10 Best Chicken-Free Dog Foods For Dogs With Allergies in 2022

This our 2022 review of the best chicken free dog food.

Chicken is a popular ingredient in dog food. It’s nutritious, tasty, and rich in protein and nutrients.

But, chicken is also a common cause of allergies for dogs. And it can be difficult to find dog food without chicken that meets the nutritional needs of canines. If your dog suffers from chicken allergies or intolerances, then you’ll need to remove it from your canine’s diet.

Luckily, we’ve been busy researching so you don’t have to. And we found American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food to be the best chicken free dog food. It uses deboned duck instead of chicken, and it’s packed full of healthy nutrients that’ll get their tail wagging in no time.

But we know that every dog is different. So we’ve found 9 other dog foods without chicken for a variety of scenarios, health problems, and ages.

Let’s get started.

Our 10 Best Chicken Free Dog Food

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food
American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food
  • Loaded with antioxidants for immune health
  • High 25% protein content
  • Has no chicken, corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products, or artificial ingredients
  • Taurine included for heart health
9.5
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Best Budget
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula Dog Food
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula Dog Food
  • Contains K9 proprietary probiotics for the digestive system
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Has several high-quality ingredients that premium brands would have too
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned company
8
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Best for Puppies
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula
  • Full of nutrients that will support your puppy's growth
  • 27% protein comes from high-quality animal sources like salmon
  • High concentrations of omega fatty acids
  • Made in the USA without corn, wheat, soy, grains, chicken, or artificial ingredients
9
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Best for Small Breeds
Health Extension Grain-Free Little Bites Buffalo & Whitefish Dog Food
Health Extension Grain-Free Little Bites Buffalo & Whitefish Dog Food
  • Made and source in the USA
  • Has several high-quality proteins like deboned whitefish and buffalo
  • Made without by-products, rendered animal fats, corn, wheat, soy, chicken, or artificial ingredients
  • Ideal caloric content for fast metabolisms
9
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Best for Large Breeds
Nutro Grain-Free Adult Large Breed Lamb & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
Nutro Grain-Free Adult Large Breed Lamb & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
  • Made using 10 ingredients to prevent food allergies
  • Low calories are great for slow metabolisms of large breeds
  • Plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Made with no GMOs, artificial ingredients, chicken, corn, wheat, or soy
8.5
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  1. American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food (Best Overall Chicken Free Dog Food)
  2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon Puppy Formula (Best for Puppies)
  3. Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Senior Dog Food (Best for Seniors)
  4. Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula Dog Food (Best Budget Chicken Free Dog Food)
  5. Zignature Kangaroo Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Formula (Best Premium Chicken Free Dog Food)
  6. Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Real Beef Canned Dog Food (Best Wet Chicken Free Dog Food)
  7. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Dry Dog Food (Best for Sensitive Dogs)
  8. Wellness Simple Healthy Weight Salmon & Peas Dry Dog Food (Best for Weight Loss)
  9. Health Extension Grain-Free Little Bites Buffalo & Whitefish Dog Food (Best for Small Breeds)
  10. Nutro Grain-Free Adult Large Breed Lamb & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food (Best for Large Breeds)


10 Best Chicken Free Dog Foods: Reviewed

All the dog foods we are about to discuss meet an AAFCO daily nutrient profile for dogs. Before switching your dog’s food, consult a veterinarian. [1]

Best Overall
American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Duck, Duck Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 324 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, Sensitive Digestion, High-Protein
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

If you’re considering dog food without chicken, your pup most likely has food sensitivities or allergies.

If that’s the case, then you should try this grain-free dog food from American Journey.

Your pup will enjoy deboned venison as the first ingredient, a tender, tasty protein source that’s ideal for sensitive digestive systems. Plus, this protein-dense ingredient is loaded with rich animal fat, amino acids, and nutrients.

And venison meal is added to boost the 22% protein, which keeps muscles lean and strong.

Peas and sweet potatoes act as easily digestible energy sources and give a boost to your canine’s immune system. These healthy veggies are packed full of antioxidants which help protect tissue against oxidative damage.

It is made without corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals, artificial flavors, or preservatives, ideal if your dog suffers from food allergies or intolerances.

