Chicken vs. Duck Jerky for a Dog

by Susan Leisure
    Your dog may sit up and beg for a jerky treat!

    Your dog may sit up and beg for a jerky treat!

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    Most dogs love a jerky chew. However, not all jerky is good for your pup. While chicken and duck jerky can be great treats, it's important to know exactly what you are offering your canine companion as a tasty snack.

    Many wholesale clubs, pet stores and department stores have a hefty supply of chicken and duck jerky products made in China. These jerky treats are often inexpensive or available in bulk -- but beware. Since 2007, the Food and Drug Administration has been issuing caution notices about jerky made in China. In 2013, these cautions turned into recalls of many of the Chinese jerky products. So, before you buy that big bag of inexpensive jerky for your pup, read the small print and find out where it was made.

    Jerky treats for dogs have expanded significantly in the past few years. Chicken is most common and affordable type of jerky. Chicken is a less expensive protein than other meats, so more manufacturers choose it. However, chicken may not be the best choice for your pooch if he has allergies. Chicken is one of the most common food allergens, so if you have any doubts about your dog's tolerance, check with your vet -- and, until then, opt for a different kind of jerky.

    Duck jerky for dogs is harder to find than chicken jerky. Duck is a more expensive protein and more difficult to farm. Duck jerky treats made in the U.S. are available if you search around, however, and uck is considered a good choice for dogs with allergies, since few dogs have a reaction to the meat. However, duck has more calories and is higher in fat than chicken, so keep that in mind if your pooch is a bit on the rounder side.

    If you can't find affordable jerky not made in China, consider making your own at home. With a small dehydrator, you can make a batch of jerky for both you and your dog to enjoy. Choose leaner cuts like chicken or duck breast, and be sure to remove any skin or fat before dehydrating. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can still make jerky at home in your oven. When making jerky for your canine companion, skip the salt, spices and other additives and stick to plain meat.

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    About the Author

    Susan Leisure is the director of an animal welfare organization and owner of a holistic pet supply store in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a master's degree from Emory University, and is currently completing a degree in clinical pet nutrition.

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