Kibble vs. Fresh Whole Food
Posted by Kelly Kreider on
Growing up, my dogs were part time vacuum cleaners, sucking up any of my food that hit the floor. My parents and I knew this wasn't good for them because vets and society would tell us "human food is bad for pets!"
But what is "human food"? Chicken, Carrots, I mean isn't it all just...food? We don't call deer "wolf food", we don't call rats "snake food", it's all just food. Everything is food for something else. So why can't "human food" be pet food?
When we think of pet food we think highly processed and extruded cooked brown balls. It was designed specifically for them, even specific breeds have their own formulated diet, so it has to be what is best for them, right? Well it may have been designed for them but it wasn't invented for them. It was invented for US. It was invented to make our lives easier and to make having a pet more convenient for the upper class who didn't need them just for the purpose of keeping pests away. Cats were even mostly kept around to feed on pesky mice!
Canned food became popular first, but during the war, we needed the tin so companies had to come up with something else. Enter Kibble as we know it. Dry food (Kibble) was only invented about 60 years ago. So basically Kibble is a middle aged man going through a midlife crisis. We can do better.
Recently it has become overwhelming to think of the number of animals suffering from disease. It is spreading faster than ever before.
1 in 2 dogs will get cancer.
1 in 3 cats will get kidney disease.
It wasn't always like this. Since kibble was invented barely 60 years ago and Dogs and Cats have been around for about 14,000 years, what did they eat before? "Human" food!
They survived off table scraps and rodents! Feeding raw isn't new, kibble is. Once highly processed and extruded kibble was popularized as the only way to properly feed your pet did health issues start to rise dramatically.
- Periodontal disease
- Kidney & Liver disease
- Immune system failure
All of these diseases can be better prevented with a fresh food or raw diet. Dogs and cats are designed to absorb their moisture through food, not a separate water source, since in the wild that was not always available. The moisture content of most dry foods is barely 10%. Most fresh and raw food is 70%. This goes a long way in preventing Kidney & Liver disease because those organs do not need to work as hard to digest it.
In order to create a shelf stable product, you need to add a lot of starch in order for it to hold its shape. Unfortunately for our pets, this is also difficult on their system. The average carb rate of dry food is 30-50%. Carbs, or starch, turns to sugar in their bodies which of course leads to weight gain, pancreatitis, diabetes, cancer, etc.
That is why feeding a food low in carbs is essential for our pets to live long and healthy lives.
We have learned a lot since the 50s including the healthiest and most efficient way to feed your pets! No more table scraps, no more heavily processed little brown balls!
Transitioning your pet to a fresh food diet can be daunting at first, trust me I've been there. One of the biggest obstacles for me was the cost. I was spending more on fresh food than I ever had on any kibble. And not everyone can do that. But as dogs grow old, they are often put on "Prescription" diets or "Veterinary" diets to deal with certain issues like Kidney disease or allergies. So how much does it really cost?
For a 20lb senior dog with sensitive skin and allergies, a vet will likely put them on
- Hills Science Diet I/D cans which are about $36/case
- Apoquel (or Atopica/ Cyclosporine) which is about $60/month
For a 20lb dog they would need about 400 calories a day.
Hills Science Diet I/D cans are 376calories/can. At 12 cans/case we're looking at about $95.70/month.
So for Prescription food and medication the monthly total is about $155. (This does not include vet visit fees).
Now let's calculate a commercial fresh food diet.
Again for a 20lb dog needing about 400 calories a day the average monthly cost (calculating a variety of brands and formulas) would be about $93.
So by feeding a fresh food or raw diet you are already saving money. And you can't put a price on the happiness and longevity of your pet!
You can spend hundreds of dollars per month at the vet monitoring their levels, buying "prescription" food, putting them through tests and labs, or you could spend a little extra on a fresh whole raw food diet.
Fresh whole food is what every creature is designed to eat so why are we depriving our best friends from the best food?