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Take a look at almost any commercial dog food and you’re likely to see chicken and chicken products listed as primary ingredients. Chicken is a clean and high-quality source of protein, and more importantly, it’s inexpensive, which is why it’s used in so many dog foods.
Chicken is fine for most dogs to eat, but if your Rottweiler has a food sensitivity or allergy, then chicken is high up on the list of possible causes.
Attempting to find a quality dog food for your Rottweiler that doesn’t contain chicken can prove to be a bit of a difficult task though. Rottweilers have specific dietary needs due to their large size and predisposition to health problems relating to their joints and heart.
After scouring the many options on the market, I’ve found five great candidates for Rottweilers that are completely free of chicken ingredients, making them ideal for Rotties with food allergies or sensitivities. Or for folks that just want to skip the chicken.
If you want to skip the reading and check out my top recommendation, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dry Dog Food with no poultry but plenty of health-boosting nutrition, then you can click here to check today’s price on Amazon.
For the inquisitive and impatient, you can preview my top-five below:
- Best Overall: Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Runner Up: Instinct Be Natural Dry Dog Food
- Best on a Budget: Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food with Real Meat
- Best Premium Option: Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
- Best Grain-Free: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey and Potato
We’re about to discuss these formulas at length, but first, I think it would be valuable to go over the things you should be looking for in a chicken-free dog food for Rottweilers, so you have a way to gauge and compare foods.
Is Chicken Safe for Rottweilers?
Does your Rottweiler need to eat chicken-free dog food? Is it safe for Rotties to consume chicken?
Chicken is entirely safe for most Rottweilers to consume. It’s an affordable and high-quality source of animal-based protein, which is why you’ll find it in so many dog foods.
That said, there’s something about chicken that all dog owners should know.
While chicken is healthy for most dogs, it’s also one of the top 10 ingredients most likely to cause an allergic reaction in your pooch.
In most cases, it doesn’t really matter where your Rottweiler’s protein is coming from, so long as they’re consuming enough of it to remain healthy. That protein could come from chicken, rabbit, or venison and it would still do the same thing in your dog’s body.
It’s just a matter of finding the protein that sits best with your Rottie’s stomach.
Unfortunately, as you can see, most of the ingredients used as primary protein sources in dog foods are likely to cause allergic reactions.
Even so, your Rottweiler is unlikely to be allergic to all of these protein sources, so your goal is just to find the ones that don’t cause an allergic reaction.
Rottweilers and Chicken Allergies
Food allergies are one of the most common hypersensitivities that affect dogs. For canines, most food allergies are proteins, but any food ingredient can be a potential allergen to your Rottie.
There is no way to cure your Rottie’s food allergies, but you can prevent problems by simply avoiding the foods that cause problems for your pooch.
This means you’ll have to determine exactly which foods are problematic, which can prove difficult.
If you believe your Rottweiler is suffering from a food allergy, it’s a good idea to check with your vet and see what they have to say. Advanced tests can be administered to determine your Rottie’s allergies, though it’s usually easier to put them on an elimination trial diet, eliminating particular foods or ingredients to see your dog’s reaction.
It’s important to note that food allergies in dogs look very different from food allergies in humans. For people, signs of allergic reactions are usually quite obvious. The person might swell up or have trouble breathing, for instance. Reactions can even be fatal.
For dogs, food allergies tend to present themselves as skin problems. You’ll probably notice your Rottie itching more and the area might be red, flaky, and inflamed. You’re less likely to see a major reaction in your Rottweiler of the sort that humans might display after consuming food they’re allergic to.
Dog Food Without Chicken for Rottweilers: What to Look for
If you’ve determined that a chicken-free diet is the way to go for your Rottweiler, then you need to know exactly what you’re looking for in a chicken-free dog food.
You want to look for dog food that meets the following criteria. When comparing chicken-free dog foods, seeing how they stack up in these categories can give you some important insight into the overall quality of each blend.
Chicken-free dog foods can still be great products without meeting these categories, but for a Rottweiler specifically, these are the essential factors to consider.
Obviously, if your Rottie is allergic or sensitive to chicken, you need to find a chicken-free recipe to feed them.
