When The Thought of Abandoning Kibble Freaks You Out…

Even as people learn about feeding a natural diet, they are loath to give up feeding kibble for various reasons.  Some think that by feeding some kibble their dogs will get a more complete diet.  Some feel that feeding an entirely raw diet will be far too expensive especially when they have multiple dogs.  Still more want to keep kibble a viable part of their dog’s diet so that they can use it to feed when traveling away from home, and others are plain and simply nervous about making a complete transition terrified that they will do something wrong – perhaps due to influence from vets, friends, people who claim to be “in the know”.  Whatever the reason, kibble can be hard for some to let go.  Are these good reasons?  Does it make sense?  CAN you still feed SOME kibble?

Feeding kibble has never really given your dog a complete diet.  AAFCO standards are hardly the end all be all of nutrient profiles.  Dog food companies conduct chemical testing but according to The Animal Protection Institute, this testing doesn’t take into consideration “palatability, digestibility, or biological availability of nutrients in pet food.”  The nutrients are there, sort of, but it doesn’t mean they are usable to your pet and if your pet can’t use them what’s, well, the use?!  Commercial kibbles have all sorts of nutrients added to them to cover any shortfalls – most are synthetic since kibble contains little “real” food and many are so degraded by the process that kibble goes through to become kibble that they are useless.  Sure, the bag can say they’re in there but that’s about all they can say.  Your dog or cat is far more likely to have complete nutrition via real whole raw foods than any other medium.  Its just common sense.  Think for a minute as to what you yourself gets more nutrition from – fresh fruit or processed juice with 10% real fruit?  Again, common sense.  If you feed kibble still because it gives you a sense of security, the reality of it is that you couldn’t be less secure.

“Feeding all raw is too expensive!” – its a cry often heard by those who may want to switch but have been buried beneath some crazy idea of cost that seems to make a raw diet inaccessible to most.  Untrue.  In reality, when you feed raw, you feed less.  Since it is ALL usable to your pet sans the fillers and junk that fill most all kibbles, even those of the highest quality, your pet needs much less of it than he would kibble.  If you chose to feed a variety of items, raw meaty bones, ground raw mixes, game etc, your costs are actually quite reasonable especially in this day and age where the cost of premium kibble is on the rise and where its typical to pay upwards of $50 for a 30 pound bag, a bag that isn’t going to last all that long.  Purchasing in bulk and having a freezer dedicated to your pet’s food is yet another way to save money.  That one purchase of a small freezer can save you tons of money.  Hit the sales when they have them at the grocery store, talk to your friends that hunt, be on the look out for deals wherever you may find them.  Keep in mind that dogs who are completely raw fed have LESS medical bills due to their enhanced health and immune systems.  With an office call at the vet costing anywhere from $30-$50 for a single pet, this alone saves you plenty.  If you are a smart shopper, feeding raw can only save you money when compared to feeding kibble.

Travel is easy when you feed all raw.  Your pet’s next meal is as close as the nearest grocery store!  No heavy bags of kibble to tote around at all!  In this day and age most hotel rooms have fridges and freezers in the room but even if they don’t than packing a cooler for your pup is as easy as 1-2-3.  Many dogs, when under stress from travel away from home, won’t eat and sometimes that can be disconcerting when it lasts more than a day or so.  Raw fed dogs tend to gobble their food no matter where they are or what the stresses may be, probably because its real food that actually tastes good!  Remember too that kibble is a key component in the advent of bloat and gastric torsion as is stress.  If your dog gets at all out of wack due to traveling, feeding him kibble for the duration of the trip along with that stress is a good recipe for an episode of bloat.  Why take the chance?

As a raw feeder you will always have people who try to convince you that you are doing harm.  The thing is, you know better.  You do.  Are we saying that its terribly harmful to feed your dog some kibble?  No – not really.  We promote that which we feel is best for your pet but at the same time believe that feeding some raw is better than feeding none.  If you can’t let go of kibble you aren’t going to cause irreparable harm to your dog in most cases.  Are you feeding them the most optimal diet you could feed?  Probably not but you are doing better than most.  If you wish to feed kibble at least part of the time, try to set it up so that you are feeding it separately from their raw meals.  Try feeding a kibble breakfast and a raw dinner or perhaps three days raw with a day off on kibble to stretch things a bit.  Avoid feeding them together in one meal – not because its going to hurt him to do so but because if you are feeding any raw at all you want your pet to get all that they can out of those meals.  When you throw kibble in the mix it sort of gums up the works so to speak.  This means that your pet isn’t getting the full nutrition that he could be getting with a just raw meal.  With a digestively sensitive dog this can mean stomach upset for sure but by in large its best to separate just so that you give your dog the best shot for the best nutrition that he has to work with.