The Ultimate Guide to Mixing Kibble and Raw Food: What Every Dog Owner Should Know

The Ultimate Guide to Mixing Kibble and Raw Food What Every Dog Owner Should KnowAs a dog owner, you want nothing but the best for your furry friend. And when it comes to their diet, the debate between kibble and raw food has been ongoing for years. But what if there was a way to have the best of both worlds? Enter the ultimate guide to mixing kibble and raw food. In this comprehensive guide, we will dive deep into the benefits, challenges, and best practices of combining these two feeding methods. From understanding the nutritional needs of your dog to tips on transitioning and finding the right balance, we've got you covered. Whether you're a seasoned raw feeder or just starting to explore this option, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to make an informed decision for your pup's health and happiness.

So, let's em-bark on this journey together and discover the ultimate blend of nutrition for your beloved four-legged companion.


What is kibble and raw food?

Kibble, also known as dry dog food, is a popular choice among dog owners due to its convenience and affordability. It is typically made from a combination of meat, grains, and vegetables, which are cooked and then dried to create small, bite-sized pieces. On the other hand, raw food, also known as a raw diet or BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), consists of uncooked, raw ingredients such as raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables.

While kibble is often seen as a complete and balanced meal for dogs, some argue that the cooking process can reduce the nutritional value of the ingredients. Raw food, on the other hand, is believed to be a more natural and biologically appropriate diet for dogs, as it closely resembles what their ancestors would have eaten in the wild.

Pros and cons of feeding kibble and raw food

Like any feeding method, both kibble and raw food have their pros and cons. Let's take a closer look at each:


- Pros:

- Convenience: Kibble is easy to store, measure, and feed. It doesn't require any special preparation or handling.

- Dental health: The crunchy texture of kibble can help remove plaque and tartar, promoting good oral hygiene.

- Availability: Kibble is widely available in various flavors and formulations to suit different dietary needs and preferences.

- Cons:

- Processing: The high-temperature processing involved in making kibble can result in the loss of some nutrients.

- Fillers and additives: Some lower-quality kibble brands may contain fillers, artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives.

- Allergies and sensitivities: Some dogs may be allergic or sensitive to certain grains or ingredients commonly found in kibble.

Raw Dog Food

- Pros:

- Nutritional value: Raw food is believed to provide a higher level of nutrients, enzymes, and natural vitamins compared to processed kibble.

- Dental health: Chewing on raw bones can help strengthen jaw muscles and clean teeth naturally.

- Allergies and sensitivities: By feeding raw, you have full control over the ingredients, making it easier to avoid potential allergens.

- Cons:

- Handling and preparation: Raw food requires careful handling to avoid contamination and potential health risks for both dogs and humans.

- Imbalance and deficiencies: It can be challenging to ensure a balanced diet when feeding raw, as it requires careful planning and knowledge of canine nutrition. Dogs require more than just meat to have a balance, nutritious meal.

- Cost: High-quality raw ingredients can be more expensive compared to commercial kibble.

The benefits of a mixed diet for dogs

Now that we have explored the pros and cons of both feeding methods, let's delve into the benefits of combining kibble and raw food in your dog's diet. Man's Best Premium dog Food can be mix fed to dogs successfully.  Check out our feed guide to prevent your dog from gaining weight through over-feeding!

In terms of successfully managing to mix feed your dog, we offer a range of all natural and balanced grain free kibble. At Delivery Hound, we know how successful this can be as we mix feed ourselves! We have another blog here about how to mix feed- How to Mix Your Dog's Feed: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Mix Your Dog's Feed: A Step-by-Step Guide

Nutritional balance: By mixing kibble and raw food, you can provide your dogDelivery Hound Dog Food with a balanced diet that contains the benefits of both. Kibble can serve as a reliable source of essential nutrients, while raw food can offer the raw, unprocessed nutrients that are often lost during the cooking process.

Variety and palatability: Mixing kibble and raw food can add variety to your dog's meals, making it more enjoyable for them. The different textures, flavors, and smells can stimulate their appetite and prevent boredom with a monotonous diet.

Digestive health: The combination of kibble and raw food can promote healthy digestion in dogs, especial with a grain free recipe. The fiber content in kibble can aid in regular bowel movements, while raw food can contribute to a healthier gut microbiome due to its natural enzymes and probiotics.

Joint and dental health: Chewing on raw bones can help strengthen your dog's jaw muscles and promote dental health. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids found in raw fish and certain oils can support joint health and reduce inflammation. Check out Man's Best Ocean Fish Recipe here!

Immune system support: The abundance of natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in raw food can boost your dog's immune system, helping them stay healthy and ward off diseases.

How to transition your dog to a mixed diet

Transitioning your dog to a mixed diet of kibble and raw food requires a gradual approach to avoid digestive upset. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Consult with your veterinarian: Before making any changes to your dog's diet, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian. They can provide personalised advice based on your dog's specific needs, health conditions, and any potential risks associated with raw feeding.

2. Start with small portions: Begin by introducing a small amount of raw food alongside your dog's regular kibble. This allows their digestive system to adjust gradually.

3. Monitor your dog's response: Keep a close eye on your dog during the transition period. Look for any signs of digestive upset, such as diarrhea or vomiting. If any issues arise, slow down the transition process or consult with your veterinarian.

4. Increase the ratio of raw food: Over time, gradually increase the ratio of raw food to kibble. Aim to achieve a balanced mix that suits your dog's individual needs.

5. Maintain consistency: Once your dog has fully transitioned to a mixed diet, it's essential to maintain consistency in their feeding routine. Consistency will help prevent digestive issues and maintain their overall well-being.

