What Is Chicken By-Product in Dog Food?

Chicken By-Product is the most popular option on shelves. For a good reason, Chicken By-Product is a versatile ingredient that provides several essential nutritional elements your dog needs to thrive. Chicken By-Product formula provides your dog with the best nutritional elements.

What are the main benefits of chicken in dog food?

In dog food, chicken by-products are referred to as clean flesh and skin derived from the whole carcass of a chicken. Like most meats, it provides protein and essential amino acids, which are vital for building strong muscles. And, of course, chicken adds the rich, meaty taste your dog craves.

Do you know that chicken is the most common ingredient in dog food, followed by a chicken meal, chicken by-product meal, or chicken by-product?

Vets recommend that dog foods have these ingredients in their recipes to be considered healthy. But what exactly is a chicken by-product? Is it good for your dog? Or should you be avoiding it?

Chicken by-product:

A good combination of skin and flesh with or without bone, gotten from parts or whole chicken carcasses. Excludes heads, feet, feathers, and entrails.

Ingredients: Chicken meat, bones, and skin

Chicken Meal

It is grounded chicken or chicken that has been crushed or reduced in particle size.

Ingredients: Chicken bones, meat, and skin are heat processed, dehydrated, and crushed into a fine powder.

Chicken By-Product Meal

Ground-up clean parts of the chicken bone, including rendered parts like neck, intestines, undeveloped eggs, and feet. This does not affect feathers, except when they mistakenly find their way into the process.

Ingredients: Heated, processed, dehydrated, ground-up organs, necks, and premature chicken eggs.

With the above explanation, it’s right to conclude that chicken meal and chicken on an ingredient list are the same! It’s just that the “meal” portion is grounded. The food is labeled based on how the manufacturers receive the ingredient. If the chicken comes in a  wet form, they can label it as chicken. They label it as a chicken meal if it’s already been processed.

Chicken by-product meal and chicken by-product are also the same things. One is processed in dry form, and One is in wet form. They both contain parts of the chicken carcass not consumed by humans.

Is Chicken By-Product Healthy for my Dog?

Yes, the chicken by-product is healthy for your dog.

For instance, chicken feet are bones wrapped in muscle. These bones are healthy and nutritious for pet consumption. They also help increase the levels of calcium and phosphorous.

As far as the food is of high, it makes no difference whether that bone comes from a head, wing, chest, or foot.

However, organs, intestines, and chicken eggs are nutritious and healthy for your dog and taste good! Always remember that the intestines must be kept clean so they don’t transfer bacteria and fecal matter into your dog’s food.

Ingredient Quality

While chicken by-product isn’t called for concern nutrition-wise, the quality of the ingredients can vary between products. This is why the product’s ingredient label often isn’t enough to assist us in determining if a particular dog food is good.

There are 2 ways of grading by-products in pet food:

Pet food grade and Feed grade

Pet food grade by-products are better than the feed grade because they are easier to digest, contain a higher

quantity of protein, and are of consistent quality. Some pup food manufacturers are open about the grade of ingredients they use, while others aren’t.

Why Does Dog Food Include By-Products?

Dog food producers use chicken and other meat by-products because it’s less expensive than purchasing whole ingredients.

By-products can’t be included in most human food, so they are left over for pets and animals in general to consume.

Including these products in dog food reduces waste from animal bones, but it can also be purchased at a lower price than whole meat because they are waste, so there is lower demand for it.

However, finding chicken by-products as an ingredient in your dog food doesn’t make it harmful, and this shouldn’t be an excuse not to buy particular dog food. In fact, some dog breed like Great Dane Pitbull Mix, Goldendoodle Black, Baby husky and other giant breed requires a high volume of chicken by-product to stay healthy and be satisfied; these breeds need lots of energy and nutrients.


It is scarce to find a dog food that doesn’t include a by-product or by-product meal in the ingredients list. As said earlier, the chicken by-product is that part of the chicken that many don’t eat, so it is very simple to get. This ingredient is still nutritious for your pup, and using it in dog food reduces overall waste.


Hi, friends! I'm Sam (blog owner/article researcher). I research & write dog useful and helpful related articles for common questions many dog owners search for answers to. My goal is to educate dog owners about the ins and outs of canine behavior and keep up with the latest scientific research in the canine niche. Thanks for visiting my blog. Feel free to browse my great articles from the menu above or the home page.

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