There’s no doubt about it — You put your all into keeping your dog healthy, happy, and enjoying life to the fullest. To do that, a lot of time goes into choosing the right gear, toys, and food, of course! While looking into all the dizzying number of canine diet options, brands, formulas, and so on, one thing likely comes up often: the raw food vs kibble debate.
As with much in the dog care world, there’s no one right answer here. You simply have to weigh the pros and cons of each to see which one will work best for your pack. Thankfully, you don’t have to forge ahead alone. We are here to help you out with this guide on kibble and raw foot diets for dogs.
Basics of a Raw Food Diet for Dogs
Well before kibble came on the scene, dogs eagerly ate raw food diets. They would get whatever pieces were leftover from game or livestock plus veggies, bran bread, and other tidbits here and there. With the widespread creation of kibble in the late 1800s, households all around made the switch, and that trend continued for decades. Only in recent years have dog owners started moving back to the basics by reintroducing the raw food diet to their dogs.
How do I feed my dog a raw diet?
If you want to make that move, you’ll need to create a balanced menu of raw, whole foods for your dog to eat each day. For best results, their daily meals should include raw organs, muscle meat, and whole bones. You’ll also need to fill in the nutrient gaps with vegetables, raw eggs, yogurt, and even fruit from time to time. You can work with your vet or pet nutritionist to build a menu that provides all their vitamins and minerals.
How much raw dog food should I feed my dog?
How much you’ll feed them depends on their size, weight, and activity levels. A good rule of thumb is to feed adult dogs about 3% of their total weight each day, split up between several meals. If your dog weighs 50 pounds, for example, then they’ll need 1.5 pounds of food to maintain their current weight. If your dog is a puppy, super active, or needs to gain weight, you’ll need to adjust their intake accordingly.
Raw dog food pros and cons
Before you decide to go this route, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the raw food diet for your dog and household.
- No artificial ingredients
- Healthier skin and coat
- Promotes a lean build
- Helps with muscle growth
- Cleaner teeth and better breath
- Often more expensive
- Raw meat can spread germs
- Rather time consuming
- Requires more thought
- Difficult to balance nutrients
Benefits of Kibble Food for dogs
Although the raw food diet trend has taken on a life of its own, there’s no reason you have to hop onboard. There are many benefits of keeping the kibble, such as:
- Easy to Get Nutrients Right
Pet food manufacturers go above and beyond in crafting all their formulas to satisfy the calorie, vitamin, and mineral needs of all dogs. You can even finetune your dog’s intake for their age, breed, size, activity levels, and much more by selecting between their many formulas.
- Much More Convenient
If your life is already packed full of daily activities, then it’s important to go with the quick and easy choice. With kibble, you just have to scoop out the appropriate amount and pour it into the bowl two to three times a day to keep your dog well fed.
- Less Risk of Contamination
Raw meat has the potential to spread salmonella, E. coli, and other germs all throughout your home. If you have young kids, seniors, or immune-compromised individuals in your household, then kibble is likely a better choice.
If you go with kibble, speak with your vet to determine which brand and formula will serve your dog’s needs best. They will also help you dial in the perfect amount to feed them to keep obesity at bay while ensuring they get enough nutrients.
Whether you want to go ahead with a raw food dog diet or stick with kibble, you are making the right choice for your pet. All that matters is that you keep your dog’s wellbeing at the forefront of your mind as you make each care decision.
- AKC (2019). Raw Food vs. Kibble: What Should You Feed Your Dog?
- Nancy Kerns (2020). Which type of dog food is best?
- Animal Nutrition Group (2011). Drying pet food at high temperatures may decrease nutrients researchers find.
- Animal Protection Institute (2004). What’s really in pet food. Animal Protection Institute.
- Billinghurst, I. (n.d.). Evolutionary nutrition diet for cats and dogs. Barfworld.
- Jody Freeland (2012) Raw Dog Food vs Kibble Dog Food
- Liz Pask & Laura Scott. The Raw Debate