Finding the right balance of kibble and raw food for your dog

Finding the right balance of kibble and raw food for your dog's diet can be a process of trial and error. Here are some factors to consider:

Age and life stage: Puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs have different nutritional requirements. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate ratio of kibble to raw food based on your dog's age and life stage.

Size and breed: Larger breeds may require a different ratio of kibble to raw food compared to smaller breeds. Additionally, certain breeds may have specific dietary needs or sensitivities that should be taken into account.

Activity level and health condition: Dogs with higher activity levels may require more calories, while dogs with certain health conditions may require specific dietary modifications. Consider your dog's activity level and any underlying health issues when determining the balance of kibble and raw food.

Observing your dog's response: Monitor your dog's overall health, energy levels, coat condition, and stool quality to assess if the current balance of kibble and raw food is suitable. Adjustments may be necessary to ensure optimal health and well-being.

Common myths about mixing kibble and raw food

As with any feeding method, there are several common myths and misconceptions surrounding the mixing of kibble and raw food. Let's debunk some of these myths:

Myth 1: Mixing kibble and raw food can cause digestive issues:

When transitioned correctly, mixing kibble and raw food should not cause digestive issues. Gradually introducing raw food alongside kibble allows the digestive system to adapt and reduces the risk of upset stomachs.

Myth 2: Raw food is dangerous and can lead to bacterial infections:

While raw food does carry a risk of bacterial contamination, proper handling, hygiene, and sourcing of high-quality ingredients can significantly reduce these risks.

Myth 3: Kibble is the only complete and balanced diet for dogs:

While kibble can provide a complete and balanced diet, it is possible to achieve the same nutritional balance with a thoughtfully planned mixed diet of kibble and raw food.

Myth 4: Dogs can't digest raw bones:

Raw bones are safe and digestible for dogs when given in the appropriate size and type. They can provide mental stimulation and dental benefits.

Precautions and safety measures when feeding raw food

Feeding raw food comes with certain precautions and safety measures to ensure the health and well-being of both your dog and your family. Here are some important guidelines to follow:

1. Food safety and handling: Practice good hygiene when handling raw food. Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly after handling raw ingredients to prevent bacterial contamination.

2. Quality sourcing: Choose high-quality ingredients from trusted sources to minimise the risk of bacterial contamination. Look for human-grade, organic, and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

3. Balance and supplementation: Ensure that your dog's diet is nutritionally balanced by including a variety of proteins, fruits, vegetables, and supplements. Consult with your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist to determine the appropriate supplements for your dog's specific needs.

4. Safe chewing: Avoid giving your dog weight-bearing bones or cooked bones, as these can splinter and cause choking or intestinal blockage. Opt for raw, meaty bones that are appropriate for your dog's size and chewing abilities.

Tips for preparing and storing raw food

To ensure the safety and freshness of your dog's raw food, here are some tips for preparation and storage:

1. Preparation: Thaw frozen raw food in the refrigerator or using a cold-water bath to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Avoid thawing at room temperature, as this can promote bacterial growth.

2. Portioning: Divide raw food into appropriate portions based on your dog's size and daily caloric needs. This helps maintain freshness and prevents waste.

3. Storage: Store raw food in airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and maintain freshness. Keep raw food separate from human food to avoid cross-contamination.

4. Meal planning: Plan your dog's meals in advance to ensure a balanced and varied diet. This allows you to incorporate different proteins, fruits, and vegetables over time.

Supplements and additives for a balanced diet

To ensure your dog's diet remains nutritionally balanced when mixing kibble and raw food, certain supplements and additives can be beneficial. Here are some common ones to consider:

1. Omega-3 fatty acids: Fish oil or other omega-3 supplements can support joint health, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy skin and coat.

2. Probiotics and digestive enzymes: These supplements can aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut microbiome.

3. Greens powders: Adding a greens powder can provide additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your dog's diet.

4. Joint supplements: If your dog has joint issues or is prone to developing them, joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin can be beneficial.

Always consult with your veterinarian before adding any supplements or additives to your dog's diet to ensure they are appropriate and safe for your furry friend.

Alternative options for dog owners who cannot feed raw food

While a mixed diet of kibble and raw food can offer numerous benefits, there may be circumstances where feeding raw food is not feasible. Here are alternative options for dog owners who cannot feed raw food:

1. High-quality canned food: If feeding raw food is not possible, opting for high-quality canned food can be a suitable alternative. Look for options that contain real meat as the primary ingredient and minimal fillers or additives.

2. Home-cooked meals: Preparing balanced and nutritionally complete home-cooked meals can be an alternative to raw food. However, it requires careful planning and understanding of canine nutrition to ensure all essential nutrients are included.

3. Freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food: Freeze-dried or dehydrated raw food offers a convenient and safe alternative to fresh raw food. These products retain most of the nutrients and can be rehydrated with water before feeding.

4. Consult with a veterinary nutritionist: If you have specific dietary concerns or limitations, consulting with a veterinary nutritionist can help create a customised diet plan for your dog.

Mixing kibble and raw food can offer a balanced and nutritious diet for your beloved four-legged companion. By combining the benefits of both feeding methods, you can provide your dog with the convenience of kibble and the raw, unprocessed nutrients of raw food. Remember to consult with your veterinarian, follow proper handling and safety measures, and monitor your dog's response during the transition process. With careful planning and consideration of your dog's individual needs, you can create a diet that promotes their health, happiness, and longevity. So, embark on this journey of mixed feeding and discover the ultimate blend of nutrition for your furry friend.




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