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golden retriever eating raw food diet

As a pet owner, you’re probably well aware that kibble and dry food make up a large portion of our furry best friends’ diets. They come in all shapes, sizes, and flavours, each boasting its own unique benefits. But when it comes to mealtime, do you ever wonder what you’re really pouring into your dog’s dish? How do they get each pellet of kibble exactly the same size and shape? These kinds of thoughts end up sparking the great debate of raw vs kibble.

If you find yourself questioning their food or wondering things like “is raw dog food better than kibble”, maybe it’s time to start considering a switch. Let’s get into the differences between raw dog food vs kibble.

The dry truth behind kibble

Kibble is the most popular form of pet food, as it’s relatively inexpensive, convenient (you can get it pretty much anywhere), and has a long shelf life compared to other dog foods. In addition to these easy breezy factors, it’s also simple for companies to mass manufacture and ship around the world.

But how is it made? According to Django, dry dog food is made through food extrusion. What’s food extrusion, you ask? Well, it’s a process where a large mixture of ingredients is heated at volcanic temperatures, forced through plates to form specific shapes, and cut into bite-sized kibbles by sharp blades.

The mixture that goes through food extrusion is a coarse flour-like substance made up of a variety of different ingredients, like chicken or another animal protein, potatoes, peas, or other veggies, grains, starches, fats, and oils – the list goes on and on.

After it has been heated and shaped accordingly, the leftover kibble bits are drained of their moisture to ensure the final product can maximize its shelf life without going stale. As for the natural flavour, most of it is lost during the extrusion process, so animal fats are sprayed on the kibble to add a scrumptious smell back to the bag.

Throughout the extrusion process, the high temperatures also reduce the nutritional value of many ingredients found in kibble, including the protein content of animal meat. 

The raw facts about raw food

When comparing raw dog food vs kibble, there’s really no doubt that the raw dog food benefits far outweigh those of kibble. The AKC says that feeding a raw diet provides a long list of health benefits that include cleaner teeth, healthier skin, shinier coats, and a healthier digestive tract, meaning smaller, less smelly stools. On top of the benefits, the high meat content found in our raw diets helps to satisfy even the fussiest palettes with delicious tastes. This is because most pets readily take to a diet that is rich in flavour with meats and omegas.

When comparing raw vs kibble, one of the biggest differences is in the ingredient list. Our Bold by Nature raw food diets are also low glycemic, contain limited ingredients and have no unnecessary additives or sugars, meaning they may be a great option for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.  If your dog is experiencing an allergy or sensitivity, our Bold by Nature raw food makes it easy to test out an elimination diet. 

Also when comparing raw dog food vs kibble, the moisture content is a big factor. Some pets don’t frequent their water bowl as often as they should, and as a result, can suffer from a lack of hydration. A raw diet has a high moisture content and will help those pets who need a little more hydration in their life. This diet may also aid in healthy urinary tract support and nutrient absorption by providing increased digestibility. 

When considering the differences between raw dog food vs kibble, it’s good to think about the treats, too! Has your pup been extra good lately? Try treating them to a raw meaty bone! These mouthwatering treats keep them busy for hours and act as a natural toothbrush, helping to prevent plaque buildup and keeping their gums nice and healthy. Regular treats can contain loads of artificial flavours and sugars which end up sticking to their teeth, resulting in plaque and tartar buildup. 

With that said, who comes out on top between raw dog food vs kibble? We certainly think raw food has the upper hand for all the aforementioned reasons, but of course, we can’t claim it is or isn’t better. It is, however, our belief that a natural, limited-ingredient diet is the best option to feed your pet.

Lab with Bold by Nature products

Raw dog food vs kibble cost

Just like when we shop for groceries, the better the quality of food, the more it is going to cost.

The same goes for raw vs kibble. You will likely be paying more for a raw diet, but the benefits your pet will experience are priceless. That’s not to say there aren’t some very expensive/high quality dry pet foods out there, but the level of protein and natural ingredients in a raw diet will never be matched.

How to transition from kibble to raw food?

If your dog is currently on a kibble diet and you’d like to transition to raw food, the best way to do it is by going cold turkey (no kidding). As an easy protein to digest, our Bold by Nature Select Turkey or Mega Turkey are two great ways to start your pup on its raw adventure. If you’re wondering if you can you mix kibble with raw food, the answer is yes! We do recommend offering it at separate meals though to avoid any stomach upset. Many Bold by Nature customers have successfully mixed the two, but if a dog suffers from stomach upset, figuring out which ingredient caused it begins to get complicated. When transitioning to raw, start by combining the turkey with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to allow your dog an easier digestion period.

Although most pets don’t experience digestive upset when transitioning to a raw diet, those that do may need some extra help. You can try using our Bold by Nature+ Pumpkin and Inulin supplement to help with the transition. If you’re wondering “is pumpkin good for dogs”, they actually love the taste and this will help prevent loose stools or upset tummy. If your dog has no previous digestive issues, we recommend fasting for 12-24 hours and switching to an entirely raw diet.

It’s also important to note that since all pets are different, how much raw food to feed your dog will all depend on its weight and size.

A large dog being hand-fed by its owner

Where can I get Bold by Nature products?

Are you thinking of starting your dog on its raw food adventure? If you’ve found your answer after considering raw dog food vs kibble, you can purchase Bold By Nature products, like beef bones for dogs or raw dog food, online or at your local retailer. If you’re unsure of which stores carry Bold by Nature products, you can use our location finder to explore retailers near you.