Skip to content

15 Best Dog Foods Without Chicken

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dog foods with chicken are common but can cause allergies and skin issues in some dogs.
  • Chicken allergies can be diagnosed through an elimination diet.
  • Symptoms of chicken allergy in dogs include skin issues, digestive problems, and anaphylactic reactions.
  • Chicken allergies occur when the digestive system doesn't break down chicken proteins properly.
  • Alternatives to chicken in dog food include duck, lamb, mackerel, pork, rabbit, salmon, turkey, and venison.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Taimoor is a well-traveled practicing veterinarian performing duties related to pet care, staff supervision, laboratory work, and diagnoses.
Published on
Sunday 30 August 2020
Last updated on
Monday 6 November 2023
best dog foods without chicken
This page may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

The problem with dog foods without chicken is that they may lack natural sources of dog protein and other healthy nutrients. Moreover, these are relatively expensive. Therefore, dog foods almost always have chicken as their ingredients. One of the significant issues with chicken dog food is that this ingredient is one of the most common allergens for furry pals.

We’ve all watched it on TV growing up where dogs eat chicken bones. Sometimes, the owner even feeds their dog with cooked chicken meat. It is not bad, but some dogs are allergic to chicken. With too much consumption, it may cause allergic reactions and itchy or irritated skin for your dog. Therefore, it is worth considering dog food without chicken ingredients.

15 Best Dog Foods without Chicken

Let’s make your dog healthier and free from any allergies. Give nothing but the most nutritious and best dog foods without chicken. It contains plenty of animal-based protein for your dog without compromising its overall health. So, here are some of the best dog foods that have no chicken that you can give to your dog.

1. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Dog Food

At the top of the list is the Whole Earth Grain-Free Recipe dog food. It has beef, lamb, and pork flavors. Moreover, it does not contain any kind of poultry meat including chicken. This dry dog food is made with high-quality protein.

Additionally, it does not have soy, wheat, and corn ingredients. It is rich in essential fatty acids which are great for the coat and skin. Also, it contains antioxidants that keep your dog’s immune system healthy. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin which are great for your dog’s joint and bone health.


  • Prepared and cooked in the US
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Provides a balanced nutrition


  • Inconsistent kibble size
  • It’s on the expensive side

2. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach (Salmon & Rice)

Purina Pro Plan is one of the most trusted brands recommended by veterinarians. This high-protein dry dog food from Purina is made to nurture your pup’s sensitive skin and stomach, featuring real, nutrient-rich salmon as the main ingredient. This, combined with rice and oatmeal, means that your pooch receives the highly digestible and tasty feast that they deserve.

If your pup’s chicken sensitivity has left them with an easily upset tummy and sensitive skin, this dry dog food might be exactly what they need. This diet is formulated with live probiotics and prebiotic fiber to nourish your dog’s digestive and immune health.

It’s also made with Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A to further support healthy skin and coat. And, as a bonus, it contains Omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy joints. And, most importantly of all, this product has no corn, no wheat or soy, no artificial colors and flavors, and no poultry.


  • High in protein
  • Has live probiotics and prebiotics
  • Rich in healthy fats


  • Smelly
  • Some dogs may dislike the taste

3. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Diet (Salmon & Potato)

This best non-chicken dog food features a single protein source (salmon) along with peas, potatoes, and pumpkin to support your dog’s digestion – perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs.

It has a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that were selected by animal nutritionists and veterinarians that support your dog’s life stage needs, immune system, and healthy oxidative balance. It also has omega 3 and omega 6 for healthy skin and coats for your dogs.

The Basics Limited Ingredient Diet doesn’t contain any chicken, (or poultry) by-product meals, wheat, corn, soy, or any artificial flavors or preservatives. Its life source bits were cold-formed to preserve potency and help support your dog’s immune system.


  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Does not have artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Filler-free


  • It has a strong smell
  • The protein can be too much for other breeds

4. Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food with Wild Caught Salmon

Give your beloved pooch a complete and holistic diet that they need with Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food. It is excellent dog food without chicken, especially for those who may have food-related skin sensitivities. It is because of its hypoallergenic kibble that contains plenty of wild salmon protein as the primary ingredient.

