Can You Combine Raw and Kibble in Your Pet's Diet?
Whether you’re just starting your pup on a raw food diet or have been doing it for ages, you may be curious about adding kibble to the mix. Adding dry foods alongside your pet’s raw meals can be a convenient, cost-effective way to feed your furry family member. But, is it safe?
There’s a lot of misinformation about providing your pet with a raw food and kibble diet. Read on to learn more about why and how you should mix raw food with kibble and other highly processed dog food to create a balanced diet for your pet.
Myths About Mixing Kibble and Raw Food Diet
Your pet’s diet is the foundation for his or her health. That’s why there’s tons of information online about the best raw food and kibble diets. And while some of those resources are helpful, there’s also a lot of misinformation about how to combine these diets.
Here are some common myths about mixing kibble and raw food that have been debunked.
Raw and Kibble Dog Food Are Too Different to Digest Together
It’s undeniable that raw food and kibble are different. The former is packed full of fat, protein, and moisture, and is low in carbohydrates, while the latter is low in moisture and contains highly variable levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Many people believe these distinctions cause the foods to digest at different rates. And, more specifically, that processed kibble increases the pH of the stomach, making it more difficult to digest raw meat.
However, this is not the case. Your pet’s GI tract does not make the distinction between "kibble" or "raw" once the food has been chewed, mixed, and reached the stomach. The GI tract just sees water, protein, fatty acids, and carbohydrates, and secretes acids, hormones, or alkaline substances based on the amount of each. The digestive enzymes can easily break down and gain essential nutrients from these macronutrients regardless of where they came from.
Mixing Raw Food and Kibble Can Cause an Upset Stomach
Some people also believe that mixing raw food with kibble can cause their pet to have an upset stomach. However, it’s not the food that can cause an upset stomach but any sudden changes in the protein, fat, and carbohydrates in the diet.
A sudden switch from kibble to raw dog food or vice versa can be a shock to the system. That’s why dog owners can gradually make the switch from kibble to raw or mix both to help their dog’s stomach bacteria adapt.
MYTH # 3:
Mixing Food Can Cause “Bad” Bacteria to Grow In the Gut
Bacteria naturally exist in your pet’s gut. And the amount and types of bacteria can change and eventually stabilize according to the type of food your dog eats. Of course, kibble and raw feeding provide your pet with different types of nutrients that can affect bacterial growth.
Again, while sudden changes may cause an upset stomach, mixing raw and kibble is nothing your pet can’t handle. Your dog’s stomach has hydrochloric acid in large concentrations, so their digestive systems are ready to process rough foods.
How to Mix Raw and Kibble Dog Food
There’s no right or wrong way to mix raw dog food and kibble. Even adding 25% raw to your dog’s diet can have overall health benefits. If you’re looking for a more affordable way to add raw pet food to your dog’s diet or have multiple pets, here are some ways you can mix raw food and kibble:
Use raw food as a topper for kibble. The mix of human-grade muscle meat, organ meat, and bone can make mealtime more appealing and nutritious for your pup.
If you want to incorporate more raw food into your dog’s diet, use it as a base for your kibble. You can top raw dog food with dry foods your pet is used to or get creative with toppings that are delicious and nutritious.
Switching between kibble and raw food during the day can help your raw food supply last longer. Consider feeding your dog a smaller amount of kibble in the morning and their raw meal in the afternoon or evening. Alternatively, you can also feed your dog raw food a couple of times a week - though this can make it a longer process for your dog’s gut to adapt to the new foods.
No matter how you incorporate raw foods into your dog’s diet, it can help improve their digestion, reduce allergies, boost immunity, and more!
Ready to create a custom meal plan that fits your pet's needs? Get started with We Feed Raw.
Is Mixing Raw and Kibble Safe for My Dog?