Flaxseed and sunflower oil offer canines healthy amounts of omega fatty acids, which aid joints and nourishes your dog’s skin and coat. And, if that wasn’t enough, these healthy fats support brain function too. [2]

American Journey’s limited ingredient diet is made in the USA, using only the finest domestic and global ingredients you can trust.

What We Like
  • Contains easily digestible ingredients like peas and sweet potatoes
  • High amounts of antioxidants boost the immune system
  • Full of energy-dense ingredients
  • High 25% protein
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meals, or artificial ingredients
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids to nurture the skin and coat
  • Added Taurine for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Can initially cause infrequency in stool
  • Isn't a huge hit with some fussy eaters
  • Some dog parents notice a distinct fishy smell


Best for Puppies
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon Puppy Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 27% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 360 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Growth

Give your puppy the best start in life with Taste of the Wild’s Pacific Stream puppy dog food. It is made with novel proteins, natural antioxidants, and real fruits and veggies for complete and balanced nutrition.

Real smoked salmon acts as the primary protein source, supporting your puppy’s bone growth and protecting joints and muscles. It’s also loaded with omega fatty acids which give your puppy luscious, healthy skin and promotes brain and eye development. [3]

However, the recipe has several other protein-dense ingredients like ocean fish mealsalmon meal, and pea protein. All of which will protect your canine’s muscles and give them bundles of energy.

Natural antioxidants work alongside species-specific K9 Proprietary Probiotics to nourish healthy bacteria in your dog’s belly and optimize immune system health.

Plus, natural fruits and veggies like dried chicory root, blueberries, and tomatoes are included for natural dietary fibers for healthy digestion. 

This grain free recipe has essential minerals chelated with amino acids, making sure your furry friend is getting the maximum benefits from their diet. It ensures all the healthy nutrients are digested and absorbed correctly, preventing growth issues for puppies. [4]

Taste of the Wild puppy food is an excellent option for dogs sensitive to chicken-based dog foods. It’s made in the USA using local and global sustainable sources. And it’s free of corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients.

What We Like
  • Made without grains, corn, wheat, and artificial ingredients
  • Smoked salmon is the first ingredient
  • High amounts of omega fatty acids for heart, skin, coat, joints, and brain health
  • Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics for digestion
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned brand using trusted global and local sources
  • Loaded with antioxidants and prebiotics to boost the immune and digestive systems
  • High 27% protein
What We Don't Like
  • Not specialized for the unique needs of giant or toy dog breeds
  • It does have a strong odor, which can be off-putting


Best for Seniors
Blue Buffalo Basics Turkey & Potato Senior Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Potatoes, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 18% Protein, 10% Fat, 7% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 348 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Limited Ingredient Diet, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Senior

Senior dogs are more likely to suffer from food sensitivities. And chicken is a common allergen. So, most of the time, they’ll need dog foods without chicken to prevent aggravating their digestive system.

This limited ingredient dog food uses real turkey as the recipe’s 18% protein sourceAnd the slightly less protein content is ideal for senior pups because they’re less active.

It is loaded with essential nutrients that your old furry friend needs. For example, they need high concentrations of glucosamine to protect their vulnerable joints and improve mobility. [5]

Taurine is included to support heart health. And omega fatty acids aid joints, brain function, improve the skin, and give your canine a healthy coat. These healthy fats work with the added taurine to improve heart health too. 

Added peas and potatoes act as digestible carbohydrates for energy. They also provide senior dogs with potent antioxidants which protect their tissue from oxidative damage, a common problem for this age group. And pumpkin is included for its rich amounts of dietary fibers, which improves your dog’s digestive system.

Blue Buffalo Basic Limited Ingredient diet is all-natural dog food made without any poultry by-product meal, artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, or soy.

And it’s crafted by their dedicated team of vets and animal nutritionists. So you can rest assured, your best friend will live a healthy and long life.

What We Like
  • The first ingredient is real turkey, followed by other nutritional whole fruits, veggies, and meats
  • Made with Blue Buffalo's exclusive LifeSource Bits
  • Made without poultry by-product meals, artificial ingredients, corn, wheat, soy, and chicken
  • A unique blend of vitamins and minerals promote your dog's overall well-being
  • High concentrations of glucosamine to support older joints
  • Loaded with antioxidants for immune health
  • Supplemented Taurine for heart health
  • Has plenty of omega fatty acids to improve skin and coat
What We Don't Like
  • Some dogs "spit out" the LifeSource bits of kibble


Best Budget
Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat Formula Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Fish Meal, Potatoes, Lentils, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Protein, 14% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 337 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: All Life Stages

Give your sensitive pooch the balanced nutrition they deserve with this affordable, high-quality dog food from Diamond Naturals.

