9 Reasons why Kibble is Bad for Dogs

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Why Kibble is Bad for Dogs? Here are 9 reasons why you should stay away from kibble (of course there is high-quality kibble, we are talking about low-quality kibble).

Kibble is the most used dog food for dog owners. It goes way back to the 1860s when The brainchild of James Spratt, an electrician, and salesman from Cincinnati, crumbled, baked, and transformed a biscuit into a tasty treat for dogs.

 Today, more than 90% of animal caretakers feed their carnivore companions a dry kibble diet consisting of at least 60% carbohydrate, very little moisture, and minimal, low-quality protein, as mentioned in dogsnaturallymagazine.

What is Kibble?

As we stated before, Kibble is the everyday name of “Processed Dog Food” or “Dry Dog Food”. The Processed dog food is usually a mixture of meat, grain, minerals, maybe some vegetables; it’s all processed into what’s called ” Extrusion“, after that, the mixture goes through what is called “dry backing“. Finally, the food gets bagged for sale.

According to fedingmydogbreed.com;

“pet food manufacturers pulverize ingredients like meats, grains, vegetables, binders, oils and other items to blend a specific brand of kibble. Using an extruder, think of a gigantic sausage maker, this multi-ingredient mixture is squeezed into bite size pieces and baked dry.”

The dry dog food is shaped into small pieces so puppies would be able to swallow it without a threat of choking. On the other hand, it’s not necessarily the healthiest option for your pet though.

All kibble regardless of its brand, recipe or targeted dog brand, must be compatible with the regulations of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). All kibble brands are required to be nutritionally balanced.

This means that these ingredients include protein sources like beef, and eggs, as well as grains, cereals, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These ingredients are mixed together and pulverized in order to make a consistent dough that can be cooked.

The basic difference between canned and dry pet foods is the amount of moisture. Canned food contains between 70 and 80% moisture since these are generally made from fresh meat products, while dry pet food contains no more than 10%.

Additional ingredients used for dry foods include corn gluten feed, meat and bone meal, animal fats, and oils. For a meat-like texture,

1. Common Ingredients & Process of kibble Making

Each kibble brand uses its own components, however, there are some basic components that are included in most kibbles available in markets. According to madehow.com, The primary ingredients in pet food are byproducts of meat, poultry, and seafood, feed grains, and soybean meal.

The animal parts used for pet food may include damaged carcass parts, bones, cheek meat, and organs such as intestines, kidneys, liver, lungs, udders, spleen, and stomach tissue.

Cereal grains, such as soybean meal, cornmeal, cracked wheat, and barley, are often used to improve the consistency of the product as well as to reduce the cost of raw materials. Liquid ingredients may include water, meat broth, or blood. Salt, preservatives, stabilizers

Among the animals used in rendering are livestock, horses, and house pets which have been put to sleep. The slaughtered pets are generally listed as meat or bone meal in the ingredient lists, or Animal Digest in other ingredient lists.

According to booboosbest, Kibble is made by putting different ingredients (not necessarily nutritional ones) in a mixer until a doughy sludge is formed. This dough is then cooked using extremely high pressure and high temperatures (this is called pulverizing).

The resulting product is then forced through an extruder, cut into whatever its final shape is going to be, then run through a dryer to take out any additional moisture, after which it is sprayed with vitamins, minerals, fats, and oils.

Unfortunately, what is used in making pet food is not always what is there at the end of the process!
After pulverizing the dough that basically forms the kibble, the high temperature and pressure leave almost no nutritional value in the food.

Cooking the Dog Food Takes Away its Nutritional Value

Check out KARL SCHNELL for more info about the process in the video.

