View Full Version : Dry Kibble question...

1st September 2007, 05:26 PM
Ok, at the AKC show last weekend, I was talking to a raw food rep at one of the booths. He was telling me all about the benefits of raw vs. dry. I asked him about the "grain-free" foods such as Orijen, Innova Evo, etc... He basically said that premium kibble isnt much better than the grocery store kind and that they cook it so much that all of the good things are cooked away. He said that they spray protein back on the kibble after its cooked.

According to him, he said that basically the dog food business is self-regulated in the States and that they can be very deceiving when listing ingredients. He said that they can basically add in wood shavings that have been used on a farm, etc, and since they have urine on them they can be called "protein" because of the urea (sp?) and "fiber" because of the wood.

I am thinking of doing raw, but I have been so vigilant about monitoring ingredients on the premium kibble I give my dogs that this came as a real surprise and disappointment.

Can anyone shed some light on this???

1st September 2007, 06:28 PM
Bascially you have to read the list of ingredients on the package. That's what i am doing even for human food because of the regulations in the US. Similar to the labeling of "ORGANIC" doesn't necessarily mean organic. Just means the state regulators allow the industries to fool the consumer into believing what it really is not. Not all producers are out to hoodwink us, but the majority will. I do my homework if you are concerned. I am sure the experts here on the forum will give you better advice also.

1st September 2007, 06:31 PM
Oh forgot to add the Kibble is very bland also I wouldn't be surprised if they are spraying on addictives and adding other ingredients stating the fiber content.

1st September 2007, 06:33 PM
Personnally speaking, I am always wary of what these reps say, look at it this way, most of them work on commission and get more money if they sell more product, so it is in their best interest to make the competition sound bad in order to sell more of their product!

I find his comments on soiled woodshavings horrifying! :yikes: Having worked at one point in my life in a food manufacturing plant, I know the strict Quality Controls in place to ensure that things like this DON'T happen, it is not in the best interest of any food manufacturer, human or otherwise, in my opinion to violate strict hygiene codes! :yikes:

I rather think this was an over enthusuastic sales rep who was having a slow day, I also am a strong believer in word of mouth too, many folks I know and respect have over the years tried various feeds, both wet and dry and an awful lot of them feed the same brand as me!

This is ONLY my personnal opinion on this mind you, others may have differing thoughts and opinions!!

2nd September 2007, 03:01 AM
Yep, there are two sides to this coin. Reps tell you what they want you to hear, so I always take what they say with a grain of salt. However, I do believe at least some of what he is saying, because I have heard it from so many sources, and sources that seemingly have nothing to gain from telling an untruth.

Because the pet food manufacturers are self regulated I don't trust any of them. Not dry, wet or processed raw. Early this year I moved my guys from commercial dog food to home prepared and I am so glad I did. I just love the confidence of knowing exactly what they are eating. I feel this way about human processed foods too. Obviously it is not feasible to completely cut out all processed foods from the diet, but as much as possible, I go for fresh, home prepared.

2nd September 2007, 09:14 PM
When the recalls hit in the spring, I started a sort of "crash course" in canine nutrition so we could cook for Jake, and I'm still doing alot of reading on this. We did immediately start with a simple recipe and have expanded it over time. Jake loves the home cooking, no doubt about it, and we enjoy doing it. That said, he also gets 1/2 of each dinner in the form of kibble served over the home cooked. Currently we rotate between two brands.

Just my own uneducated opinion, however, is that we're making this more complex than it needs to be. Jake's litter brother gets one of the brands of kibble Jake is on. Not only is he healthy and carrying a beautiful coat, but he is only 2 points away from finishing his AKC CH title, and this before 2 yrs of age. I know a number of Cavaliers both locally, where I can see them in person and feel the coat and really look at their eyes and general condition, and some scattered thru the USA that are also on this same brand. They are certainly thriving, as are others I know on different premium brand kibbles. The Aussie up the street eats one of Jake's brands of kibble, and he is quite an active dog, running miles almost every day as well as playing with his two "kids" and family cat. This dog is past middle age but you'd never know it.

The recalls are scary, no doubt about it, but I think there really are at least a handful of companies out there doing more than a decent job of producing kibble. Otherwise, I would not be seeing these healthy, active dogs of all ages. It does involve "homework" as well as actually seeing dogs on a regular basis being fed brands that seem to have what you want on the label from companies you feel you can trust. I also want to buy from a specialty store that has a good turnover in the food variety I purchase, so it will be fresh.

Home cooking requires even more "homework." It's fun, and when done correctly it can be extremely rewarding.

BTW, be aware that there are now some people who are reporting problems in premium brands when actually there is no problem. It's a sick thing to do. Don't believe everything you read, even if they claim it is backed w/ a lab report unless that report can be verified. I recently fell for one of those online "this food has (toxic substance name removed) in it. Turned out to be a fake!

