Kibble - Dry Dog Food - Should Your Dog Eat It?
What is kibble? Should you really expect your dog to eat dry dog food?
Dog food kibble is dried dog biscuits with a moisture content of about 20%. It is made from various ingredients which have been blended together, formed into shapes.
To make them look more appealing to dog owners, they are also coloured. The shapes are dried at high temperature to sterilize them, then sealed in airtight packaging, ready for sale.
Freeze Dried Kibble
Some dog kibble dry dog foods on the market are freeze dried. Freeze-drying is a much better option as long as the original ingredients are raw foods, which are species appropriate and suitable for dogs.
Is All Kibble Bad?
Not all kibble is low quality - but the vast majority is not fit for purpose. This means the vast majority of kibble is not good enough for your precious dog.
A kibble diet is not a great choice for your dog - but there are some types of kibble that are better than others.
However, if you do choose to feed kibble dog food long term, avoid using one that contains animal protein. There are cleaner sources of protein and other nourishing ingredients can be found in ethically sourced organic vegetables.
Also you will need to clean your dog's teeth after every dry food meal. Dry dog food is generally very bad for teeth so if your dog eats kibble, you must take steps to minimise the damage to his or her teeth.
Grain Free Kibble
Some kibble is grain free, vegan and even organic, so in this case the ingredients are health promoting, clean and ethically sourced.
More and more crafted vegan dog kibbles are appearing on the market. They are created by small companies who are very experienced at balancing the nutrients required for dog diets. The result is that they have created vegan kibbles that work well with the dog’s digestive system.
Low Quality Kibble Is Everywhere
As dogs are adaptable, scavenging carnivores, they can survive on a huge variety of foods. The pet food industry is well aware of this fact, so it happily uses the least expensive food products as ingredients.
Because the dry kibble ingredients are unrecognisable, the pet food industry can use cheap waste from human grade slaughterhouses such as chicken feet, wings, beaks and in the USA, condemned carcasses. These are listed on labels as "animal protein".
The remainder of most kibble comprises cheap fillers such as vegetable waste, grain and cereals, all in the proportions accepted by the pet food industry as providing a balanced diet for your dog.
Just because a hungry dog will eat anything, it doesn't mean low quality kibble is good for your dog.
But this low quality kibble is erroneously called food for dogs. Just because a hungry dog will eat virtually anything does not mean your dog likes it or that it is good for them.
Before a dry pet food can be sold to the public, it has to be tested. The manufacturing company has to feed kibble to a remarkably small group of dogs for 6 months, during which time at least 50% of those dogs have to survive.
Did you know that kibble is only required to be tested on a small group of dogs, and only 50% of them have to survive the test?
If they all die the day after the trial ends, the dog food is pronounced safe. It's not the kind of test you might expect.
Theoretically high-quality kibble that claims to be made from a specific species, like lamb or salmon, for example, by law only has to contain 3% by weight of that animal.
By law, if the dry dog food packet says it contains a specific meat such as lamb or fish, it only has to contain 3% to be legal.
The rest is flavourings, preservatives, colourants, cheap cereal fillers and the ubiquitous "animal protein" which covers a multitude of sins!
Profit of course is the main driver in the production of dry dog food. The most important area of expertise in these highly profitable companies being advertising and marketing.
In other words, advertising and marketing trick us into buying the prettiest packet of all the food on the supermarket shelves. Most dry dog food manufacturers also make human food, mostly sweets and other health-denying, disease-producing junk.
The problem for us is that dry dog food - kibble - is convenient which explains its popularity with dog owners.
The convenience of feeding a packaged dry food diet is vastly outweighed by the time, money and heartache caused by your dog’s ill-health associated with feeding such poor quality food, unless you choose a carefully produced vegan kibble.
If you told your doctor you were going to feed your son or daughter kibble for the rest of its life, child protection agencies would remove the child from you. But yet, most veterinary surgeries and pet shops sell tons of kibble for profit purposes only, at the expense of your beloved dog’s health.
The very best diet for all animals, including humans, is a "species appropriate raw diet". There is much debate currently about what exactly this means!
As we learn more, we're finding that many vegan sources of nutrients are superior to traditional foods for dogs.
As the science of nutrition uncovers more and more information, it is becoming clear that many vegan sources of nutrients and micronutrients are superior to those provided by meat.
A well researched, organic, carefully prepared homemade diet can easily provide better quality nutrition than virtually any kibble that money can buy.
Take a look at Just Be Kind Vegan Dog Food for some excellent homemade dog food recipe suggestions. This site has been created by a raw vegan veterinary surgeon in the UK.
Why Feed Kibble?
The commonest reason people feed kibble to dogs is for convenience. It’s easy to tip a recommended amount of kibble into a bowl a couple of times per day.
With kibble, there's no mess, little odour and people often don’t even bother to wash the dog’s bowl between servings.
When travelling with pets, what could be easier than taking a packet of kibble with you to feed your dog?
- Why limit your best friend’s life by providing poor quality fuel? Processed animal protein is so denatured, it is difficult for your dog to use.
- The source of ingredients listed as "animal protein" is rarely even clean, let alone nutritious or ethical.
- Carefully produced ethically sourced organic vegan kibble is the only form of kibble I would ever even consider giving to my dog. And then I would be sure to give the teeth a thorough brushing after every meal and give raw fibrous vegetable stalks to chew to keep those pearly whites pearly white!