Chicken: The Complete Protein Source for Your Dog

Chicken, a complete protein source, is a key ingredient in our dog foods, including in IAMS® ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks. As an animal-based protein, chicken, in a dog's diet, can help maintain muscle structure. It's a protein source that naturally provides each of the amino acids that are essential to carnivorous animals such as dogs. And chicken adds great flavor.

Which Chicken Ingredients Are Used in Dog Foods?

  • Common chicken ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, chicken by-product meal, and chicken fat.
  • Chicken is flesh and skin without internal organs or feathers.
  • Chicken meal includes flesh, skin, and bone that have been cleaned, dried, cooked, and ground.
  • Chicken by-product meal is flesh, skin, and internal organs (including intestines and bone) that have been cleaned, dried, cooked, and ground.
  • Chicken fat, a high-quality energy source, provides essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid that can help support skin and coat health.

What Is Natural Chicken Flavor?

Another common chicken-based ingredient is natural chicken flavor, also called chicken digest. Natural chicken flavor adds palatability and nutrients. It is high-quality protein and fat material that has been reduced to amino and fatty acids to improve flavor through an enzymatic process.

Why Are Internal Organs and Bone Included in Chicken By-product Meal?

Internal organs are rich sources of protein, fats, and minerals, such as iron, that are essential to dog health and add to the palatability of the pet food. Including some ground bone provides a good source of minerals, such as calcium. Some pet-food manufacturers formulate their products without such ingredients to appeal to dog owners, rather than to help dogs achieve optimal health. However, the nutritional needs of dogs are not the same as the nutritional needs of humans.

The IAMS Difference

Dried chicken-protein sources in our chicken-based dog foods undergo an extra refining process. Refined chicken meal and chicken by-product meal are excellent and complete sources of protein because they naturally contain each of the amino acids that are essential to dogs.