Ingredient Usage Analysis

Chicken dominant protein in pet food recipes

Chicken, in the form of chicken, deboned, chicken, chicken meal, and other chicken parts such as liver, giblets, and so on, is the dominant protein when we survey the recipes in the Dog and Cat Food Ingredient center.

Some form of chicken is listed in the ingredient deck of 58 percent of the dry dog food in the Dog and Cat Food Ingredient Center’s database of dog and cat food on sale in the United States. This includes, chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, chicken giblets, chicken liver, chicken byproducts and other ingredients that include chicken in their name.

Specific ingredients include chicken listed in 25 percent of the ingredient decks, chicken meal in 40 percent of the recipes, deboned chicken in 6.2 percent and liver in 3 percent of dry dog food recipes.

What’s in second place in meat protein? Lamb edges out beef in many categories, with some form of lamb listed as an ingredient in lamb listed in 17 percent of dry dog food. Breaking down that further, lamb is listed as an ingredient in 6 percent of dry dog food recipes and lamb meal in 12 percent. 

chicken dog food
Chicken and chicken meal are the most-often-used forms of protein in dog foods.

Beef comes in third place in dry dog food, with some form of it appearing in 9 percent of the ingredient decks for dry dog food. Beef is listed as in ingredient only 3.1 percent of the recipes, with beef meal in 2 percent, deboned beef in 1 percent and beef.

Beef is more widely used in wet or canned dog food, with beef listed as an ingredient in 21 percent of the recipes and beef liver in 9.5 percent.

Chicken is even more dominant in the percentage of cat food recipes is it included in. Chicken is listed in 32 percent of the dry cat recipes and 46 percent of the wet cat food recipes. Chicken meal is in 52 percent of the dry cat food recipes, and chicken liver in 6 percent of dry cat food and 26 percent of wet cat food recipes.

Cats do not like the taste of lamb, so it appears in only a few recipes.

These percentages are the number that contain an ingredient out of the total number of products on the market. The percentages do not represent the relative volume of ingredients used.

chicken cat food
Chicken meal is in more than 50 percent of dry cat food recipes and chicken meat in over 50 percent of wet cat food recipes.

As new products are added, recipes modified and products removed from the database, we will periodically repeat these surveys and report on changes in the market. If there is a product you’d like us to analyze in an article, contact us at 

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