Things to Consider and Question
- Although kibble is often marketed as “complete,” it is not optimal for a long, healthy life for our dogs.
- Many dogs suffer from the same health issues that modern-day humans experience: diabetes, cancer, obesity, arthritis, digestive disorders, heart disease, kidney disease, dental disease, liver disease, and more. The common denominators are often obesity and processed food.
- Traditional veterinarians generally recommend kibble because that’s what they were trained to feed dogs. It’s rare to find a traditional veterinarian who has deeply studied how nutrition correlates with good health. Kibble companies also invest heavily in marketing their products to veterinarians. These companies sponsor (and are highly involved in) research, education, scholarship, and so much more. This especially includes prescription kibble diets sold in veterinary clinics.
- Imagine that pediatricians recommended feeding children a meal replacement bar for every single meal, instead of real food. How well would that sit with you?
- Food sourcing and quality is up to the company manufacturing the kibble. When you prepare fresh food at home, you have drastically more control over sourcing.
- There’s little to no regulation of the type of meat and byproducts used in kibble. Did you realize that kibble can contain animal waste, rotten and expired meat from the supermarket, road kill, and even euthanized cats and dogs? Yikes. If you wouldn’t eat these things, why would you feed them to your pup?
- Kibble is processed at high heat, which leaves very little proper nutrition. It’s especially void of probiotics and enzymes.
- Kibble is highly processed and therefore also highly inflammatory. Inflammation is a precursor to cancer.
- Product recalls are a normal occurrence for kibble companies, and are usually made public AFTER dogs fall sick and/or die.
- Open bags of kibble quickly grow mold and bacteria, and attract mites.
- Kibble includes preservatives for long shelf life and high profit, at the cost of the well-being of our dogs.
- Kibble is packed with cheap carb/starch-based fillers such as corn, rice, and soy. Grain-free kibble contains high amounts of legumes, potatoes, peas, and lentils. These aren’t species-appropriate foods for dogs.
- Carbs and starches are not only non-essential for dogs, but are also proven to be harmful because they metabolically turn to glucose.
- Sugar (glucose) can cause hyperactive behavior in dogs. Hyperactive dogs can be a lot more challenging (like a kid after eating lots of candy!).
- A kibble diet highly increases the chances of dog bloat, a dangerous condition which can easily become fatal.
- Fats sprayed on kibble start going rancid as soon as you open the bag. Long-term consumption of rancid fats destroys vitamins and can lead to kidney and liver disease, hair loss, malnutrition, and cancer.
- Most kibble brands source a lot of their protein from plants that are also high in carbs. Dogs are meant to be getting their protein from animals. Animal-based protein is highly digestible and absorbable by a dog’s short, powerful digestive tract.
- Because kibble is processed at high temperatures, synthetic supplementation must be added to kibble in order to meet AAFCO standards for nutritional needs. These supplements cause various health issues since dogs can’t digest them. They therefore end up causing additional stress on the liver and kidneys.
Kibble and Disease
- Leads to dental disease through plaque build-up.
- Limits nutritional variety and therefore causes malnutrition.
- Causes chronic dehydration and various digestive issues.
- Robs the stomach of moisture and then swells in the stomach.
- Creates fermentation and gas build-up in the gut, leading to bloat.
- Destroys healthy gut bacteria.
- Can cause cancer.
- Is highly processed, full of preservatives, and void of species-appropriate raw protein and fresh foods.
- Is loaded with carbs, which turn to glucose. Cancer cells LOVE and grow rapidly on glucose.
Dog Parent: “But my dog has been eating kibble for years and everything seems fine!”
That’s exactly what we thought, too. But ”fine” is relative. Kimahri was “fine” for 7 years before her cancer showed up.
But was she actually “fine”? Is chronic diarrhea “fine”? Diarrhea is just one example of the body saying “this is not appropriate food for me.” This was a red flag we should have paid close attention to.
We tend to think that symptoms like these are just part of life, but we need to see them as warnings. The body is trying to express that there’s an imbalance or a problem we need to respond to. Medication to mask these symptoms doesn’t address the root cause, which usually ends up becoming more severe with time.
Kibble seems “fine” until it’s not. Why wait to find out when that will be for your pup?
What’s in the Next Chapter
Do you have a long list of fears about feeding raw? We did, too. This is completely normal! We’ve heard everything ranging from very valid concerns all the way to funny stereotypes about dogs becoming aggressive vicious killers. In the next chapter, we’ll go over this important subject together.