Chicken v/s Turkey: Is one meat better than the other?
July 03, 2018
Most dog parents have been exposed to a large number of dog food brands that use chicken or chicken products as the main source of protein. Some other meats commonly used in dog food are either lamb, beef, or fish based meats! Turkey is not very commonly used (because good quality turkey is an expensive ingredient!) however, as a dog parent, this is the one ingredient you should be sniffing out for your dog! Turkey, like Chicken, is bird meat with high protein content.
In order to compare the meats, the following factors can be evaluated:
Availability of Meat
- Nutritional Quality: Both Chicken and Turkey meat rank very closely in this factor. Both meats contain macronutrients (like protein, carbohydrate and fat) in similar quantities! Turkey contains marginally higher levels of Zinc, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin B6 as well as Vitamin B12.
- Availability of Meat: Chicken is one of the most easily available meats in the market, both for humans as well as in dog food brands! The chicken based poultry farming business is wide spread and the meat is very economical! This is why most of the pocket friendly brands use chicken as the main source of protein in them. Turkey, on the other hand, is farmed very specifically by ranches that focus on Turkey raring! Turkeys also aren’t as adaptable and hardy as chicken and thus making them difficult and expensive to rare and thus their meat is expensive as well!
- Allergenic Potential: Chicken meat is, unfortunately, known as one of the most common food allergens for dogs. Grains, dairy products, and beef also are known dog food allergens. Turkey, on the other hand, is considered a hypo-allergenic as it provides relief to the digestive systems of dogs that have allergies without compromising on the nutritional content! A few dog food brands like Now Fresh by Petcurean avoid chicken completely and source the meat element of their recipes from Turkey, Duck and Salmon! This makes Now Fresh a great dog food brand for dogs with known allergies to Chicken and Grains.
- Life Stage Suitability: It is a well-known fact that many dogs tend to develop allergic reactions to certain foods as they get older. Their bodies aren’t able to digest certain proteins in the right way and this may lead to them developing allergies to certain types of food, especially dairy products! As chicken is a known food allergen for dogs, a diet that includes turkey meat is better suited for older dogs. Research suggests that older dogs need similar levels of protein and fat in their diets compared to when they were younger while cutting down on the calorific intake! As Turkey meat has high protein and fat content and has a lower calorific value as compared to Chicken meat it is more suitable for older dogs!
- Farming Practices: This factor comes into play due to the various types of animal raring practices that are prevalent in poultry farming! As most of you know, chicken are raised commercially at most poultry farms. Many farms use growth hormones, vaccinations, GMO grains and many other ‘undesirable’ practices while raring chicken, which will eventually end up in your dog’s food! Turkey on the other hand is very rarely raised with an extreme commercial focus. Most Turkey farms rare their livestock using natural practices and do not use growth hormones. Furthermore some brands, like Now Fresh, source their turkey meat only from farms that use organic farming practices and thus what goes into your dog’s bowl is nothing but pure and nutritious meat! Thus turkey meat wins in this regard!
After taking into consideration the 5 different factors that affect the choice of meat that should go into your dog’s bowl, the results are in! Turkey wins by being the more suitable choice of meat for dogs of all ages and health needs! No wonder the Chief Nutritionist at Now Fresh (Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, who has a coveted Ph.D. in Pet Nutrition) chose Turkey meat as one of three meats that are used in all Now Fresh recipes! To know more about how Turkey adds value to your dog’s bowl or about the other meat we use in our dog food recipes, please click here!
Thanks for reading!