The topic of dog kibble can be daunting and surprisingly complicated. There are a multitude of different kibbles, each toting their own superiority, benefits and vet recommendations. On top of that, there is an increasing amount of research and evidence surfacing that criticizes common ingredients in kibble, or just kibble in general. Fresh or raw diets for dogs are becoming more popular, and many dog owners are ditching kibble altogether. So yeah, the topic of kibble has become more questionable and many of us debate whether we should even choose kibble for our dog at all. However, for those of us who can’t quite hack the raw or fresh diet options, how do we go about avoiding detrimental kibble and feeling confident that we’ve chosen a good option? To answer this question, I’m going to outline four principles to keep in mind when selecting a kibble. These are the same principles we used at Highland Point Corgis to select a kibble brand for our Corgis and it's advice we pass on to all our customers.
Dogs are carnivores, which means that they are biologically designed to eat and digest meat. Meat is an excellent source of high-quality protein, which is essential for maintaining healthy muscles, organs, and skin. It also provides essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health.
Moreover, meat-based proteins are easier for dogs to digest than plant-based proteins. This is because dogs have a shorter digestive tract than humans and are not able to break down plant fibers as efficiently.
2. Avoid “fillers”:
Wheat, soy and corn are common fillers used in commercial dog kibble because they are inexpensive and readily available. However, all three of these fillers are difficult for dogs to digest, have very little nutritional value and can cause stomach or skin irritability. Because of all these factors, these ingredients often do more harm than good for your dogs health, and should be avoided.
3. Avoid unhealthy additives:
Some dog kibble contain additives that can be harmful to your dog's health. Just as research is showing the negative affects of common additives in our own food, so the same risk applies for your furry friend's kibble. Therefore, look for kibble that is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
4. Consider your dog's age and activity level:
Different dogs have different nutritional needs based on their age and activity level. Puppies need more protein and calories than adult dogs, while senior dogs may benefit from lower-calorie options.
Choosing the right kibble can be overwhelming but prioritizing meat based kibble that has no fillers or additives, with the age and activity level of your dog in mind, is a great start to navigating your options. I hope the four principles above give you some confidence in going kibble shopping for your puppy or maybe even evaluating the kibble you’re currently using.
In my next post I will to discuss some easy and common-sense methods for supplementing your dog’s kibble diet.