There has always been a huge debate whether raw dog food or kibble is the way to best feed your dog. Dog parents on both sides of the topic have their own thoughts on this debate.
Being a responsible dog parent means ensuring that our dogs live a happy, long and healthy life. One of the most important ways that we can do that, is to feed our dogs a well-balanced diet. We need to make sure that they are getting all the nutrients and necessary essentials they need in their food.
We all know that no matter what type of food we feed our dogs, we need to make sure it is good food with good ingredients. Feeding your dog the cheapest dog food that is full of fillers, is not going to ensure your dog will live a long healthy life.
Making a good choice in dog food will even affect their psychological well-being as well as their physical needs. This is just another reason to be sure that you are making the right choice for your dogs diet.
When it comes to deciding which type of food is best for your dog, the most important step should always be to “talk to your Vet”. They are equipped to help you assess your own individual dogs needs based on their breed, lifestyle, age and exercise level. Each dog breed will have their own health issues that may definitely play a role in what type of diet is best o feed them.
We rely on our Vet to help us answer all these questions and more, like how much food they should eat each day, based on their caloric requirements. How much exercise is your dog getting, and what is their current weight situation are all important factors in deciding what food you should be feeding your dog.
If your dog comes from a breeder, then asking them what they recommend is also a great idea. Check with other dog parents that you know and see what is working for them. Be vigilante when it comes to doing the homework required before feeding your dog food that you know absolutely nothing about. Do your homework in other words.
The majority of dogs are fed dry dog food or kibble. Well what is Kibble exactly?
Kibble is made up of 4 different categories of ingredients:
- Carbohydrates that include things like plants and grains. These plants and grains also called starches or sugars and include things like fructose and glucose. These are what our dogs break down into sugar and helps provide some great usable energy for the dog.
- Vitamins found in dry kibble include: Vitamin A, D, E and K that help promote bone growth and fat absorption. While Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins require the water intake in the body to absorb for their beneficial need.
- Fats are found in all the meat, poultry, fish, and plant oils included in the kibble. The fat in the food is super important to help the body function properly. It helps with maintaining the proper body temperature, inflammation in the body and more. This fat also is the main source of stored energy in your dogs body. Kibble also includes the necessary Omega-6, Omega-3 fatty acids required for overall dog health.
- Proteins that include meat, poultry, fish, and some plant based items like corn gluten or soybean meal. The protein in Kibble supplies the required amount of amino acids that helps create things like: hormone production, hair growth, skin, nails, muscles, tendons and more.
All the ingredients in Kibble are put into a grinder and mixed together making them into chucks of food. This food is then cooked at very high temperatures for long periods of time. Once the food is done the fat is skimmed off and the remainder is then dried and becomes the ingredients in the kibble.
Depending on the quality of dog food you are willing to buy, will determine the quality of the ingredients in the food. If you opt for the cheapest Kibble, then you are going to get food full of animal by-products like : chicken meal, bone meal, scrap food and not high quality meat ingredients.
If you opt for a higher quality of Kibble with actual meat as the first ingredient on the bag, then you are definitely getting a higher nutrient and protein filled Kibble which is needed for your dog. You never want to buy dog food that has a grain as the first ingredient on the list.
Benefits of Kibble
Why do the majority of dogs get Kibble as the source of dog food for our dogs. Well the answer boils down to a few things. Some of the most common reasons that dog parents feed their dog kibble is:
- Measures out easily to maintain consistently the same amount each time
- Easy to store
- Last much longer
- Good for reducing plague on their teeth
- Great for their gums
- Can buy in bulk
- Government regulated
All the reasons listed above is what makes Kibble the main dog food choice for most dogs. As you can see from the list, these reasons offer a much simpler way to feed your dog.
Now the knock on kibble of course, is that even the top of the line dog food has had recalls due to contaminated issues like : salmonella, bacteria, drugs, chemical residuals, toxins from mold or fungus, just to name a few. These issues have happened to even the best of foods. For this reason, many dog parents opt to control exactly what their dog is eating, by choosing a raw dog food diet.
Raw dog food
Raw dog food is one of the those things that has really gained popularity over the past decade or so. More and more people are looking for alternatives to dry food or Kibble. The belief is that the Kibble is not providing the best of the essentials needed for our dogs overall health. The thinking is that a raw dog food offers a more natural way of feeding your dog.
There are 2 different types of raw dog food options, commercial and the other is home-prepared. You choose the option that best suits your needs and schedule.
A raw dog food diet includes things like :
- chicken breast
- organ meats
- ground bones
When choosing which type of raw dog food to give your dog, you can opt for the commercial way of purchasing the food. The food can be purchased either freeze-dried or fresh, depending on the company that you are purchasing your raw dog food from.
If you opt for the second option which is a home prepared raw dog food diet then you the parent would cook and combine all the ingredients that are need to make the raw dog food each day for your dog.
Benefits of a raw dog food diet
When choosing a raw dog food diet, the consensus is that overall this is a much healthier option for your dog. The positive benefits include things like:
- Controlling any allergies your dog may have
- No processed food
- Shinier hair
- Healthier skin
- More energy
- Smaller stool
- Aware of the exact ingredients in what your dog is eating
- Safety of the food
- High water content in the food
- Promotes great dental hygiene
- No preservatives
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Promotes a strong immune system
One of the other glaring differences between a Kibble diet and a raw dog food diet is visual “HOW THE FOOD LOOKS”. You can see the actual ingredients in the food like a real vegetable or chunk of meat. It is not like looking at Kibble that is processed to death.
When it comes to a great raw dog food diet, then TruDog is one of the best options. If you are considering a switch to a raw dog food diet, then check them out here, and see if it is a fit for you.
You can see from both lists, that their are legitimate benefits to both type of dog food diets. I have said that safety is often a concern that is avoided when feeding your dog a raw diet, as we know what is going into the food. Much like our own food, a raw dog food diet is not without it is own potential hazards like meat that has salmonella, or bacteria in it. No food is 100% guaranteed healthy. There are still risks.
When it comes to deciding what is the best option for you in choosing a dog food, you need to think about your schedule or lifestyle and your budget.
Feeding your dog a raw dog food diet is obviously more expensive then Kibble is. That is why the decision you need to make has to be the right decision for your circumstances. I think we would all love to feed our dogs top of the line food, much like we would love to eat steak and lobster every day. The reality of that however isn’t realistic.
There are great choices in each selection that can fit within any budget. Reading the labels of all food that you give to your dog, is the number one thing that doesn’t cost anything at all.
I hope that my post, has given you some insight into deciding between a raw dog food or Kibble diet. Before you make any decisions at all, make sure to ask your Vet their opinion based on your dog and their essential food needs.