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What Food is Best for Your Dog? Raw vs. Kibble

Weighing the pros and cons of raw dog food and kibble to help you make an informed decision for the canine in your life!

By Lizzie HowardPublished about a year ago 3 min read

Image from Unsplash

Choosing the right food for your dog can be challenging, as many different types of diets are available. Two of the most popular options are raw food and kibble diets, both of which have unique advantages and disadvantages. This article will compare raw and kibble diets so that pet owners can decide which food is best for their dogs.

What is Raw Food for Dogs?

Raw dog food, also known as a raw food diet or BARF (biologically appropriate raw food), consists of feeding dogs uncooked meat, bones, organs, and other whole foods. The idea behind this diet is to mimic the ancestral diet of wild dogs, which consists of raw prey. Proponents of this diet believe it can improve a dog's health, provide a more balanced nutrient profile, and improve their coat, teeth, and overall well-being. However, it's important to ensure that a raw food diet is balanced and complete and to consult with a veterinarian before switching to a raw food diet to ensure it's safe for your dog.

Benefits of Raw Food

Improved Digestion

Raw food is easier for dogs to digest than processed kibble, leading to smaller, firmer stools and decreased waste.

Better Nutrition

Raw food contains essential nutrients, enzymes, and probiotics that are often destroyed during cooking. This results in a more nutritious diet for your dog and supports optimal health.

Shinier Coat and Healthier Skin

The high-fat content and essential fatty acids in raw food can lead to a shiny, healthy coat and improved skin condition.

Stronger Teeth and Bones

The chewing and tearing required to eat raw meat and bones help maintain healthy teeth and gums while providing natural calcium for strong bones.

Increased Energy

Dogs fed a balanced raw food diet often have increased energy levels and a livelier disposition.

Reduced Risk of Obesity

Raw food diets are often lower in calories and carbohydrates, helping to prevent obesity and its associated health problems.

Drawbacks of Raw Food for Dogs

Safety Concerns

Raw meat and bones carry the risk of bacterial contamination and can pose a threat to both the dog and the humans handling the food.

Nutritional Imbalances

A raw food diet may not provide all the essential nutrients that a dog needs in the correct proportions, which can lead to health problems over time.

Difficulty in Sourcing Ingredients

Obtaining high-quality raw ingredients can be challenging, especially for those who live in urban areas.

Cost

Raw food diets are often more expensive than commercially produced dog food.

Time-Consuming Preparation

Preparing a raw food diet requires significant time and effort, including thawing and portioning the food and washing and sanitizing all surfaces and utensils.

Lack of Convenience

Feeding a raw food diet requires careful planning and preparation, which can be inconvenient for busy pet owners.

Potential Digestive Problems

Dogs not used to a raw food diet may experience digestive issues, such as diarrhea or vomiting.

What is Kibble Food for Dogs?

Dry dog food, or kibble, is produced from cooked, pulverized ingredients molded into tiny, bite-sized bits. The components are treated under high heat and pressure to eliminate moisture and preserve them, then coated with oils and fats to increase the taste. Kibble is a handy, shelf-stable dog food with several types for different breeds, ages, and health issues. To suit a dog's nutritional demands, pick a high-quality kibble with the right protein, fat, and minerals.

Benefits of Kibble Food

Convenience

Kibble is easy to store, measure, and serve, making it a convenient option for busy pet owners.

Shelf-Stable

Kibble has a long shelf life and does not require refrigeration, making it a good option for pet owners who don't have access to refrigeration or who want to minimize food waste.

Nutritional Balance

High-quality kibble is formulated to meet a dog's nutritional needs and contains all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients a dog needs to stay healthy.

Drawbacks of Kibble Food

Processing

The high heat and pressure used to process kibble can destroy some of the nutrients in the ingredients and result in less nutritionally complete food.

Additives and Preservatives

Some kibble may contain artificial additives, preservatives, and fillers that may not benefit a dog's health.

Allergen Risk

Some dogs may be allergic to certain ingredients commonly found in kibble, such as grains or soy.

Unnatural Ingredients

Some kibble may contain ingredients not part of a natural canine diet, such as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can harm dogs.

Conclusion

The finest dog food depends on their requirements and tastes. Raw food may provide dogs with a complete, natural diet to minimize contamination. Kibble is handy and inexpensive, but select a brand with high-quality ingredients and avoid additives and preservatives. A vet can help you choose a well balanced dog diet.

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