Since 1989

No products in the cart.

Chicken Fat, Not Chicken Protein – Understanding The Difference:

September 16, 2021

Our chicken fat is produced using a centrifuge to separate the chicken fat from the chicken protein. When an animal has a food allergy, the allergen(s) they react to is almost exclusively the protein in that ingredient. Our chicken fat is protein-free and therefore should not cause a food-related allergy.

The source of fat is a critical part of pet food formulation. Fat provides energy and is required for essential fatty acids, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, texture, aroma, and flavour. We use chicken fat in all of our dry formulas as it is far more digestible than most other fat sources commonly used in pet products, such as canola oil or sunflower oil derived from a vegetable base.

Chicken fat is also an excellent source of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid important for skin and coat, growth, and a healthy immune system. Compared to other fats, chicken fat provides a flavour profile that tends to be preferred by both dogs and cats.

Our chicken fat is sourced locally from Vancouver, Canada.

Wendy Vandersteen, PhD

Manager of Research and Development

7 responses to “Chicken Fat, Not Chicken Protein – Understanding The Difference:”

  1. Laura says:


    Do you test the chicken fat for chicken proteins and peptides? SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, or chromatography could be used? Centrifugation does not guarantee total removal of proteins and peptides. My dog is allergic to chicken and the presence of even a small amount of chicken antigen would cause her to react.

    I am interested in First Mate dog food but I am concerned that the chicken fat may contain chicken antigen.

  2. Wendy Vandersteen says:

    Hello Laura,

    Historical tests of our chicken fat based on Kjadahl methodology by an accredited independent laboratory (03-01-SLM-FD-0019 based on AOAC 988.05 and AOCS Aa 5-91) were unable to detect any protein in our chicken fat. However, although we complete in-depth cleanouts between batches, cross-contamination can occur, and we do make formulas that use chicken. Animals with severe chicken allergies may want to consider a company that does not have chicken protein in their facility.

    Wendy Vandersteen, PhD
    Manager of Research and Development

  3. Joseph DeNoble says:

    On a scale of 10 what is the possibility of chicken protein in the chicken fat in your formulas
    10 being absolutely yes

    5 being. Moderately. Possible

    2 . Being Low possibility

    1 Being very low possibility

    1/ 2 being very very low possibility

    0. Not Possible. At all

    Has chicken protein ever been found in your chicken fat ??? And if so how often

  4. Rica Talay says:

    Hello Joseph,

    Our chicken fat is tested for chicken protein, and none has been detected. We have been using Chicken Fat in our Limited Ingredient line since 1995 and have many success stories supporting pets with chicken sensitivities. However, it is important to note that chicken is an ingredient in our facility and part of select diets. Although unlikely, comingling is a possibility and those with severe sensitives should seek a product made in a chicken free facility.

    -FM Team

  5. Lynda Marin says:

    If I wanted to add chicken fat to my dog’s daily diet, how much is recommended?

  6. Susan Humphreys says:

    Here’s my comment,my dog Luna Wil turn 7 on the 28th April 2024 , her allergies began to show aged 18 months , itching poor condition, hair loss weight loss ( severe) she made herself bleed. Her worst areas around her jaw, chin , face , and lady bits all scabby , I’m assuming it was the parts where the food were mostly touching? Or coming out of her body , she would get itchy bottom mostly after going to poop .
    We had an allergy test done , results, beef , venison, dairy , housedust mites , we changed her diet made sure house was as clean as could be, she was bathed every two/three days with prescription medication shampoo ( forgot to mention ,she had constant ear infections) she was put on Apoquel, then cytopoint, she improved rapidly, her condition was amazing ( oh she also has environmental allergies) last march 23 she had a massive flare up , another allergy test , results added pork, lamb, chicken, storage mites , three type of mould and to top it of YEAST ! ITS been a nightmare , Luna is a picky eater if she doesn’t like something she will not eat it , I cannot do a gradual change over with her it is a straight swap , luckily it doesn’t upset her system. I have an issue with manufacturing putting yeast in everything.. there isn’t very many dog foods out there that omits yeast , or something that has turkey which she can have will also have chicken or beef in ! Why do animal food manufacturers do this ??? I have to troll though foods all the time checking ingredients making sure there is nothing in there that will harm her … Can’t we have a few that just make clean food for us People who have special dogs without all the nasties and the high price tags! We suffer along with our dogs trying to give them the best foods that won’t harm them at a price that isn’t extortionate.. it’s just like the vegans ! You pay a higher price for not eating meat!

  7. Wendy Vandersteen says:

    Hi Susan,

    We are sorry to hear about your challenges finding a food for Luna. We understand how difficult it can be when the list of food sensitivities is long.

    Have you considered a canned formula for Luna? Our canned salmon formula is very simple and does not contain any yeast. It’s available as a grain free option (with a small amount of potato) or a Grain Friendly option (with rice and oats).

    We add yeast to our kibble formulas because it is a great prebiotic for most dogs and helps to support a healthy and diverse gut microbiome.

    Best wishes,
    Wendy Vandersteen, PhD
    Manager of Research and Development

Want to join the discussion? Leave us a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles:

Feed Less, Poop Less, Spend Less… With a Quality Diet

Our chicken fat is produced using a centrifuge to separate the chicken fat from the chicken protein. When an animal has a food allergy, the...Read more

Join the FirstMate Family

Get pet advice, tips and more!