For decades, many people — probably more than not — have been feeding their pets kibble alone. And why wouldn't we? We're constantly bombarded with commercials touting kibble's virtues and telling us how healthy and nutritious it is and that vets recommended it and how it's all your dog needs and so on and so forth. Heck, for a long time even real vets — not just ones played on TV — told us the same thing. In recent years, though, that attitude has started to shift. So, is feeding kibble alone really healthy for your pets?
Kibble Pet Food Diets
As it turns out, kibble may not be all that it's been cracked up to be. For starters, because it is baked at very high heat much of the nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, are cooked out. You can liken it to when we overcook our veggies. The result is diminished healthiness. Add to that the fact that because most dry foods come in a bag they are full of synthetic preservatives and often chock full of artificial flavors and coloring, the latter of which can only be for our benefit, not theirs. Another drawback to bagged food is the fact that it usually goes stale long before the last serving.
Kibble & Dental Health
Another myth we've been fed for decades about kibble is the notion that kibble is better for dogs and cats due to the idea that it scrapes their teeth while they're eating it, in essence cleaning them. While this theory has always sounded reasonable to me, apparently it's only partially true. Yes, crunchy kibble can help remove some of the plaque near the upper portion of your pets' teeth but it has been found to be much more ineffective than previously thought around their gumline. For more information on that check out DogFoodAdvisor.com.
Kibble vs. Canned Food
So, if kibble isn't the be all and end all of pet food, what about canned food? There are many advantages and/or solid arguments for feeding wet food. To begin with, pet foods from a can or sealed tub usually don't have the preservatives that bagged foods do. They are also usually higher in actual meat proteins and natural fats yet lower in carbs and often calories (in many cases). Also, because wet food is closer to it natural state, it provides the added benefit of — just as the name says — wet in your pets' diets. This added water is important.
Feeding Your Pets a Healthy Diet
One of the biggest advantages to kibble is cost and convenience. That's understandable. You don't have to refrigerate it and you can leave it out longer. But if you really want to provide a well-balanced meal then consider providing your pets with a little bit of both. That's right. Depending on the size of your pet, try adding anywhere between a heaping teaspoon and a heaping tablespoon of wet food to their bowl each day. Not only will it pick up the slack in nutrients where kibble leaves off, but adding wet food will add a little flavorful variety for your pets to look forward to.
Wet foods now come in complete balanced meals and mixtures that are meant to compliment. In this way you're sure to provide your pets with a healthy, well-balanced diet that has the potential to add years to your fur baby and increases the possibility of higher quality of life. Isn't that what we all want?