Last year I talked about the Raw Truth, addressing some of the concerns people express over feeding their pets raw foods. More recently, I discussed how to buy a better kibble. I got quite a few responses from that both columns, and a lot of questions about the difference between raw and kibble.
Kibble has been around for over 100 years, but when dogs first started being kept as companion pets, that’s not what they ate. We were nomads, and the dogs got what they could catch, plus our leftovers and anything we didn’t eat from what we caught. Heads, feet, guts. When we settled down to farming, and the dogs came with us, we still had lots of stuff for them to eat whenever we butchered anything for us. But when we moved to the city, we started getting our meats already cleaned. So we had nothing for the dogs to eat other than just table scraps.
Enter biscuits. James Spratt concocted the first dog treat after he witnessed dogs around a shipyard eating scraps of discarded biscuits. Shortly thereafter he introduced his dog food, made up of wheat meals, vegetables and meat. By 1890 production had begun in the United States and became known as "Spratt's Patent Limited", which evolved into the kibbles we know today. We’ll never see the day when kibble isn’t available for people to buy, and as time goes by, people are demanding better and better product from kibble manufacturers.
Raw isn’t for everyone. It isn’t as convenient as scooping some pellets into a bowl. But it isn’t that tough, either, once you get into the routine.
Raw is back to nature. Dogs are meant to eat hydrated raw meat.
Kibble is a necessary evil in the pet industry. We will never escape it. The most important thing we can do as pet owners is try to get information out to the people that allows them to make good decisions. Purina posting videos claiming your dog is not a carnivore is the typical way people get information, and are misled about nutrition. Showing people our wonderful raw fed animals is proof in the pudding as it were. And helping them grasp the logic that the domestic dog shares 99.8% of their DNA with wolves, and that the dogs molars are for crunching bones, not grinding corn, we will set them free to make the best choice for their pets. If nothing else, getting them off giant corporation grain/byproduct based kibble onto grain free, mostly meat kibble made by smaller, family owned and operated manufacturers. And those that can feed raw, they will get the benefit of our experience.