This dog food also offers whole-food fruits and vegetables such as lentils, peas, squash, blueberries, and papaya. Also, it’s designed for all life stages of your dogs and has an optimal amino acid profile for lean and strong muscles.

Moreover, it provides guaranteed probiotics for optimum nutrition and aid digestion for all dog breeds and ages. Give it to your dog if you want to have a healthy and holistic diet. With the rich salmon taste, your dog will enjoy bowl after bowl.


  • Good for sensitive dogs
  • Contains probiotics
  • Provides a holistic diet


  • Kibble size is big for small breeds
  • Strong fishy smell

5. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Real Texas Beef + Sweet Potato)

Here comes the real Texas beef. Merrick Grain-Free Dry Dog Food offers a good life for every bite. It contains real Texan beef in combination with a generous serving of sweet potato, to ensure that your pup gets a wholesome serving of protein and carbohydrates.

Moreover, even if it doesn’t have poultry and grain, Merrick Grain offers your young pup a bowlful of comfort. Give your dog the most delicious and nutritious food. With the best puppy food without chicken, you can always be sure of the quality and safety of every pack. What makes Merrick Dry Dog Food special is that it is an all-natural dog food with no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

It also has formulated DHA that aids healthy brain function development even for young dog breeds. Proudly produced in Merrick’s Texas factory that only uses the world’s most excellent locally grown products from growers they trust implicitly.


  • No artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • It has DHA
  • Rich in protein and carbohydrates


  • Has a strong smell

6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food (Beef, Potato, and Bison)

This 23-pound bag of dry dog food contains real beef that will help your dog build and maintain lean muscle mass. It’s grain-free and made with delicious and natural ingredients like potato turkey, pork fat, bison, lamb meal, and more.

Its menhaden fish meal and high-quality bison ingredient are a natural source of amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids that helps support your dogs’ skin and coat health. The Rachael Ray Nutrish dry food also has taurine, minerals, and vitamins to ensure and support your dog’s health.

Your dogs will love this zero-guilt meal that has no artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It also has no poultry by-product meal and no added grains, fillers, or glutens.


  • Has high-quality bison ingredient
  • Good source of amino acids
  • Supports healthy skin and coat


  • The bag is not resealable which can affect the freshness of the product
rachael ray nutrish natural recipe
This recipe is rich in vitamins and minerals!

7. Canidae PURE Limited Ingredient (Wild boar and Garbanzo bean)

Make sure to give your dog tasty and nutritious food for every meal. The Canidae PURE Limited Ingredient offers all nutrition that your dog requires. It features a complete and balanced delicious diet especially if you’re looking for large breed dog food without chicken.

The premium ingredients guarantee full growth and a healthy body. Your dog will enjoy the optimum protein with a nutritionally dense formula. This recipe is made of 7 key ingredients; wild boar, garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, pork meals, and sun-cured alfalfa that’s perfect for sensitive dogs.

It’s formulated with probiotics and antioxidants to support your dog’s digestive and immune system, also, it has a blend of vitamins and minerals that supports your dog’s joints, skin, and coat.


  • Great for large dog breeds
  • Contains antioxidants and probiotics
  • Promotes healthy digestion


  • Can be too smelly

8. NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Grain Free Dry Dog Food (Salmon)

Give your furry friend a wholesome, nutritious meal with NUTRO‘s Limited Ingredient Diet. Not only is this diet rich in vitamins and minerals to keep your pooch healthy, but it also specifically excludes chicken and beef from its ingredients.

This diet is also grain-free for any pups who cannot tolerate a grain diet. Instead, this diet is made with high-quality sources of salmon and salmon meal, as well as dried sweet potato.

This diet also nourishes sensitive skin and brings out your dog’s shiny, healthy coat condition. NUTRO is so confident about this that they guarantee it, or your money back! As well as this, every ingredient is non-GMO, and no artificial colors or flavors are used in its production.

They do, however, state that trace amounts of GMO material may be present due to cross-contact during the manufacturing process.


