Best Dog Food Without Chicken: Top 9 Choices In 2023

Chicken and chicken-based products are among the most commonly used ingredients for dog food worldwide. It is an excellent lean protein, a source of essential and healthy nutrients, and inexpensive.

But unfortunately, chicken is also one of the most common canine allergens.

If your pup is allergic to or is sensitive to chicken, the best way to keep it well is to avoid feeding it any chicken-based food at all.

Here is a detailed guide for choosing the best dog food without chicken.

We have included tips for feeding dogs with chicken allergy or sensitivity and ways to ensure the dog food is safe and suitable for your pup.

Why Is There Dog Food Without Chicken?

Although most dog food contains some form of chicken, some manufacturers and brands make chicken-free dog foods and treats.

The reason is that chicken is among the leading allergens for dogs. Eating any chicken-based food can cause mild to severe allergic and immune responses to allergic pups. It can cause digestive and other upsets in dogs that are sensitive to this popular protein source.

Some of the most common allergic reactions in canines include:

  • Itching
  • Hot spots
  • Dry skin
  • Hives
  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Eye discharge
  • Swelling
  • Inner ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • In severe cases – anaphylactic shock

The signs that your furbaby may have chicken intolerance are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Smelly gas

The easiest way to prevent such side effects is to avoid chicken at all when buying or cooking food for your furry friend.

What Makes Dog Food With No Chicken Different?

This type of dog food contains no chicken or chicken-based products. Instead, the best chicken-free dog foods have one or more alternative high-quality proteins as their first ingredients.

A balanced and complete chicken-free dog food also contains healthy fats, digestible carbohydrates, other nutrients, probiotics, and ingredients that will help keep your pup healthy, well, and happy.

Why Should You Stop Feeding Your Dog Chicken?

The main reason for avoiding giving your furry companion chicken is if it is allergic or intolerant to it.

Even if your pup has not been tested or diagnosed with a chicken allergy or intolerance but displays some of the above symptoms, switching to another food is a good idea.

One of the ways to determine your dog’s allergies and sensitivities is to put it on an exclusion diet. This can be done by feeding it with specialized single-protein dog foods and monitoring it for symptoms.

Another reason to choose chicken-free dog food is to avoid artificial and potentially harmful fillers, preservatives, and other ingredients in certain chicken-based foods.

Why You Should Talk To Your Vet First

Since nutrition is essential for your dog’s well-being and overall health, it is essential to speak with your veterinarian about any worrying symptoms or concerns you have, as well as about the best dog food for your furbaby.

Your vet can help you select the best food and diet for your dog, depending on its age, size, health, and activity level.

A well-balanced and complete diet is vital for your pet.

So, talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet or adding new foods, especially human foods.

The 9 Best Chicken-Free Dog Foods:

Here are our recommendations for the top-rated and best-quality chicken-free dog foods on the market.

Best Overall: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoke-Flavored Salmon Grain-Free

TASTE OF THE WILD Pacific Stream Smoke Flavored Salmon

  • Name: Wild Pacific Stream
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Food type: dry food
  • Life stage: all life stages
  • Breed: all breeds and sizes
  • First ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas
  • Crude protein: 25.0% min.
  • Size: 5, 14, and 28 lbs.
  • Others: grain-free, chicken-free, with a smoked salmon, fish, and seafood flavor, made in the USA

This high-protein dry food is an excellent chicken and grain-free option for sensitive or allergic dogs. It contains real fish as a first ingredient, as well as healthy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, and superfood fruits such as blueberries and raspberries.

The kibble has a palatable smoked salmon and fish taste and contains a number of added healthy and essential nutrients, as well as antioxidants, probiotics, and prebiotics for a healthy immune system and digestion and for lean muscles, strong bones, and overall wellness.

It contains no chicken-based foods, including no chicken fat, chicken meal, or even eggs. This chicken-free and grain-free dry dog food is also free of maize, wheat, soy, or artificial colors.

You can buy this chicken-free food in the Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain variant, which has lamb as the main protein source.

Highest Protein Dog Food: Acana Grain Free Dry Dog Food and Crunchy Treats

  • Name: Wild Atlantic
  • Brand: Acana
  • Food type: freeze-dry coated dry food
  • Life stage: all life stages
  • Breed: all breeds and sizes
  • First ingredients: Whole Mackerel, Whole Herring, Whole Redfish, Silver Hake, Mackerel Meal
  • Crude protein: 33% min.
  • Size: 9 oz, 4.5, 13, or 25 lbs.
  • Others: 70% animal-based, chicken-free, grain-free, natural, with a freeze-dried cod flavor, made in the USA

This high-protein chicken-free dog food is an excellent option for dogs with chicken or grain allergies and intolerances and those with sensitive stomachs.

