Subscribe & Save: 25% off first order

What Are Chicken By-Products In Dog Food?

If you’ve ever read a dog food label, you might have seen “chicken by-products” or "poultry by-products" listed in the ingredients. If you had no clue what those

Dog eating meal

meant, you’re not alone. For starters, “chicken by-products” can vary from one dog food brand to another or from one flavor to another, so it can be hard to track down exactly what you’re feeding your dog.

Let’s take a stab at it, though, and look at some of the most frequently asked questions about chicken by-products in dog food… 

What Are Chicken By-Products In Dog Food?

In dog food, chicken by-products, simply put, are everything except chicken meat. This could include the organs of the chicken, such as kidneys, lungs, livers, and spleens, as well as other parts, such as bones, neck, feet, undeveloped eggs, and the chicken’s intestinal contents.

What’s The Difference Between Chicken By-Products And Chicken By-Products Meal?

Essentially, chicken by-products and chicken by-products meal are the same ingredients, except that chicken by-products meal comes to the dog food manufacturer in a dried form. The rendered meal could be high quality and nutritious or poor quality, and unfortunately, that’s impossible to tell from the labeling on the dog food or treats. 

Are Chicken By-Products Safe For Dogs To Eat?

While chicken by-products in dog food are safe and can be a source of nutrients, proteins, and healthy fats for dogs, many dogs can’t tolerate them. In part, this could be because of sensitivities or allergies to chicken in general. Most important, these products are not human grade and are likely made from rendered animals that have been sick or not safe for human consumption.

Why Are Some Dogs Allergic To Chicken?

Dogs can develop an allergy to chicken – or other ingredients in dog foods and treats – when their immune systems become too sensitive to it. If they continue to eat chicken, their body’s response can become more and more severe. Senior dogs tend to have more allergies and more trouble tolerating chicken as they get older, simply because their immune systems become more fragile.

What Are Common Symptoms Of Chicken Allergies In Dogs?

For dogs, symptoms for all types of food allergies, including chicken, may include:

  • GI problems (such as vomiting and diarrhea)
  • Itching and scratching
  • Hair loss (usually as a result of scratching)
  • Skin injuries and infections (usually as a result of scratching)
  • Loss of appetite 

Do Portland Pet Food Company Products Contain Chicken By-Products?

Portland Pet Food Company products don’t contain any chicken by-products. In fact all of our dog food toppings and dog treats are made with human-grade ingredients. Read one of our labels, and you’ll recognize all of the ingredients -- there are no hidden or mystery ingredients. We only use natural, healthy ingredients that we source in the US. The ingredients are minimally-processed and do not contain any rendered meats that are not meant for human consumption.

As a matter of fact, we started the company in 2014 to make products for senior dogs and picky eaters. Along the way, we found that most dogs love our dog food toppings and treats. We now have five flavors of dog food toppings and seven flavors of dog treats, including gluten-free toppings and treats for dogs

Portland Pet Food Company dog food products are available in more than 2,000 stores across the US, and we also offer an online dog food toppers subscription service. If you have any questions about the ingredients in any of our products, please email