5 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Dry dog food is the most popular type of food for dogs, so many humans just assume it’s healthy. Sure, some kibble brands are much healthier than others, but it’s actually not the best choice at all. All kibble is processed food, so sadly, it’s a lot like a human eating fast food every day. Here are some common myths associated with kibble.
Myth: Your Dog Should Eat the Same Kibble for Their Whole Life
A lot of dog parents feed their dogs the same flavor of the day kibble brand every single day. Most of them will tell you that they do it because their dog gets sick if they switch their food.
But the truth is, if you dog is eating a healthy diet, they should have no problem switching their food. Getting sick after a sudden diet change is a sign of an unhealthy diet. If you are scared to change your dog’s food, you should slowly transition them to something healthier just to be safe.
We get bored eating the same thing every day just like you do. So, if you choose to serve kibble, please switch up the flavor now and then or add some healthy human foods into the mix from time to time. Even if our kibble is extremely delicious, we would still prefer some variety.
Myth: Kibble Cleans Your Dog’s Teeth
I’m not sure why anyone believe this myth because my teeth certainly don’t feel clean after eating! Most dry dog foods contain 50% to 60% carbohydrates, even though dogs don’t really need carbs at all. So, there’s no way something with that many fillers can clean teeth. Plus, eating food is generally the reason teeth need to be cleaned in the first place.
Myth: If Meat is the First Ingredient, it Must Be Healthy
There’s a common misconception that any brand that has meat as the first ingredient is automatically healthy. However, that’s not always the case. Brands often brag about having meat as the first ingredient, but if you look closely at the ingredient list, you might be surprised.
Oftentimes, the meat is a questionable by-product, and even if it is a quality meat source, it could still be followed by controversial fillers. Plus, some dog food brands actually include meat as the first two or three ingredients, so in comparison, only having it as the first ingredient doesn’t seem that great.
Another big deal about meat content is that meat is about 70% water when it’s raw. On the ingredient list, items are listed by weight before processing. Therefore, when the meat is cooked into the kibble, most of that moisture is lost, making it weigh a lot less. Therefore, there’s actually not much meat in kibble at all, even if it is the first ingredient.
Myth: Vets Recommend Kibble, So it Must Be Healthy
This will forever be the most confusing myth of all. Vets care about our health and they give us our vaccinations, so why would they recommend unhealthy food for us?
The main reason is because many vets partner with the companies that make brands like Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin. Therefore, vets will try to sell it to you as if it’s a “prescription diet”. However, if you look at the ingredients, you’ll find a lot of controversial ingredients and inexpensive fillers. Oftentimes, vet recommended food has been recalled a lot too.
Myth: You Should Always Trust Serving Sizes on Kibble Bags
When in doubt, dog parents always follow the serving sizes on the bag. However, many dog food brands actually list the serving sizes a bit higher than they need to be. Why? Simply because the more food your dog eats, the more food you’re going to buy.
Instead of blindly following the recommendations, adjust them to your dog’s age, weight, and activity level. If they’re not very active and they need to lose some weight (like me), it’s okay to go a little lower than the serving size.
Myth: Dry Dog Food Lasts for a Really Long Time
Dog parents also love dry dog food because it lasts so long. However, it might not last as long as you think. Dry dog food can go bad after only a few weeks of being opened. The worst part is that it doesn’t smell or look any different once it goes bad. It’s important to note that poultry products go bad faster than other proteins, which could possibly be a reason that a lot of dogs have sensitivities to chicken.
It’s recommended that you use a bag of kibble within 3 to 4 weeks to make sure it doesn’t go bad. If you usually put the food in a storage bin, put the entire bag in the bin instead of just pouring the food into it. This is because the dog food bags are often made to preserve the food better.
Many dog parents have switched to fresh or raw dog food as a healthy alternative to kibble. However, that can be much more expensive and time consuming. So, if you are on a budget, I’d suggest trying a healthy dog food topper with your kibble. I think either of those would be the best options to keep your dog healthy.
Molly and I understand that not all dog parents can afford to stop serving kibble. So, if you continue to feed your dog dry food, please remember to keep these myths in mind. The more you know about the kibble you serve, the healthier you can make it for your dog.
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