Many dog foods will include chicken protein because it’s packed full of nutrients and low in calories. Simply, it’s more cost-effective for them to have it. Yet, this high protein formula does a remarkable job in replacing it. In fact, it features ingredients that many high quality dog foods would use.

Diamond Naturals Skin & Coat formula is formulated for dogs of all life stages. It’s also great for pups that may have skin problems caused by allergies or intolerances.

Wild-caught salmon is the first ingredient on the list. Not only is it an excellent animal protein source, but it has high amounts of omega fatty acids that will improve dry, sensitive skin. [6]

But if that wasn’t good enough, Diamond Naturals has included canola oil as an added source of these healthy fats.

This dog food formula has several nutrient-rich ingredients with an abundance of vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies. Superfoods like blueberries, pumpkin, lentils, and peas are all included to support the immune system. Plus, supplemented probiotics work in harmony with these healthy ingredients to improve digestion.

This grain-free formula is made in the USA and is free of corn, wheat, artificial colors, or flavors. It’s an energy-rich meal that will improve your loveable friend’s overall wellness and have them craving more bowl after bowl.

What We Like
  • Nutrient-rich recipe, loaded with vitamins and minerals
  • Has several high-quality ingredients some premium brands would have too
  • Formulated for all life stages, so there's no need to switch
  • Made in the USA by a family-owned company
  • Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics for the digestive system
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, and chicken
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids and glucosamine
  • It has high amounts of antioxidants for the immune and digestive systems
  • High 25% protein
What We Don't Like
  • Isn't effective with all skin conditions
  • Isn't great for picky dogs
  • Can cause diarrhea sometimes


Best Premium
Zignature Kangaroo Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Formula
  • First 5 ingredients: Kangaroo, Kangaroo Meal, Chickpeas, Peas, Sunflower Oil
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 28% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 337 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Low Glycemic, Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Chicken-Free, Natural
  • AAFCO Life Stage: All Life Stages

If you’re only after the finest nutrition for your best friend, then you should Zignature’s Kangaroo Limited Ingredient dog food. Every bowl is filled with wholesome nutrition, with a unique blend of tastes and textures that’ll keep them wanting more.

Real kangaroo, which has been sourced directly from Australia, is the primary source of protein in this grain-free recipe. This novel protein will protect your canine’s muscles. And it’s full of essential B vitamins that help keep blood and nerve cells healthy and support brain function.

But that’s not all; Kangaroo is an excellent source of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) that will help pups who struggle with weight and promote lean muscle mass. [7]

Wholesome peas and chickpeas are low-glycemic ingredients that act as natural sources of energy for your dog. Plus, they contribute healthy antioxidants to support the immune system and dietary fibers for digestion.

Like limited ingredient dog foods, Zignature has thrown out troublesome ingredients like chicken, potatoes, corn, wheat, and soy. So not only is it suitable for pups with sensitivities, but also picky eaters.

What We Like
  • Has a single protein source that prevents new allergies from forming
  • Made with high-quality Kangaroo from Australia
  • Made without corn, wheat, soy, dairy, chicken, and other common allergens
  • Chickpeas and peas included for powerful antioxidants
  • Full of low-glycemic ingredients manage to prevent blood spikes
  • Kangaroo has twice the amounts of vitamin B12 than other protein meats
  • Rich amounts of iron
  • Is loaded with omega fatty acids and other essential B vitamins
  • Supplemented taurine for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Can have an odor that can put off finicky eaters
  • Slightly pricey compared to other dog food brands
  • Not suitable for pea sensitive dogs


Best Wet
Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Real Beef Canned Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Beef, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Protein, 6% Fat, 1.4% Fiber, 78% Moisture
  • Calories: 395 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Pea-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Some pups simply don’t like the crunchy texture of dry dog food. However, most wet foods will use common allergens like chicken. So it can be hard to find a complete, nutritional meal for them.

