Ducks are a poultry bird and closely related to other birds like Chickens and Turkeys. While many are familiar with wild ducks that they would see at their local pond or park, these are not the ducks that are eaten for human or animal consumption.
Instead, these ducks are farmed, much like Chicken or Turkey are. While farming ducks in the western world are still somewhat uncommon, it is widespread in other areas of the world, such as Asia.
Farmed ducks are either kept inside or have their wings clipped so ensure they can not fly away.
Duck In Dog Food
While duck meat is relatively uncommon in the diet of most humans, there are a surprising number of duck-themed dog food recipes.
It’s not abundantly clear why Duck has such popularity in dog food other than the millions of dogs who enjoy its unique taste.
Sometimes Duck meat is used in hypoallergenic dog food recipes. These recipes usually pick a less common meat or fish ingredient as their core.
This decision is as a dog is less likely to have an adverse reaction to a meat ingredient if they have not previously consumed it.
You can learn more about Hypoallergenic dog food and Novel Meat formulas in our article Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide.
The nutrition provided by Duck is very similar to other poultry meats, as well as meat ingredients as a whole.
Duck is a dense source of animal-based protein and fat, which should be at the core of every dog’s diet. Animal-based protein and fat are what made up the bulk of their natural diet and are essential to maintain their bodies and provide them with sufficient energy for activity.
However, there are some differences between Duck and other poultry ingredients. For example, Duck has a more substantial proportion of fat than leaner poultry like Chicken and Duck.
As a consequence of this, Duck is far more calorie-dense as fat is more than twice as calorie-dense than protein.
Dog’s who struggle with weight-gain or who are trying to lose weight actively may want to avoid a duck recipe with a high proportion of fat.
Duck is an excellent source of several vitamins & minerals. Examples include the B Vitamins, Selenium, Zinc, and Phosphorus.
These micronutrients can provide benefits such as strengthening the immune system and reducing inflammation.
Best Dog Food With Duck
Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Duck Review
The Original range by Nature’s Variety Instinct is one of our all-time favorites. Instinct’s recipes use high-quality ingredients to provide excellent nutrition at a very competitive price in comparison to other premium dog food brands.
The Original range has an extensive range and includes recipes such as Beef, Chicken, and Salmon as their core meat or fish ingredient.
However, as you might have guessed, they have a Duck formula, and it is one of their best recipes. It combines a significant portion of Duck meat with other high-quality ingredients like fresh Turkey and Whitefish.
The Rabbit recipe also includes whole Peas and Tapioca, which are both considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates and fiber for healthy digestion.
Tapioca is a little-known ingredient but is common in South America. Find out more about Tapioca in our article Tapioca In Dog Food.
Finally, the formula contains Tomato Pomace, which provides soluble fiber, and small quantities of fruits like Cranberries and Apples.
Tomato Pomace is a regular addition to dog food, and we’d recommend checking out our Tomato Pomace as a Pet Food Ingredient? article to find out why.
It is also important to note that Nature’s Variety Instinct has other Duck recipes such as a Limited Ingredient recipe and a Raw recipe. We recommend checking out our Nature’s Variety Instinct Review Page for more information on these.
Nature’s Logic is a brand that many dog owners are unfamiliar with. Still, their popularity is rising, and their recipes plug an essential gap in the premium and hypoallergenic dog food market.
Many in the industry dissuade from suggesting dog food formulas that are high in grains. This negativity is as they believe them to be low-quality ingredients.
However, for those dogs who do not react positively to other vegetable and starch ingredients, then they are a must. For example, dogs with a severe Pea and Legume allergy may need to consider dog food formulas with grains as there are limited alternatives.
Nature’s Logic’s dry dog food recipes make use of the grain Millet. Some in the industry do not consider Millet to be as advantageous as other grains like Brown Rice and Oats.
However, it is widely believed that Millet is far superior to the other lower-quality grains, such as Wheat and Corn. Find out more about Millet and its advantages and disadvantages in our article Millet In Dog Food.
The Duck & Salmon Meal Formula featured above contains a mix of Duck, Turkey, and Salmon ingredients along with Pork Liver.
While Duck is not the only meat ingredient present, it is still an influential one. The small portion of Salmon is a positive addition and provides a much-needed dose of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. The Pork Liver can provide many minerals and vitamins that traditional meat cuts can not.
Earthborn Holistic Venture Duck Meal & Pumpkin Review
Earthborn Holistic’s Venture range is a group of limited ingredient formulas. They each combine a single high-quality source of meat or fish with a mix of vegetable ingredients.
Limited Ingredients are designed to help dog owners identify allergies or intolerances by eliminating the vast majority of ingredients. Owners can then reintroduce ingredients to identify an allergy.
Some examples of formulas in the Venture range include Alaska Pollock Meal and Pumpkin, Squid and Chickpeas, and the above-mentioned Duck Meal and Pumpkin.
The Duck formula from Earthborn Holistic uses Duck Meal as its primary source of Duck, which is a concentrated form of Duck meat, which has had most of its moisture removed. Many people look down upon meat meal and consider it to be low-quality.
However, this is undeserved, and meat meal can be advantageous as it is a much denser source of protein and fat than whole meat.
The formula also contains Peas, Pumpkin, and Tapioca, which are high-quality vegetables that can provide carbohydrates and plenty of dietary fiber to aid digestion. Pumpkin, in particular, is a fantastic inclusion as it contains several beneficial vitamins and minerals.
You can learn more about the use of Pumpkin in dog food and some other excellent dog food recipes that use Pumpkin in our article Best Dog Food With Pumpkin.