According to Dr. Bruce Syme, founder of vetsallnatural, the process of cooking dog food damages it. The pulverization takes away the benefits of kibble and can actually cause your dog harm! Dr. Bruce states that:

  • Cooking denatures the protein. By changing its molecular structure. Sometimes this change is so small that the digestive system doesn’t recognize the change and absorbs the denatured protein and these molecules can trigger adverse reactions in the immune system and result in autoimmune diseases like arthritis and renal failure.
  • Cooking destroys vitamins and enzymes. Vitamins, needed for normal growth and metabolism, are proteins, and as such are susceptible to the same denaturing as other proteins. The hotter the cooking temperature, the worse the damage and loss of function of the vitamin or protein. Enzymes within the food, that are capable of digesting and releasing for absorption almost the entire content of the meal, are destroyed by cooking. These enzymes must then be replaced by the animal’s own body stores, at the animal’s own energy expense.


  • Cooking decreases digestibility and bioavailability. By creating changes in protein, a percentage of available nutrients are rendered useless and is not recognized by the intestines to be absorbed as normal food molecules. This means that although an animal may be ingesting foods that are known to contain certain nutritional elements, the animal’s body may not be able to utilize them in the cooked form (decreased bioavailability).

Thus, even if the ingredients list contained high-quality meat and vitamins or some other sources of protein, the process of making kibble actually renders them useless, even with the best dry dog food out the other!

A question most pet caretakers ask is, does dry dog food cause cancer? According to Dr. Bruce, the denatured protein and molecules can trigger adverse reactions in the immune system and result in autoimmune diseases and may lead to cancer eventually, especially if the dog was fed kibble since early life years.

Do All Kibble Manufacturers Mention what’s on the Ingredient List?

Fortunately, industrialized dog food labeling is regulated at two levels, so pet food manufacturers are obliged by law to mention what is used to make this pet food.

The federal regulations, enforced by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), establish standards applicable for all animal feeds: proper identification of the product, net quantity statement, manufacturer’s name, and address, and proper listing of ingredients.

Some states also enforce their own labeling regulations. Many states have adopted the model pet food regulations established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

These regulations are more specific in nature, covering aspects of labeling such as the product name, the guaranteed analysis, the nutritional adequacy statement, feeding directions, and calorie statements. Read more Here 

What to Consider when Buying any Dry Dog Food

what to consider when buying dog food

It can be challenging to read pet food ingredient lists and try to figure out what is included and most dog owners do not read the ingredient list because it sounds complicated, however, they should!

  1. An ingredient list is required to display all ingredients from most to least by weight. The biggest contributors are first and the smallest is last.
  2. Think of ingredients as major and minor.
    – a. Major ingredients will be the first few listed. Most will bear recognizable animal or plant names.
    -b. Minor ingredients are mostly ingredients that supply minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. They may include a few recognizable names but many will be “chemical-sounding.”

Though they are cooked in the process of manufacturing pet food to destroy any harmful bacteria, some ingredients are labeled as raw products.

What Exactly Is Animal Digest?

According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), “Animal digest – A material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.

The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves, and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed.

According to one major dog food manufacturer ”Animal Digest” is made from high-quality protein and fat material derived from animal tissues.

Through an enzymatic process, the large protein pieces in the tissues are reduced to smaller peptides and amino acids. Likewise, the fat particles are broken into smaller lipids and fatty acids.
As the enzymatic reaction progresses, tissues liquefy. This liquid digest is then sprayed evenly on the outside of the dry-food kibbles. This is called “enrobing.”

What are Cheap Dog Food “Fillers”?

Used in low quality, cheap commercial dog foods, fillers are basically put in the dog’s “food” to save the manufacturer money, not to increase nutritional values. Included are products that are not edible and difficult for our pets to digest such as:

  • cereal byproducts,
  • cottonseed hulls,
  • crushed peanut shells,
  • straw,
  • corn and crushed corncobs,
  • weeds, and
  • feathers.

A cheap dog food filled with corn fillers, listed as corn, cornmeal, and corn gluten meal should be avoided as this is used as a substitute for higher-quality animal protein sources.

How do Fillers make kibble bad for dogs?

