Chicken: The Complete Protein Source for Your Dog
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Chicken, a complete protein source, is a key ingredient in IAMS™ dog foods, including IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks. As an animal-based protein, chicken can help maintain your dog’s muscle structure and naturally provides all the amino acids essential to carnivorous animals such as dogs. Plus, chicken adds great flavor.
Learn more about chicken’s role in your dog’s complete, well-balanced diet.
Chicken Ingredients Used in Dog Foods
Common chicken ingredients in dog food include chicken, chicken meal, chicken byproduct 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 byproduct 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.
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.
Internal Organs and Bone in Chicken Byproduct 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 byproduct meal are excellent and complete sources of protein because they naturally contain each of the amino acids that are essential to dogs.
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- adp_description_block137A Healthy Diet for Your Dog Can Mean Good Health for You
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As a veterinarian, I’ve found that pet owners take seriously the responsibility of ensuring their dogs live healthy, happy lives. They worry about making sure their dog gets enough exercise, receives regular wellness checks and receives balanced nutrition that gives them energy to run and play.
What some people don’t realize is that owning and caring a dog can improve the owner’s health as well. Spending quality time with your dog and providing them with quality nutrition is good for the dog and can help ease stress and anxiety levels for you. Studies have shown that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels1 — which is great news for your heart health.
In short, when your dog is getting the best care, proper exercise, nutrition and love, they can enjoy a long and healthy life. And that can ultimately make you healthier, too!
So what does that mean when it comes to feeding your dog?
Many owners see their dog as part of the family, and that sometimes means they will feed their dog like they feed themselves. For example, some people may choose low-carb or gluten-free diets for themselves and do the same for their pets. However, while this instinct comes from a place of love, many owners don’t realize that their dog’s dietary needs differ from their own.
Take grains for example. As a veterinarian, it’s important for me to note that grains are good for your dog. Yes, you read that right — they’re good!
A very small percentage of dogs may have a food sensitivity that requires a special grain-free diet or a dog food without a certain protein. However, this is not necessary for the vast majority of dogs. Most dogs benefit from a complete, balanced diet with healthy grains, high-quality proteins and essential vitamins and minerals.
Here’s why: Grains are a good source of carbohydrates that provide healthy energy. Some grains, like rice and wheat, provide “quick” energy, while other grains, like barley and sorghum, take longer to convert to energy. A combination of these different grains can offer a time-released energy source that helps dogs sustain energy. The whole grains in IAMS dog food are a beneficial mix, as they supply steady energy.
In addition to the grains you’ll find in IAMS food, you’ll also find high-quality proteins, like chicken and lamb, as well as essential nutrients needed to help support heart health. Together, this combination will give your dog a steady source of energy to be active on walks, runs, hikes or play sessions around the house.
For your dog to be healthy and happy, be sure you feed them a well-balanced diet and allow them enough exercise time. In return, you’ll get unconditional love, plenty of sweet doggy snuggles and maybe even more exercise — just a few of the ways you and your dog are joined at the heart.
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