  • Good for dogs with sensitive skin
  • Non-GMO dog food
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals


  • Expensive
  • Not for picky eaters

9. Zignature Limited Ingredient Formula Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Duck)

Fill your furry friend’s bowl with a healthy, chicken-free meal with Zignature‘s Salmon Limited Ingredient Formula. Your fur buddies will enjoy a delicious dinner made with real duck, wholesome flaxseed, peas, and chickpeas.

This meat-first recipe gives your dog the protein they need to thrive, while the limited recipe throws out troublesome ingredients like wheat, soy, corn, and chicken. This, in combination with essential fatty acids and key antioxidants, provides a well-rounded meal to your dog.

This single protein source meal has formulas called “Physiologically Tuned” which means all their ingredients are made to meet the nutritional needs of your dogs and satisfy their instinctual cravings.


  • Made with real duck
  • Contains essential fatty acids
  • High in antioxidants


  • It is a little pricy
  • Has a strong smell

10. Instinct Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (Rabbit)

Instinct’s Grain-Free Rabbit Formula is the best choice for an all-natural and nutrition-packed food for active dogs of all ages. It is loaded with real, farm-raised rabbits, nutritious oils, vegetables, and fruits that are sure to keep your dog healthy and running throughout the day.

This food has live probiotics (great for constipated dogs), natural omega fatty acids, and antioxidants for your dog’s healthy skin and coat, gut, and immune system. It has a high protein content to build your dog’s strong, lean muscles.

This raw, dry kibble is certified grain, wheat, artificial color, and preservatives-free, guaranteeing your dog a delicious, allergy-free, and healthy feast.


  • Made with real rabbits
  • Rich in live probiotics
  • High in protein


  • Can make some dogs gassy

11. Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food With Smoked Salmon

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream With Smoked Salmon is made with real fish as a main ingredient. It is loaded with 32% of protein to help strong and lean muscle development. It also supports the bones and joints of your dog.

This dry dog food is packed with vitamins and minerals from superfoods and fruits. It also provides the necessary nutrients and energy that your pup needs everyday. The healthy fats are responsible for healthy coat and skin.

Each serving is rich in K9 proprietary probiotics and antioxidants which helps your dog’s immune system, digestion, and overall health. It is also free from artificial colors and flavors, wheat, grain, and corn. 


  • High in protein
  • Promotes muscle development
  • Enrich with antioxidants and probiotics


  • The flavor can affect your dog’s breath
  • Can cause some dogs to be gassy

12. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food (Lamb Flavor)

No products found.

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dog Food is made with 100% organic ingredients. It is available in dandy lamb, beef salmon, and red meat flavors. These animals are grass-fed and free. Therefore, they are not eating artificial foods which also ensures their health.

It very handy so you can bring with your dog wherever you go. Additionally, it is freeze-dried so it is a very convenient raw meal for your dog. This raw meat is rich in protein. It is also suitable for dogs with sensitive stomach.


  • Made with the finest ingredients
  • Grain-free
  • 90% meat and organ


  • It is pricy
  • Can dry out too much if not stored properly

13. ORIJEN Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Orijen Regional Red Dog Food is grain-free. It is also made from 85% premium meat and fish. This dry dog food is a good source of protein, minerals, and essential vitamins. Its meat ingredients are always fresh and packed with raw animal protein. 

This WholePrey diet provides an overall nutritional value that your dog needs, even without the chicken. The flavor will burst out into your dog’s mouth that even picky eaters can resist. Moreover, this freeze-dried dog food includes fresh organs which are also high in protein.


  • Highly palatable
  • Nutrient-dense dry dog food
  • Made with whole animal ingredients


  • Can triggers flatulence
  • Need improvement in the packaging

14. American Journey Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food

American Journey Dry Dog Food has limited ingredients, with venison and sweet potato as the main. It is grain-free, which makes it a good choice for dogs with allergies, sensitive stomachs, or may experience itchy skin. 

It has a single animal protein source, the deboned venison. But it does not limit your dog’s development. In fact, it has 22% protein that helps develop and maintain muscle mass. It also provides easily digestible carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes and peas.

This dry dog food provides balanced nutrition for your pup. It does not contain any soy, corn, wheat, and meat by-products. It is also free from artificial flavors and preservatives. Lastly, it is also rich in omega-3 from flaxseed and omega-6 from sunflower oil. These fatty acids are responsible for healthy skin and coats.