However, it can be harder than you might first think to figure out which blends are truly devoid of chicken.
Many recipes that use beef, fish, or other animal-based ingredients as their main protein source will often still contain chicken products. These chicken products are generally located much further down the ingredients list though, making them harder to find.
Keep searching though, and you’re likely to see things like chicken meal, chicken by-products, or even chicken fat.
Under normal circumstances, none of these ingredients is really bad. After all, these are great sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are great for improving and maintaining your Rottweiler’s joint health.
But if your Rottie is allergic to chicken, then you’ll need to find a dog food that’s entirely free of poultry products, sourcing its joint-health-boosting compounds from elsewhere.
Just because a dog food says it’s a salmon and brown rice blend or beef and potatoes doesn’t mean there aren’t chicken products in there as well. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the list of ingredients to be certain that no chicken products are included.
Quality Animal-Based Protein
Even without chicken, your Rottweiler still needs plenty of animal-based protein.
Therefore, whatever recipe you choose should still contain a high-quality animal-based protein source. Ideally, that protein source would be listed as the main ingredient.
Great alternatives to chicken include:
High-quality animal proteins shouldn’t be the only whole-food ingredients on the label. In fact, you really want to see an ingredients list that’s full of whole-food ingredients. This includes fruits and vegetables that can offer health-boosting vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Examples of high-quality whole-food ingredients include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Whole grain brown rice
The ingredients list on every dog food bag is ordered from the most prevalent ingredient to the least. If you want to get a feel for the overall quality of any particular dog food recipe, all you have to do is check out the first five ingredients.
Generally, if the five main ingredients in a dog food are primarily whole foods, the food is quality overall.
For the first ingredient, a whole-food animal-based protein source is preferred.
The next four ingredients should be a mix of vegetables and animal-based proteins.
Joint and Heart Health
Though Rottweilers tend to be rather hardy dogs overall, there are a few health problems that the breed is genetically predisposed to.
Mainly due to their large size, Rottweilers are highly susceptible to both hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which are conditions that affect the hip and elbow joints respectively. Rottweilers are also predisposed to arthritis.
In addition to these bone and joint conditions, Rottweilers are also vulnerable to heart conditions such as subaortic stenosis.
Because Rottweilers are susceptible to these conditions, it’s worth looking for foods that contain nutrients and supplements that can help reduce the chances or severity of such health problems.
Glucosamine is commonly found in many dog foods for large breeds. It’s often used in conjunction with chondroitin, and it’s the main ingredient in many joint-health formulas for dogs, as well as similar supplements created for humans.
Glucosamine is used to help reduce pain and damage caused by hip dysplasia and similar joint conditions. It’s also used to treat arthritis in a variety of animals, including dogs, and it works by repairing damaged cartilage.
Chondroitin is most often used in tandem with glucosamine, as these two ingredients seem to work better when used together.
Though chondroitin can be difficult for a Rottweiler’s intestinal tract to absorb, it’s very helpful for joints, stopping cartilage-destroying enzymes to protect cartilage from damage.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids pull double-duty in regards to your Rottweiler’s health. Not only do they help maintain healthy joints as your Rottie ages, but omega fatty acids help keep their heart healthy and prevent heart diseases the breed is susceptible to.
Omega fatty acids lubricate joints while simultaneously reducing inflammation. Plus, they’re essential for proper brain function and even promote the health of the kidneys, skin, and heart.
5 Best Chicken-Free Dog Foods for Rottweilers
Ok, all of the informative stuff is out of the way and it’s time to start discussing specific products that are great picks for your Rottweiler. You know exactly what we’re looking for with these foods, and the following five are my favorite picks.
I’ve divided them up into separate categories so you can easily tell which one is the best fit for you.
The first pick is my favorite overall, but there’s also a runner-up, a budget-priced pick, a premium option, and I’m even going to share my favorite pick for a limited ingredient diet.
Best Overall: Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- This dry food for dogs contains high-quality proteins like real pork, beef, and lamb
- Grain free and poultry free dog food is great for dogs with sensitive stomachs
- Contains added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
This blend from Whole Earth Farms is my favorite overall, made with primarily whole foods and entirely poultry-free. In order, the first five ingredients are pork meal, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and canola meal; almost all whole foods.