This is why we recommend Merrick Backcountry canned food. It’s formulated to help your canine build and maintain healthy muscles while adding a variety of flavor and moisture to their diet.

96% of this grain free recipe comes from animal sources. And it all starts with deboned beef. This luscious red meat contains powerful amino acids needed for muscle growth and iron for developing red blood cells.

Beef liver acts as a natural source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These beneficial fats promote healthy skin and improve your dog’s health by supporting their joints, brain, and heart.

Most canned foods will use water for moisture. But this isn’t ideal, as water has no added nutrients. So Merrick has added beef broth instead for high concentrations of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

It is crafted in Merrick’s Hereford, Texas facilities, then cooked in the USA. And like other dog foods without chicken, it’s made without problematic ingredients like peas, grains, gluten, corn, wheat, soy, or potatoes.

What We Like
  • Ideal for fussy eaters
  • Made in Hereford, Texas
  • Real deboned beef as the first ingredient
  • Free of corn, wheat, soy, peas, gluten, grains, and chicken
  • Loaded with essential vitamins and minerals for overall health
  • High amounts of potassium come from potatoes for nerves
What We Don't Like
  • Can have a strong odor
  • Some wet foods can cause dental issues if unmonitored


Best for Sensitivities
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 395 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, Grain-Free, Chicken-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Limited Ingredient Diet
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Most of the time, chicken is the cause of tummy problems. This grain free formula from CANIDAE is made with only eight wholesome ingredients to prevent new allergies from forming. [10]

It’ll get that tail wagging and give them complete nutritional support, no matter your dog’s life stage.

Real salmon, salmon meal, and menhaden fish meal will give your pup all the protein they need in their daily diet. These tender fish ingredients are easy to digest, preventing aggravating tummies and giving dogs plenty of energy.

High amounts of healthy fatty acids come from ingredients like canola oil which helps nourish skin and give your pup a lovely, shiny coat. And added taurine counteracts the fact it’s grain free by protecting the heart.

Sweet potatoes act as digestible carbohydrates and provide dogs with fiber and natural antioxidants like carotenoids. Fiber plays a crucial role in digestion, while carotenoids protect your dog’s cells from day-to-day damage.

This salmon and sweet potato recipe is made free of any fillers or troublesome additives like artificial flavors or colors, corn, wheat, or soy.

What We Like
  • Made from just 8 natural, nutritional ingredients
  • Made without fillers, grains, gluten, artificial ingredients, wheat, corn, soy, and chicken
  • Fortified with a unique blend of probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Loaded with omega fatty acids that support joints, heart, brain and improve dry skin and coats
  • Real salmon is the first ingredient
  • Made in Canidae's Texas facility
  • Taurine included for heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Does contain slightly higher calories compared to other brands
  • Can cause tummy upset initially when switching to this dog food


Best for Weight Loss
Wellness Simple Healthy Weight Salmon & Peas Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Dried Ground Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 26% Protein, 8% Fat, 6% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 394 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Sensitive Digestion, Limited-Ingredient Diet, Weight Control, Gluten-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Chicken-Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Finding weight control dog foods without chicken can be hard. Most commercial food will use chicken because of its lower calories and saturated fats.

This natural, grain free dog food is specifically made for dogs allergic to chicken. It has a single protein source and easily digestible ingredients that will help your pup shed off those extra pounds.

Real salmon and salmon meal are excellent protein sources for this weight control diet. They’re loaded with healthy fats which support joints, protect the heart, and aid brain function.

Not only this, but these luscious fish ingredients have rich amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin. Because of the extra weight, overweight dogs can suffer from certain joint problems. So these nutritional additives provide your canine’s joints support by growing cartilage tissue around them, preventing them from rubbing.

Healthy fruits and vegetables like peas and potatoes act as natural sources of prebiotics and probiotics to support digestion.

