I love to kibitz about kibble. No, I’m not Yiddish. I just find that so many have strong opinions about kibble, that it makes for entertaining conversation.
Before we get started, I will preface that I am not a nutritionist, vet or other self-qualifying expert on dog food. I am a consumer, dog lover and avid reader. I make informed decisions………until the next informed decision. The opinions included in this post are just that, my opinion. My hope is that you, my reader, will read this post and then do further research yourself to make the best choice for your dog.
I currently do not feed kibble to my dogs. (Follow this blog to learn why) I do not judge those that do.
Let me repeat myself….I do not judge those that do.
As a busy professional, I found myself turning to the convenience of kibble when I rescued my first dog.
Many dogs live long healthy lives on kibble. (Many do not). I did feed a premium brand, my favorite being Fromm Family Foods. If you don’t know about Fromm’s, they are based here in Wisconsin. They are family owned and NEVER had a recall. To learn more about them, click here.
Looking back, I wish I knew then what I know now. There are ways to add some quality nutrients to any kibble diet.
I fell into Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats while running through an airport one day.
I ran into the airport shop to grab a magazine, but as any dog lover will understand, I caught a glimpse of a dog on the cover and immediately bee-lined for the book.
I’m glad I did. It has saved my life.
While there is an overwhelming amount of information, I don’t think it’s meant to be read cover to cover. It makes a great resource book.
The book starts by educating the reader on the ingredients in pet food, digestibility and AAFCO.
Here are a few things I learned in the first chapter:
Manufacturers only have to list crude protein, not digestible protein on their labels.
Crude protein can include: feather/hair, leather and animal feces.
AAFCO has no enforcement authority.
Quick AAFCO lesson:
Stands for, Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Private group of members from agencies such as, FDA or others who regulate animal feed.
AAFCO does not regulate the pet food business.
Ultimately, pet food manufacturers can adhere to AAFCO guidelines or not. If they say they do, no one is checking on them.
Here’s an interesting YouTube video below.
This is where my journey began. I started to ask myself what kind of dog mama was I? My journey is a constant transition. As I mentioned before, I don’t feed my dogs kibble. But if you do, here a few ways to add a nutrient boost:
Adding an egg to kibble is an easy way to add a great protein source. Mix an egg then microwave for 40 seconds. (Give or take)Chop it and add to kibble. After a few days, I noticed a shine to their fur that hadn’t been there…..ever.
I originally thought pumpkin was only given for digest upset. But I’ve learned over time that this can be added to their diets everyday. Add a spoonful to kibble and mix. Yum!
Adding a human grade source of protein is a great way to cut back on kibble and make their meals more healthy.
For example: If Fido eats 1 cup of kibble at his meal. Try adding ground beef (or other meat) to replace some of the kibble. Start with a tablespoon and serve. Gradually increase the amount of beef and decrease the amount of kibble.
Humans eat salads, why not the dog. Well…..not a salad, but adding some alfalfa sprouts, lettuce or carrots to kibble is another fantastic way to boost the value of their meal.
I have added all of the above on a rotating schedule. This gave them a variety of nutrients and kept them interested.
Again, I am not an expert. So run out and get Dr. Pitcairn’s book.
Really…..run right now!
Or order it online.
Either way, reading a reliable resource to help us provide quality nutrients is the best thing we can do as pet parents.
What are you currently feeding your dog? If feeding kibble, what do you add to it to make it fun to eat or healthy? If you’ve never added anything, will you now?