In addition to the pork in this recipe, your Rottie will also be getting protein from beef and lamb, offering a diverse array of whole food animal-based protein sources.
High-quality ingredients abound in this blend, but it’s also what’s missing that makes this food special. There’s no poultry, no fillers, and no artificial flavors. You’ll find no preservatives in here, and absolutely no grains like corn, soy, or wheat.
Checking the guaranteed analysis on the label, we can see that this food contains everything we could want for the benefit of our big Rottweilers in the future.
For instance, you’ll notice that there are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids included, which will boost heart, skin, and joint health, among others.
You might also see the inclusion of both glucosamine and chondroitin, which will help keep your Rottie’s joints and bones in peak health as they age, helping to reduce the likelihood of painful diseases such as hip dysplasia or arthritis.
As my overall favorite chicken-free food for Rottweilers, this blend is the one that I’d recommend the highest. It offers a great mix of reasonable pricing and high-quality nutrition, and has more than 3,000 five star reviews on Amazon.
If you’d like to check the current price on Amazon and see what reviewers had to say about my top pick for chicken-free Rottweiler food, click here.
What I love about it: You’re getting high-quality ingredients including glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your Rottweiler in top condition, and it’s entirely poultry-free.
What I wish it had: There’s really nothing that stands out in this recipe worth changing.
Runner-Up: Instinct Be Natural Dry Dog Food
- Natural dog food with wild-caught salmon
- Made with responsibly-sourced animal protein as the #1 and #2 ingredients
- Contains whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and omegas
Made with salmon instead of poultry, this blend from Instinct is made with high-quality whole-food ingredients, but it’s lacking glucosamine and chondroitin, which is why it’s the runner-up instead of my top pick.
Altogether, it’s still a great chicken-free choice for Rottweilers. Despite the lack of glucosamine and chondroitin, there’s plenty of omega fatty acids in here, which will still contribute to overall joint health, as well as heart and brain health.
The ingredients list is rather impressive, with the first five ingredients being salmon, salmon meal, brown rice, oatmeal, and barley, in that order. As you can see, all five main ingredients are high-quality whole foods, with salmon being an excellent alternative to chicken.
Luckily, there are no chicken products anywhere on this ingredients list. There are, however, plenty more whole foods, including sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, and cranberries, which help to provide plenty of essential vitamins for your Rottie.
While the ingredients are certainly high-quality, you’re going to pay substantially more for them. This isn’t the most expensive option out there, but it’s a step-up in price from my top pick. Even so, it’s a great recipe that will serve your Rottweiler well and help to keep them healthy.
If you prefer the high-quality ingredients of the Instinct Be Natural dry dog food, you can check out today’s price on Amazon by clicking here.
What I love about it: The ingredients in this recipe are almost entirely whole foods and the overall quality is top-notch.
What I wish it had: For big breeds like Rottweilers, I’d love to see the inclusion of joint-health supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin.
Best on a Budget: Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dry Dog Food with Real Meat
- Grain-free dog food recipe made with simple, delicious, and natural ingredients
- Made with added vitamins, minerals, and taurine
- Real beef is the #1 ingredient
Everyone knows the saying “you get what you pay for.” Often, it holds true, but sometimes you find great quality at reasonable prices, and that’s the case with this dog food from Rachael Ray Nutrish.
Produced with beef instead of chicken, this blend contains no grains, chicken, or fillers. It’s gluten-free and made with natural ingredients. There are even vitamins and chelated minerals added for your pooch’s benefit.
The top five ingredients contain mostly whole foods with two great animal-based protein sources. In order, the first five ingredients are beef, turkey meal, whole dried potato, sunflower meal, and dried peas.
In addition, real bison, lamb meal, and menhaden fish meal provide additional protein and offer a great source of omega fatty acids and amino acids.
You do have to be careful though since not every recipe is devoid of chicken. The beef, potato, and bison recipe is entirely chicken-free, and it’s also cheaper than most competing foods that offer similar quality.
Despite the affordable pricing of this food, it’s packed with health-boosting nutrients and supplements that are ideal for your Rottweiler.