These help to keep your pup feeling full for longer, which naturally stops them from eating as much. And they grow healthy bacteria in the digestive tract, so they absorb all the nutrients in their diet. [12]

It doesn’t have any meat by-products, wheat, corn, soy, dairy, eggs, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

What We Like
  • Helps support the digestive system to burn off extra fat
  • Specifically made with a single protein source to prevent new allergies
  • Loaded with antioxidants to support the immune system
  • Designed with natural ingredients to improve the whole body's health
  • Made in the USA
  • Plenty of omega fatty acids for joint, heart, and brain health
  • Contains easily digestible carbohydrates for energy
  • High concentrations of probiotics and prebiotics for a healthy digestive system
  • Has a high 6% fiber content
What We Don't Like
  • Not suitable for all breeds because of its lower fat content
  • Can cause dogs to poop more regularly
  • Unique smell can put off some picky eaters


Best for Small Breeds
Health Extension Grain-Free Little Bites Buffalo & Whitefish Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Buffalo, Deboned Whitefish, Buffalo Meal, Whitefish Meal, Chickpeas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 25% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 405 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten Free, Non-Gmo, Chicken Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Most of the time, dog foods without chicken won’t meet the nutritional needs of small breeds. But that’s certainly not the case for this grain free dry dog food.

Health Extension Little Bites dry dog food is made with your small dog in mind. It offers canines a variety of high-quality animal protein, and a unique blend of nutrients to boost your pup’s well-being and health.

Buffalo is the first ingredient on the list. Deboned whitefish joins alongside this novel animal protein to provide rich amounts of nutrients that protect your dog’s lean muscle mass.

Chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and lentils act as easily digestible carbohydrates to give plenty of energy. Small breeds need steady amounts of carbohydrates in their diet to prevent conditions like hypoglycemia. Plus these veggies are packed with healthy fatty acids which nourish the skin and coat.

Rare ingredients like apple cider vinegar and colostrum boost immune systems to help your dog live a healthier life. [13]

There are no rendered animal fats, artificial flavors, colors, dyes, or preservatives. But that’s not all. It is made without corn, gluten, wheat, soy, or chicken, ideal for small pups with a sensitive stomach or intolerances.

What We Like
  • Sourced and made in the USA
  • Has several high-quality proteins like deboned whitefish and buffalo
  • Specifically crafted to improve the health and well-being of small and toy breeds
  • All proteins are easily digestible
  • Has no by-products, rendered animal fats, corn, wheat, soy, artificial ingredients, or hormones
  • High 15% fat content ideal for fast metabolisms of smaller dogs
  • Has an impressive 25% protein content
What We Don't Like
  • Although ingredients are limited, it isn't as effective as other limited-ingredient diets
  • Kibble can sometimes be too small for some dogs
  • Has triggered some food allergies in some small pups


Best for Large Breeds
Nutro Grain-Free Adult Large Breed Lamb & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Chickpeas, Dried Potatoes, Dried Sweet Potatoes
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 20% Protein, 13% Fat, 3.5% Fiber, 10% Moisture
  • Calories: 475 kcal/cup
  • Key Features: Limited Ingredient Diet, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Grain-Free, Non-GMO, Chicken Free
  • AAFCO Life Stage: Adult

Like their miniature cousins, large dog breeds have specific needs too. But remarkably, there aren’t that many chicken free dog foods that cater to the dietary needs of large and giant pups.

Deboned lamb and lamb meal act as the recipe’s primary protein sources. These healthy red meats provide rich amounts of essential amino acids, healthy fats, and essential B vitamins, protecting vulnerable joints and maintaining a healthy metabolism.

Larger dogs are prone to developing some joint issues. So these healthy fats work alongside natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to aid joints by cushioning them with cartilage tissue. [14]

Canines with an existing food allergy will safely eat this diet. It uses only 10 ingredients, and added efforts are made to enhance the flavor to appeal to fussy eaters. It’s made without GMOs, corn, wheat, soy, grain, gluten, artificial ingredients, or chicken.

What We Like
  • Lamb is the first ingredient that gives rich amounts of amino acids for healthy muscles
  • Specifically made for large breeds
  • Made with no GMOs, corn, wheat, soy, chicken, grains, or artificial ingredients
  • Plenty of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support
  • Made with 10 ingredients
  • Loaded with a variety of flavors to appeal to picky eaters
  • A unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants that aid digestion and the immune system
  • Lower caloric content is ideal for slower metabolisms in larger dogs
  • Taurine included for optimal heart health
What We Don't Like
  • Can cause flatulence
  • Some ingredients do contain antibiotics and hormones
  • Some dog parents comment on the big difference in price compared to other dog foods


Dog Eating Chicken

Chicken Free Dog Food Buying Guide

Chicken is found in many dog foods as it’s an excellent animal protein loaded with essential nutrients. Plus, it’s relatively cheap to source and is easily digestible for dogs.

