Do you know or suspect that your dog is allergic to chicken? It’s one of the most common dog food ingredients – and also one of the most common dog food allergens. It can be tricky finding chicken-free dog food, so we’ve picked 7 of the top dog foods without chicken to help you find the best food for your pup.
Best Chicken-Free Dog Food Options: Quick Picks!
Should You Stop Feeding Your Dog Chicken?
Chicken isn’t necessarily a bad ingredient. It’s an excellent lean meat, and there’s nothing wrong with it. However, many dogs are allergic or sensitive to chicken. Food allergies commonly cause skin problems like itching, ear infections, and hot spots, while sensitivities tend to cause gastrointestinal upset. If your dog has any of those symptoms, they could be having an issue with chicken.
Chicken or chicken meal sneaks into the ingredient list of a surprising number of foods, even if it isn’t in the name of the food. If you think your dog is allergic to chicken, it’s essential to read every ingredient of a dog food before giving it to your pooch.
Other common dog food allergens include beef, eggs, soy, wheat, corn, and milk.
What Are Some Alternate Proteins?
So, if you can’t feed chicken, what meats should you look for? Here are some popular proteins that aren’t chicken:
The Best Chicken-Free Dog Food
For a high-quality limited ingredient grain-free food that also doesn’t contain any chicken, look no further than Canidae Grain-Free Pure Bison, Lentil, & Carrot Recipe. It has only 10 nutritious ingredients and includes probiotics, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.
- Features just 10 wholesome and nutritious ingredients
- Includes probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- No wheat, corn, soy, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
- Made in the USA
First 5 Ingredients: Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils
Customer Reviews: Some dogs didn’t like the taste of this food, and some people think the food is too expensive, but most dogs adore this food and experience improved allergy symptoms after switching.
Final Verdict: If you can afford it and your dog likes it, this may be the best chicken-free kibble available.
With the convenience of kibble but the nutritional benefits of raw diets, Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food is an excellent chicken-free choice for many dogs. It’s high in protein and contains no filler.
- Freeze-dried provides the benefits of raw with the convenience of kibble
- Made with cage-free poultry and 100% certified organic fruits and vegetables
- Enhanced with probiotics to aid in healthy digestion
- Made in the USA
First 5 Ingredients: Duck with ground bone, turkey, turkey liver, goose, turkey gizzard
Customer Reviews: Some dogs experienced digestive problems after eating this food, and owners report that the patties are sometimes either completely crumbled or stale and hard. However, most dogs absolutely love this food, and owners say their dog had increased energy and improved health after switching.
Final Verdict: If you’re open to something other than kibble, these freeze-dried patties are an excellent choice for many dogs. Not all dogs can handle the high protein levels, and some will experience digestive upset, but most dogs thrive on this food.
Salmon and ocean fish provide crucial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are necessary for a healthy skin and coat. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free also contains probiotics for digestion and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.
- No grain, wheat, corn, filler, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Chelated minerals help ensure maximum absorption of vital nutrients
- Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables
- Made in the USA
First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas
Customer Reviews: While some dogs didn’t like the flavor, and a few others had itching or diarrhea, most dogs enjoy this food and show improvement in itching and digestive issues.
Final Verdict: This food won’t be a hit with all dogs, but it’s a high-quality grain-free food that most dogs should do well on. Additionally, while we’ve listed the grain-free version here, Taste of the Wild also makes a grain-inclusive Ancient Grains version of this food.
Think outside the kibble with The Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Turkey Dehydrated Dog Food. Simply add warm water, wait 3 minutes, and feed your dog. Dehydrated food retains more nutrients than highly processed foods, and many dogs prefer the taste over kibble.
- Made with cage-free turkey, organic whole oats, and simple garden produce
- No by-products, preservatives, or GMO ingredients
- Made with minimally processed, dehydrated, whole-food ingredients in the USA
First 5 Ingredients: Dehydrated turkey, organic oats, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, dehydrated carrots
Customer Reviews: Not all dogs are wild about the taste or texture of dehydrated dog food. However, most dogs go crazy for it and show improvement in their symptoms.
Final Verdict: While some dogs don’t care for the taste or texture of dehydrated dog food, this is still an excellent option for many dogs. If yours is allergic to grains, The Honest Kitchen also has grain-free varieties.
Featuring kibble coated in dehydrated raw meat, Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe is the best of both worlds. With 71% animal ingredients and no potato, grain, soy, or wheat, it’s highly nutritious.
- 71% animal ingredients and nutritious oils, and 29% vegetables, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients
- No potato, grain, corn, soy, wheat, by-product meal, artificial colors, or preservatives
- Made in the USA
First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, chickpeas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)
Customer Reviews: There are a handful of reports from people whose dogs had loose stools or didn’t enjoy this food, but the vast majority of dogs experienced significant symptom improvement, sometimes for the first time in their life.
Final Verdict: There’s a chance your dog or their digestive system won’t enjoy this food, but it’s more likely they will feel better for the first time in ages.
For dogs who prefer canned food, Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe is based on a whole-prey diet model and includes 91% meat, organs, and green mussels, which are a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health.
- Natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health
- Limited ingredient formula includes 91% fresh meat, organs, and New Zealand green mussels
- 100% single-sourced lamb is grass-fed and free-range on sustainable and ethical New Zealand farms
First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, water sufficient for processing, lamb lung, lamb kidney, chickpeas
Customer Reviews: A couple of dogs didn’t like this food, but most of the complaints were about dented cans and the high price. By and large, dogs love this food and thrive on it.
Final Verdict: This high-protein formula isn’t right for all dogs, but it’s an excellent choice for many dogs who prefer canned food. It also makes an excellent topper when added to kibble.
High-protein diets aren’t right for every dog. At 22% protein, this food is ideal for dogs who don’t do well on higher protein foods. With a single animal protein source, it’s also great for dogs with multiple food allergies.
- Single animal protein source
- Deboned venison is the first ingredient
- No wheat, corn, soy, poultry by-product meals, or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned venison, sweet potatoes, peas, pea protein, venison meal
Customer Reviews: Picky dogs didn’t like this food, and several owners reported that their dog was pooping more on this food. However, most dogs showed vast improvements in loose stools or itching.
Final Verdict: For dogs with multiple allergies who don’t need a high protein diet, this food is an excellent choice. Pay attention to the feeding guide on the bag, as you may need to feed more of this food.
Should Dogs Eat Grain-Free Food?
While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report indicating a potential link between grain-free dog food and a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), they have not proven what, if anything, about grain-free dog foods causes DCM. On the other hand, many dogs do seem to be allergic or sensitive to many grains.
If you have any questions about whether to feed your dog a grain-free diet, you should talk to your veterinarian.
Final Thoughts on Chicken-Free Dog Food
While it can be difficult to find dog food that doesn’t hide chicken meal somewhere in the ingredient list, it isn’t impossible. We’ve offered some excellent options here, so hopefully one will work for your dog. It may take some trial and error to find one that your dog enjoys and doesn’t trigger any other allergies or sensitivities, but the right food is out there.