Taste of the Wild is a brand that needs no introduction. They are an established powerhouse that many North American consumers will be used to seeing in local stores and chains.
In the past, Taste of the Wild would not have considered using grains in their recipes as consumers would likely have reacted poorly.
However, with the recent links between legumes, like peas and lentils, and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy, they have responded to the changing market.
Their new “With Ancient Grains” recipes closely mimic their traditional grain-free recipes, at least when it comes to meat ingredients.
Lucky for us, one of these recipes makes use of Duck as its primary ingredient. This recipe is based on the original grain-free Wetlands recipe, which you can find here.
A combination of Duck, Duck Meal, and Chicken Meal provide an extremely healthy proportion of meat ingredients, which are sure to satisfy dogs of all activity levels.
The selection of grains in these recipes is quite large when compared to other grain-inclusive recipes. It includes Millet, Sorghum, Pearled Barley, and Brown Rice.
Zignature Duck Formula Review
Zignature is a market leader in the Limited Ingredient space and produces many formulas that could be classified as novel meat formulas.
The most well known of these is their Kangaroo Formula, which was the first Kangaroo based dog food recipe that became popular.
While Zignature has some unusual or uncommon meat or fish ingredients based formulas, such as Goat or Guinea Fowl, they also stock some more common ingredients. Examples include Duck, Lamb, Turkey, and Salmon.
The Duck formula uses the same reliable mold as its sister recipes. A mix of Duck and Duck Meal are the only meat ingredients present and supply the bulk of the formulas protein and fat nutrition.
These duck ingredients are combined with a mix of legumes, including Chickpeas and Peas. Sadly the formula also uses Pea Flour, which is a vegetable by-product. Pea Flour is considered by many to be inferior to whole Peas.
Acana Heritage Feast Review
Acana’s Heritage range has been recently revamped and given a new lease of life. This product revamp included the addition of four formulas that were not previously available in the United States.
Some of these four, such as Puppy & Junior, and Light and Fit, were available in other countries like Canada and the United Kingdom.
The addition of these formulas to the US market has enabled Acana to branch out into some niches they were not previously exposed to, such as Puppy Food and Low-Fat Food.
However, one of the other formulas added is Heritage – Feast. The Feast formula is refreshing because it contains a broad range of less common poultry meat ingredients.
This range obviously includes Duck but also includes Quail, which is an even rarer find in dog food. These less common poultry ingredients are joined by the usual suspect of Turkey.
This variety could provide a unique taste for your dog. In addition to its unusual flavor, these ingredients will provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat.
As is the case with almost all Acana formulas, a range of legumes is present, including Chickpeas, Peas, Lentils, and Beans.
These provide high-quality carbohydrates and dietary fiber to aid digestion. However, Acana recently released its grain-inclusive range, which would have been unthinkable until recently. Learn more on our Acana Review Page.
Merrick Real Duck + Sweet Potato Review
Merrick is another well-known brand in the high-quality pet food sphere. Their grain-free range is self-explanatory and only uses vegetable ingredients like Peas and Chickpeas with high-quality meat and fish ingredients.
One of the most notable advantages of Merrick is that they produce a vast range and variety of formulas, so there is almost always one that would appeal to your dog.
Merrick’s recipes also include small portions of fruit ingredients like Apples and Blueberries. Fruit such as Blueberries can provide beneficial antioxidants and vitamins to aid your health.
While Duck may be the primary meat source present, other meat ingredients are also present. Examples of these ingredients include Chicken, Turkey, and Salmon.
These additional meat ingredients alongside Duck are all ideally suited to a dog’s diet and are highly digestible.
However, the large number and variety of meat ingredients present may make this formula unsuitable for those looking to undergo a novel meat diet because of severe allergies.
Canidae Pure Real Duck & Sweet Potato Review
Canidae is a widely available high-quality dog food brand, and they have a vast selection of products spread among many ranges.
Their Grain Free Pure range is one that we have analyzed in exquisite detail, and we have rated a number of its formulas very highly.
The Duck and Sweet Potato formula is one of the range’s best. It has a strong focus on Duck, and the first two listed ingredients are Duck and Duck Meal. It also includes a small portion of Turkey Meal, which supplements the Duck to provide a large proportion of meat.
The formula also includes Peas, Potatoes, and Sweet Potatoes. These three vegetable ingredients provide carbohydrates and fiber.
Sweet Potatoes, in particular, are considered to be more advantageous to traditional white Potatoes as they offer a more extensive range of vitamins and minerals.
The formula doesn’t have quite the impressive levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids that some of its competitors do is a reliable and consistent formula nonetheless.
American Journey Limited Ingredient Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Review
American Journey is a brand owned and sold by Chewy.com. Chewy is one of the largest online retailers of pet food, along with others like Petco.
The major selling point of Chewy is that it offers significant discounts on first-time purchases of their American Journey products as well as very competitive pricing and subscription discounts for other brands.
American Journey’s product range is expanding fast and includes the above recipe that focuses on Duck. As the name gives away, it is a Limited Ingredient formula and, as a consequence, only includes Duck meat, unlike many of the other recipes in this article.
The mix of Duck and Duck Meal provides a modest proportion of protein and fat, which isn’t quite as high as its competitors but should still be sufficient for many dogs.
Sweet Potatoes are not the only vegetable ingredient present as Peas are also present in a reasonable portion.
Sadly, this formula makes use of Pea Protein. Pea Protein inflates the overall level of protein in a dog food formula and is inferior to animal or fish-based protein. Learn more about Pea Protein in our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour and Pea Fiber in Dog Food.