Yes, mixing raw and kibble is safe for your dog. Although there are some common myths surrounding this practice, it's essential to debunk them. Dogs are well-equipped to handle both types of food simultaneously, as their digestive system does not differentiate between kibble or raw food. The key is to ensure a gradual introduction of raw food into your pet's diet to avoid any digestive issues.
What Are the Benefits of a Raw and Kibble Diet for Dogs?
Combining raw and kibble in your dog's diet can provide numerous benefits, including improved digestion, reduced allergies, and a boosted immune system. Adding raw food to the mix can enhance the overall nutritional value of your pet's meal and offer variety to their eating experience.
How Can I Start Feeding Raw and Kibble to My Dog?
To start feeding your dog a mix of raw and kibble, introduce raw food gradually to their diet. You can use raw food as a topper for kibble, use it as a base and top it with dry foods, or switch between kibble and raw food during the day. Adjust the ratio according to your dog's preferences and needs.
Does Mixing Kibble and Raw Food Cause Digestive Problems?
Mixing kibble and raw food will not cause digestive problems as long as the transition is done gradually. Sudden changes in protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels can cause gastrointestinal issues. To avoid this, slowly introduce raw food into your dog's diet, allowing their gut bacteria to adapt.
Can You Mix Raw Food With Kibble for Multiple Pets?
Yes, you can mix raw food with kibble for multiple pets. This approach can be more cost-effective and convenient, especially if you have several dogs with varying dietary requirements. Monitor your pets' preferences and adjust the ratio of raw food and kibble accordingly.
What Can I Expect From a Raw Food and Kibble Diet for Dogs?
When you incorporate raw food into your dog's kibble diet, you can expect to see improvements in digestion, reduced allergies, boosted immunity, and an overall enhancement in their health. It is important to ensure a balanced diet, so adjust the ratio of raw food to kibble according to your dog's specific needs.
Can You Mix Kibble and Raw Food for All Dog Breeds?
Yes, you can mix kibble and raw food for all dog breeds. However, it is essential to consider your dog's specific dietary requirements and adjust the ratio of raw food to kibble accordingly. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any significant changes to your dog's diet.
Are There Any Risks in Adding Raw Food to Kibble?
While there are some myths surrounding the risks of mixing raw food and kibble, it has been proven that dogs can handle both types of food simultaneously. The key is to ensure a gradual introduction of raw food to your dog's diet and adjust the ratio according to their needs and preferences. Always consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns or questions about your dog's diet.
Can You Mix Raw Food With Kibble for a Dog's Diet?
Yes, you can mix raw food with kibble for your dog's diet. Mixing raw and kibble can be a convenient and cost-effective way to feed your pet while still providing them with the nutritional benefits of a raw diet. Just make sure to introduce raw food gradually to avoid upsetting your dog's stomach.
What Are Some Myths About Mixing Raw and Kibble Diet for Dogs?
Some myths about mixing raw and kibble diets include that they are too different to digest together, that mixing them can cause an upset stomach, and that mixing them can cause bad bacteria to grow in the gut. However, these myths are not supported by scientific evidence, and mixing raw and kibble can provide a balanced diet for your pet.
What Are the Benefits of Feeding Raw and Kibble to Dogs?
Feeding raw and kibble to dogs can improve their digestion, reduce allergies, boost immunity, and provide a balance of essential nutrients for overall health. Mixing raw and kibble can also make mealtime more appealing and nutritious for your pup.
How Can I Mix Kibble and Raw Food for My Dog?
There is no right or wrong way to mix kibble and raw food for your dog. You can use raw food as a topper for kibble, use it as a base for your kibble, or switch between kibble and raw food during the day or week. Even adding 25% raw to your dog's diet can have overall health benefits.
Is it Safe to Add Raw Food to Kibble for My Dog's Diet?
Yes, it is safe to add raw food to kibble for your dog's diet, as long as you introduce the raw food gradually to give your dog's stomach bacteria time to adapt. Mixing raw and kibble is nothing your pet can't handle, as their digestive systems are capable of processing a variety of food types.