Why Not Kibble for our Carnivore Pets?
Traditional vets are mostly against feeding anything but kibble and canned foods. This is because they were taught in vet school that this is the only way a dog or cat can get a totally balanced diet. However, most vets are not up with modern times regarding the most species appropriate diet for pets. Which just doesn't make sense why processed food is better than what nature provides.
Why are at least 90% of pet owners still feeding their carnivore companions a dry dog or cat food that is at least 60% carbohydrate, with no moisture content and low quality protein from questionable sources?
Some of the protein and carbohydrates from many commercial kibble diets are also plant based- soy, legumes, corn or potato. These foods are not natural to carnivores.
Expecting our pets to thrive on this kibble diet and be nourished does not make sense at all and is really a travesty against our pet population.
What many don’t realize is how and why the packaged dog food we feed our dogs got started.
Well....the history of dry commercial kibble is all about profits. However, originally it was introduced because of the increased cost of food during the Great Depression. Kibble was heavily sponsored after the end of WWII when it gained popularity for its convenience, ease of supply and low cost when little else was so easy to come by for pet food.
Jennifer Lee explains in her informative book, “The Inner Carnivore”:“During WWII meat and tin were both in short supply. This drove consumers back to dry foods for their dogs. In 1950 Ralston Purina was the first company to use an extruder to make dry dog food. Extrusion was a manufacturing process that Ralston was already using to produce Chex cereal. The production of enormous bags of dog food was in full production by the late 1950’s. By 1964 the national trade association of dog and cat food manufacturing launched a campaign to get people to stop feeding their pets anything except for packaged food. Feeding pets “people food” became branded as harmful. Companies began labeling their foods as complete nutrition, with no additional foods or supplements needed. A culture of dependence was then formed and adopted by the pet industries and veterinarians and is still in existence until this day.” In this modern era the species-appropriate raw approach to nutrition has gotten a foothold into the dog nutrition industry and is here to stay. There are many companies now manufacturing raw dog food, both frozen and dehydrated. These are trying to be balanced and better than most kibbles.
What I have come to understand after studying more about the natural approach and the philosophy of animal naturopathy is that top quality grain-free dry dog kibbles and even the freeze-dried raw diets are not quite what is appropriate to feed our carnivores.
The most natural method of feeding is the ‘raw prey model’, which is what the most recommended feeding model by holistic vets and animal naturopaths is today. This means feeding raw meaty bones, and animal parts whole not ground up. This is so the animal gains the benefit for the jaws and teeth and inner carnivore vitality.
In nature of course, cooked foods have never been a part of the carnivore diet, or any animal in nature for the matter. All animals in the wild live on a raw food diet. Animals have existed and thrived for centuries living off live prey, fermented flesh, and would forage for any other tidbits they could find.
Think about this: Animals have only been presented with processed, cooked foods within the last 80 or so years.
It has been proven that the natural diet of dogs and their ancestors, the wolf is raw prey. it is quite evident that dogs and cats are obligate carnivores. Their teeth, gut and digestive make-up strongly support this fact.
So why not feed Kibble than?
For starters it’s a overcooked, de-natured junk food for pets. Would you eat McDonald’s, cheerios or some other junk food everyday? SO why in the world do we so readily give this to our beloved fur children?
Profit-making kibble pet foods typically contain:
diseased, sick, or euthanized animals, which is a poor quality rendered protein that is not fit for consumption
Starchy vegetables now being replaced in “grain free’ foods. Which are usually much higher quantities than the meat in the foods.
Animal or vegetable fat and oils that are usually rancid. This is typically sprayed over the kibble to make it appealing to your dog.
The ingredients used in pet foods are typically overcooked, low nutrient foods. They are usually a low quality to begin with. These nutrient deficient foods are then overcooked, cooked two times actually, first in rendering, secondly in the extruder. This unforgiving process destroys what little vitamins, minerals or enzymes the raw ingredients had to begin with and is the reason manufacturers must add more artificial vitamins and nutrients back into the food.
Added preservatives both chemical or natural cause toxic build up in our pets system.
Then there is this: anti caking and anti gelling agents, additives and emulsifiers such as artificial colors and flavors, curing and drying agents, leavening agents condiments, grinding agents, lubricants, humectants pelleting agents, petroleum by products, pH controlling agents, spices, sweeteners, thickeners and texturizers, stabilizers, and who knows what else is added in there.
Lastly there is the low moisture content – this dries out the pets organs
This unnatural and processed nature of kibble pet food makes it problematic for your dog or cat to properly digest.Even if your kibble is high quality and is grain free with natural preservatives- it still contains a high carbohydrate content of potatoes or legumes, so there is the probability that mold spores will contaminate the kibble during packing and bagging, especially if it is exposed to a humid environment. This can also occur after purchasing if your kibble is stored in a moist area or an open container.
From everything I have studied and learned over the years, I know now that a lifetime of commercial, dry pet food is one of the main reasons dogs and cats are so diseased today. ( that and over vaccination being a culprit as well) Pets fed the typical mainstream vet promoted kibble often experience severe nutritional deficiencies and are getting their daily doses of toxins and chemicals, which lead to all the ill health suffered by modern pets -like diabetes, Addison’s, all types of cancers, as well as liver disease.
Also it is important to note that a carnivores food needs to provide protein from a wide variety of sources so as to obtain the full spectrum of all the different amino acids for your pets, which are best provided from raw meat sources, including raw meaty bones. Protein is the most important nutrient that is needed in every cell in your carnivore’s body. These full spectrum amino acids have to be provided daily and they must come from animal protein of the highest quality possible to build healthy cells, organs, muscles, enzymes and hormones for our cats & dogs. Carnivores have these short digestive tracts that are fast working and very simple. They are not designed to make their own amino acids so must obtain them directly from food. They are also not designed to process carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, legumes or grains.
These amino acids are found in the following raw species appropriate proteins:
- all kinds of eggs
- green tripe
- chicken feet