Fillers that are used are not just tasteless but actually can hurt your pet as they cause digestive problems and horrible allergies. They can cause digestive problems, allergies, and immune-deficient puppies or older pets can cause severe medical problems.

What is a By-Product?

Found in cheap dog food, meat by-products are euphemisms for parts of animals that wouldn’t be considered edible by any smart consumer. Meat by-products actually do not contain meat.

By-products are part of the animals that are left over after the meat has been stripped away from the bone. Thrown into the cheap dog food stew pot then would be items such as heads, feet, entrails, hoofs, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brains, stomach, bones, blood, intestines, and lots of other parts of the carcass not fit for human consumption.

Also, the boiled-down flesh of roadkill, zoo animals, and 4-D (dead, diseased, disabled, dying) livestock is considered okay with these manufacturers. This also can include dogs and cats that have been euthanized.

Avoid dog food with blood meals, which is an inexpensive protein booster. The animal source is usually not stated, and the blood can be contaminated with residues of hormones, or medications.

What is a Non-Specific Meat Source?

If the main protein source is listed as “meat” this is to be avoided, It is always mystery meat such as:

  • spoiled rotten meat from the grocery store (Styrofoam wrap and all),

  •  Roadkill that can’t be buried on the roadside,

  • heads, feet, skin, hair, feathers, carpal, and tarsal joints,  and mammary glands are used from the slaughterhouses.

Animals that have died from diseases, cancerous tissue, and all, – tumors and worm-infested organs are also rendered. Injection sites are rendered, blood clots and all. Stomach and unclean bowels are rendered.

Contaminated material including blood is rendered. Carcasses with high levels of drugs or pesticides in excess of limits prescribed under the FDA (not fit for human consumption) are rendered.

Everything is pitched into large vats and slowly ground, then cooked at low temps till the grease rises to the top. And consider that this is what is listed on the ingredient list as “animal fat”.

The rest of what is remaining is then pressed until the moisture is completely removed, and this dry raw material that is referred to as “meat”, is then used in the cheap dog food brands.

All the above will harm your dog in one way or another, that’s what makes kibble bad for dogs

Why are Artificial Colors, Preservatives, and Flavors Used?

The flavor is added because most pets wouldn’t eat the finished product without some sort of cover-up for the horrible smell. These additional flavors are usually from rancid restaurant grease. This grease sometimes sits in dumpsters, out in the sun for weeks. This is what the pet food manufacturers buy to add as flavoring, which is sprayed onto the kibble. Also, sugar or corn syrup is used to cover up the bad taste of the inferior kibble.

Different dyes are used to make the food look good to us, the pet owner. Dyes are known carcinogenic causing additives, and I’m quite certain my pet, or yours, does not care what color their food is.

Artificial preservatives are used to extend the shelf life of dog food. The main ones to avoid are

  • BHA (butylated hydroxytoluene),

  • propyl gallate,

  • propylene glycol (also used in automotive antifreeze, and is suspected of causing red blood cell damage)

  • and ethoxyquin.

These are all potential cancer-causing agents that your pets are eating every day, and that is how kibble is bad for dogs

This all sounds pretty grim, but rest assured there are many extremely excellent, ultra-premium organic dog foods now being manufactured without any of the above crap in them.

These highly reputable and conscientious companies have philosophies aimed at providing you and your pet the best of the best when it comes to nutrition and peace of mind. Check some of our Top Dog food brands according to consumer ratings, and our special best diabetic dog food & best puppy food brands for 2017

A lot of pet owners are also now making their own all-natural dog food at home, and this is always better than the junk the commercial pet food manufacturers are feeding our pets.

It is easy, and comparable in price to buying the premium organic dog food brands, as long as you use a proper nutritionally balanced dog food recipe.

Whatever you choose for your pet, remember we speak for themPsychology Articles, and choose the best for them that you are able to give, preferably Raw. If you are thinking about switching to raw, check our Ultimate guide to raw feeding post, it will be very helpful.

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