What is a chicken meal in dog food? Chicken meal is a dry rendered product made from chicken flesh and skin, and the meat may also be rendered with bones. It comes from whole chicken carcasses that have been removed from all feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. This meal is suitable for use in many different foods, including cereals, salads, and even pet food. For this reason, chicken meal is an excellent choice for both pet food and backyard gardeners.
The chicken meal has a lot of nutritional value, so it’s commonly included in dog food. For starters, chicken meal is high in protein, a vital ingredient that aids in muscular growth and immune function. Chicken meal is also a natural source of glucosamine, a cartilage tissue-building component. Glucosamine can aid in the maintenance of healthy joints, allowing your dog to remain active for a more extended period. Be sure to buy dog food that contains supplemental glucosamine and chicken meals.
How is Chicken Meal Made?
The most crucial factor is the source of the chicken feed. Chicken meal is often made from the chicken’s skin and bones, including flesh and other animal parts such as necks, feet, and intestines. It’s worth noting that the sections of the chicken utilized in chicken meals aren’t fit for human eating. In some situations, the chicken meal ingredient is derived from 4D meat (meat from animals that are dead, dying, ill, or crippled), which raises a whole new set of issues, such as the presence of extraneous items or unsafe quantities of medicines.
The producer saves money, but the actual penalty is that inferior (and often frightening) substances are introduced into your dog’s diet, compromising their general health. The chicken pieces are dried and cooked at high temperatures for long periods to make a chicken meal.
Rendering is a procedure that separates the fat and eliminates the water to produce a concentrated protein powder that mimics maize meal, hence the term “meal.”Bacteria, viruses, parasites, and creatures die due to this high-temperature process. Unfortunately, all nutrients are lost (known as “dead food”), requiring nutrients to be chemically sprayed onto the food to meet AAFCO nutritional requirements.
Is Chicken Meal Good for Dogs?
When it comes to the safety of chicken meals, you’re better off sticking with the best quality. You can find it in various forms, including deboned chicken breasts, entire carcasses, and meat-by-product from a chicken farm. High-quality meat meals contain little or no ash, which means a low bone-to-meat ratio. It’s essential to choose a quality product with minimal contaminants to ensure the safety of your pet.
The chicken meal has a lot of nutritional value, so it’s commonly included in dog food. For starters, chicken meal is high in protein, a vital ingredient that aids in muscular growth and immune function.
Chicken meal is also a natural source of glucosamine, a cartilage tissue-building component. Glucosamine can aid in the maintenance of healthy joints, allowing your dog to remain active for a more extended period. Be sure to buy a portion of dog food that contains supplemental glucosamine and chicken meals.
Why do Some Manufacturers Include Chicken Meals in Dog Food?
- Makes Pet Food Cheaper: Companies can cut costs, making the end product more affordable to the consumer. However, cheaper doesn’t mean better, especially when the actual cost is your dog’s wellbeing and health—no product is worth illness.
- Longer Shelf Life: The end product is shelf-stable for longer.
Components of Chicken Meal
Chicken meal is ground to a fine powder. It consists of a variety of chicken parts, including the flesh, bones, and skin. Although bone is frequently included in chicken meals, the Association of American Feed Control Officials does not require it in all cases. Nails and blood are not included in the chicken meal. According to veterinarian Debra Eldredge and author Terry Albert, authors of “Your Labrador Retriever Puppy,” meat meals such as chicken meals are included in pet foods to increase protein levels. Chicken by-product meal, on the other hand, is less nutritious than a chicken meal and frequently contains parts like heads and feet. Chicken by-product meals may also contain feathers and eggs. These are never included in a chicken meal.
Is Chicken Meal Bad for Dogs?
While the chicken meal is an approved source of protein in pet food, there are downfalls.
Disadvantages of Chicken Meals in Dog Food
- Digestibility: Pets BEST digest and absorb essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in the natural state, not through the chicken meal, pills, or powder supplements.
- Made from 4D Animals: 4D meats are unfit for human consumption. Everything is killed off in the rendering process, including inherent nutrients or vitamins.
- Artificial Nutrients: Artificial nutrients are not easily digestible. While the chicken meal is considered an approved protein source in pet food, what pets can digest and utilize.
- Not a Whole Food Ingredient: It all comes down to digestibility, which counts for proper nutrition, healthier bodies, shiny coats, and good stool quality.
What are the Healthier Protein Alternatives to Chicken and Meat Meal?
We advocate providing your pet with high-quality, whole component protein meat since whole foods are easier to digest and absorb.
Top 5 Protein types of Meat for Dogs
- Chicken (including chicken necks & chicken liver): Chicken necks are loaded with healthy calcium and chondroitin, glucosamine, and omega-3s to help improve joint function and reduce inflammation.
- Duck (including duck necks): Duck necks promote joint, skin, and cellular function and also help to build strong bones and teeth.
- Beef (including heart & liver): Beef heart is a natural source of taurine, essential for heart health. The beef heart also helps build muscle, store energy and boost stamina and endurance. The heart is also essential for healthy joints because it contains twice as much collagen and elastin as regular meat.
- Salmon: Salmon is rich in omega-3s, which nourish healthy skin and modulate the body’s inflammatory responses.
- Rabbit: The rabbit provides ample moisture and hydration, and the rabbit nourishes to kidneys and supports the liver. It is considered a novel protein with hypoallergenic properties—perfect for dogs with allergies. Feeding our pets fresh, natural ingredients results in a healthier, more muscular body and an opportunity for longer life.
Chicken meal is meat protein. Raw chicken is 70 percent water so it will drop in the ingredient list. Therefore, if the chicken is listed in the top five ingredients, it represents at least 80% of the overall contents. It’s also easy to find a chicken meal in pet food. Just look for the word chicken on the label. And don’t worry about a chicken-free diet. It’s better for your dog than the alternatives.
A lot of pet food labels list chicken meals as an ingredient. It’s an excellent choice for dogs and cats alike. The meat from chickens is melted and ground to create a powder, then incorporated into a pet food recipe. However, chicken meal is not suitable for humans, so consult the labels to know what you’re feeding your pet. It’s better to choose a food that’s proven safe for them.
Aside from the chicken meal, you can also use alternative protein sources. Salmon, duck, and turkey meals are all a good choice if your dog has a sensitive stomach. If your dog’s reaction to the chicken meal is allergic to chicken, you may want to try a lamb meal. Lamb meal has a similar profile, but you’ll need to test the product on a small amount first. It might be a better choice than the chicken meal.