Enhance Your Dog’s Kibble with 3 Ingredients
Boring ole Meat Cereal. Look at it.
Not something I’d want to eat day in and day out. Fortunately, our dogs are less discerning. Even if they’ll eat it, there are problems inherent with the format. Technically yes, its ‘nutritionally’ complete. In a sprayed on synthetic vitamin sort of way. As with any highly processed food though, is some value lost in the extrusion and high temperatures required to make kibble? Are our pooches, with their short digestive tracts capable of extracting the full value from such a source?
Doubts aside, kibble is damn convenient. Scoop, Scoop, Done. We are used to it. The dogs are used to it. Homemade food is a heck of a lot more effort. There’s still a bag or two of kibble in my pantry. There probably always will be.
So how’s about a happy medium?
Enter the contents of yesterday’s Kibble Enhancement Pack. If you’ve read my dog food manifesto, you know that for all it’s flaws, there are ways to enhance kibble. To compensate for what it lacks, thereby improving your dogs overall absorption, and getting more bang for your dog food dollar.
The formula is easy.
High quality kibble + raw + essential fatty acids + enzymes = a vastly improved diet.
A little more on the components individually…
Raw. It’s gross. It’s often cost prohibitive. The health benefits can not be ignored. Amino acids! Live enzymes! All those whole food elements perhaps missing in kibble? Raw’s got ‘em. Improved weight management. Dental health. Even the alleviation of allergies. And it’s not all or nothing. Some raw is better than none. Add it to kibble, or substitute a meal now and again. Even if you’re not a fan of raw meat, there are options. Freeze dried options (like those from Primal) can be used as treats, crumbled over the top of kibble, and even rehydrated with a little water to make an appealing gravy. So add some raw meat or freeze dried or even raw veggies. Focus on the raw and get some of that goodness in there.
Essential Fatty Acids. You know how when you open a sack of dog food the inside of the bag is a little greasy? Those are your fatty acids. Sprayed on the kibble as its cooling fresh from the extruder, breaking down during transport, evaporating once you open the bag. Not that there were necessarily enough of them to begin with. Salmon oil, Anchovy Oil, Cod Liver Oil, even Flax. There’s an argument that meat based EFAs are best, but no matter the base their inclusion goes beyond skin and coat health. Although that alone is reason enough for me. Less shedding? Anytime. Cognitive function. Joint inflammation. Cancer suppression. Sound arguments for adding a squirt or two to each meal. What’s comes on kibble just don’t cut it.
Digestive Enzymes. Our dogs are at a disadvantage. Short intestines, not designed for our modern starch based diets. That’s bad enough. Then, we provide no live foods to replenish their over-taxed gut flora. Help them out. Give them a fighting chance to get as much value as possible from their commercial food. We can do this with yogurt, cottage cheese, even goat’s milk. Or it can be even easier. Optagest is my go-to product. A plant based prebiotic, sweet to the taste, not temperature sensitive. Prebiotics activate the existing probiotics already present in your dogs digestive tract, to encourage growth of good bacteria and provide overall balance. A powder is easy sprinkle in their bowl, easy to keep on hand, and doesn’t spoil in the fridge. Oh so handy to have for dogs (or cats!) not used to diet changes. I’ve found that after an initial introduction period, it need not to be given daily. A couple times a week or in moment of ‘unfortunate crisis’ will do.
In whatever form you choose, these three items should be some part of any dog’s diet. However, I’m only scratching the surface. These may be important, but the opportunities for improving upon kibble are limitless; raw meaty bones, kelp, pumpkin, mushrooms, along with most (but not all) of the items found in your fridge. For better or worse, kibble is here to stay. Embrace it’s flaws as well as it’s convenience. The beauty is, with kibble as the complete and balanced base, you can’t muck things up too badly. Alone is it enough to do our pet’s justice? Maybe not. Lucky for us, supplementing is easy and your dog will love you for it!
Ready to get started? Enter the drawing for the ‘Kibble Enhancement Pack’ I’m giving away later this week! An opportunity to try all of the above for free.
What, if anything, do you add to your dog’s dinner? What do you think of supplementing?