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If you're a concerned dog owner, there's a good chance that you've seen certain terms such as chicken meal and chicken byproduct come up in relation to UK premium dog food, or just dog food in general.
You might then have found yourself wondering: is chicken meal or byproduct better for dogs?
Every dog owner – certainly every good and responsible dog owner – wants to do the best they can in order to help their canine companion to be happy, and to ensure that they have the best overall health, experience of life, and sense of well-being, so that they can thrive for many years to come.
Of course, questions relating to things like the best choice of dog food have a lot to do with the overall condition and well-being of your dog.
Here's a look at the topic of chicken meal, chicken byproduct, and the question is chicken meal or chicken byproduct better for dogs?
Essentially, the term "chicken meal" simply refers to a ground up variety of chicken parts that haven't been used in the main meat industry process of slaughtering and preparing a chicken for public consumption.
Sometimes, the term itself is criticised for being overly vague – because it can provide cover for certain unscrupulous dog food manufacturers and brands to hide potentially undesirable ingredients in their dog food, or to change the recipe and ingredients list significantly, without properly disclosing the details of these changes.
By comparison, the term "chicken byproduct" really just describes the same thing as chicken meal. Essentially, the leftovers of the poultry meat industry, which are then processed and added to things like dog food, in order to provide additional nutritional benefit.
If you pay attention to some of the most extravagant UK premium dog food products out there, you will see that many of them place a lot of emphasis on the importance of having high quality animal products listed among the ingredients, in order to ensure that the dog that ends up consuming that brand of dog food benefits from the best and most natural "nutritional profile" for their breed and species.
While dogs are omnivores, they do require animal products to thrive – and the fact that animal products tend to be quite costly may be a barrier that gets in the way of the owner purchasing these foodstuffs.
Having chicken meal or other components or byproducts in your dog food can make it significantly better, nutritionally speaking, while also remaining affordable.
Generally speaking, the best way of ensuring that the dog food you purchase is of a high quality standard, and that the chicken byproducts – and for that matter, any other ingredients – that it contains are wholesome, is to purchase your dog food from reputable brands.
In particular, it tends to be a good sign if the dog food brand in question is quite open about disclosing the specifics of their ingredients list.