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The 10 Best Dog Foods Without Chicken

It's hard to avoid dog food made with chicken because it seems to be the most popular source of protein among many manufacturers these days.

This is unsuitable for certain canines, thus a chicken-free option is required. While numerous manufacturers provide dog diets with various protein sources, not all are created equal. Even those that looked appealing on paper failed our dog's smell test.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has researched the best dog foods without chicken that are both nutritious and appetizing. After putting several of these dog meals to the test with our own canines, we created these reviews to share our findings.

Hopefully, you will have all the information necessary to make the best decision for your four-legged friend.

Reviews

Instinct Be Natural Chicken-free Dog Food – Greatest Value

The Instinct Be Natural dry dog food is one of our favorites, and our dogs enjoyed it even more than we did. We adore its no-filler, all-natural, and sustainably produced animal protein-based recipe, which includes animal protein as the first and second components.

Even though it is not grain-free, it is packed with natural fruits and vegetables to keep your furry companions healthy. In addition, this is the first Raw-coated kibble. This implies that each piece is coated with Raw, which is comprised of genuine meat and whole food components, giving extra protein to this cuisine to assist it reach its high crude protein content of 25%.

You may alter your dog’s diet between salmon, lamb, and beef because there are a variety of options accessible. Our canines adored all three. Since it is free of substances known to provoke food allergies and is filled with protein and natural ingredients, we consider it to be the most cost-effective dog food without chicken.

We feel confidence suggesting it as our number two pick since it is reasonably priced and made with the finest ingredients from across the globe.

Pros

  • No fillers
  • Untreated
  • Formulation with a high protein content – 25%

Cons

  • Not a grain-free canine diet

 

Diets With Natural Balanced Ingredients

There are several advantages to feeding your dog a limited-ingredient diet, and this Limited Ingredients Diets dog food from Natural Balance is an excellent option. It has no grains and no artificial tastes or colors.

There are several forms of protein available, including fish, duck, bison, lamb, venison, and cattle. With 20% protein, this food is certain to satisfy the needs of your energetic dog. Additionally, it is rich in natural fiber, which promotes good digestion.

With dog food of this kind, you cannot expect it to be inexpensive. Although the price is somewhat costly, we don’t believe it’s unreasonable given what it does for your dog. It contains nutritious, natural components, as well as vitamins and minerals that promote a healthy, long life for your dog, as well as a lustrous coat and strong joints.

Overall, we believe it to be one of the best available, thus we’ve ranked it as the third-best dog food without chicken. This grain-free dish was a hit with our dogs, and we liked the nutritional advantages it provided.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • 20% protein
  • Limited ingredients
  • Great variety

Cons

  • Highly costly

 

Purina Pro Plan Adult Dog Food

Purina is a well-known brand of dog chow, but the fact that it is marketed in big-box retailers makes us skeptical. However, their ProPlan FOCUS adult dry dog food is a significant improvement over their standard formulation. To begin with, the formula is heavy in protein, with 26% of the total calories coming from protein.

This is one of the top scores among the dog foods we evaluated, and we enjoy the benefits it provides for our dogs. Salmon or lamb can be selected as the protein source, and it will be listed as the first component.

This combination, which is free of maize, wheat, and soy, is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Despite what it lacks, it is loaded with fiber, Omega-6 fatty acids, and zinc to promote a healthy coat and boost your dog’s general health. This meal did not cause any additional concerns for dogs with skin issues.

It helped minimize the severity of our current ailments. However, we spotted a number of insects in the bottom of the bag, preventing this dog chow from making our top three.

Pros

  • 26% protein formulation
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
  • Irritable stomach

Cons

  • Highly costly
  • We found several insects in our backpack

 

Chicken-free Whole Earth Farms dog food

Whole Earth Farms’ all-natural dog food is a nutritious and tasty alternative to chicken-based dog diets. With several protein sources in each recipe, you can rest assured that your dog’s nutritional requirements will be covered.

This dog food is devoid of by-products, artificial colors, artificial preservatives, maize, wheat, and soy, and will supply your dog with the nutrients necessary for optimum health. Packed with vitamins and minerals, it will help keep your dog’s hair bright and gorgeous, as well as keep their bones and joints healthy.

Whole Earth Farms has taken a different approach than other dog food products by integrating many sources of protein in each formula to provide variety in your dog’s diet.

