CHICKEN The vilified protein.
“My dog is allergic to chicken” is the most common thing we hear from new clients.
Everything from itching, red paws and muzzle, diarrhea, vomiting, hair loss, dirty ears and more are things that lead people to believe a food allergy is responsible. Since chicken is the most commonly used in the kibble industry and often comes from places such as rendering plants (where old expired, sometimes still in package + other toxic substances are ground into what often gets labeled “chicken”) We as pet parents and veterinarians automatically think to stop chicken consumption. With that theory, of course it would make sense that it would help minimize some of these issues.
But is chicken really the problem? Or is it the way we are processing it, mislabeling it and OVER feeding it.
Many kibble companies make their puppy kibble or even their only kibble as a chicken based product. Saying that the product is balanced and there is no need for rotational feeding, developing issues over time of feeding the same protein over and over again would be inevitable! This even happens with raw when we take into account that over processed chicken is the cheapest of the proteins, so many pet parents when not properly educated: feed astronomical amounts of chicken until their dogs become deficient in so many other amino acids - their health starts to decline. Many companies again, source their “Chicken” from rendering plants. Known to find animal collars, euthanized animals and food not fit for consumption. Of course those mis labeled products won’t sit well with our pets, especially over long periods of time.
So what about the benefits of chicken?
~ High in polyunsaturated fats
~ High in protein
~ Contains Vitamin B3, B6 and B12
~ Higher than most proteins in phosphorus and selenium (why it’s so commonly used for growing puppies)
~ High in zinc
~ Great source of Choline
~ Tryptophan which is a necessary amino acid to reduce anxiety and behavioural issues.
~ Contains 9 out of 10 essential amino acids for dogs.
Chicken is so packed in nutrients that UNLESS your dog has a legitimate allergy, that causes an allergic reaction, it would be an absolute shame not to feed it.
How do you know of your dog is actually allergic to chicken?
The same way you find out if you’re allergic to chicken.
Allergies. Happen. Immediately.
They are not something that gradually show over time.
How about a fun little myth.
“Doodles are prone to chicken allergies”
No, MOST chicken allergies are formed because of vaccines being grown in chicken embryos. When the immune system launches an immune response to that vaccine coming through what we call “the attic door” it recognizes that is attached to chicken, therefore it is possible for the immune system to remember that “ohh chicken - I must launch a defence and rid my body of this foreign attacker.”
That isn’t to say it works like that in every dog, but yet another reason why OVER vaccination is damaging our pets.
Other one we hear is “my dog can’t have anything with feathers”
Similar to saying “I’m allergic to pig, so I must be allergic to wild boar” It has some similarities, but a lot different genetic make up.
Because of the amino acids abundantly available most heavily in poultry and most bio available like:
It’s very important not to write off all poultries.
What have we learned?
- Verify where your chicken is coming from or at least ask why it is so cheap!
- Do not ONLY feed chicken because it is cheapest
- Don’t assume that every itch, bump or poop is caused by even FOOD not just chicken. Environmental allergies such as dust mites, grass, flies, mould and other allergens are often the culprit. Or even YEAST!
- Chicken isn’t a villain.