For example, this blend contains ample omega fatty acids, which will help keep your Rottie’s heart, skin, and joints in great health.
Furthermore, you’ll find both chondroitin and glucosamine in this recipe, both of which will aid in joint and bone health, reducing the likelihood of your Rottweiler suffering from diseases common to the breed like hip and elbow dysplasia.
If you’d like to see what these reviewers had to say and check out the current price of this food on Amazon, you can do so by clicking here.
What I love about it: You get diverse protein sources, whole food ingredients, and health-boosting supplements that are great for Rottweilers at a price that’s more reasonable than most competitors.
What I wish it had: More chicken-free options. Other flavors in the same lineup appear to be free of chicken until you look further down the ingredients list!
Best Premium Option: Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach
- Oatmeal is easily digestible and gentle on the digestive system
- High protein formula with real lamb as the first ingredient
- Fortified with guaranteed live probiotics for digestive and immune health
If your Rottweiler needs a chicken-free dog food blend, then it’s likely that their stomach is on the sensitive side. As such, the Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach blend would be a great fit since it’s made specifically for dogs whose stomachs have a hard time with normal dog foods.
Crafted with diverse protein sources and primarily whole-food ingredients, this recipe is a bit pricier than others I recommend for Rottweilers, but you’re getting your money’s worth.
The first ingredient on the list is lamb, which does help to explain the higher cost. It’s certainly a much pricier ingredient than chicken.
After lamb come oatmeal and barley, both whole foods. Next is fish meal, which offers plenty of glucosamine for your Rottie, helping to keep their joints and bones in good condition.
In addition to the glucosamine content of this formula, there’s also plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are important for your Rottie’s heart and joint health.
With more than 3,500 ratings, over 80% of users rate this food five stars. Many of them appear to have turned to this food because their pooches had food allergies, and most of them seem to report positive results after switching to this blend.
If you’d like to see whether it can have the same results for your Rottweiler, you can check out today’s price on Amazon here.
Best for Limited Ingredient Diet: Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Turkey & Potato
- Starts with real turkey which is a great protein choice
- Limited ingredient dog food to decrease the risk of Rottie's reacting to certain ingredients
- Potatoes, peas, and pumpkin support gentle digestion
Limited ingredient diets are becoming more and more popular for dogs, and they make perfect sense for a dog with food allergies. If your Rottweiler is allergic to chicken, then this limited ingredient alternative from Blue Buffalo is a great option as it’s entirely chicken-free.
Despite being a limited ingredient blend, there are actually quite a few ingredients on the list. Even so, they’re primarily whole-food ingredients that we’re happy to see.
The first five ingredients on the list are deboned turkey, oatmeal, brown rice, peas, turkey meal. You really can’t beat an ingredients list made up of such quality options.
All five of the main ingredients are whole foods. Deboned turkey is a high-quality animal-based protein that’s a great replacement for chicken.
Better than just the whole-food ingredients is the added benefit your Rottweiler gets from the glucosamine and chondroitin this food contains. Together, they can help to prevent joint and bone diseases like arthritis and hip dysplasia.
In addition to these joint-health supplements, this blend also contains omega fatty acids to lubricate the joints, reduce inflammation, and improve overall heart health. You’ll even find l-carnitine in this recipe, which can help your dog’s body to utilize fat more efficiently.
This food doesn’t have as many ratings as others I’ve recommended, but there are still 90 five-star reviews. If you’d like to read their reviews and check the current price on Amazon, you can do so by clicking here.
What I love about it: It’s got omega fatty acids, glucosamine, chondroitin, l-carnitine, and it’s almost entirely crafted from high-quality whole-food ingredients.
What I wish it had: It says it’s for a limited ingredients diet, but there are far more ingredients on the list than I’d like to see with such a name!
For a Rottweiler with food allergies or sensitivities, chicken is one of the more likely triggers. Luckily, there are plenty of high-quality chicken-free dog food options on the market, and we’ve covered five of the best choices in this article.
When comparing these blends, make sure to consider the quality of their ingredients, the protein sources used, and the inclusion of health-boosting nutrients and supplements like omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin.
Be especially certain to check the ingredients list thorough to be sure there are no chicken-based ingredients hidden further down where they’re less obvious!