It has 70% animal and 30% plant-based content, including real fish as its first ingredients, and added healthy whole red lentils, pinto beans, green lentils, chickpeas, green peas, yellow peas, pumpkin, pears, butternut squash, and more.

The added plant-based ingredients are all real and natural and add more vital nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber.

The probiotics and prebiotics included will further ensure that your pup’s digestive system is healthy and functioning properly.

Thanks to the freeze-dried kibble, it is not only healthy, but it is also delicious for most dogs, even the fussy eaters.

It is also available in a chicken-free Freshwater Fish recipe.

Budget Pick: Diamond Naturals Premium Formulas Dry Dog Food

  • Name: Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice
  • Brand: Diamond
  • Food type: dry food
  • Life stage: adult
  • Breed: all breeds and sizes
  • First ingredients: Lamb Meal, Ground White Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Grain Sorghum, Egg Product
  • Crude protein: 23% min.
  • Size: 6, 20, or 40 lbs.
  • Others: no corn, soy, wheat, or grain

This adult dog food has a pasture-raised lamb meal as its first ingredient, which is a healthy alternative to chicken. If your furry companion is very sensitive or allergic to chicken and chicken-based products, please note that this budget-friendly dog food contains chicken fat and egg products. Although rare, this can trigger allergic reactions and other side effects in some dogs!

The food also includes healthy antioxidants, omega fatty acids, proprietary probiotics, and superfoods such as kale, pumpkin, chia seed, and blueberries.

If your pup does not react adversely to chicken fat or egg products, this kibble is an excellent choice if you don’t want to break the bank for good quality, grain-free dry dog food.

It is also available in Lamb Meal and Rice for giant breeds and Beef meal and Rice.

Best Beef Kibble: Instinct Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, High Protein Dog Food

  • Name: Instinct Original Grain-Free With Real Beef
  • Brand: Instinct
  • Food type: freeze-dry raw coated dry food
  • Life stage: all life stages, except for large breed puppies (check these food options suitable for large breed puppies)
  • Breed: all breeds and sizes
  • First ingredients: Beef, White Fish Meal, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat, Peas
  • Crude protein: 35.00% min
  • Size: 4, 20, 22.5 lbs.
  • Others: gluten-free, grain-free, natural, high-protein

This top-rated dog food contains 70% real animal and 30% plant-based ingredients. The first ingredient is US-raised beef, and the kibble is made with a lip-smacking freeze-dried raw coating.

It is entirely gluten and grain-free, but dog parents with allergic pups need to note that this food contains chicken fat, which some dogs can be sensitive to.

This kibble has no corn, wheat, potatoes, soy, by-product meals, or artificial ingredients. It contains natural omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and probiotics, which will help keep your pup healthy, fit, and happy.

This protein-packed grain-free dry food is also available in other tastes and with other main proteins, which are alternatives to chicken, such as Real Salmon, Real Rabbit, and Real Duck.

Best Lamb Dog Food: Stella & Chewy’s Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties

STELLA CHEWY'S Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties

  • Name: Dandy Lamb Dinner Patties
  • Brand: Stella & Chewy’s
  • Food type: freeze-dried raw patties
  • Life stage: adult
  • Breed: all breeds and sizes
  • First ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Liver, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney
  • Crude protein: 38.00% min.
  • Size: 5.5-oz, 14-oz, 25-oz
  • Others: grain-free, gluten-free, limited ingredient diet, raw and freeze-dried, no chicken, no peas, all-natural and organic animal and plant ingredients

If you prefer feeding your furry friend with raw dog food, then the chicken-free Dandy Lamb patties are a top choice.

The food is made with limited ingredients, predominantly grass-fed organic lamb. This is perfect for elimination diets and for dogs who are sensitive not only to chicken but to other ingredients as well.

The lamp patties are freeze-dried raw and are very convenient as a ready meal for your dog. You can serve them straight from the bag or rehydrate them with some water before that.

Only sustainably sourced and organically certified ingredients are used for making these delicious patties.

They are grain and gluten-free, pea-free, and completely organic.

This product is available in other chicken-free recipes and flavors, including Absolutely Rabbit, Duck Duck Goose, Simply Venison, Purely Pork, Venison Blend, Tantalizing Turkey, and Remarkable Red Meat.

Best Venison Dog Food: American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison & Sweet Potato

AMERICAN JOURNEY Limited Ingredient Venison Sweet Potato

  • Name: Limited Ingredient Venison and Sweet Potato
  • Brand: American Journey by Chewy
  • Food type: dry food
  • Life stage: adult
  • Breed: all breeds, all sizes
  • First ingredients: Deboned Venison, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, Venison Meal
  • Crude protein: 22.00% min.
  • Size: 12 or 24 lbs.
  • Others: single-animal protein source, limited ingredients, no corn, wheat, or soy

This top-rated chicken-free dry food has limited ingredients, and its only animal protein source is venison. It is perfect for allergic dogs or pups with sensitivities.

The grain-free venison dry dog food also contains healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients like carrots, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and more to support the immune system and the health of your furbaby’s skin, coat, eyes, heart, and overall health.

The other flavors of this food that are suitable for sensitive pups include Duck & Sweet Potato, Lamb & Sweet Potato, Salmon & Sweet Potato, and Turkey & Sweet Potato.

Best Fish Kibble: I and Love and You Grain-Free Simply Sea Dry Dog Food

I AND LOVE AND YOU-Nude Food Grain Free Simply Sea

  • Name: Nude Food Grain-Free Simply Sea
  • Brand: I and Love and You
  • Food type: dry food
  • Life stage: all life stages
  • Breed: all breeds
  • First ingredients: Whitefish, Menhaden Fish Meal, Salmon Meal, Dried Peas, Garbanzo Beans
  • Crude protein: 45.00% min.
  • Size: 5 or 23 lbs.
  • Others: sensitive digestion, grain-free, no corn, soy, or wheat, low glycemic, high-protein

This heart-shaped kibble not only looks adorable, but it is very palatable even to the pickiest dogs.

It doesn’t contain any chicken or chicken-based products and has added digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics, which can help prevent or resolve stomach problems that are so common in sensitive or allergic pups.

The kibble contains some superfoods such as coconut oil, flaxseed, and turmeric and is formulated to be a healthy choice for dogs of all ages and breeds.

It is also available in a chicken-free Red Meat Medley option.

Best Kangaroo Meat Dog Food: Zignature Kangaroo Formula With Probiotics

ZIGNATURE Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula With Probiotics

  • Name: Kangaroo Limited Ingredients Formula With Probiotics
  • Brand: Zignature
  • Food type: dry food
  • Life stage: puppies to adults
  • Breed: all breeds
  • First ingredients: Kangaroo, Kangaroo Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Pea Flour
  • Crude protein: 27.00%
  • Size: 4, 12.5, or 25 lbs.
  • Others: grain-free, single protein source, limited ingredient, chicken-free, dairy-free, low-glycemic, fiber-rich

Unless you live in Australia, Kangaroo meat may sound a little exotic to some dog parents. But it is actually a prime source of complete protein, which is a perfect alternative to chicken or other proteins to which your furry companion is allergic or sensitive.

The kibble by Zignature is formulated specifically for canines with allergies or intolerances, as well as for picky eaters.

It has added probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and other essential nutrients for your pup.

You can also find this dry dog food in a wide array of other chicken-free flavors, including Catfish, Duck, Goat, Guinea Fowl, Lamb, Salmon, Pork, Venison, Turkey, Trout and Salmon, and Whitefish.

Best Turkey Dog Food: The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Dehydrated Dog Food

THE HONEST KITCHEN Whole Grain Turkey Recipe

  • Name: Whole Grain Turkey Recipe
  • Brand: The Honest Kitchen
  • Food type: dehydrated human-grade dog food
  • Life stage: adults
  • Breed: all breeds
  • First ingredients: Dehydrated Turkey, Organic Oats, Dehydrated Potatoes, Organic Flaxseed, Dehydrated Carrots
  • Crude protein: 22.00% min.
  • Size: 2, 4, and 7 lbs. (which make 8, 16, or 28 lbs. of food)
  • Others: human-grade, GMO-free, grain-free, pea free, chicken-free,

As a loving dog parent, you are probably convinced that your furbaby deserves the best food, even though it has a chicken allergy or sensitivity.

This dehydrated dog food which is a premium, human-grade food, is the best option you can choose.

Its main ingredients are cage-free turkeys, oats, cabbage, and other completely natural and organic ingredients.

They are prepared in a human-grade kitchen and provide a complete and balanced diet for dogs of all breeds and ages.

All you need to do is to add water to the food, and your pup will be delighted with this delicious, healthy homemade meal.

The food sold in boxes is expanded to double the quantity of food once it is hydrated with added water.

This premium-quality food is also available in Fish and Oat and Beef flavors.

What Are The Alternatives To Chicken For Your Dog?

Protein is the most important nutrient and the basis of a healthy dog’s diet. So, you may be wondering which other protein sources are suitable and as healthy for your pup, which has a chicken allergy or intolerance.

Unfortunately, canines can be allergic to other proteins like pork, beef, fish, lamb, or eggs as well.

If you are just getting started looking for an alternative dog food for your allergic pup and one that doesn’t contain any chicken-based products, then there are other options.