Unless your dog has a chicken allergy or a sensitive stomach, there’s no nutritional benefit to removing chicken from their diet. Most dogs do well on it.

If you suspect your pup may suffer from a chicken allergy, then you can try eliminating it from their daily diet to improve their overall health and wellbeing. But before doing so, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian.

Should I Stop Feeding My Dog Chicken?

There is no benefit for your dog if you remove chicken from their diet. 

But, chicken is becoming a popular protein source in dog foods. And unfortunately, this means more pups are developing intolerances and allergies to it.

Chicken is one of the best protein sources. In fact, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture, a three-ounce serving of chicken breast contains about 26 grams of protein as well as 2 grams of fat. [15]

Many dog food brands will use this lean meat because of its low calories and high amounts of healthy fats. Chicken is also rich in selenium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

Plus, many dog food manufacturers use chicken because it’s highly affordable and cost-effective compared to other animal protein sources. 

Why Do Some Dogs Need Chicken-Free Dog Food?

Most dogs enjoy the flavor of chicken in their food.

But sometimes, chicken can cause food sensitivities. The best course of action to take is to remove it from their diet if you suspect they have a chicken allergy or intolerance.

Food Intolerance

Intolerances can be hard to diagnose in dogs. In fact, they’re pretty rare. One of the most common signs of intolerance includes digestive upset. It can also cause symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Consult with your veterinarian if you suspect your dog may be suffering from chicken intolerance. They’ll recommend an elimination diet to effectively treat it most of the time.

Food Allergies

Chicken is considered one of the most common causes of food allergies in dogs.

These cause allergic reactions, which are responses from the immune system to a specific allergen. Most common allergens are proteins.

Unlike intolerances, food allergies will usually manifest symptoms on your dog’s skin rather than stomach problems. Common signs of a food allergy include dry, itchy skin, scratching, hotspots, and recurring infections.

It is always best to consult your veterinarian before removing chicken from your pup’s diet. Sometimes, there can be underlying health problems that trigger these symptoms.

And like food intolerance, the best treatment for food allergies is to remove the guilty ingredient from their diet. Of course, this is it has been identified.

Chicken Ingredients Found In Dog Food

Finding the best dog foods for your best friend is no easy task. And it can be even harder to find dog food without chicken that still meets the nutritional needs of canines.

If your dog has an intolerance or allergy to chicken, then it is best to avoid the below ingredients. Always check the dog food label before giving it to your dog.

Chicken Fat

Animal fats are made during meat meal production. Most animal fats are used to improve the taste of dog food, increase omega fatty acid content.

Chicken fat is made from chicken tissue. But, chicken protein is the main cause of allergies. While chicken fat doesn’t contain the specific protein, it can still cause adverse reactions.

Dogs sensitive to chicken may still suffer from digestive upset. So it’s best to consult your veterinarian before giving your dog this ingredient. Most of the time, it’s best to remove chicken completely from their diet.

Deboned Chicken

Deboned chicken is the flesh and skin, whereas whole chicken has the bones too. An example of deboned chicken is a chicken breast or other fillets.

Most of the time, you can easily see this ingredient on dry food labels. We recommend you avoid it if your pup is allergic to chicken.

Chicken Meal

Chicken meal is an ingredient made by taking the remains of the chicken meat. It is then cooked at an extremely high temperature for several hours. 

This grounded, dried-up meat usually contains the flesh, skin, and bone of animals. It will not have heads, feathers, feet, or intestines. 

Chicken meal is a natural source of glucosamine, which nourishes cartilage tissue in a dog’s joints. Dogs with chicken sensitivities should not eat chicken meal. This ingredient can still cause similar adverse reactions like whole chicken.

Chicken By-Products

By-products are a controversial ingredient. Chicken by-products are the leftovers of the slaughtered carcass after the meat has been removed for humans. This type of meat contains the leftovers including feet, organs, head, and backs.

Chicken by-products are controversial because they contain parts that are otherwise unfit for human consumption.

