Chicken, a complete protein source, is a key ingredient in IAMS™ dog foods, including IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult MiniChunks. As an animal-based protein, chicken can help maintain your dog’s muscle structure and naturally provides all the amino acids essential to carnivorous animals such as dogs. Plus, chicken adds great flavor.
Learn more about chicken’s role in your dog’s complete, well-balanced diet.
Chicken Ingredients Used in Dog Foods
Common chicken ingredients in dog food include chicken, chicken meal, chicken byproduct meal and chicken fat:
- Chicken is flesh and skin without internal organs or feathers.
- Chicken meal includes flesh, skin and bone that have been cleaned, dried, cooked and ground.
- Chicken byproduct meal is flesh, skin and internal organs (including intestines and bone) that have been cleaned, dried, cooked and ground.
- Chicken fat, a high-quality energy source, provides essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid that can help support skin and coat health.
Natural Chicken Flavor
Another common chicken-based ingredient is natural chicken flavor, also called chicken digest. Natural chicken flavor adds palatability and nutrients. It is high-quality protein and fat material that has been reduced to amino and fatty acids to improve flavor through an enzymatic process.
Internal Organs and Bone in Chicken Byproduct Meal
Internal organs are rich sources of protein, fats and minerals, such as iron, that are essential to dog health and add to the palatability of the pet food. Including some ground bone provides a good source of minerals, such as calcium. Some pet-food manufacturers formulate their products without such ingredients to appeal to dog owners, rather than to help dogs achieve optimal health. However, the nutritional needs of dogs are not the same as the nutritional needs of humans.
The IAMS Difference
Dried chicken-protein sources in our chicken-based dog foods undergo an extra refining process. Refined chicken meal and chicken byproduct meal are excellent and complete sources of protein because they naturally contain each of the amino acids that are essential to dogs.
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Keeping Your Senior Dog Healthy and Active
It depends on the breed of dog, but your pet's senior years generally begin at age 7. Louise Murray, DVM, director of the ASPCA's Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in New York City and author of Vet Confidential (Ballantine, 2008), tells you what you need to know to keep your older dog spry and happy.
Senior Dog Health: Preventive Health
At this stage, Murray recommends taking your dog to the vet twice a year. "So much can happen to an elderly dog," she says. Your veterinarian can take blood annually to test liver and kidney functions. "Discovering problems early is extremely important," she says. Your vet can be on the lookout for conditions that often affect older dogs, such as anemia and arthritis.
Senior Dog Health: Urination, Bowel Movements, and Appetite
Pay attention to what might be subtle changes in your dog's habits: Is she drinking more water or urinating larger amounts? These behaviors might indicate a liver or kidney problem. Have your dog's bowel movements shifted? This could indicate a digestive issue. Diabetes or digestive problems might cause your dog to eat more but still lose weight. Knowing the dog's patterns can help the veterinarian determine a course of treatment.
Senior Dog Health: Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Medicines
Continue to use preventive medicines.
Senior Dog Health: Dental Health
Clean your dog's teeth daily. If she has tartar buildup, you might need to have her teeth professionally cleaned at your vet's office, which requires sedating your pet.
Senior Dog Health: Exercise
Your dog is probably less active, so steady, moderate exercise is best for her now. Don't turn her into a "weekend warrior" who, after lying around on weekdays, accompanies you on a 10-mile hike on Saturdays. This is especially hard on an older dog's joints.
Senior Dog Health: Diet
Your veterinarian might wish to put your dog on a senior diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Senior Plus. These formulations contain nutrients specifically geared toward older-dog health.
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