Large breeds have unique nutritional requirements too. And some standard chicken-free formulas may not meet the individual needs of our gentle giants.

Instead of chicken, the primary ingredient of this formula is lamb. Lamb provides a moderate protein content of 20%. An average protein content is ideal for managing weight in large breeds.

This limited-ingredient recipe only uses ten nutrient-dense ingredients to provide a balanced diet. In addition to chicken, this formula also excludes wheat, soy, and corn.

Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin provide extra joint support. Large breeds are more likely to suffer from joint pain due to the additional weight their massive size places on their legs. [13]

Giant breed owners share that their dogs have an easier time chewing this formula’s large kibble size. But some dogs may experience smelly flatulence

Best Chicken Free Hypoallergenic Dog Food

Canidae Pure Grain-Free Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Key Feature: Limited ingredient diet for managing food sensitivities
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Crude Protein, 18% Crude Fat, 4% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 496 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Limited Ingredient Diet
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Sensitive Dogs

If you have to eliminate chicken from your dog’s diet, he probably has a sensitive stomach. Limited-ingredient diets can help manage allergies in dogs who suffer from food sensitivities.

These diets use simple recipes to meet nutritional requirements while eliminating common allergens, like chicken. This dog food uses salmon as a single protein source to provide 32% crude protein content.

A single protein source helps prevent the development of new allergies to other proteins. [11] Salmon is an excellent alternative to chicken that is also high in healthy fats.

Only eight simple ingredients make up this recipe. It does not include common allergens like grains, soy, wheat, and corn.

Grain-free diets can help reduce digestive upset but may negatively impact heart health. This grain-free option has added taurine to help promote cardiovascular function.

Many owners have success managing allergies in sensitive dogs with this chicken-free food. But the high-caloric content of 496 kcal/cup is not ideal for overweight dogs

Chicken Free Dog Food for Weight loss

Wellness Simple Healthy Weight Dog Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Key feature: Chicken-free recipe for overweight dogs
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Crude Protein, 8% Crude Fat, 6% Crude Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Caloric Content: 394 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Sensitive Digestion, Limited-Ingredient Diet, Weight Control, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best for: Weight Control

This chicken-free dog food provides a high 26% protein content from salmon. But the low 8% fat content makes this formula an ideal choice for weight management diets.

The simple recipe eliminates chicken and other common allergens to support dogs with sensitive stomachs and food allergies. [12]

But some sensitive dogs also have other special needs. It can be challenging to promote weight loss while following strict guidelines on an elimination diet. But the low-caloric content of this food can help dogs lose weight while avoiding chicken.

Excess weight is often associated with joint problems. Chondroprotective ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin help promote healthy cartilage and reduce joint discomfort.

6% fiber content helps keep your dog full and regulates his digestive tract. [13]

Owners of overweight dogs with food sensitivities have incorporated this dog food into successful weight management programs. But, it is not suitable for breeds that need high-fat content in their diet

Food Allergy or Food Intolerence?

Food allergies [14] in dogs are more likely to affect the skin than the digestive system, making them difficult to identify.

Itchy, scaly skin, hot spots, and recurring ear infections are all signs of a food allergy that should be investigated by your veterinarian.

If you believe your dog is allergic to chicken, seek advice from a veterinarian before beginning an elimination diet.

A dog allergy elimination diet consists of a list of food items to be avoided. You’ll know what was causing your dog’s allergy if he no longer has an adverse response.

Food Intolerance

Food allergies in dogs are relatively uncommon and difficult to identify. If your dog is unwell from gastrointestinal upset, it’s more likely that he has an intolerance to food.

Environmental factors may also trigger allergies. Food intolerances, on the other hand, are specifically triggered by food. Your dog could have a food intolerance if he experiences gas, bloating, vomiting, or diarrhea as a result of eating.

 Although they are different, both intolerances and allergies are treated in the same way: remove the substance from his diet.

Dog Food No Chicken!

Choosing the finest dog foods without chicken might be difficult. If your dog is allergic or intolerant to chicken, you’ll have to avoid all dog food ingredients that include it.

Examine the labels of the dry dog food brands you feed to see if they contain chicken meal, chicken fat, or other chicken-based ingredients.

Deboned Chicken

Pet food formulas that use real chicken meat have ‘chicken’ or ‘deboned chicken’ labeled as protein sources.

Deboned chicken is flesh and skin without bone, while whole chicken includes bone. Chicken breasts and other filets are examples of deboned pieces of chicken meat.

This ingredient is easy to spot on a dry dog food brand label. Dogs who are allergic to chicken should not eat dog foods that contain these ingredients.

dog eating from bowl
Examine the labels of the dry dog food brands you feed to see if they contain chicken meal, chicken fat, or other chicken-based ingredients.

Chicken Meal

Chicken meal is derived from the grinding of cooked chicken. The dried, ground-up meat used in this dish may contain flesh, skin, and bone. It does not include feet, heads, feathers, or intestinal contents.

Chicken meal is generally safe for dogs to eat and provides a natural source of glucosamine. Dogs with chicken allergies, on the other hand, cannot consume chicken meal. This ingredient can elicit the same response as whole chicken.

Chicken Fat

Chicken fat is derived from chicken meal production. Animal fats may be used to improve the flavor of dog food and boost omega-6 fatty acid content, according to certain studies.

Chicken fat is the source of the fat in this supplement, whereas protein is what causes chicken allergies. Chicken fat does not include that allergen, but some dogs with chicken allergy can still get upset stomachs after eating animal fats or by-products.

If your dog is allergic to chicken, you should consult with your veterinarian before giving him this component. However, it might be necessary to remove chicken fat from his diet as well.

Chicken By-Products

Chicken by-products, for example, are a common source of controversy in dog meals. After removing the parts for human consumption from a slaughtered chicken, the remainder is called chicken by-products.

Feet, backs, organs, and heads are all examples of meat processing waste. Other components that are declared unfit for human consumption may be used in by-products as well.

By-products from commercial pet food production are usually safe to eat. However, whole meat is typically a better option. When dogs consume these substances, they frequently suffer from digestive problems. Dogs allergic or sensitive to chicken should avoid chicken by-products at all costs.

pile of chicken feet in slaughterhouse
Chicken feet and organs can be used as part of the meat rendering process!

Best Probiotic for Dogs

Did you know that a dog’s gut health has a significant influence on its overall health? A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract! discover why this supplement is vital for your dog’s immune system and overall health-read our blog on: The Best Probiotics for Dogs

Best Chicken Free Dog Food - Our Verdict

The finest chicken-free dog foods contain high-quality protein alternatives with a lower allergy risk.

A chicken-free diet is required for dogs with poultry allergies or intolerances. We believe that Merrick Classic Real Beef + Green Peas Recipe with Ancient Grains is the ideal solution for removing chicken from your dog’s diet.

Chicken allergies are generally associated with itchy skin and digestive problems. If you believe your dog needs an elimination diet, speak to your veterinarian before making any nutritional adjustments

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