Dry dog and cat foods (kibble) are popular and convenient ways to feed our pets.Dry dog foods were first created way back in 1860 to feed hunting dogs owned by theBritish lords. In the past 100 years, the pet food industry has seen explosive growth, selling $21.4 billion of pet food in the U.S (2014). A trip to any Big Box pet food store reveals a dizzying selection of kibble.
Kibble pet foods are made by mixing meat, vegetables, grains, fruits, vitamins,minerals and other ingredients into a porridge-like mixture (called a slurry). This slurryis forced through small tubes under high heat and pressure, then dried and shaped,forming the food bits we refer to as kibble. This process is called “extrusion.”
The majority of pet owners in the US feed kibble, both for convenience andaffordability. Many pet owners feed ONLY dry food. But is dry food the best food forour pets? There is a growing concern that kibble might not be the bestchoice to feed our pets. Here are a few things to consider:
- Real food, fresh food is 70-80% water. Kibble has between 6-10%moisture. Kibble is a dehydrated food, and there is a big difference. Beef jerky is 10-15% moisture. What if you ate beef jerky for every meal?
- Kibble requires the body to give up a considerable amount of water tosoften the dry food before the digestive process can begin. Fresh food is “readyto go” directly into the digestive process
- Dry nuggets of food can cause irritation and inflammation of the stomach liningbefore this softening occurs. This happens every time a kibble meal is eaten. Asmall amount of irritation can become more serious when it occurs over a longperiod of time.
- A kibble meal forces a shift in the distribution of water in the body, pulling fluidsfrom other areas to help the digestive process. This “robbing Peter to pay Paul”approach can cause a mild dehydration in other parts of the body. Just likedriving a car when it is low on oil, this mild dehydration is a stress that can causeserious health problems down the road. There is a growing concern that long termfeeding of kibble may be contributing to the rise in kidney disease, especially incats.
- Cats - cats evolved in mostly desert climates, and have always gotten mostof their water from their food (remember that fresh food is 70-80% water). Also,cats do not drink water as readily as dogs, so feeding only dry food to catscan contribute to dehydration.
In my practice, I recommend:
- Feeding canned or fresh food to cats.
- If your cat or dog gets dry food, feed a combination of canned, fresh and dryfood.
- If feeding dry food, moisten dry food with water or broth before feeding.This is for the following reasons:
- This makes dry food easier to digest
- Reduces the irritation effect of dry food on the stomach lining
- Gets more water into the diet.
- Note: do not leave moistened food out for long periods of time. Toencourage your pet to eat meals, leave moistened food out for 15-20minutes, then pick it up. This may take some time, but your pet will learnto eat when the food is fresh and available.
Note: Nature’s Logic adds a probiotic mixture to their kibble and All FoodFortifier. Moistening Nature’s Logic kibble will activate these probiotics - thebeneficial bacteria normally present in your pet’s digestive system.Probiotics have been shown support digestion, improve the immuneprocess, help maintain urinary health and even play a role in weight loss.
Nature’s Logic offers the highest quality pet foods in fresh frozen, canned,kibble and treat forms. Nature’s Logic foods are unique in that they meet allof your pet’s nutritional requirements using only ingredients from wholefoods - no synthetic ingredients. Nature’s Logic makes it easy to offer yourpet variety and a healthy diet.