Most pet food manufactured by-products is safe for dogs to eat. But we’d always recommend whole meats instead. Always avoid chicken by-products if your pup suffers from chicken intolerances or allergies.




What Are The Alternative To Chicken?

After discussing a plan with your veterinarian, you may find it’s appropriate to remove chicken from your dog’s diet. 

Protein is vital to a balanced, healthy diet for dogs. It provides essential amino acids that help your dog’s body function properly. Plus, they help your dog develop and maintain healthy hair and skin and repair muscle and tissue. 

When switching your dog’s diet, choose a food source they have not eaten before. This is also known as a novel protein.

Below are some of the best protein alternatives to chicken for dogs.

MeatProtein(in 3 ounces)Fat(in 3 ounces)
Chicken 20g11g
Duck16g5.06g
Kangaroo22g3.4g
Lamb21g18g
Mackerel16g11.81g
Pork22g12g
Rabbit26g7.1g
Salmon17g11g
Turkey24g6.3g
Venison26g2g

Duck

Duck is an excellent source of protein in pet food, but it is rare. Duck contains approximately 16g of protein per three-ounce serving, as well as a higher fat content of 5.06g, making it an excellent alternative for chicken-sensitive dogs.

Kangaroo

Kangaroo is considered one of the leanest red meat proteins. It is estimated that kangaroo meat contains around 22g of protein per three ounces, nearly an additional 2g per ounce than chicken. 

This red meat is rich in zinc and iron. Zinc is crucial for a dog’s immune system and iron grows hemoglobin, which produces red blood cells.

The 3.4g of low-fat content found per 3 ounces of kangaroo makes it great meat for dogs that suffer from health conditions such as pancreatitis. Plus, it’s great for dogs that need low-fat diets.

Lamb

Lamb or sometimes lamb meal can normally be found in most dog foods without chicken.

This meat has high concentrations of minerals and protein. In fact, it has about 21g of protein per three-ounce serving. Lamb is also rich in phosphorus, zinc, niacin, and selenium.

Mackerel

Mackerel provides an excellent protein source because of its loaded with healthy fats and nutrients. Mackerel has about 16g of protein per 3 ounces. 

Most fish ingredients have a variety of healthy fats like omega fatty acids. These help improve skin and coat health. And, they help support a dog’s immune system, joints, and heart, and aid brain function too. 

Pork

Pork isn’t regularly used in dry dog food. But, it is rich in niacin, vitamin B6, zinc, and potassium. But dogs who struggle with weight problems should avoid it due to its high-fat content of 12 grams per three-ounce serving. 

Rabbit

Rabbit is considered one of the best novel protein sources. It has plenty of nutrients that pups need, and high amounts of protein.

Plus, it’s much higher in protein compared to chicken. Chicken contains 20g of protein per three ounces, compared to rabbit with 26g per three ounces.

Salmon

Salmon is similar to mackerel. Both types of fish contain essential amino acids which boost a dog’s immune system and support other essential body functions. Salmon has about 17g of protein in a three-ounce serving and 11g fat per three ounces.

Turkey

Turkey or turkey meal is another popular inclusion in dog food. It’s a healthy, lean alternative to chicken that’s safe for dogs to eat.

Turkey is also loaded with crucial nutrients that will improve your dog’s overall health, and give them bundles of energy. Three ounces of turkey contains 24g of protein and 6.3g of fat. 

Venison

Venison is a highly concentrated source of iron as well as protein. This high-quality animal meat contains L-carnitine, which promotes a healthy weight in dogs that cannot eat chicken. A three-ounce serving of venison contains 26g of protein and 2g of fat.

Our Verdict

Chicken is an excellent source of protein. It’s loaded with high-level nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that will improve most dogs’ health.

But, this protein-dense meat can cause adverse reactions for chicken-sensitive canines. And if your furry friend suffers from chicken allergies or intolerances, then you may need to remove it from their diet.

This is why we recommend American Journey Limited Ingredient Venison Dry Dog Food as one the best dog foods without chicken.

It features deboned duck as the primary protein source. And it’s loaded with powerful antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and amino sugars.

But, if duck doesn’t appeal to your best friend, you cannot go wrong with any of our recommendations above. Discuss with your veterinarian today to find a suitable dog food without chicken.

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

Dogs and Cat
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