Why Is Kibble Bad For Dogs?

August 15, 2020 5 min read

Table of Contents : 

Is Kibble Bad For Dogs? 

To answer bluntly, yes.

How often do you treat yourself to some fast food? Once a month? Every other week? Every day? 

Chances are, you’re not eating fast food too often because fast food isn’t great for your body. 

If I told you that the fast food that you avoid is extremely similar to the kibble that you feed your dog, would you believe me? 

Even if you looked for the best kibble for dogs, you will still not giving your dog the right nutrition they need. This popular way of feeding was created with making money in mind and not on helping dogs live a healthy life. Kibble is also made with ingredients that do more harm than good which can lead to many health concerns in the end.

History of Kibble: 

Without getting into the long extensive history behind kibble, the dry food for dogs became popular after World War II. The Pet Food Institute focused on marketing dog kibble as the only option that people could give to their dogs to eat. Due to this,people began purchasing dog kibble out of convenience and the low cost. 

Read More: History Of Kibble

What’s In Kibble? 

Yes, you COULD just read the extensive ingredients list shown on the packaging of your dog’s kibble. Although, are you really going to Google every ingredient that you don’t know?  

Plus, “animal by-products” doesn’t even sound that terrible! Right..? Maybe not. 

Harmful Ingredients In Kibble Infograph

Common Kibble Ingredients That Cause Harm: 

3D and 4D meats
Some dog kibble foods will label on their packaging that there are meat byproducts. Although it doesn’t sound that horrible, this is the reality--often times it refers to 3-D and 4-D meats. 
When these dog food companies include these products in your dog’s dry food, there isno legal requirement to disclose such ingredients. Although these 3D and 4D animal bodies are not fit for human consumption, they are “perfectly” fine for our pets to eat. Sarcasm intended. 
According toRaw Bistro, the FDA explained that 
“processed pet food, including pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, goes through heat processing, which is designed to kill harmful bacteria…” 
Though it seems healthy since the FDA said so, sanitizing the harmful ingredients can just lead to other health problems. 
This ingredient is a great filler because corn is cheap to produce and harvest.By the way, the corn that you might be imagining is not the same corn that you and I eat. 
Rather, it is the cheap cornmeal that farmers will feed cattle.The corn that is being fed to your pup is poor quality and can also lead to digestion issues and allergic reactions.Most of the time as well, the corn will be contaminated with mold as a result of the horrible conditions that it grows in as well as the way that it is stored. 
To make it even worse, long term consumption of it can be extremely detrimental to their health since it is extremely fattening and when fed at high dosages, it can lead to diabetes in our pups.  

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) aretwo incredibly chemical preservatives that are horrible for your pet. These two preservatives are used quite commonly in dog pet food as it helps prevent fats and oils from spoiling too quickly. 
These chemicals are used to help extend the shelf life of your dog food. Everything is great, right? Well,California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment noted BHA as aknown carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. BHT has also been proven to cause kidney, liver, thyroid changes, and developmental defects in rats. 
These two ingredients are bad enough for some countries to even ban these preservatives. Not only that, but BHT is also used in cosmetics, rubber, and even embalming fluid. 

Food dyes and artificial coloring 
Food dyes are an extremely common ingredient in both dog food and human food. Studies have shown that thesefood dyes can lead to hyperactivity in your pup including biochemical processes in their bodies. 
These colors are actually completely unnecessary for your pup and are more catered towards making the food look more appealing to consumers.

Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol is actually an ingredient that is added to kibble in order to keep the moisture in dog food. Ironically enough, this ingredient is actually linked to dehydration in dogs since it actually absorbs water. 
Not only that, but studies have shown that animals that eat kibble that have this ingredient, are at higher risks of anemia and obesity. Just when you thought that it couldn’t get even worse, it is also a common ingredient in antifreeze--you know, the one that is used in your car. 

Sodium Hexametaphosphate
This is a common ingredient used in dog kibble and is helpful for reducing pet’s tartar. It is not only extremely dangerous in high dosages for your pup, but itcan hinder his digestion as well. According to theInternational Journal of Toxicology,studies have shown that this ingredient can lead to skin irritation, swollen kidneys, and a stunt in growth
While having tartar on your pup’s teeth can lead to its own issues, we recommend just brush your pup’s teeth twice a day instead. Or give them a raw bone that will naturally clean their teeth, as well as give them a bit of stimulation. 

What Healthy Dog Foods Can I Feed My Dog?

Now that you have a brief understanding of what kibble is made of and how it can affect your pup, we can discuss what types of healthier alternatives you can feed your dog. The most ideal diet is feeding your pooch raw pet food. This includes human-grade ingredients such as carrots, eggs, apples, and pumpkin to name a few. Some potential benefits of feeding your dog raw include:

  • Shinier coat 
  • Healthier skin/less allergic reactions
  • Increased energy level 
  • Cleaner teeth (beat that, sodium hexametaphosphate!) 

Check Out: What To Look For In Raw Food Brands

Feeding your pup 100% raw is the most ideal. Although, we understand that for some, it may not necessarily be in your budget. If this is the case, even feeding your pup at least 50% raw can vastly improve the health of your pup. 

Here, at CaliRaw we provided asupplemental feeding guide to help you transition your dog out of kibble and into raw dog food.