AKC recommends chicken as good dog food. There are wide varieties of dry meat food available for dogs. These packed foods provide additional energy and nutrition to your pooch at affordable rates. One among them is meal products from good meat like chicken, lamb, pork. Let’s see what is chicken meal in dog food and whether the chicken meal is good or bad for dogs.
What Is Chicken Meal?
Chicken meal is a dry dog food made from chicken flesh. Although this is not a completely natural product, these products can be kept for at least 30 days as nutritious dog food. Chicken parts are dried and cooked at high temperatures for lengthy periods of time to make chicken meal. Rendering is a procedure that separates the nutrients from the water content present in chicken. This produce this dry protein powder called chicken meal for dogs.
What Is Chicken Meal Made Of?
A good chicken meal is expected to be made up of clean and fresh chicken flesh and skin. Usually, Chicken meal is free from the inclusion of feathers, heads, feet, intestines and bones in it.
Chicken Meal vs Chicken By Product Meal
Chicken by-product meal is prepared from the scraps leftover in the chicken meat after the human-eating components have been removed. For example, Chicken feet, bones, heads, and feathers can be found in by-product meal. However, a good chicken meal is not expected to contain these leftover scraps of chicken body.
Typically, chicken by-product meal are not heated at a very high temperature or given more time to enrich or refine it to a better state. However, in order to turn chicken meal into a dry powdery condition, it must be rendered at a high temperature. As a result, as compared to chicken meal, chicken by product meal is far more natural.
Due to the pre-cooked ingredients added to chicken byproduct food, it could only be kept for a maximum of 5 days. However, a chicken meal could be kept for a minimum of 30 days.
Why Chicken Meal Is Used In Dog Food?
Chicken recipes are nutrient-dense and high in quality protein (since it takes 3 to 5 kgs of fresh meat to produce 1kg of meal).
Chicken meal is made from ground chicken flesh that has been dried to a moisture content of 10%. Because of the reduction of moisture content, the chicken meal in dog food provides around 4 to 5 times the nutrients as chicken meat of the same weight. As a result, it has high protein content and low water content as compared to fresh chicken.
Chicken dish has a protein composition of 65 percent and a fat content of 12 percent. Fresh chicken, on the other hand, includes approximately 70% water, 18% protein, and 5% fat.
As a result, a dog food containing chicken flesh may only have 20% of the chicken in the finished product, delivering only 3.6 percent protein. A similar amount of chicken meal would offer 13 percent of the protein.
100 pounds of chicken meal, for example, contains 65 lbs of protein, whereas 100 lbs of chicken contain only 18 lbs of protein.
If dog food manufacturers use chicken meal, they can save money and make the final product more inexpensive for consumers.
Is Chicken Meal Good For Dogs?
Yes! Chicken meal has a lot of nutritional value, which is why it’s common dog food. For starters, chicken meal is high in protein, a vital ingredient that aids in muscular building as well as 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 longer period of time. Be sure to buy a dog food that contains supplemental glucosamine in addition to a chicken meal.
Things To Note Before Feeding Chicken Meal
FDA have mentioned some important checks before selecting a packed dry food for your dog.
Chicken meal from the authorized vendors or pet food companies could be a better option to avoid using cheaper products in the market which might contain poor quality chicken or made up of expired chicken meat.
2. Ingredients used
When looking at the ingredient panel, the most important thing to evaluate is not whether the ingredient is a meal, but rather what the meal was built of. High-quality pet food will only utilize ‘named’ meat meals (such as Chicken Meal). These contain only muscle meats and bone, rather than ‘by-product’ or ‘unnamed meat meals Meat byproducts. This includes slaughterhouse meat waste, and “4D” animals (dead, dying, ill, or disabled).
If your pet has a food intolerance to specific meat and you don’t know what’s in the food, this can be a problem.
3. “No” to Preservatives
Another factor to consider is that some manufacturers may use preservatives on the chicken meat like ethoxyquin, BHA, and BHT. These preservatives are usually not mentioned on the ingredient label of pet food. As a result, it’s important to check out out the food product that doesn’t contain such preservatives in their chicken meal product. Natural preservatives could be a good option (Vitamin E) in such cases.
The chicken meal contains artificial nutrients that may be harmful to some dog breeds, especially if they have food allergies or have difficulty digesting fake foods.
Artificial food products such as corn syrup, propylene glycol, and MSG are commonly used in pet food manufacture to mask poor food quality. Some of these additions give semi-moist foods and treats. Hence it is vital to prevent these inclusions in your dog food product to avoid any kind of allergies or medical complications in your dogs.
Alternatives To Chicken Meal
- Chicken (including chicken necks and chicken liver): Chicken necks are high in calcium, as well as chondroitin, glucosamine, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these aid to enhance joint function and reduce inflammation in your dogs. Chicken breast in boiled form could add vital nutrients in your dog’s body
- Salmon: Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which nourish good skin and regulate inflammatory responses in the body
- Rabbit: Rabbits are a good source for moisture content and hydration in your dog’s body. Rabbit is good for the dog’s kidneys and liver. It provides protein with hypoallergenic qualities, making it ideal for dogs with allergies
- Beef (including the heart and liver): Beef heart is a natural supply of taurine, which is beneficial to heart health. Beef heart also aids in the development of muscle, the storage of energy, and the improvement of stamina and endurance. Because it contains twice as much collagen and elastin as normal beef, the heart is especially crucial for joint health
- Duck (including duck necks): Duck necks aid to build healthy bones and teeth by promoting joint, skin, and cellular function
Finally, feeding our dogs fresh, natural nutrients leads to a healthier, stronger body and the possibility of living a longer life.
If your dog enjoys chicken, he will undoubtedly enjoy a chicken meal in his dog food but make sure to select a good chicken meal product by checking above listed pre-checks.
Credit: Photos by Mathias P.R.Reding and Jeremy Zero on Unsplash.