Can I feed kibble and raw dog food together?

Can I feed kibble and raw dog food together?

This is a question that we are increasingly being asked.  Those on limited budgets wanting to continue to add fresh to the bowl but sometimes are unable to feed 100% raw due to having multiple large dogs or feeling the pinch in the current cost of living situation.

The question of kibble vs raw also proves quite a controversial one, with firmly held beliefs on both sides.

It doesn’t take long searching on Google, to find that there are many forums, blogs, and magazine articles that continually advise owners not combine the two together.

Let’s look at why this is.

The argument against feeding kibble and raw at the same time is based upon the belief that kibble and raw have different PH levels, and thus differing digestion rates in the gut. The perceived dangers are the risk of bone particles and pathogens passing into the intestines due to a raised PH level (lowered acid level). The kibble lowers the gut acid so it cannot get to work properly on the bones and pathogens.

To date, we have found no scientific articles in support of this claim, but it continues to be a widely held opinion. We also note that Dr Karen Becker in ‘The Forever Dog’ and Dr Connor Brady in ‘Feeding Dogs’ also cite no scientific evidence for this claim either. Interestingly, both authors disagree with the claim too!.

Many dogs have been fed a mixture of kibbles and raw (or scraps) with no negative impact or long term health issues documented. We as humans also regularly mix raw, cooked, high carb and high protein foods together and our gut is no where near the powerhouse of a dog’s gut. So common sense indicates that there really shouldn’t be a problem.

So should we feed kibble and raw together?

As ever, we believe it depends on your dog! If you have a happy, healthy dog with no health issues then there is no current scientific reason why you cannot combine some raw and kibble in your dog’s dinner.

However, we would suggest it may be best for you to stick to bone free or pre-minced meats when adding to the bowl. Hold off from feeding large whole bones at the same time as kibble or biscuit. These are probably best fed at a different meal time. This way, if there is any slowing of the digestion process, the large bone shards from a whole bone will not be passed through into the gut undigested.

If you have a dog that suffers from any kind of digestive issue or sensitivity, then keeping biscuits and raw to separate meal times may well help keep the gut healthy. As ever, keep an eye on the poop to see how the gut is faring.

We will endeavour to keep this article up to date as and when any further evidence on this comes to light.

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