The best thing you can do to improve your dog’s nutrition is to stop feeding him kibble. Many people choose kibble for a combination of convenience and the belief that it really is a good option for their dogs. This could not be further from the truth.
Some dog owners choose the cheapest brand to save money. Others purchase premium products on discount, whatever their vet sells, or even the food with the most attractive packaging. In none of these cases do pet owners verify the nutritional claims on the bag nor research what exactly they are giving their dog. Instead, they trust that the kibble is healthy.
A few observations are enough to show that dry kibble is unhealthy:
No matter what type of kibble you choose, the food is processed and uses low-quality ingredients (such as parts of meat not fit for human consumption). This is true even for premium products.
The adoption of kibble has grown over the last few decades. At the same time, we are seeing more diet-related health issues. This should no longer be acceptable to anyone who cares for their pets.
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Before we continue, it’s important you understand what exactly we mean by kibble.
The term “kibble” refers to dry, commercial pet food. It is made from a mixture of grains, meat, and fillers. The raw ingredients are combined, ground into a flour, baked (using a process called extrusion), and dried. Once the kibble has cooled, some manufacturers spray it with animal fat to improve the flavor and make it more appetizing to dogs.
There are a few issues with this:
First, it is impossible to know what exactly is in kibble. You can read the ingredients, but there is no way of knowing the quality and exact amounts.
Second, all kibbles contain preservatives to give them a long shelf life.
Finally, all the ingredients are cooked. This destroys some of the nutritional value of the food.
As a result, kibble has both short- and long-term health implications.
If the above has not given you enough reasons to quit kibble, wait until you hear about what toxins this highly-processed food can contain and what they can do to your pet.
There are several potential carcinogens in kibble. Some of the most prevalent is heterocyclic amines, which occur during the cooking process of meat, poultry, and fish. They are linked to mutations in animal cells, which can ultimately lead to cancer. One study looked at 25 types of commercial dog foods and found that heterocyclic amines were present in 13.
Another probable carcinogen in kibble is acrylamide. This organic compound forms when sugars and amino acids reach high temperatures. Since kibble is extruded, acrylamide is always a problem.
Most kibbles use high protein content as a selling point. However, nowhere on the bag do manufacturers mention if this protein is digestible. To gain the nutritional benefits of protein, dogs need high-grade, fresh food that is easy for their bodies to process.
Dogs can suffer from allergies to many different types of foods. The most problematic are allergies to foods dogs would not normally encounter — including certain additives in kibble.
Allergies can lead to skin problems, including dryness, rashes, and itching. Not only is this uncomfortable, but skin problems can also even develop into infections, particularly if your dog is often scratching.
Some preservatives and other additives can be toxic. For example, Xanthan gum and carrageenan (both of them thickening agents and stabilizers) can cause bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive problems when dogs consume the preservatives in large amounts.
Little research has been done on polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which is troubling because they are present in dog food in large amounts. It is possible that PBDEs are linked to health problems ranging from thyroid disruption and liver damage to behavioral changes and memory loss.
Many dogs suffer from chronic inflammation. There is no need for this to be the case — it is simply due to feeding dogs a completely different diet to what they evolved to eat. Switching from kibble to natural raw foods can help your dog live pain-free.
Even premium kibbles made with organic ingredients often have low food value. This is because cooking destroys many of the nutrients.
Kibble manufacturers make products sound more appealing by fortifying the food with vitamins. Unfortunately, these vitamins are synthetic, which means that they do not come from natural sources. This is problematic because dogs react differently to lab-made vitamins.
You may notice that your kibble clearly advertises how much protein it contains, whereas there’s a good chance that carbohydrates are not even mentioned. This is because companies would prefer you to be unaware that kibble maybe 17 percent or more carbohydrates. Such amounts are unnecessary for a dog at normal activity levels. In fact, it just puts dogs at higher risk for obesity.
It’s time to throw away your kibble and switch to a food that will provide your dog with the nutrition he needs. An excellent solution is raw dog food. When you choose a high-quality option, you’ll provide your dog with all the nutrients he needs to thrive. This will stop him from suffering from chronic health conditions, lower his risk of degenerative diseases, lengthen his lifespan, and increase his quality of life.
Kibble was not designed or formulated to be biologically appropriate for the canine species. Instead, kibble was designed to be easy, convenient, and cheap. Your dog's body requires a species-appropriate diet in order to achieve optimal health and longevity.