The pig, beef, and lamb dish was a favorite among our dogs, but there were more possibilities. Completely grain-free and supplemented with vitamins and minerals, we appreciated the emphasis on our dog’s health.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Each recipe has many protein sources.
  • All-natural
  • Zero byproducts
  • No artificial colors or preservatives

Cons

  • Available only in 25-pound packages

 

Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Canine Dietary Supplement

The first component of Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet dog food is high-quality protein, in contrast to lower-quality dog diets that employ cheaper replacements for high-quality protein sources.

Instead of chicken, you may provide your dog with a varied and nutritious diet of lamb, turkey, duck, and salmon. This dog food is grain-free to promote gentle digestion, making it ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

This dog food is an excellent alternative for dogs with allergies, food sensitivities, or other health issues due to its minimal ingredient recipe. We were quite dissatisfied with the 20% protein content, though.

While this is acceptable, we prefer the higher protein formulae found in meals such as the second-ranked Instinct Be Natural. The Blue Buffalo was likewise priced at a premium, and we felt that it did not provide quite as much value as comparable brands.

Pros

  • The first component is lamb.
  • Confined ingredient list

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Only minimum 20% protein

 

Nature’s Recipe Dry Dog Food for Adults

The first component in several of our favorite dog meals without chicken is a high-quality protein source. In Nature’s Recipe, lamb meal is listed as the first ingredient. We prefer a higher-quality protein, such as deboned lamb, although this is not a deal-breaker.

However, Nature’s Recipe is one of the most reasonably priced dog diets, perhaps due in part to the inclusion of lamb meal. There is no grain-free recipe, but healthful, high-fiber foods like oats, barley, and brown rice were included.

This dog food has extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to promote proper digestion and muscle strength. Unfortunately, one of the components is chicken fat, which contributes part of the calories.

Due to the inclusion of poultry fat, the Nature’s Recipe dog food may not be suitable for dogs with chicken allergies or sensitivities; this is one of the key drawbacks that prevented it from ranking higher on our list of the best dog meals without chicken.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Brown rice, oats, and barley provide natural fiber
  • Vitamins, minerals, and nutrition were added

Cons

  • Utilizes food as a source of protein
  • Contains chicken fat as a component
  • No grain-free recipe

 

Grain-Free Dry Dog Food by ACANA

ACANA is well-known for its premium dog food, however we believe this product fell short. It does contain actual meat from quality protein sources such as freshwater fish, giving your dog access to a range of protein sources within the same recipe.

Freshwater fish include rainbow trout, yellow perch, and blue catfish taken in the wild. There is also a chicken-free red meat alternative. This is one of the most costly dog foods we tried, despite the fact that it contains high-quality ingredients and novel protein sources.

With a meat content of 60%, we knew there would be a great deal of protein, but there is more. All of the red meat blend kibble included an abundance of hair. This means that carcasses are also being crushed up, which is not what we would like to give our dogs.

Some of the dogs we fed it to experienced unpleasant responses, such as diarrhea and vomiting. We would never want our dogs to endure this. Despite the high protein content, we do not suggest ACANA dog food.

Pros

  • Exceptional protein options
  • Grain-free
  • 60% meat contents

Cons

  • Exorbitantly priced
  • Numerous hairs in the kibble
  • Made several of our canines ill

 

Grain-Free Dry Dog Food by Merrick

We had previously appreciated Merrick pet goods, so we had high expectations for their grain-free dry dog food. The one we tried consisted of authentic Texas meat and sweet potato, which sounded delicious to us, but several of our dogs refused to eat it.

Since it is grain-free, we felt it would be an excellent option for our sensitive dogs. However, a handful of our dogs developed skin sensitivities as a result!

After only a few days on this diet, their skin appeared dry and flaking, and they got extremely itchy. Returning to their old meal seems to resolve the issue. This food should be fantastic for your dog’s coat because it contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, but that was not our experience.

It’s also rather pricey, and because we saw better results with lower-priced meals, we believe that Merrick is overpriced for what it is, and would recommend an alternative, such as the grain-free dog food from Whole Earth Farms.

Pros

  • Grain-free
  • Omega-3 and 6 for skin and coat health

Cons

  • Overpriced
  • Created skin allergies in certain canines
  • Not all the dogs desired to consume it

 

Natural GENTLE GIANTS Dog Food

Made by Burt Ward, who portrayed Robin the Boy Wonder in the Batman television series, GENTLE GIANTS natural dog food is a non-greasy composition designed to promote a healthy and long life for your pet. It is touted as having a pleasant scent, which is subjective, as we can all agree.

The fragrance was offensive to us! Even our dogs didn’t like it. We are making this assumption as no one wants to consume it. Our dogs would consume virtually anything, however they did not enjoy this meal. It was a major disappointment that it was so pricey.

