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Best Chicken Free Dog Foods: Our Favorite Poultry Free Kibbles

Does your pup have a poultry allergy? We review the best chicken free dog foods and compare cost, quality, ingredients & more!

Last Updated: November 23, 2020 | 12 min read

Dog Eating Chicken Free Food

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Is your pup allergic to poultry? Maybe you have another reason to look for the best chicken free dog food for your pup? Animal protein is essential to a dog’s diet. In fact, protein deficiency can put your dog at risk of developing various health problems, including hair loss and skin damage.

One of the cheapest and most common sources of animal protein is chicken. It’s also the primary ingredient in most commercial dry kibbles. However, poultry meat isn’t ideal for all dogs, since many of them can have allergic reactions to chicken.

There are many dietary restrictions a dog owner can face. Many dogs can’t handle peas or legumes. Some dogs do better on a completely Grain-free diet. If your pup can’t tolerate chicken meal, you’ll need to look for a safer alternative. In this list of top poultry-free dog foods, you’ll find some of the best options for your furry friend.

TOTW Pacific Stream Chicken Free
Our Rating

Best Overall

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream

View at Chewy.com
American Journey Duck Food
Our Rating

Best Value

American Journey Duck

View at Chewy.com
Blue Buffalo Duck
Our Rating

Budget Pick

Blue Buffalo Life Protection

View at Chewy.com

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Chewy.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Is Your Dog Allergic To Chicken?

Poultry Free Food
Some canines can’t have any type of poultry due to allergies or poultry sensitivity.

Your dog typically has to be exposed to chicken meal more than once for food allergies to develop. Some of the symptoms you should watch out for include the following:

  • Ear inflammation due to excessive scratching
  • Skin injuries or infections
  • Hair loss from scratching
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as vomiting and diarrhea

If you think your dog may be having allergic reactions to chicken, contact your veterinarian right away. Your vet will identify if these symptoms are being caused by allergies. Once you’ve determined that your pup cannot eat chicken, you need to remove the ingredient from your dog’s diet.

Best Dog Foods Without Chicken

Picking the best poultry free dry kibble isn’t an easy task. Normally, it takes most dog owners several hours to scour different labels in order to make sure they are poultry free. To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites below, based on price and nutritional value.


American Journey Limited Ingredient Duck

American Journey Duck Food Formula
  • Limited ingredient recipe.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Single animal protein source.
  • Great for sensitive stomachs.
  • Grain-free, and no corn, wheat or soy.
  • 350 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 12% Fat, 6% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

American Journey is Chewy’s in-house brand. We’ve looked at the American Journey brand extensively in this review. It was created for people that want a premium formula, without breaking the bank. The Duck & Sweet Potato Limited Ingredient formula provides a poultry-free experience, with a lower ingredient count. This is a high-quality duck dog food, with duck as the first ingredient. The thought behind the limited ingredient formula, is that less ingredients usually equates to a more nutritious formula.

This limited ingredient formula is free of grains, soy, corn, preservatives or artificial colors in addition to being free of poultry ingredients. The budget friendly price point is also a major benefit. Because of the stripped down ingredient list with a single source of animal protein, this formula is perfect for dogs with any type of allergy, including poultry.

What We Like About It

We like that American Journey’s products strike a nice balance between both budget and quality. Chewy’s shipping times are also excellent. If you are looking for a poultry-free food that has plenty of nutrients like Omega fatty acids and easily digestible carbs, this is an excellent option.


CANIDAE Under The Sun Lamb Formula

Canidae Under the Sun
  • Grain-free.
  • Made with Omega fatty acids.
  • Real fruits & vegetables.
  • Includes pumpkin for digestion.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 25% Protein, 11% Fat, 4% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Made using a combination of farm-grown fruits and vegetables, CANIDAE Under The Sun Grain-Free Dry Recipe with Lamb is excellent for dogs with certain sensitivities. In addition to not containing poultry, it is also fish, grain, and potato-free.

Compared to other formulas without chicken, CANIDAE’s grain-free formula contains probiotics, which helps improve digestion. It also contains antioxidants, plus Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin. Many of CANIDAE’s formulas have the same excellent nutrient profile.

What We Like About It

CANIDAE Under The Sun Grain-Free with Lamb formula offers the same benefits as other poultry-free formulas but at a lower price.


Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Formula

Whole Earth Farms Chicken Free
  • Grain-free formula.
  • High-quality pork, beef, and lamb.
  • Probiotics for digestion.
  • Includes apples, sweet potatoes & flax seed.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • 348 Calories per cup.
  • 26% Protein, 14% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

This all-natural recipe is formulated to support the nutritional needs of canines throughout all stages of life. Its sources of animal protein include pork, beef, and lamb. It also contains dried blueberries, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

In addition to being poultry-free, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free, Natural Dry Formula doesn’t have artificial flavors and colors. And, if you check the label, you won’t find any reference to additives or preservatives.

What We Like About It

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free, Natural Dry Formula is perfect for puppies since the kibbles are small and flat. In addition to not containing chicken, this dog food contains all-natural ingredients that are easy on the stomach. Many canine parents recommend it for adult canines with digestive problems.


Nutro Limited Ingredient Lamb Recipe

Nutro Limited Ingredient Food
  • Made with only 10 ingredients.
  • Non-GMO formula.
  • Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
  • Large breed formula.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 475 calories per cup.
  • 20% Protein, 13% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

A non-GMO, grain-free formula, Nutro Limited Ingredient Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe is made using at least 10 key ingredients. These include high-quality Australian and New Zealand lamb, along with chickpeas, dried potatoes, dried sweet potatoes, lentils, sunflower oil, and canola oil.

It has none of the elements that commonly cause food allergies in canines, like chicken, beef, corn, soy, wheat, and dairy. Nutro has several flavors in their poultry-free Limited ingredient offerings and is middle of the road when it comes to budget.

What We Like About It

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe is ideal for canines that are more comfortable eating smaller kibbles. This is one of our favorite dog foods for Labradoodles and other breeds that may have a sensitive stomach.  Nutro is a reputable brand, with a wide line of different kibbles, and excellent brand history.


Blue Buffalo Life Protection Lamb & Rice

Blue Buffalo Chicken Free Lamb Formula
  • No corn, wheat, soy or poultry.
  • Includes veggies and fruit.
  • Glucosamine for point health.
  • Healthy grains for energy.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • 22% Protein, 14% Fat, 5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult recipe provides canines with high-quality protein derived from real lamb. Its nutrients help dogs build and maintain healthy muscles.

The Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry formula does not contain chicken by-products, corn, wheat, and soy. No artificial flavors or preservatives are added to it, as well.

What We Like About It

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula has Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to help improve your dog’s heart health. This is popular in many Blue Buffalo formulas. These ingredients are also helpful in maintaining a healthy coat. Some pup parents noticed the difference in their dogs’ dandruff and yeast buildup within one day.


Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food
  • Grain-free.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Powerful antioxidants for immune health.
  • No corn, grain, wheat or fillers.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 360 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 15% Fat, 3% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Real fish is the main ingredient of this all-natural dog food formula. It is supplemented with vegetables and fruits, along with high levels of proprietary probiotics to ensure your pup’s overall health and well-being.

Ideal for a growing puppy, this Taste of the Wild product packs high-quality protein in every bite. It also contains antioxidants and DHA for a sharper mind and improved vision.

What We Like About It

The fish recipe provides digestible energy for sensitive dogs. Taste of the Wild has a wide variety of well reviewed dog food products, and they hold up well in the poultry-free category.


Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef

Merrick Grain Free Beef Food
  • Made with real deboned red meat.
  • High protein formula.
  • Gluten-free recipe.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 379 Calories per cup.
  • 34% Protein, 15% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef formula is a red-meat based formula that’s free of poultry. It’s a balanced recipe with a higher protein ratio, making it great for building muscle and muscle retention. This formula is not only free of poultry ingredients, but it’s also grain-free and gluten-free for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

Deboned beef is the first ingredient, and sweet potatoes provide healthy digestive carbohydrates. Merrick sources it’s ingredients from local farmers, and it’s made without any artificial preservatives, soy or corn. It’s also made in the United States.

What We Like About It

While Merrick carries a slightly higher price point than some formulas on our list, it’s a great option for any dog owner needing a protein-rich recipe without poultry ingredients. We really like the fact that it’s manufactured in the United States, and is locally sourced.


Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal

Zignature Chicken Free Dog Food
  • Grain-free formula.
  • Single protein source.
  • Made with real fish.
  • Free from most allergens.
  • No Corn, wheat, soy, dairy or poultry.
  • 382 calories per cup.
  • 31% Protein, 14% Fat, 4% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Zignature Trout and Salmon Meal Formula is often touted as the “the healthiest formula on the market.” It’s not an empty claim, though. This formula packs powerful antioxidants and low glycemic carbohydrates. It’s also an excellent source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.

What We Like About It

Trout and salmon are great for puppies with allergies. Most dogs aren’t allergic to fish, when they have a poultry or pork allergy. So this food is ideal for dogs that may have a sensitive stomach when it comes to any type of meat protein.


Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Lamb

Natural Balance Lamb
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Gluten free.
  • Made for all breeds.
  • Pea, soy, corn and wheat free.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 370 Calories per cup.
  • 22% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Natural Balance’s limited ingredient formula has a single animal protein source. In this case, the LID formula is Lamb with Brown rice. This formula is not grain-free, which means it’s great for dogs that aren’t resistant to grain, but still, need high-quality poultry free food. It is a Gluten-free recipe which is great for dogs that do have sensitive stomachs from a potential Gluten intolerance.

This limited ingredient formula contains essential amino acids that promote muscle maintenance. It works well for all different dog breeds. The Lamb as a single protein source, is usually a winner taste-wise for even some of the pickiest pups.

What We Like About It

The Natural Balance brand is synonymous with quality. This formula is fairly budget-friendly, while containing high-quality natural ingredients to keep your dog’s nutritional needs satisfied.


Poultry Free Dog Food Buyer’s Guide

Red Meat Based Dog Food
There are several important factors to consider when selecting a chicken-free food.

Not all dry kibbles are created equally. Generally, they are made up of meat, grains, fats, and oils. But their exact ingredient lists vary from one brand to another. Even poultry free dog foods can differ in the way they are prepared.

So, how do you choose the right dog foods without chicken for your dog? Here are some of the things that you might want to consider.

Price

Feeding dogs with high-quality food helps ensure they live a healthy and long life. And great quality comes at a higher price. You need to make sure you get value for your money by checking if the product meets your pup’s nutritional needs.

Your Dog’s Age

Dogs go through three important life stages – puppy, adult, and senior phases. To stay healthy and active, they need to be fed according to the stage they are currently in.

Puppies need more animal protein. Their foods have a higher calorie count compared to adult and senior dog foods. What your pup eats will significantly impact their immune functions and well-being. Aside from high amounts of animal protein. Finding a poultry sensitivity during puppyhood is usually easier, and allows you to start a special diet early in their life. Your dog’s size will also matter during puppyhood. Large breed puppies need different food than smaller breeds due to their nutrient requirements.

When your puppy enters adulthood, you need to reduce animal protein and calorie intake to keep them from becoming overweight. Many dogs have a chicken sensitivity that may not come out until adulthood.

Feeding senior dogs the right kind of chicken-free food can be tricky. Some seniors become picky eaters as they age. Your senior dog may require a recipe with lower calories, but high in fiber, fatty acids, and protein. Fiber is crucial as it reduces metabolism-related issues, bowel inconsistencies, and kidney problems.

Ingredients

Choosing the right poultry free formula means finding a product with ingredients that contain a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, fiber, and vitamins. Meat is the primary component of commercial food. Get to know the different types of meat to make sure you’re not putting your dog’s health at risk.

When it comes to picking the right formula, it’s important to select a formula that has red meat, fish, or lamb as the first ingredient. You’ll also need to make sure there is no chicken in any of the meat by-products or meat meal, if your regular formula contains any of those. Whole meat is preferable for every type of kibble.

Grains are excellent sources of carbohydrates. So are fruits and vegetables. Some pet food manufacturers, however, do away with these ingredients due to instances of grain allergies in dogs.

Ingredients to Avoid

Rice Husks
There are several ingredients you should avoid, including rice husks.

Not everything indicated on a pet food label is beneficial for your dog. In fact, some of them are actually harmful. You’ll want to steer clear of many artificial ingredients or processed foods. These can have very negative long term impacts on your pup. Here are some items that you should watch out for.

Food Fragments and Artificial Coloring

These are low-quality leftovers from other food manufacturing processes. If you see these words on an ingredient list, move on to the next product:

  • Middling
  • Rice Hulls
  • Mill Run
  • Peanut Hulls
  • Cellulose

Artificial coloring is unnecessary since your dog doesn’t care about the color of food. The coloring is only added to make the product more appealing to pet parents. We recommend you only stick to poultry free recipes that include no artificial coloring of any type.

Sugar and Sweetners

Sugar is definitely a no-no. As with humans, it can lead to obesity, hyperactivity, and tooth decay in dogs.

You might also want to keep your pet away from formulas that contain cane molasses, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, glucose, propylene glycol, and xylitol. These are used to make food tastier for your dog. However, they add more calories and have no nutritional value.

Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to your furry friend’s dietary needs, you can never be too careful. If you have questions about dog food formulas without chicken or other relevant concerns, you might find the answers in the following section.

What Is The Most Common Food Allergy In Dogs?

