The topic for this week came to me, ironically, from an article that I couldn’t argue against. Kenzo_KW at, who helped with last week’s topic, suggested that his pal Jana Rade send me a piece of hers to use as a jumping off point for this week’s inquiry. Problem is, I agree with everything she writes in The Rebel in Me: (Don’t) Give a Dog a Bone? and couldn’t imagine marshaling any evidence against her contention. Admittedly, I don’t have a great deal of respect for the FDA and its too late, too wrong, ever-shifting dictates.

But it got me thinking. If it seems like a no brainer to feed a dog a bone and other natural foods, what about the opposite: Is it okay to make kibble the basis of your dog’s diet? Advocates of raw feeding, home cooking, and other diets would argue that it isn’t.

But kibble sure is convenient.

So, friends, send me your links! I’m ready to open this can of worms. As it were.

8 thoughts on “The Friday Five: Is Kibble Ok?”

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  2. You’ve hit the nail right on the head. Kibble is convenient. Its not better than bones, meat, what have you, its just more convenient.

    This has everything to do with our busy lifestyles and the fact that dog-food companies (food companies in general) have done a really good job of indoctrinating us into their way of thinking.

    Unfortunately, the state our food (human and canine) is in is sad. The real issue is not carbs vs. protein, fats, and whatever other distraction media is throwing our way. The real issue is processed food.

    Quick example. Eskimo’s diet consists mainly of whale blubber. This is all fat. Yet, the cases of type 2 diabetes, heart issues, colon cancer, etc, etc are practicably non existent…I could go on and on but I’ll stop my self 🙂

    Great topic, great post…I think these questions should be raised and all of us need to embark on a mindful and purposeful edification process.

    Dino Out

  3. Convenience aside, I think the main ‘scientific’ reason for pushing dog kibble was that it was impossible to ensure that dogs get complete and balanced diet through home-made diets, that would comply with the American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) feeding guidelines.

    After my study into the dog nutrition issue I feel that the AAFCO guidelines do make sense, and further, that providing complete and balanced nutrition for our dogs isn’t in fact an easy task.

    Not easy, but not impossible. Here in Canada we have a product that solves this issue. Hilary’s Blend is a vitamin/mineral supplement that comes with recipes calculated to meet the dog nutritional requirements as outlined by the AAFCO and does away with that argument.

    I know there is at least one other such product, and I also know that both our holistic and TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine) vets have the ability to calculate complete and balanced recipes for their clients.

    So all other arguments aside, IT IS possible to stay away from kibble and meet all the scientific requirements for dog nutrition. And it isn’t that hard to do – we do it.

    Is dog nutrition really as complicated as we’re lead to believe? I think that based on what I learned it well may be. But there are ways to address this concern.

  4. What what a timely post. I’ve been asking myself the same questions, so I decided to have “dog food month” all next month, starting tomorrow. I have been researching dog food ingredients, natural food, raw diets, etc and will work hard to present information that can help everyone decide…including myself. I’d be honored if you wanted to check in and leave a comment or two or more, any time! Thanks!

  5. Yes indeed kibble is convenient! I fed it to my previous dogs. But then I got to thinking, I limit my intake processed foods why shouldn’t I limit Sadie’s? But, as you note, and as I struggle with, how can I be sure she’s eating a balanced diet? So I split the difference, sorta. I use two products–See Spot Live Longer and Better in the Raw. Both are powders of various whole foods and supplemental vitamins and minerals. One quarter of a cup of the powder, either one, mixed with 1lb of fresh meat (lightly cooked or raw). Sadie eats beef and bison raw and I lightly cook her turkey–I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s just that raw poultry makes me uneasy. I also add to the meat and powder mix 1/2 cup of pureed raw veggies and some fruits, usually a red delicious apple (no seeds) and blueberries.

    The reason I go to all this trouble for her diet is that during the first year of her life she had chronic bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. No more. Maybe she would have “grown out of it” anyway. But, maybe not.

    That’s my two bits of kibble.

    1. I know a few dogs who had problems on kibble that resolved with a natural diet.

      I agree that some kind of supplement is necessary in order to supply all the needed nutrients. Our TCVM vet is using exactly the same software used to calculate nutrients for commercial dog food, only it is used to formulate home-made recipes.

  6. Yes, it’s the convenience and tidy storage of kibble that is so attractive to people…it’s also usually economical. I wrote a post today that mentions a range of feeds and talks about how there’s nothing wrong with kibble if you choose with knowledge and forethought. Yes some kibble is like the Saturday Night Live skit portrayed – garbage. But kibble can now be had from Red Moon custom blends and delivered which comes with supplements tailored to your dog, to Fromm and other brands. not all of which are too pricey. Good luck with this – you’re right, people should not have to feel guilty , they just need the information required to make as good a choice as they can.

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