Feeding Dogs a Combination of Kibble and Raw Food
Okay, here's another good question. I get this one a lot. Can you feed your dog a combination of kibble and raw food?
The short answer is, yes. That's is. Close the page, move on, go feed your dog. No? More info, please? Okay.
There's this (silly) trend out there by die hard raw feeding enthusiasts that you should never - oh - my - golly - how - could - you - ever - never feed your dog both raw food and kibble at the same time. Some say never in the same meal, some say not in the same day, some say not at all. I'm going to ask that you be objective when being provided this guidance.
Why, you should ask, do they tell you not to combine kibble and raw food? There are a variety of reasons that generally relate to a digestive upset; an inability to properly digest one food or the other because raw food takes less time to digest than does kibble. Some suggest your dog would not be able to extract as many benefits from the raw food because of the digestive interruption of the kibble. By feeding both kibble and raw food you force your dog's body into an upset stomach.
You can go out and eat a 10 veggie salad and then finish that off with a corndog and still reap all of the benefits from the vegetables. So, too, can your dog eat both raw and kibble and digest it appropriately.
The upset stomach results most likely come from new foods without gradual introduction, an allergy to something in the kibble or possibly the raw food, or something in the meal otherwise not sitting well with your dog. If your dog has never been fed anything but kibble than introduce new foods slowly over time and only one at a time. If, like me, you've fed your dogs a large variety for the majority of their life than shifts in their individual meals are unlikely to cause much upset.
It's important to note that I am referring to a high quality, grain free kibble. If you feed your dog a low quality kibble...expect bad things to happen. If you eat nothing but McDonalds your whole live...expect bad things to happen :D
Here are some grain free kibble brands I have reviewed the ingredients on and found them to be acceptable:
Dehydrated veggie and meat blends with many recipes and choices. www.honestkitchen.com
TASTE OF THE WILD
Kibble, grain free with reasonable ingredients. www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com
High Prairie Canine Formula with Roasted Bison & Venison, Pacific Stream Canine Formula with Smoked Salmon, Wetlands Canine Formula with Roasted Wild Fowl, High Prairie Dry Dog Food for Puppy, Etc
Kibble, meat based diets, grain free or limited ingredient options. www.acana.com
Acana Wild Prairie Dog Food, Acana Chicken & Burbank Potato, Acana Pacifica Dry Dog Food, Acana Grasslands Dry Dog Food, Acana Wild Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Etc.
Kibble, same as Acana (above). Emphasizing locally sourced, whole meat ingredients, limited additives. www.orijen.ca
Orijen Adult Dry Dog Food, Orijen Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food, Orijen 6-Fish Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, Etc.
NATURE'S DOMAIN (COSTCO OR KIRKLAND)
Costco, or Kirkland Signature Brand, also has a grain free dog food line that we've found to be acceptable on ingredients. It's called Nature's Domain and comes in Salmon and Sweet Potato, Turkey and Sweet Potato, and Beef and Sweet Potato. It is, however, produced by Diamond. It is very affordable.
Nature's Domain Grain-Free All Life Stages Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato, Turkey and Sweet Potato, Beef and Sweet Potato, Puppy Formula Chicken and Sweet Pea, Etc.
A note from the author: Raw Feeding is a big topic and everyone disagrees on how to go about it. Talk to your vet who may very well say, "don't you dare, here's some Hill's Science AKA CRAP," (I added that last part for flair) read all of the articles you can find, and study all of the books you can get your hands on. Start slow, introduce foods gradually and one at a time. Don't let anyone discourage you. Feed what your dog likes, what he or she will eat, and what is available to you. Additives should be fed in moderation. But remember, variety is key to obtaining all their necessary vitamins and minerals. There isn't a lot of profit in studying raw diets for dogs so very little is known with absolute certainty.