To kibble or not to kibble - that is the question...

It wasn't until the Industrial revolution that 'Kibble' as it is known today appeared on the market. It resulted in a significant shift in the nature of food fed to the dogs especially because small family farms which were far more common pre-industrial revolution, have been seriously depleted.

While some of these changes are progressive, others are more in line with our wallets than our dogs health.

To understand this concept, you first need to understand a few things about a dog’s digestive system and what it was designed to process.

 

Understanding the Digestive System of a Dog

Canine Digestive System Diagram

Naturally, dogs are canines belonging to wolf ancestors that thrive on prey, scraps and fermented meat.

Their gut, teeth as well as digestive physiology are all designed just for this. Their powerful jaws coupled with triangular shaped carnassial teeth do not only tear and rip flesh but also crush bones.  

Consequently, they do not have molars that grind plant material or even four stomach chambers that allows slow digestion of complex carbohydrates. Rather, their large stomach and short digestive tract supports the consumption of high protein foods while ensuring rapid absorption of nutrients.

So it is undeniable that dogs are designed to eat protein rich foods such as meat and fish.

 

Is kibble dangerous?

Hopefully now that you understand how your dog is physically adapted to eating certain kinds of foods and nutrients, it is important to also know why kibble, although not dangerous, is not recommended.

A majority of owners feed their dogs on a diet comprising of 60% carbohydrates and a minimal amount of proteins. This protein is plant based hence making it a nutritionally insensible option.

In short, humans became aware some years ago that processed foods were no good for us. They are not considered "healthy" and overtime manufacturers have been made to put more advice labels on packaging to show us more clearly if it is a good idea to eat it. Obviously these products are still on the shelves so they aren't "dangerous" but if you spent your entire life eating mars bars you probably wouldn't be hungry - but you wouldn't be very healthy either.

Although kibble is convenient, cheap and has been used for more than 80 years since its introduction in response to the high cost of meat at the time, it is clearly not the best option. With today's vast range of raw dog food such as Benyfit Natural or Nutriment all of which come in 'human friendly' packaging which is simple, clean and easy to use - there really is no reason why you shouldn't switch over to feeding raw food.

  • Contributes to rise of diseases - Studies have proved that feeding dogs on kibble has contributed to the rise of auto-immune diseases, degenerative diseases, allergies as well as liver and pancreatic diseases that are rampant in today’s pet populations.
  • Decreased life expectancy - Studies have further proved that while pets that are fed on kibble from an early age tend to be healthy, they age rapidly and are highly likely to develop symptoms of degenerative diseases compared to those that feed on raw uncooked food. On the other hand, dogs that are fed on high quality homemade diet have a higher life expectancy.
  • Presence of toxins - Apart from the use of substandard ingredients in manufacturing kibble, numerous forms of toxins are introduced in the body of the pet through the highly processed kibble diet. They include aflatoxins, acrylamides, heterocyclic amines and Polybrominated Diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), the chemical that is used as a flame retardant.
  • Lack of nutritional value – Besides harbouring harmful toxins, kibble has much of the nutrients stripped making it essentially lifeless. Although most kibble manufacturers claim that they use high quality ingredients and no additives, preservatives of fillers, the food is subjected to a cooking process that depletes it of all the nutrients but denatured proteins and inactive enzymes. The good bacteria (beneficial microflora) is also stripped away.
  • Synthetic fortification – With many nutrients lost during the processing of kibble, manufacturers tend to add the lost nutrients with synthetic minerals and vitamins in order to comply with the AAFCO standards so that their meals are balanced and complete.

So in conclusion, we hope that you see how raw food is a more natural, healthy way to feed your dogs. It's about time that dog owners became more aware of what is in the food they feed their dogs and move towards more healthy options.