My three-year-old Labradoodle has suffered with diarrhoea on and off for about a year. She has had many investigations and was recently tested for food allergies, which came back positive for chicken, beef and some carbs. I am looking for a new food for her and wondered if it is OK to feed her one that contains chicken oil. Since she’s been diagnosed with allergies, I’ve spent a lot of time studying ingredients and noticed that this is a popular one.

Anna Cherry advises…

You’re right: chicken oil is a very popular ingredient, used in many commercial dog foods. Technically, you can feed foods that contain chicken oil to dogs with chicken allergies. This is because it is the protein that is believed to trigger the allergic response and not the oil. However, it is possible that if the chicken oil is not properly cleaned and filtered, it could contain traces of chicken protein, which may be enough to trigger an allergic reaction. Therefore, it’s vital that you only give your dog food and treats containing chicken oil that has been properly cleaned and purified.

To play it completely safe and eradicate this possibility, I would recommend that you try to find a chicken oil-free diet for your pooch. Fish-based diets often use fish oil in place of chicken oil, which could be a suitable choice for your dog. However, don’t assume that all fishbased diets will only use fish oil, as some will still contain chicken oil. Check the back of the pack carefully before purchasing.

If you are struggling to find a chicken-oil free food that meets your dog’s requirements, then feeding her a food that contains chicken oil should be absolutely fine. Just make sure that you select a high-quality food, made by a reputable brand that you trust. If in doubt, you can always contact the manufacturers directly – their contact details should be on the packaging – to ascertain that the chicken oil used has been cleaned and filtered thoroughly.

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