The Purpose Of Chicken And Rice Recipes
Chicken and Rice has served as a reliable and stable diet for dogs for decades. There are a number of factors at play as to why Chicken and Rice has been so popular and successful.
The first and most often overlooked reason why Chicken & Rice is so successful is its simplicity. Many dog food brands and recipes try too hard to be different and unique. While exotic and new ingredients may appeal to dog owners, many dogs will do far better on a more reliable and simplistic diet, even if it is a little dull.
The second factor is that Chicken & Rice can provide the vast majority of the required nutrients a dog needs. This nutrition includes an ample portion of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. While Chicken & Rice may lack some vitamins and minerals, these can either be supplemented in the food or provided by treats and snacks.
The last reason that Chicken and Rice sees use is when Veterinary professionals prescribe it to dogs suffering from severe allergies, sensitivities, or other digestion-related issues.
The simplicity of Chicken and Rice can help prevent these reactions and highlight which ingredients in the dog’s diet are the cause. This is similar to a limited ingredient diet, which we discuss in our Hypoallergenic Dog Food Guide.
For those wanting to know more about food allergies for pets, we’d also recommend the American College of Veterinary Nutrition’s FAQ page, which discusses food allergies.
Chicken Vs. Chicken Meal
Many dog owners will turn their nose up at Meat Meals, such as Chicken Meal. They believe them to be inferior ingredients that are heavily processed.
However, this is far from the truth, and Meat Meals can be a positive addition to dog food.
The core difference between Meat Meals and whole meat cuts is that they have had the vast majority of their moisture removed. Moisture makes up as much as 80% of whole meat by weight.
By removing this moisture, the Meat Meal is a far denser source of protein and fat, which are the critical nutrients in a dog’s diet.
The consequence of this increased density is that a dog food recipe with Chicken Meal listed as its first listed ingredient will contain far more Chicken, protein, and fat than a dog food recipe that lists Chicken as its first listed ingredient.
Chicken And Rice Nutrition
The Chicken present in Chicken and Rice recipes should provide the bulk of the protein a dog requires.
Protein is essential for dogs as it is required to repair, maintain, and grow a dog’s muscles and tissues.
Also, protein from animal sources, such as Chicken, is considered to be superior to protein from plant-based ingredients.
This is because protein from animal sources contains the full range of amino acids required and is more easily absorbed by a dog’s digestive system.
Fat is essential for a number of bodily functions and can be used as a concentrated source of energy.
Fat should also be the preferred energy source for dogs who are very active such as puppies and working dogs.
However, some dogs need to be careful about how much fat they consume as they may be more prone to weight gain or obesity.
Sadly, Chicken isn’t high in the Omega Fatty Acids when compared to other meat and fish ingredients. These Fatty Acids are known to provide a range of health benefits, which is why they are discussed so often.
Carbohydrates & Fiber
The rice found in dog food should serve two purposes. It should provide a modest sum of carbohydrates that a dog can utilize as an energy source.
While we have said that fat should be a dog’s primary energy source, carbohydrates can serve the same function. Dogs have adapted over to be able to consume more significant portions of carbohydrates over the last few thousand years.
Carbohydrates only become a problem when they are consumed in huge quantities or from very dense sources such as by-products.
Secondly, Rice should provide a reasonable portion of dietary fiber to aid digestion.
While dogs do not need a high portion of fiber in their diet, a stable and consistent amount can be beneficial.
Vitamins & Minerals
Brown Rice contains a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Examples include the B Vitamins (B1, B3, and B6), Manganese, Magnesium, and Selenium.
These B Vitamins are vital for a dog’s metabolism, which ensures they can adequately break down the nutrients they digest.
Manganese, Magnesium, and Selenium can improve bone health, reduce the risk of Diabetes, act as powerful antioxidants, and boost a dog’s immune system, among many others.
Brown Rice vs. White Rice
Often dog owners query what variety of Rice is preferable to be fed to dogs or to be present in a Chicken and Rice dog food formula.
Brown Rice is rice that still has its fibrous and nutritious shell. This shell can provide a number of vitamins and minerals that can improve a dog’s health.
While it is true that dogs could get fiber and these vitamins and minerals from other sources, if they are on a strict Chicken & Rice diet, there are unlikely to be other sources in their diet, which could lead to them being malnourished or experiencing irregular bowel movements.
Therefore, Brown Rice should be the preferred rice ingredient present in commercial and homemade dog food.
White Rice is rice that has had its nutritious shell removed. What is left behind is a very dense source of carbohydrates. Unfortunately, there is little fiber, vitamins, or minerals left in White Rice.
However, some dogs react better to White Rice in comparison to Brown Rice. While it’s not clear exactly why this is, it could be a valid reason to use White Rice.
Other Rice Ingredients
There are some other Rice-based ingredients found in dog food such as Rice Bran and Brewers Rice. These are low-quality ingredients and by-products of Rice Milling or Rice Processing.
While these are technically fragments of rice, they often provide poor nutrition and would be thrown out or fed to livestock. Pet food brands use ingredients like these to keep their costs low and not to provide suitable nutrition.
