Updated: Mar 17
We LOVE our pets. We want to prolong their life as long as possible and with the nutrition, you can. It's becoming more prevalent that kibble is not only bad but is causing cancer, diabetes, arthritis and even death.
But making the switch is a scary jump. Bacteria?! Salmonella?! E. Coli?! MATH?! COSTLY?!
This is some scary stuff! But my goal is to bring awareness, education, and growth to pet parents about raw feeding. Today I'm going over what SUCKS about kibble & what you can do to increase your pet's health and vitality today!
WARNING: Content may trigger current raw feeders due to topics such as by-products, synthetics, oxidation and more. Proceed with caution...
So what's so good about raw? nothing... it's what's NOT in raw food.
Starting in the mid-80s the US government began spewing utter crap. "Eat less fat". They started creating low-fat and zero fat products in hopes of reducing obesity. But what happened? Obesity rates skyrocketed because FAT wasn't the problem CARBS were. They were replacing whatever fat was being removed with carbs. Instead of reducing obesity it did the exact opposite.
Dry dog "food" not only has an abundance of unnecessary carbohydrates but it is also filled with synthetic vitamins & minerals (which are made by pharmaceutical companies NOT food companies), stabilizers, and an unearthly amount of Vitamin E requirements due to toxic rancid fats.
Illness and the Clear Connection...
I see so many people come to me claiming their dogs have "allergies" but they never think that maybe the FOOD is CAUSING the allergies. What goes into kibble is absolutely horrendous. Animal by-products, synthetics, sawdust, any crap leftover from the food industry. It's the awful QUALITY of the protein and food that cause 99% of allergies. Stormy isn't allergic to chicken but since it is the easiest protein to get awful Omega 3:6 ratios I choose to steer clear of it.
When we have QUALITY meats (pasture-raised, GFF, hormone/antibiotic-free & respected) the 3:6 ratio is already balanced because the animals we feed are also eating their biologically appropriate diet. It matters what you feed.
When these dog "food" companies use conventional meat-eating awful diets such as GMO corn, soy, candies, and leftovers from human foods, our animals are consuming these foods too. This constant chronic poor nutrition is why so many pets are suffering from cancer, obesity, diabetes, arthritis and more.
Not only is this low-quality meat contributing to so many health problems but when it's paired with filler carbs it's a deadly mix.
CARBS feed CANCER.
Carbohydrates inhibit the bad bacteria in the gut biome to flourish and grow which we DO NOT want. When we have an undiverse microbiome disease, illness, and inflammation seize the opportunity to enter.
Why are dogs only living 10 years or less? Poor nutrition.
Dogs and cats are one of the few animals we can nutritionally abuse and they won't immediately die just slowly decrease in health. So why are these even in kibble if they're so bad? Simple. $$$.
IT'S CHEAPER! Most companies just want your cash and slap labels on such as "natural" and "organic" which doesn't mean crap. Did you know that if kibble is labeled "weight-loss formula" or "senior recipe" it doesn't have to differ in any way, shape, or form?! Also, breed targeted food doesn't differ in any way either its all simply marketing and labeling to sell to consumers.
These companies are blinding so many pet owners and causing so many illnesses, disease, and death. It's our responsibility as pet owners to see past their propaganda and feed what's actually natural and organic.
Kibble fed animals are in a constant state of chronic dehydration. 70% of our bodies are made of water and when we extract all the moisture from their food we are asking for trouble. Unlike us, our pets are designed to not only gain moisture from water but from their food as well.
When we feed dry food every day we increase and/or cause kidney failure due to stress on kidneys. Kibble is a "food" that is constantly absorbing moisture which taxes many vital organs leading to chronic diseases down the road. After transitioning I find many people notice their dog drinking significantly less water then they did before the diet change. This is due to the fact that we are feeding moisture with every meal as we should! By keeping the body hydrated we allow the system to maintain its healthy functions throughout.
Any time any food is cooked, heated, or baked it depletes in nutrition significantly and adds harmful chemicals. When we cook any meat it becomes denatured and becomes lifeless. Heating destroys fragile essential nutrients, enzymes, probiotics, and vitamins/minerals. This is why we'll find SO many synthetic vitamins & minerals added into the kibble. It goes under so much processing that by the end there are no real nutrients causing companies to add in fake nutrients to meet standards and be sold. Along with no real nutrients, all the beneficial bacteria and probiotics to ensure a healthy microflora is cooked away.
Mother nature's built-in security system is bacteria! Having more good bacteria than bad is how all living organisms stay healthy and strong. So what happens when we feed no good bacteria? Salmonella, E. coli, chronic inflammation, and disease has a chance to flourish in the body.
When we heat up food it may destroy some harmful bacteria but also trades in one risk for another. The by-product of cooking these low-quality meats creates heterocyclic amines which are carcinogenic toxins that are formed when amino acids are cooked at high temperatures for long periods of time. Acrylamides which is another carcinogenic toxin that causes nerve damage, muscle weakness and difficulty with muscle coordination and polybrominated diphenyl ethers are another by-product created by processing which can cause liver, thyroid and neurodevelopmental dysfunction. When these toxins are fed daily for a lifetime we are bound to run into serious health issues sooner than later.
