10 Best Ways to Make Dry Kibble Better
Almost all retailers that sell pet food carry at least one or even hundreds of brands of dry kibble pet foods. Simply stated, there is just no easier way to feed your pet, with all of these key features and benefits to the consumer:
- Low moisture content and stability for a long period of time at room temperature
- Ease of feeding
- Vitamin and mineral fortification
- Complete and balanced claims
- Meat as the first ingredient (some)
- Grain free formulation (some)
Dry kibble pet foods are relatively new to the scene, going back to their introduction about 80 years ago. With all of these features above, the key thing to remember is that dry kibble is essentially processed food. It requires cooking and processing of raw materials, including meats, fats, and carbohydrate sources together to make the finished product. Heat processing allows for moisture to cook out and for the starches to bind the pet food together. Heat also, however, serves to change the nature of proteins and fats in the food, making them less bio available in the diet. Many pet foods utilize a high level of these starches (50-60%) in their formulation.
It is important to realize that although claiming to be “complete and balanced” foods, feeding a dry, kibbled pet food is a compromise in many ways. Our dogs and cats need meat centered nutrition, as evidenced by their physical traits and natural, ancestral diet before commercially prepared, heat processed foods were available.
At PVPE, we feel it is very important to complement feeding a dry kibble to your dog or cat with a variety of other value-added food options. Here is our list of the 10 best items to enhance the feeding of dry dog and cat foods.
Raw, or Freeze Dried Raw Foods: Raw food offers perhaps the best addition to a processed food for many reasons. Heat processing is not used in producing a raw prepared diet, or a freeze dried raw diet. Therefore, the proteins, fats, antioxidants, enzymes and sensitive vitamins are not destroyed in the finished product. These are very easily prepared with a minimum of effort, and your pet will find them irresistible!
Canned, Wet Foods: Although canned food is cooked (heat processed), it is inherently low in starch and is rich in moisture (up to 80%). Meat is the most predominant ingredient in canned food, where it is usually second to carbs in a dry food. The added water is also very beneficial, especially to cats.
Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics: Using a supplement that provides a full spectrum of enzymes and probiotics will improve your pet’s digestion and overall gut health. It will also play a role in strengthening the immune system.
Canned or Raw Green Tripe: Green tripe is the stomach lining of a grass fed animal, such as a cow, sheep, buffalo, or pig. The beneficial properties of tripe are too extensive to list here. We do have handouts to explain these upon request at the store. It supports healthy digestion and immune system health, with an abundance of rich nutrients.
Fermented Fish Stock: Fermentation allows for the multiplication of active enzymes, which improves digestion greatly. Also adds needed moisture.
Raw Cow Milk Kefir: Again, kefir contains an abundance of enzymes to aid in digestion. Also adds moisture.
Raw Goats Milk: Goats milk improves digestion, immune system health, detoxification of the liver and kidneys, and adds moisture.
Raw Sprouted Organic Seed Supplements: These are rich in many nutrients which are sourced without synthetic vitamins or minerals, making absorption much easier to the pet.
Mushroom Blended Supplements: Again, these are organically sourced, non-synthetic and incredibly rich in nutrients and health benefits.
Water: That’s right, maybe the biggest missing element in a dry pet food is an adequate moisture content! Your pets will greatly benefit by the addition of clean fresh water to its diet. This can be added directly to the bowl before feeding. Remember, claims about dry pet foods being better for the teeth are mainly a fallacy. Feeding wet food does not increase the build-up of tartar on your pet’s teeth.
Here’s to a “Healthy Bowl” for your furry family members!