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Chicken vs. Turkey: Which White Meat is Ideal for Your Dog’s Health

You’ve probably come across dog food containing beef, lamb, fish, and even chicken as the primary protein source. But have you thought about feeding your dog with turkey?

Well, just like chicken, you can feed your dog with foods containing turkey. However, unlike other protein sources for your dog, turkey is among the uncommon ones. Despite turkey being a quality ingredient, it is also quite expensive. In fact, this could be the reason why it is not very popular among pet parents.

In this post, we are going to compare chicken and turkey meats as food for your canine friend. Apart from looking at their nutritional content, we shall also look at their availability and allergenic potential.

Let’s get started:

Chicken Vs. Turkey: Which is Healthier?

To get a better understanding of how chicken meat compares with turkey, let’s look at their nutritional contents.

Protein Content

The protein content in both chicken and turkey is generally the same. In fact, both of them forms a critical component of a healthy diet. Even so, turkey contains higher amounts of magnesium, potassium, zinc, as well as vitamins B6 and B12.

However, just like in humans, feeding your dog with only one single diet can have far-reaching effects on their health. It is, therefore, advisable that you incorporate both chicken and turkey into your dog’s diet. Even so, your canine friend needs other food nutrients apart from proteins.

That’s why you need to ensure that the dog food you choose for your canine friend contains other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fat, calories, etc. Dog foods such as Zignature turkey dog food have been formulated with this in mind to ensure they meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

Zignature Turkey Dry Dog Food main ingredients are turkey and peas. This is a fully balanced diet that will provide not just the required protein for your but also vitamins, carbs, minerals, fats, and water. As a rule of thumb, ensure that the food you choose for your canine friend has all the ingredients required for optimal growth and development.

Calories and Fat

Depending on your dog’s health, you may want to consider the amount of calories and fats available in your dog food. Fat plays a vital role when choosing a healthy diet for your dog. While each type of poultry contains different amounts of healthy fats, leaner cuts of meat will contain fewer amounts of calories.

To that end, you can expect to have more fat and calories in dark meat cuts of chicken compared to the same cuts of turkey. Also, since white turkey is leaner than chicken, it has fewer calories than that of chicken.

Depending on your dog’s specific nutritional requirements, you may want to feed your dog turkey over chicken and vice versa.

Vitamins and Minerals

Generally, both chicken and turkey will offer the same vitamins and minerals to your dog. However, the mineral and vitamin content may be different when comparing dark and white meat.

For instance, your dog will get more vitamin B6 and niacin if you feed them with chicken breast as opposed to when you feed them with a chicken leg. On the other hand, a chicken leg is rich in zinc compared to chicken breast.

So again, depending on the nutritional requirements of your dog, you may want to choose white or dark meat.

Allergenic Potential

Apart from the nutritional content for both chicken and turkey meal, it is also essential to look at the likelihood of each food causing allergies to your canine friend.

Apart from the commonly known allergens such as dairy products, grains, and beef, chicken is also a common allergen for dogs.

Fortunately, turkey meat is hypo-allergenic. As such, it offers an excellent way to provide the necessary nutritional content to your dog without compromising their digestive health. If your dog is allergic to chicken meals, then sourcing dog food formulated with turkey meat may come in handy.

Availability

In terms of availability, chicken is more readily available than turkey meat. After all, most farmers focus on rearing chicken as opposed to rearing turkey. This is one of the reasons that most pet food brands prefer to use chicken when making pet food.

As such, be prepared to spend more on dog food containing turkey as the primary protein source as opposed to the one containing chicken.

Suitability According to Life Stage

As expected, your dog is likely to develop allergic reactions as they get older. Among other things, this is due to their inability to digest specific proteins as they used to when young.

Since chicken is a common allergen for dogs, feeding your senior dog with turkey may come in handy. Apart from ensuring that your older dog does not suffer from allergic reactions, feeding your dog with turkey meat will allow him to take the right amounts of protein.

Ideally, your dog will require the same amount of proteins as they used to when they were young. Apart from having high protein content, turkey meat contains a lower calorific value, making it ideal for your senior dog.

Rearing Practices

If you are a poultry farmer, then you know that poultry farming can take different forms. One of the most common ones is the commercial setup, where poultry farmers use GMO grains, vaccinations, growth hormones, and many other unhealthy farming practices. Feeding your dog with poultry raised with such practices will mean that your dog will be consuming them indirectly.

On the other hand, most turkey farms are not necessarily meant for commercial purposes. As such, most of them use natural practices as opposed to growth hormones when rearing their livestock.

What’s more, most pet food companies source their turkey meat only from farmers who use natural farming practices. To that end, feeding your dog with turkey meat will add pure nutrients to your dog’s diet compared to if you fed them with chicken meat.  

Final Thought

After looking at the nutritional content of both turkey and chicken dog food, we can confidently confirm that both of them form part of a healthy dog diet. Apart from offering the necessary proteins for your canine friend, they also provide fats, vitamins, calories, and minerals.

Even so, be sure to consider your dog’s nutritional needs as well as allergic reactions to determine which one is best for your pet.

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