Find out more about Rice Bran in our article Rice Bran In Dog Food.
Find out more about Brewers Rice in our article Brewers Rice In Dog Food.
Best Dog Food With Chicken And Rice
Victor Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Review
Victor is a popular brand among dog owners with multiple dogs, larger breed dogs, or for those owners on a tight budget. This popularity is because Victor recipes are sold in large volumes at very affordable prices. In addition to this, Victor’s lower-cost does not mean they sacrifice on quality or nutrition, and they maintain a reasonable level of quality and nutrition throughout their product range.
Their Chicken Meal & Brown Rice formula is a prime example of this. While its nutrition might not be quite as impressive as some of the other recipes highlighted in this article, it is still satisfactory for most dogs that are not very active.
Chicken and Chicken Meal feature as the primary ingredients and provide the bulk of the recipe’s protein and fat. They are joined by Brown Rice, Millet, and Sorghum. While we are very familiar with Brown Rice by now, Millet and Sorghum are less common ingredients.
Holistic Select Chicken & Brown Rice Review
Holistic Select used to be part of the Eagle Pack brand, but it is now its own stand-alone brand. The WellPet group of pet food brands owns Holistic Select, and they also own other well-known brands such as Wellness and Old Mother Hubbard.
Holistic Select’s Chicken & Rice formula uses Chicken Meal as its primary ingredient and skips out on whole Chicken. This large portion of Chicken Meal will provide a satisfactory proportion of protein and fat.
However, the recipe does make use of a mix of grain ingredients, including Brown Rice, Rice, and Oatmeal. We presume that the vague-sounding Rice ingredient is White Rice, but we can not be certain.
While some prefer other carbohydrate-providing ingredients, Brown Rice and Oatmeal are two of the best grain ingredients in dog food, and they should not be shunned.
A small portion of Pork Meal is also present. However, the size of this portion of Pork Meal should not put you off this recipe as it is unlikely to disrupt the benefits of the Chicken and Rice.
Health Extension Chicken & Brown Rice Review
Health Extension is a family-owned company based in the United States. Health Extension has very impressive transparency about the source of its ingredients, including an interactive map for visitors of their site to explore.
This level of transparency is unprecedented in the pet food industry and is something that many brands could learn from.
Health Extension has a moderately sized product range, which includes some very common recipes, like Chicken & Rice, but also some less common ones.
The Health Extensions Chicken and Rice recipe makes use of a mix of Chicken ingredients, including Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Chicken Fat.
The recipe’s primary plant-based ingredient is Brown Rice. As we have discussed earlier in this article, Brown Rice is preferred to White Rice or cheaper rice-based ingredients.
However, Health Extensions Chicken & Brown Rice recipe does contain some other meat and non-meat ingredients in notable portions. Examples of these ingredients include Lamb Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, and Oatmeal.
While all three of these ingredients could be considered high-quality to most dogs, they may not be suitable for those who need a stringent Chicken & Rice diet.
American Journey Chicken & Brown Rice Review
American Journey is a brand owned by the online pet food distributor Chewy. Until recently, American Journey products were only available on their website, but they have recently been seen in PetSmart stores after PetSmart’s acquisition of the site.
American Journey doubles up on the low cost of shipping offered by Chewy by also making the formulas they produce very affordable.
The brand has a moderately sized range of products, including dry dog food, canned dog food, and limited ingredient dog food. Their Chicken & Brown Rice recipe is one of their most popular.
A mix of Chicken and Chicken Meal are the recipe’s primary ingredients and provide a satisfactory proportion of protein and fat.
Brown Rice is the primary plant-based ingredient and can provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber. However, there is a notable portion of Peas present which provide similar nutrition.
Sadly, this formula makes use of both Rice Bran and Brewers Rice, which we consider to be lower-quality rice-based ingredients. We would prefer to have seen a larger portion of Brown Rice instead.
Nature’s Variety Prairie Chicken & Brown Rice Review
Nature’s Variety Prairie is the sister brand to Nature’s Variety Instinct. It is far less known and includes a far smaller collection of recipes. However, while Instinct recipes do not include any grain ingredients, Prairie does have some grain inclusive recipes, including a Chicken & Brown Rice recipe.
As with almost all of the recipes within this article, Chicken and Chicken Meal are present and supply the recipes protein and fat content.
While you may imagine that Brown Rice is the primary grain ingredient present in the formula, it is not. Instead, there is a more substantial portion of Oatmeal than Brown Rice.
Oatmeal is one of the other higher-quality grain ingredients and can provide satisfactory levels of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that other grains can not. Barley is also present but in far smaller portion size than Brown Rice or Oatmeal.
There is a notable portion of Alfalfa in this formula. Alfalfa is a plant that is closely related to legumes like Peas and Lentils and is believed by some to provide health benefits. Find out more about Alfalfa in Alfalfa In Dog Food.
Lastly, there are very small portions of Peas and Turkey Meal in the formula. However, the quantity of these ingredients present is small enough that it is not significant.