It is among the most costly dog meals we’ve tested. Probably due to the usage of wild-caught fish and non-GMO veggies. If our dogs don’t enjoy the meal, then it was all for nothing!

Pros

  • Non-GMO

Cons

  • Highly costly
  • Awful scent
  • Our dogs didn’t want to eat it

 

Zignature Goat Food for Dry Dogs

The protein component of another premium-priced dog food, Zignature brand food, is goat. Given that goat is stated as the very first component, the premium price is understandable. We adore dog food formulations that promote high-quality protein, but this one’s price is somewhat prohibitive.

Due to the minimal ingredient recipe, this meal is a great option for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. This meal seems to be easy on the stomach, even for those with digestive disorders, since none of our dogs had any difficulty digesting it.

However, it did generate really foul breath, which we did not appreciate. We propose picking a different brand that won’t turn you off when your dog attempts to offer you affection due to the odor and price.

Pros

  • Confined ingredient list

Cons

  • Extremely costly
  • Goat milk formula created extreme foul breath

Buying Guide for the Finest Dog Food Without Chicken

You might purchase a bag of chicken-free dog food that will keep your dog happy and healthy immediately after reading our evaluations and suggestions. However, we believe it would be prudent to gather further information beforehand.

In this part, we will discuss the characteristics of the finest chicken-free dog food that, in our opinion, make it better or worse. After reading this, you should be able to choose the dog food that is best for you and your furry companion.

What is the primary component?

When examining the ingredients list of any dog food, the ingredients will be listed in the order of their presence. Therefore, the first component is the most prominent in the recipe, followed by the second ingredient in the second-highest proportion, etc. Thus, the quality of the meal and the protein source may be easily determined.

If the first component is deboned lamb, you may be certain that high-quality lamb meat was used, and there should be plenty for your dog’s health.

In contrast, if lamb meal is the first component, you can assume that a lower-quality protein source was utilized, as lamb meal is a mixture of lamb parts and not just fine flesh.

For the lowest grade meals, by-products of protein sources are frequently used to increase the crude protein content without significantly raising manufacturing costs. Avoid dog diets that include animal by-products, since they are of inferior quality and less healthful for your dog.

Limited Ingredient Diet

Recently, limited-ingredient diets have gained popularity, and for good reason. Some dog food products include so many components that it might be difficult to determine which one is responsible for bad reactions. As with people, dogs are prone to allergies and dietary sensitivities, and when this occurs, you must be able to identify the offending item.

The limited number of components in limited ingredient foods makes it easier to identify and avoid food sensitivities. If your dog has known sensitivities or allergies, you should stick to meals designed for a restricted ingredient diet.

Protein Content

Since dogs are carnivores, their diet must be heavy in protein. Your dog will live a healthy, happy, and long life if he receives proper amounts of protein. We require a minimum of 20% protein, however we prefer greater levels.

Many modern dog feeds include at least 25 percent protein, which is ideal, especially for highly active dogs. We constantly seek for high-protein dog food since we believe it is the greatest option for our canine companions.

Extra Nutrients

Similar to people, our aging dogs are subject to a variety of health problems. Additionally, like to humans, they may be minimized via good diet. Frequently, high-quality dog meals are fortified with essential nutrients that will improve your dog’s health.

Vitamins and minerals are frequently included, which are important for your dog’s overall health and can help keep their bones healthy. In addition, joint supplements like as glucosamine are frequently provided, which can help prevent the joint issues that afflict many elderly dogs.

In addition, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are frequently added to dog food to promote a luxuriant coat. We recommend choosing a dog food that has all of these excellent nutrients to maintain your dog’s best health for its whole life.

Conclusion

A great deal of dog food is manufactured without chicken, but for our canine companions, only the finest will suffice. We thus tested as many dog diets without chicken as we could locate. You’ve already read our top-rated evaluations, but before you make your choice, we wanted to remind you of our top suggestions.

In our opinion, Be Natural dog food from Instinct is the most cost-effective option. Filler-free, coarsely coated, and containing 25% protein, this is a fantastic option for any dog and our second recommendation.

Natural Balance Minimal Ingredients Diet dog food ranks third because it is grain-free, has 20% protein, and contains limited ingredients for dogs with allergies or sensitivities. In addition, they had a vast assortment from which to choose. We feel that both you and your dog will like each of these three snacks.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) would like to thank our visitors for selecting our website to learn about and research the best dog foods without chicken.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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