Food allergies are a common concern among pet owners. It can be very frustrating to see your pet suffer from allergic reactions, which usually range from diarrhea to ear itching and inflammation.

Some dogs are born with food allergies, while others develop them through the years. Even if your pet is used to eating the same type of food for years, they could suddenly develop an allergy to pork, beef, fish, chicken, wheat, soy, and other fruits or vegetables.

What’s a Grain-Free Formula?

Grains, such as wheat, oats, rice, and corn, provide a variety of nutrients that dogs need. Grain-free formulas are recipes without those ingredients. Many pet parents opt for grain-free food because their dogs suffer from grain allergies.

Are Grain-Free Formulas Healthy?

Yes! One common misconception about grain-free formulas is that it doesn’t contain carbohydrates. However, the recipe still contains carbohydrates from other sources, like sweet potato. While meat, such as chicken, pork, or beef, is the most important factor in a dog’s diet, carbohydrates can be an excellent energy source for your pet.

What Is a Limited-Ingredient Formula?

As the name suggests, limited-ingredient formulas contain a smaller number of selected ingredients. However, the exact definition varies from one manufacturer to another.

Some limited-ingredient formulas may have one to two protein sources, such as salmon, rabbit, or venison, and one to two carb sources, like sweet potatoes or green peas. There are others that offer limited-ingredient products with fewer ingredients than their standard formulas.

Is a Limited-Ingredient Diet Right For My Dog?

Dogs with skin or digestive issues may benefit from limited-ingredient food. But be sure to work with your veterinarian to determine whether a limited-ingredient diet is the best option for your pet.

Your vet can help determine what food ingredients are causing your dog’s adverse reactions or if there’s an underlying health issue that you should know about.

Is the Ingredient List a Good Indicator Of The Quality?

Generally, the ingredient list does not detail the product’s nutritional quality or digestibility. However, the most important thing to consider is that the final product has been tested to make sure that your pet’s dietary requirements are met. At best, you can use the ingredient list as a reference when choosing pet food for dogs with food allergies.

Is It Risky To Feed My Dog The Wrong Diet?

Simply put, yes. Whether it’s a dog food with or without chicken, your pet’s diet should be appropriate to their stage of life. It wouldn’t be right to feed an adult dog a diet formulated for growing puppies. If you’re not careful, this could lead to health issues, such as obesity.

While we’re on the topic, remember that it’d also be inappropriate to feed your dog with cat food, or vice versa. Each species has diets designed specifically to meet their individual nutritional requirements.

What Should I Look For In Recipes Without Chicken?

Reading the label is important. Product labels provide a nutritional adequacy statement that indicates which animal the diet is designed for. It also lets you know if the recipe is complete and balanced, and whether the food should be fed under the supervision of your vet.

What’s The Safest And Healthiest Diet For My Dog?

The nutritional needs of dogs vary based on several factors. These include age, lifestyle, activity level, breed, and temperament. Experts recommend asking your veterinarian for advice about what foods to feed your pet.

To verify that you are getting the best dry kibble for your money, check if the manufacturer is complying with the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ guidelines. The AAFCO is the authorized agency that sets standards for pet foods in the United States.

How Does The Food I Feed My Dog Affect Their Skin, Coat, And Energy Level?

Proper nutrition sets the building blocks for canine health and wellness. This is why picking the best chicken-free formula for your dog can have a considerable impact.

For example, when it comes to maintaining beautiful skin and coat, your dog needs a diet rich in fatty acids. To increase their energy levels, be sure to feed them a recipe containing enough supply of fats, carbohydrates, and animal protein.

Winner, Winner, No-Chicken Dinner

Providing the right nourishment in every stage of your dog’s life is one of the most responsible things that you can do as a pet parent. It also helps if the food you feed is easily digestible, considering the pain and discomfort caused by canine indigestion.

For those reasons, Taste of the Wild’s Pacific Stream is our top choice among our selection of best dog foods without chicken. The easy-to-digest recipe is certainly a treat for canines of any age or breed.

Apart from being gentle to the stomach, this recipe is also good for your dog’s heart. This is thanks to its heart-friendly components, such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, L-Carnitine, taurine, choline chloride, and dL-methionine.

If Taste of the Wild’s Pacific Stream is somehow beyond your budget, then you might want to check out, American Journey’s Limited Ingredient Duck Formula. It practically offers the same benefits, but without the hefty price tag.

There is no one specific type of food that is perfect for all dogs. Just like with people, each canine has different nutritional requirements. With the information provided here, you should be able to make an informed decision when choosing the right poultry-free formula for your pup.

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