Kibble and Raw Bowl
Nutrition
Nutrition

Can You Mix Raw Food with Kibble? Yes!

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 to create a balanced diet for your pet.

Kibble and raw dog food

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 these 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.

MYTH #1:

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 low in carbohydrates while the latter is low in moisture and contains highly variable levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate.

Many people believe these distinctions cause the foods to digest at different rates. And, more specifically, that 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 reaches the stomach. The GI tract just sees water, protein, fatty acids, and carbohydrates, and secretes acid, 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.

MYTH #2:

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 carbohydrate 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 grows in your pet’s gut. And it 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.

Kibble in dog bowl surrounded by raw foods

How to Mix Raw and Kibble Dog Food

There’s no right or wrong way to mix amounts of raw 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 meal time 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 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!

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