Pure Balance is a Walmart exclusive brand that many regular shoppers of the store will be familiar with. It is Walmart’s attempt at selling affordable dog food that has reasonable ingredient quality and nutrition and could be easily compared to other newly launched brands like Crave and American Journey.
Pure Balance has a wide range of dog food products, including both dry and wet food. The recipes produced by Pure Balance include a variety of conventional meat and fish ingredients, which are combined with vegetables such as Peas or grains such as Brown Rice.
Pure Balance’s most popular formula is their Chicken & Brown Rice recipe. The three core ingredients of the recipe are Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Brown Rice. As we have discussed in this article, this combination can provide the bulk of dogs required nutrition.
Sadly, the Chicken & Brown Rice recipe from Pure Balance also contains Pea By-products like Pea Protein and Brewers Rice, which is a low-quality Rice By-product.
Despite the inclusion of these lower-quality ingredients, Pure Balance is a very reasonable option for those on a tight budget and a big step up above the ultra-cheap and almost dangerous brands of old.
For more high-quality yet affordable dog food recipes, including some from Pure Balance, check out our Best Cheap Dog Food article.
Diamond is a well-known brand and is a popular choice for those on with little cash to spare. One of the reasons that Diamond is popular among those on a tight budget is that Diamond formulas are sold in enormous quantities such as 35lb or 40lb bags. Buying in bulk is more cost-effective as long as your dog(s) will consume all of the food within a reasonable time frame so that it does not go bad or stale.
Diamond Naturals is the sub-brand of Diamond and contains some of their better recipes. Most of the formulas within this range make use of named meat ingredients, which are then combined with Rice and other less abundant ingredients. As you can imagine, one of these recipes focuses on Chicken and Rice.
The Chicken & Rice formula makes use of both Chicken and Chicken Meal as its source of protein and fat. Along with Brown Rice, the formula also includes Peas and Barley.
While most of the Peas present are whole Peas, the formula does include Pea Flour, which is another lower-quality ingredient.
Barley is a common partner to Brown Rice but isn’t considered to be as beneficial or nutritious. The formula is finished off with some Dried Beet Pulp, which adds soluble fiber to aid digestion. Find out more about Dried Beet Pulp in our article Dried Beet Pulp In Dog Food.
Blue Buffalo Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Review
Blue Buffalo is a staple of chain or large pet stores like PetSmart. Blue Buffalo has a vast range of products and formulas that can often occupy an entire aisle in a single store. While not all of Blue Buffalo’s recipes are considered high-quality by our high standards, some do make the cut, especially when the price is taken into consideration as Blue Buffalo formulas are very affordable.
Life Protection is one of Blue Buffalo’s core ranges and does include some grains but not Corn, Wheat, or Soy. The result of this is a number of recipes that focus on a meat ingredient and Brown Rice. The formula referenced above can be thought of as the standard adult version of this that uses Chicken.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Chicken Fat are present and provide animal protein and fat. Brown Rice, Oatmeal, and Barley are the core grain ingredients and provide carbohydrates and fiber.
Blue Buffalo formulas make use of Tomato Pomace as a source of soluble fiber. Find out more about Tomato Pomace in our article Tomato Pomace as a Pet Food Ingredient?.
Propac Ultimate Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Review
ProPac is owned by Midwestern Pet Foods, which also owns popular brands like Earthborn Holistic and Sportmix. The company was founded almost 100 years ago and so is well established.
ProPac is aimed at a lower price point than Earthborn Holistic and so produces more cost-effective recipes such as Chicken & Brown Rice. Other examples of lower-cost formulas include Lamb & Brown Rice and Fish & Potato.
Their Chicken and Rice formula makes use of Chicken Meal as its primary ingredient, like many other recipes in this article. This Chicken Meal is a dense source of protein and fat.
The formula then uses a mix of Brown Rice, White Rice, and Rice Bran to provide carbohydrates and fiber. Once again, its worth noting that we’d prefer if there were more Brown Rice present instead of White Rice and Rice Bran.
Smaller portions of Peas, Dried Beet Pulp, and Flaxseed are also present and provide additional carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients.
Kirkland Chicken & Brown Rice Review
Those of you who shop at Costco will be very familiar with the brand Kirkland. Kirkland produces a considerable range of products, from Alcohol to Tools, but many do not realize that they have a selection of dog food recipes at very affordable prices.
Costco is renowned for keeping meager margins on its products; some say as low as 10%. These low margins allow Costco to sell products, like Kirkland dog food, at prices only slightly higher than the wholesale price, which is good news for consumers’ wallets.
Their Chicken and Rice formula provides a surprisingly impressive nutrition profile with higher levels of protein and fat than most of the other recipes in this article.
This is thanks to a large portion of Chicken and Chicken Meal, as well as a small portion of Egg Product. These are joined by Brown Rice and Barley, which we have already discussed.
There are a large number of other ingredients that may be intimidating to some dog owners who read the ingredient list. However, the quantity of these that are present is extremely small and is unlikely to influence a dog’s digestion to a notable degree.