  • Easily digestible
  • Has limited ingredients
  • Rich in healthy fats


  • Some dogs do not like the smell
  • Customers say it is often unavailable

15. ZIWI Peak Canned Wet Dog Food

Ziwi Peak Canned Dog Food is made with 92% free-range lamb, bone, organs, and green mussels from New Zealand. It has limited ingredients which ensures there are no filler and meat by-products. It is highly palatable making it a good choice for picky eaters. 

This premium wet dog food is grain-free and has low carbs. It is ideal for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin. Since it has no fillers, it saves your dog from being overweight, having allergies, and other health issues.

It has 10% superfoods, which include organic kelp and cold-washed green tripe. These superfoods promote a healthy coat, skin, and joint. It also supports healthy metabolism and digestion. It promotes brain and heart health.


  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • 100% organic


  • Some dogs make not like the lamb flavor
  • Some cans may come with dents

How to Know if Your Dogs are Allergic to Chicken?

You can diagnose your dog’s allergies through the elimination of a food diet. You can start by taking the dog off all the foods that he or she consumes and giving food that your pet never had before. It would typically take a few days before you see any allergic reactions. If none, then your dog has a high tolerance to that specific dog food.

Approximately 10% of allergies for dogs came from food consumption. Hence, it is more beneficial to feed your furry friend with the best dog foods without chicken, but with complete nutrition. The major problem with it is that it may cost double. However, it is still better than seeing your dog suffering from a food allergy and other intolerance.

Signs of Chicken Allergy to Dogs

Food allergy, more often, is a genetic problem triggered by allergens. Some dogs can consume small amounts of chicken while others simply can’t.

Dog’s chicken allergy symptoms are also similar to other allergic reactions from other food, perfume, pollen, etc. If your dog has a chicken allergy, he or she may experience skin issues like red or itchy skin, rashers, fur loss, ear infection, wounds, or “hot spots” (result from excessive licking or chewing their skin).

They can also experience digestive symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues. Anaphylactic reactions like facial swelling, difficulty breathing, and tremors can also be experienced.

Cause of Chicken Allergy to Dogs

Chicken allergies can occur when the dog’s digestive system doesn’t completely break down the proteins. The enterocytes (absorptive cells providing a physical barrier for unwanted lumen constituents) will consider these proteins as intruders and will attack the body.

The overreaction of the dog’s immune system to the unwelcome poultry protein causes the symptoms of chicken allergies. 

Home Remedies to Chicken Allergy

If your dog experienced chicken allergy symptoms, the best way is to call their vet and ask for any recommended supplements for their itchy skin and other allergy symptoms. But if you need a quick remedy for your dog’s itchy skin, you can grab an apple cider vinegar in your kitchen.

Apple cider vinegar has a mild acid and contains antibacterial properties that are great for your dog’s skin. Make sure to dilute the apple cider vinegar before applying it to their itchy skin  (⅓ apple cider vinegar and ⅔ water).
Oatmeal baths are also recommended since oatmeal is considered a natural moisturizer that is very gentle and safe on your dog’s skin. You just need to use a blender to make the oatmeal fine like powder and mix it with your dog’s bathwater. Let them soak for minutes for immediate relief from their itchy skin.

dog foods without chicken
Chicken is one of the most common allergens!

What are the Best Chicken-Free Dog Food Alternatives?

Since protein is a huge factor in a dog’s healthy diet, you need to look for safe and best non-chicken dog food alternatives to feed them.

You can try feeding your dog with these high-protein dog food alternatives to avoid any chicken allergies:

Best Non Chicken Dog Food Alternatives Amount Protein (g)
Duck4.9 oz27
Lamb3 oz21
Mackerel4.7 oz25
Pork4 oz.23
Rabbit3 oz.28
Salmon4 oz.24
Turkey4 oz28
Venison3 oz.26
Best Non Chicken Dog Food Alternatives Proteins

What Dog Food Has No By-Products?