Some are more obvious, and others are pretty exotic.

Here is a list of safe protein alternatives to chicken when it comes to dog food:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Duck
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Turkey
  • Bison
  • Rabbit
  • Whitefish
  • Tilapia
  • Alligator
  • Pheasant
  • Cricket
  • Kangaroo
  • Buffalo
  • Venison

The best-case scenario is that your dog has been tested, and the results show the specific proteins or other foods it should and should not eat.

But with some pups with allergies and sensitivities, the exact diagnosis is not so clear-cut.

In this case, your veterinarian or animal nutritionist will recommend a diet, which is often one of excluding ingredients, and feeding your furbaby with single protein dog foods or foods with a limited number of ingredients. But these foods should contain all essential nutrients to provide your furry companion with a complete and balanced diet.

Once you find the dog food which your dog can eat without symptoms or problems, your task will be way easier.

Your vet should be able to give you advice on how to proceed with the new dietary requirements, how to introduce and remove foods from it gradually, and what to monitor your dog for.

Buyer’s Guide – Picking The Best Dog Food Without Chicken

Meeting AAFCO Guidelines

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has set specific nutritional standards for all types of dog, and other pet foods made and sold in the USA.

When choosing a dog food, make sure that it meets these standards.

The reason is that canines of different breeds, sizes, and ages have different nutritional requirements.

The food you pick for your furry companion should be allergen-free and should be formulated to meet its age, size, activity level, and overall health.

What Is The First Ingredient?

Always take the time to read the ingredient list on the dog food box, bag, or can. The first ingredients are the leading ones to check, but if your pup is sensitive or allergic to chicken, you should also look at the remaining ingredients.

According to the requirements and standards, the ingredients in the dog food should be listed in the order in which they are prevalent and used.

The quality of dog food can easily be established by the first and most prevalent ingredients. So look for foods with real meat, fish, and organic protein sources as the first ingredients.

Look for some “sneaky” chicken-based ingredients that may be included in the food’s formula.

Some of these ingredients include:

  • Chicken meal
  • Chicken by-products
  • Chicken by-products meal
  • Poultry by-product meal
  • Poultry meal
  • Chicken broth
  • Chicken fat
  • Eggs

The last two ingredients are tolerated well by some allergic dogs, but other pups with chicken allergies may react to eggs or chicken fat in the food as well.

Protein Content

Protein is the foundation of a canine’s diet, so all dogs need sufficient amounts of proteins to be healthy, fit, and happy and to live longer lives.

It is recommended to select dog foods that have a content of a minimum of 20% protein.

The higher the protein content in dog food, the better it is, especially for active dogs.

Added Nutrients

Dog parents should also check the added nutrients used to fortify the food. The best quality dog foods contain natural and healthy nutrients, such as minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and supplements such as glucosamine and others.

Each is essential for your pup’s health, well-being, and good looks.

So, if you want your furry companion to be healthy, happy, and live longer, investing in high-quality dog food is a good idea.

Addressing Medical Conditions

Apart from looking for food that meets the AAFCO guidelines and is suitable for your furbaby’s age, weight, and activity level, you should also keep your pet’s health in mind.

If your dog has allergies, food intolerances, pancreatic, kidney, obesity, or other issues, it is advisable to select foods formulated specifically for those conditions.

Obviously, if your pup has allergies and sensitivities, avoid feeding it any food containing the allergens.

Pet Palatability

Even if you think that you are buying the best dog food for your furry companion, it is essential that it actually eats it.

Some pups are not picky eaters, but others can be quite finicky with food.

Try to find the food you think your dog will enjoy the most when selecting the right chicken-free dog food.

FAQs On Non-Chicken Dog Food

Can Dogs Allergic to Chicken Eat Turkey or Duck?

Unfortunately, there is no one straight answer to this question. Some dogs with a proven chicken allergy can safely eat other poultry like duck or turkey. Others will react to these other bird-based proteins in a similar fashion to chicken.

But, since the allergens in the chicken are proteins that are different than those in duck or turkey meat, it is less likely that your pet will have similar allergic reactions to the latter too.

Speak to your vet for more advice about safe poultry for your pup.

Can Dogs Allergic to Chicken Eat Chicken Fat?

This is another question that worried dog parents often ask, but one which doesn’t have a straightforward answer for all pups.

The allergens which trigger the adverse effects in some allergic canines are generally in the protein of the chicken meat and products.

Since chicken fat does not contain this protein, your allergic pup should be able to eat it safely.

But unfortunately, some sensitive and allergic dogs cannot tolerate food containing chicken fat either.

Also, lower-fat dog food can be a healthier option, especially if your dog is overweight, obese, or has pancreatic or heart problems.

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