Should you consider duck meat over chicken
If you ask them, most pet parents feed their dogs chicken or lamb, the two more commonly available protein sources. One relatively lesser-known meat option is duck. Among other benefits, duck is rich in iron and it is a great lean, easy-to-digest protein source. Duck also comes loaded with amino acids which helps to support strong muscles.
Duck is often also recommended for dogs suffering from allergies or food sensitivities. Switching to duck can help ease their upset tummy or help clear skin irritation. Of course, like any other change, it is always advised to consult your veterinarian before making the switch. Now, let’s understand in greater detail why duck meat is better than chicken.
Let’s talk about ducks:
Even though duck meat is darker than chicken, it is still considered to be a white meat. Compared to chicken, duck is rich and very flavourful, and your dog is sure to love the new taste that is just the right combination of savoury and sweet. In terms of fat and calories, you could say duck is like skinless chicken and actually contains more healthy unsaturated fat.
But the question still remains – is duck really that good for your dog?
Here’s why duck is an excellent meat for your furry friend. Duck meat is loaded with nutritional benefits that your pet needs.
Here are our top reasons for including duck in your pet’s diet:
High in protein:
We’ve already mentioned that duck is an amazing source of protein. It is loaded with amino acids that will help not only help build and maintain muscle strength, but will also maintain a healthy immune system, thus keeping your dog from falling ill.
Low in saturated fat:
Duck has got an unfortunate reputation as a ‘fatty’ meat because of the layer of visible fat between its skin and meat. However, overall, the duck is quite low in fat content. Remove the skin and the visible fat, and you reduce this even more. In fact, skinless duck breast has less fat than chicken breast if cooked the same way.
It is also good to know that the majority of fat in duck is unsaturated fat that contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, both of which are crucial for your dog’s overall growth, development and metabolism.
Rich source of vitamin B:
Duck provides your dog with a healthy dose of B vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. Together, this family of B vitamins helps your pet’s cardiovascular and metabolic health, supports the nervous system, promotes healthy cell growth, and also works miracles on your dog’s skin and coat.
Rich in iron:
Duck meat is incredibly rich in iron. This, when combined with copper and protein, is critical for blood production. The haemoglobin thus formed helps carry oxygen in your dog’s blood from its lungs to its organs and tissues, and also prevents anaemia.
Rich in antioxidants:
Selenium is an important mineral for canines. It has antioxidant properties which help protect cells from oxidative cell damage. Selenium also does a fantastic job of supporting the immune system and the thyroid gland. If your dog doesn’t get enough selenium, it can cause thyroid disease and cancer.
Rich in trace minerals:
Duck meat contains all the trace minerals that your dog needs.
- Zinc: for brain development, skeletal development and healthy vision
- Copper: aids iron absorption and supports the formation of bones and connective tissues
- Phosphorus: for strong bones and teeth
- Magnesium: helps in bone growth and protein production
- Potassium: supports your dog’s nervous system, and enables enzymes, nerves as well as your dog’s muscles.
If your dog has allergies…
Some dogs are allergic to chicken or beef protein which results in continuous itching all over the body, or around the feet and ears. You can consider switching to duck in such a situation. Keep your eyes open for other allergy symptoms, like chronic skin and ear infections, vomiting, gassiness as
well as diarrhoea.
Duck can work as a novel, hypoallergenic source of protein, especially if your dog has never eaten it before. Word of caution: run your dog through an elimination diet or do an allergy test to ensure duck is also not a trigger. Needless to say, you must check the source of the duck that you plan to feed your dog and ensure it is of high quality and from a trustworthy, uncontaminated source that does not combine duck and chicken protein.
Of course, your dog needn’t suffer from any food allergies to deserve duck; you can simply add it to bring in some variety and to keep meal times exciting, especially if you have a picky eater.
Have you considered raw duck meat for your dog?
If your dog is accustomed to a raw diet, you can definitely include raw duck during mealtime. The meat is packed with nutrients, and is known to be quite flavourful and easy to digest as well.
Consider adding duck necks since those come full of amino acids and trace minerals. Soft and easily crushed, these make for the perfect treat for your always-hungry dog.
Once again, look for a good source. Ducks that live in areas of environmental pollution could contain high levels of mercury which will be harmful to your dog.
What’s the verdict? Duck is a great food for your dog since it offers a host of nutritional benefits and also adds variety to your dog’s diet. It’s an even better choice if your dog has food allergies. Whether as a new food or to combat allergies, introduce duck slowly into your dog’s diet so your dog doesn’t
experience any stomach upset.