Always check a dog food label to find out if it has by-products or not. There are a lot of dog foods with chicken in their ingredients, and there are some that have no by-products – and these are what you should not feed to your dog. By-products can offer you less expensive dog food, but they are not always suitable for your pet. Once you read the lines “chicken or poultry” on the dog nutrition label, you might think of tasty white breast meat with delicious wings and thighs. It can be correct, but when you see the words “by-product” or “by-product meal,” then things are quite healthy.

It is essential to always be on the ‘lookout’ for any by-products if you want to take care of your dog’s health. That may sound appetizing, but by-products are not the types of meat that even you will usually consume.

Fortunately, some dog foods contain no by-products. Some of them are Blue Buffalo, Nutro, and Flint River Ranch. More often, these dog foods have real chicken, fish, or lamb topped with healthy garden veggies, whole grains, and fruit. Forget about chicken by-product meals and preservatives, these ingredients should have no place in your dog’s tummy.

What Is The Best Homemade Dog Food For Dogs With Allergies?

In these cases, it is better if you can develop your homemade dog food recipe, and with your love. Your homemade dog recipe will give you more control over the ingredients that you mix and eliminate all food allergens. If you have dogs that have allergic reactions to chicken, they may start having excess scratching, rashes, hair loss, and foot infections. Your pup might even suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Just make sure to have a balanced diet of protein, fat, carbs, and fiber. If you think that your dogs might be allergic to grains, you may want to feed them with high protein and moderate fat. Then, add some fruit and vegetable mix. It is also essential to add supplements such as calcium and omega-3 fatty acids to your homemade dog food for skin problems. The metabolic rate and level of activity of each dog are different.

The amount of food you feed your dog will be around 2.5 to 3% of its weight. In addition, individual dogs may be lactose-intolerant. So, stop feeding your dog yogurt if you experience symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.

natures recipe dog food
Flaxseed is one of the best sources of omega-fatty acids!

Best Dog Foods Without Chicken: FAQ

We gathered the top frequently asked questions about the best chicken-free dog food, below are the best answers to your inquiries.

Why is chicken not good for dogs?

Chicken is actually a good source of protein and omega-6 fatty acids for dogs. Unfortunately, some dogs are allergic to chicken and can experience diarrhea and an upset stomach from eating it.
Raw chicken can be risky since it can contain bacterial infections like Salmonella, so avoid giving raw chicken to your dogs.

What is a good alternative to chicken for dogs?

The top four protein options for dog food without chicken are:

Lamb – high myoglobin content, iron-rich protein source, vitamin B-12
Beef – minerals like iron, phosphorus and zinc, and amino acids
Turkey – B vitamins, selenium, zinc, phosphorus
Whitefish – B vitamins–vitamin B12

Are most dogs allergic to chicken?

Chicken is the most common food allergy in dogs. In fact, in every 45 dogs, 15% of them are allergic to chicken and experience digestive or anaphylactic symptoms.

Can dogs be allergic to cooked chicken?

Yes, some dogs are allergic even to cooked chicken. Always be cautious when feeding your dog new proteins and be observant of the quality of food that you’re giving to them. You can also do a dog allergy test to make sure if the cooked chicken is good for them or not.

How long does it take for a food allergy to go away in a dog?

Your dog’s food allergy can take up to 6-8 weeks or even 12 weeks long. This still depends on their symptoms and their body’s response. In severe cases, you must bring your dog to the vet for proper treatment.

What can I give my dog for itchy skin allergies?

For your dog’s mild skin allergies, you can use Benadryl.  This is commonly used for food allergies, environmental allergies, and allergic reactions. If you don’t have one, you can use apple cider vinegar or oatmeals.

Every 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains 100 calories, 19 grams of protein, and just 2 grams of fat. Moreover, it is rich in potassium, iron, selenium, and phosphorus. However, once your dog starts showing signs of allergic reactions, stop it immediately. Then, you have to switch to a healthier diet like any top dog food without chicken. Many dogs may be allergic or intolerant to chicken (meat and meal), and you have to understand that there is a risk of getting too exposed to these allergens.

One comment on “15 Best Dog Foods Without Chicken”

  1. Gregory J Smith

    Chicken is an ingredient in almost all of these listed…sometime the second or third. very misleading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *