What is Chicken Meal in Dog Food? Is it safe for your pet?

By amelia 8 Min Read


Many dog owners prefer food that includes chicken meal. They misunderstand the concept of chicken meal and real chicken in the food. Just reading the food label is not enough. It is essential to understand the nutrition that food will provide to your lovely pet. This article is going to explore the facts about the chicken meal in dog food. What is the chicken meal and how is it different from real chicken? Scroll down for details:

What is chicken Meal in dog food?

Chicken meal is a common ingredient used in dog food. It refers to the combination of flesh, bones, and skin. It is rendered chicken that is prepared at high temperature. Resultantly, it comes in a high-protein powder. Powdered chicken meal increases the shelf life of the dog food.

Why a Chicken meal in dog food?

One of the main reasons to add chicken meal in the dog food is its quick availability and affordable cost. Usually, protein-enrich sources of dog food are expensive. Chicken meal powder is readily available in the market at a cheaper price. So, manufacturers use it to keep the product’s cost lower.

Chicken meal Ingredients

A chicken meal is prepared with the bones and skin of the chicken and other animals. Chicken meals also include the body parts of other animals like intestines, neck, feet, etc. The chicken meal in dog food uses ingredients that are not safe for human consumption. Chicken meal comes in the category of 4D meat. 4D meat is the meat gained from the dead, diseased, or disabled animals. Undoubtedly, it contains foreign objects and dangerous pharmaceutical effects. Can you consume this type of meal? Not. But chicken meal manufacturers use this meat to make their food products cheaper.

This 4D meat is cooked at high temperature for hours to dehydrate. This chicken processing is known as rendering. Fats are removed and the so-called “chicken meal” is created in the form of powder.  After knowing “what is chicken meal in dog food”, can you consider it a healthy diet for your dog? Surely, no.

Benefits of Chicken meal in Dog food

Chicken meal is a source of protein for the pets. So, it holds several benefits:

  • The powder form of the chicken meal increases the shelf life of the food. It can be preserved for days or weeks easily.
  • Chicken meal is a cheap ingredient. Dog food manufacturers use this ingredient to keep the cost of the food low.

Drawbacks of chicken meal in Dog food

With less benefits, it holds multiple disadvantages for your pet.

  • Chicken meals include 4D meat that comes from dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals. As it is not suitable for human consumption, how can you risk the life of your beloved pet?
  • Chicken meal loses all its nutrients as it is cooked at high temperatures for longer periods. This chicken rendering process turns the meal into a “dead food.”
  • Artificial nutrients are sprayed onto the chicken meal to reach the standards of AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Surely, artificial nutrients are incompetent as compared to the nutrients obtained from fresh and real food.

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Is it safe for pet dogs?

Based on functionality, it serves as an accessible source of protein to the dogs. Though the rendered meal is considered a dead food, it is widely used globally.  To some extent, it is safe to use for protein purpose. But you cannot ignore the presence of foreign objects in 4D meats. Moreover, it does not provide complete nutrition to the meal in the food dog.

On the contrary to it, real and fresh chicken is useful for dogs. It is loaded with essential nutrients for the well-being of dogs. In addition, you can choose dog food that includes real chicken as a main ingredient.


Can I use fresh chicken meal in dog food?

Yes, fresh chicken is full of essential nutrients. You can use it as the best meal in dog food. Moreover, fresh chicken includes 70% proteins and 12 % moisture which is the best fit for the well-being of your pet dog.

What should I do if my dog loves the chicken meal in the food?

Provide the food that your dog loves. Chicken meal provides protein to the dogs. So, you can add it to the dog’s regular meals. However, try to prefer real chicken that keeps more hydration and proteins.

Which one is better real chicken or chicken meal in dog food?

Chicken meal powder is loaded with proteins. However, its artificial flavors and nutrients do not meet the requirements of a healthy diet. On the other hand, dog food with real chicken ingredients is the best option. You can use real chicken products safely for your dogs as they do not pass through the rendering process.

What is the difference between a chicken meal and a chicken-by-product meal?

The first main difference is the rendering process. Chicken by-products are not prepared at high temperatures preserving their original nutrition. Another difference is that chicken-by-product meat is loaded with complete nutrition. It includes lungs, spleen, and other food-grade quality meat. On the other hand, 4D meat used in chicken meals makes it less favorable to dog owners.

Bottom line

Why do veterinarians avoid chicken meal products? It is the rendered chicken that loses its nutrition at high temperatures. This type of meal is often known as dead meal. So, as a pet lover, you should choose the best option for your lovely friend.

Dog owners are often concerned about their dog’s health. So, it is essential to understand the ingredients and food quality of pet foods. Dog food manufacturers frequently use chicken meals in the dog food. This blog revealed all information on “What is chicken meal in dog food”. Pros and cons of pet food help the pet parents to choose the best ones.

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