The point of food is to provide a body with nutrients. Artificial food, however, lacks many essential nutrients that are present in natural sources. Kibble, for instance, is packed with artificial ingredients. This means that when your dog is on a diet of kibble, his health suffers.
Dog owners are now realizing that kibble is insufficient and is searching for ways to feed their pet's natural foods. A top solution is a raw dog food diet.
Kibble helps your dog feel satiated, but it does little more. This is because it is deficient in a number of essential nutrients. If your dog is on a processed kibble diet, they may be missing out on vital nutrients. Below we will discuss the problems with kibble, and how your dog will benefit nutritionally from a raw diet.
Since kibble is made from processed food, it lacks natural vitamins. To compensate, manufacturers add synthetic vitamins. If you check the ingredients list of your kibble, it will appear as if the food has all the vitamins your dog needs. In fact, his body reacts differently to these synthetic versions.
For instance, synthetic vitamin K is made from menadione bisulfite, which can give your dog anemia. Then there’s retinol palmitate, instead of vitamin A, which has side effects like irritability, loss of appetite, and even changes to bone structure. Finally, in place of vitamin C, manufacturers use ascorbic acid. It can cause diarrhea and impact nose health, causing dryness and bleeding.
The process for making kibble involves grinding up the raw ingredients and then baking the mixture at a high temperature. This can destroy close to half the nutritional value of the food. Worse still, nutrients continue to deteriorate the more time they are kept in storage. As it has a long shelf life, the kibble you buy could have been processed many months before your dog eats it.
Dogs evolved to gain most of their energy from protein and fat. However, kibble contains high quantities of carbohydrates and cheap fillers. Whereas dogs are capable of digesting these carbs, it is better for them to eat more protein. Furthermore, a diet high in carbohydrates is more likely to make your dog obese.
There are two reasons why kibble has even less protein than you think it has:
Firstly, manufacturers don’t distinguish between digestible and indigestible protein when they specify the protein content.
Secondly, it is easy for manufacturers to list meat as the first ingredient when that is not actually the case. The first ingredient is the one of the greatest weight. Meat is heavy because of its water content — and manufacturers measure amounts before cooking. This means that the quantity of meat in processed kibble is actually far less than it appears.
A raw dog food diet is designed to give your dog nutrients that are biologically appropriate for his needs. A high-quality raw diet provides your dog with a combination of raw meat, bones, vegetables, and fruits and eliminates processed foods from his diet entirely.
You’ve already seen that protein is a natural energy source for your dog, but there is also another reason why protein is essential. Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are 23 amino acids in total, but your dog only creates 13 in his body. The rest needs to come from his food. A balanced raw dog food diet will provide your dog with all 10 of these amino acids.
The other natural source of energy for dogs is fat. In addition to acting as an energy source, fat contributes to healthy skin and fur. Like proteins, your dog cannot create sufficient fatty acids in his body but instead needs to receive them from his food. At a minimum, his diet needs to include Omega 3 and Omega 6. High-quality raw foods include both of these, as well as other useful fats.
Just because they are necessary in small amounts doesn’t mean that minerals are any less essential than other nutrients. They help your dog’s body to grow, rebuild, and repair. They also perform functions like regulating fluids, carrying oxygen, and supporting nerve transmission. To gain sufficient minerals, dogs need to eat plenty of meat and bones.
Many of the minerals dogs need are only present in minimal amounts in grains (if at all).
Dogs require a number of vitamins on a daily basis — again in small quantities. They play a role in a wide range of metabolic functions. For example:
All these vitamins occur naturally in organ and muscle meats as well as plant sources present in raw dog foods.
Your dog’s body is 70 to 80 percent water. As water plays many vital functions in the body, your dog needs to consume plenty of water every day to replenish what he uses. He can drink water, but it is better if he gains a significant amount from his food. This allows him to digest water at the same time as his food, reducing the risk he will become dehydrated after eating. Raw food contains a large amount of water — although your dog will still need a fresh source available to him at all times.
Nutrition comes from nature, and there is nothing natural about kibble. If you want to ensure that your dog lives a long, healthy life, you need to put him on a species-appropriate raw dog food diet. Not just any raw food diet, as many DIY raw feeders are lacking balanced formulations. Make sure you choose a raw dog food diet for your dog that is complete & balanced.
Read more about the ingredients in Cali Raw Nutrition's formulas here.