Cathy T
2nd September 2007, 09:57 PM
I think this rep was using some harsh scare tactics. I am feeing my two Primal raw and I love it. That said...there is absolutely nothing wrong with a premium kibble. There are so many great choices out there. I wouldn't purchase "Kibbles 'n' Bits" or anything along those lines (what many call grocery store foods) because there are so many better choices. If you want to feed a kibble my strongest piece of advice would be to go a small (not Petco or Petsmart) pet supply store and get some advice. The reason I don'd advocate somewhere like the major retailers is that their staff isn't really schooled in the products they carry.

I do love feeding mine the raw. Their poops are so much better than they've ever been. Mine tend to have "nervous" stomachs (Jake especially) and changes in routine upset their tummies. We just had houseguests with two small children and the pups tummies were great!! Shelby has no more tear stain since I started them on Primal about 3 months ago. And I love the ingredients in their food. Frankly, the dogs eat way more healthy than I do!! :rolleyes:

4th September 2007, 08:58 PM
Miles (5 months) has always been on a raw diet - he's not really sure what to do with kibble the few times I've fed him while traveling! I started off buying Primal raw frozen patties (they use organic meats and veggies), and about 1 month ago I started making my own food for him. It took a lot of research and talking to my breeder, who is a huge raw advocate, and it was kind of hard at first, but now I'm used to it and really enjoy making his food.

He eats a combination of raw pureed veggies, yogurt & flaked barley (for breakfast), a little raw organ meat, raw fish and raw meaty bones (beef, chicken, lamb, etc). It seems like a lot of work at first, but if you can make a big batch of food, separate it into smaller containers and freeze it, and just add the fresh meat and yogurt as you need it, it's not much more work than feeding kibble.

My breeder's dogs are all on this diet, and they are healthy and many of them live to be 15+ years old. For the little bit of extra time it takes, it's definitely worth it to me.

4th September 2007, 09:33 PM
I don't know of any cavalier breeder who could claim to have many of theirs live to be 15 or more. The average lifespan of a cavalier is 10-12. I know of one that is over 18, but that is in the UK.

4th September 2007, 10:27 PM
Whew -- where to even begin? There is regulation of the pet food industry in the US -- this is done on a state by state basis AND by the FDA so the rep is basically LYING. The PROCESSES are not directly regulated however but that is different from INGREDIENTS. Most manufacturers use the definitions on ingredients set out by AAFCO but unless an ingredient has been specifically approved for use by the FDA, it is simply *prohibited* (wood chips are NOT on the list of approved ingredients. :lol:):


AAFCO is also petitioning to have regulations establsihed for food processes as well.

For complete info on pet food content and manufacture and regulation in the US, see this useful Q&A: http://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/Public/Q-AND-A-REGARDING-PETFOODREGS.PDF

This is the most sensible article I have ever read on what to feed a dog.


Keep in mind that the raw food industry is just as 'unregulated' as any other area of pet food production and there are some concerns that raw preparation is --rather than being 'safer' -- far too *underregulated* and is more problematical precisely because there are no processing regulations and few guidelines. Raw meat is totally unregulated for pet food!! (See http://wcco.com/topstories/local_story_151091209.html). Raw has to be handled in very specific ways and can go off, lose nutritional content if not handled correctly, and pose health risks if not stored correctly.

No pet food producer (raw, tinned or dry) can legally add something like wood chips to their food. :rolleyes: If they do, it is considered adulterated, which is illegal.

There was a study that analysed commerial raw diets and a good number of them contained some level of bacteria such as salmonella. There are few guidelines for preparing commercial raw so if anything they are far more of a question mark than the established industries. For any raw, I'd always check out the source, and the distributor -- because the handler of the food is going to have a significant role in how it gets to you. One study showed that some commercial raws showed signs of having been thawed to some degree and refrozen, for example, most likely in the process of transport or storage at the sellers (I will see if I can find the article).

There are many ways to feed a perfectly healthy diet. Dogs live much longer now than 50 years ago and vets say this is largely due to much better nutrition. Most of that nutrition has been provided by commercial dry and tinned foods. Commercial raw now provides another alternative.

People can choose a top grade dry, tinned, homecooked, raw, or blend of these, and provide a good healthy diet.

I'd never trust a rep from a food company of any sort -- they are salespeople and their income depends on people believing their spiel. :thmbsup: Instead I'd take what they say with a grain of salt, & try to read as widely as I can and pick a common sense approach that also suits MY lifestyle. I enjoy making up occasional batches of homecooked dog food, but life is just too short to spend huge amounts of time sourcing and preparing what my dogs eat (others may really enjoy putting in that time; different strokes! :)) I also buy some quality tinned, some occasional raw chicken necks, scraps, fish, fresh or frozen veg and fruit... they get all sorts of things. I am not fussy -- nor are they. :)

28th September 2007, 12:45 PM
Suggest you read Billinghurst's book - Give the dog a bone.

Even if you want to feed raw - you can do it all yourself - and not have to rely on a commercial dog food product. This way I can trust myself on what I put in fromthe RAW ingredients.

My dogs have never looked fitter and been to the vets as little as they do now.:lotsaluv:

Poo is dry and solid - helps the anal glands - easier to clean up - almost falls apart in some cases.
It used to be so smelly and volumous.:shock:

Simon & Shirley
Guinness - Willow - Bailey