Many of the AAFCO standards are absurd. One of them being vitamin E due to the rancidity of fats due to oxidation and processing. Oxidation is when the oxygen molecule splits into a single atom with an unpaired electron which is called free radicals. Electrons love to be in pairs so these free radicals seek out other electrons to become pairs which cause damage to DNA, cells, and proteins which is called oxidative stress. These fats contain high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) making them more prone to oxidizing faster.
For example, this is why I never recommend feeding marine oils since they are very high in PUFAs and go rancid extremely quick. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that slows the process of oxidation. Even though companies add this in to prevent rancid fats oxidation still occurs very quickly. The moment a bag of kibble is opened it is exposed to oxygen and the oxidation process continues. Rancid fats can cause cancer, heart diseases and contribute to many chronic diseases.
Unknown fact: More expensive "higher quality" kibble does not mean that the kibble is any better it just may mean that the company spent more money on the packaging to attempt to slow down the oxidation product.
So if you purchase kibble DO NOT STORE IT IN PLASTIC. First, you further expose it to oxygen and are feeding the rancid fats! Secondly, the second the kibble hits the plastic it leaches into the material and slowly starts to grow invisible mold that assists in further health demolition of your pet's well being & vitality. If you're using a plastic storage container place the kibble in its original bag into the container.
Another drastic change you can make is buying smaller bags of kibble more frequently to avert oxidation. Ideally, it would be best if you could use the kibble within a week of opening and you can also freeze the kibble if you have a dog that can't consume it that quickly.
“Rancid fish oil may increase your risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis, and blood clots. When you consume rancid fish oils, your body must use its stores of antioxidants such as vitamin E to neutralize the rancid oils, leaving fewer of these resources available to your body for cellular repair and disease prevention.” – Livestrong
What YOU can do
While feeding a fresh whole food diet is ideal, it is just not feasible for every household. But what we can do is take small steps towards a bigger goal! Here are proactive steps you can do to enhance your pet's bowl today:
Add any amount of fresh whole foods
Even the smallest amounts of appropriate foods will significantly better your pet's health. A little bit of raw is better than none!
Foods I like to add to any kibble diet is:
Low glycemic vegetables: spinach, kale, dandelion greens, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, beets and carrots (veggies are best given when lightly steamed and pureed to help increase nutrient absorption). Veggies are packed with fiber, phytonutrients, essential vitamins and minerals and supply the gut biome with beneficial bacteria. I believe that all fruits/veggies should be fed organic since our pets encounter enough toxins in their daily life already we don't need to add in more such as glyphosates.
Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apples. Fruits have a plethora of antioxidants that fight off free radicals (which cause CANCER).
High-quality Raw Meats: Even a little bit of GFF liver or a pastured raw duck foot here and there is better than nothing. If you're having some GFF beef for dinner feel free to share some with your dog!
Freeze dried (FD)/dehydrated organs: Organs are nature's multivitamin. That's why they are so essential in any raw food diet. Many people are comfortable feeding RAW foods so FD or dehydrated organs are an easy way to provide so many beneficial nutrients at once.
Eggs: Eggs are one of the top complete foods. Packed full of saturated fat, iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. It is also a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin. To feed simply crack the whole egg (white & yolk) over your dog's kibble and watch her gobble it down. I don't recommend feeding the shell if you buy your eggs from the grocery store since they are more often than not sprayed with chemicals to clean them but if you have access to pasture-raised eggs feed the shell too!
2. Putting moisture back
Since kibble puts our dogs in a constant state of chronic dehydration adding moisture back into their system is vital. Adding liquids such as bone broth, raw goat milk or even water adds life back into their bowl.
Bone broth: Filled with vitamins/minerals, collagen, amino acids, reduces inflammation and heals the gut. You can either make your own with bones and ACV or buy some from any raw dog food company. If you're buying it from the grocery store look for a bone broth with no salt, onions, seasonings or garlic.
Raw goat milk:
(3) Storage & Size
Keeping the kibble in its original bag and buying smaller more frequent bags to prevent rancid fats and molding. Also freezing to prolong shelf life and protect fragile fats.
(4) Feed "better" kibble
If you can't feed raw that's okay! We can still strive to feed better. Look for dry food with lower carbohydrates and little to no synthetic vitamins & minerals such as Orijen, Carna4 and Nature's Logic.
I talk a little bit more in-depth about "better" kibble brands in my "secret" ingredients blog.
(5) Do the best you can!
Continue to grow your knowledge and keep asking questions. I would be absolutely delighted to answer any questions you have via Instagram direct message or my contact page! Just by reading this you have taken a crucial step in enriching your best friend's life!
I hope you learned something new and are inspired to continue to grow and explore the realm of raw dog food. As always thank you so much for stopping by and Always Keep Exploring.