What Is Chicken Fat?
Chicken Fat is the fatty acids that have been extracted from a Chicken’s tissues.
Animal fat, such as Chicken Fat, is a by-product of meat meal production. Meat meal is a common ingredient in dog food and is a concentrated form of meat that has had the majority of its moisture and fat removed.
Many consumers are cautious around the use of by-products in pet food. However, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association mentions Chicken Fat as an example in the attempt to break the myth that by-products are inferior.
Chicken Fat is included in dog food for a number of reasons, one of which is to improve the taste and consistency of dog food. Much like humans, dog’s enjoy the taste of animal fat and adding Chicken Fat can improve the palatability of a kibble recipe.
Another reason that Chicken Fat is included in dog food is that it is relatively low cost. Many meat and fish ingredients are higher-cost which will have the knock-on effect of increasing the price of the product. Chicken Fat allows manufacturers to add essential animal protein without pushing up their costs significantly.
Chicken Fat Nutrition
It will come as no surprise that the vast majority of nutrition provided by Chicken fat is conventional fat. Animal fat such as Chicken Fat is vital for a number of bodily functions. In addition, fat can be used as a concentrated energy source. This can be particularly important to dogs that take part in a large amount of exercise or exertion.
Many dog food brands load up their formulas with carbohydrates to provide the bulk of their calories, but some would argue that ingredients like Chicken Fat is a better source and more closely reflects a dog’s natural diet. Also, fat is more than twice as calorie dense than protein or carbohydrates which means far less of it is required to provide the same calories.
However, Chicken Fat is also high in the Omega 6 Fatty Acids. While not entirely as well known or beneficial as the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, the Omega 6 Fatty Acids can still provide health benefits. They can improve heart health, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of cancer.
Chicken Allergies and Chicken Fat
Most dogs who suffer from a Chicken allergy are allergic to the protein found in Chicken meat. Therefore, one could argue, that a dog would not be allergic to Chicken Fat as it contains no Chicken Protein.
This is a valid argument and many dogs who can not tolerate Chicken will cope just fine with a formula that uses Chicken Fat.
However, all dogs are different, and some dogs who react poorly to Chicken may also react poorly to Chicken Fat. For this reason, it is incredibly important to be aware of what ingredients are present in your dog’s food.
Chicken Fat can feature very far down the ingredient list way past the top five or ten ingredients. Most consumers are taught to only focus on these main ingredients and may miss the inclusion of Chicken Fat.
For more information on Chicken allergies and the best alternatives for dogs who can not consume Chicken, check out our article Best Dog Food Without Chicken.
Dog Food Brands That Use Chicken Fat
There are some well known, premium, and low-cost brands that use Chicken Fat in their formulas. Examples include Solid Gold, Fromm, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Logic, Victor, and Nutri Source.
As discussed earlier in this article, some of these brands use Chicken Fat as a cheap addition to provide supplementary animal fat, while other’s say it is included to boost the level of the Omega Fatty Acids.
Below are two formulas that contain Chicken Fat that we consider to be high-quality and nutritious.