Like all living things, dogs must consume the food they were designed to eat to thrive, an aspect best known as species-appropriate nutrition. Many pet parents have been feeding their furry friends only kibble for several years.
If you asked people on the streets what their dogs eat, they would tell you kibble. And why is that the case? Pet owners are bombarded with commercials about how healthy and nutritious kibble is. Even vets recommend the same.
Nevertheless, pet parents are starting to shift focus. They now have reasons to try different types of foods in the market. So, is feeding your dog kibble alone healthy, as the commercials point out?
Here is everything you need to know about kibbles and why you need to boost them for dogs. Read on for more information!
What You Don’t Know About How Kibble is Manufactured
Do you have any idea of how your dog’s kibble is made? I bet you don’t. It’s easy to see kibble as a simple food choice, especially if your dog is only obsessed with it.
It’s nothing compared to what we eat. But it’s okay for our furry friends. Wait, we all know that we can’t taste kibble for reasons best known to us. For example, we don’t know what else is in it. Kibbles are good if you only forget all the logical reasons you think they aren’t.
A bunch of processed ingredients from different sources (may or may not include various parts of animals we are not allowed to consume) go into a hopper where it’s warmed up and gelatinized. Plasticizers or humectants are then added.
After a short while, the contents get heated up and forced out through an extruder. It’s then dried out, cooled down, and packed. It’s as simple as that. So, what could be wrong with the procedure?
With that in mind, let’s revisit the production process step by step and identify any issues that could arise throughout the entire process.
1. Assembling the Ingredients
Rendered proteins are used to get ingredients into a form that can go through the kibble production process.
Meat carcasses, offals, and other contaminants are rendered into a dry prod uct at high heat, usually ranging from 120°C to 175 °C.
At these temperatures, a substantial portion of proteins ends up being denatured. Besides, structural changes in the protein may trigger food allergies in dogs since their immune system may treat the altered protein structure as a foreign invader.
Artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and other additives may most likely damage your dog’s internal organs, more so the liver.
Pre-conditioning step involves adding moisture and heat to the kibble contents before extrusion. It involves adding water, which is usually in liquid form and as steam while mixing or holding the contents. The sole purpose of pre-conditioning is to prepare the raw materials before the next extrusion step.
Primary cooking happens in the extrusion phase. The raw materials are cooked under intense heat and pressure and forced towards the open end of the extruder.
Additional denaturation of proteins takes place during this phase, therefore resulting in the reduction of protein solubility. Vitamin A, E, and B-group vitamins are also destroyed during the process.
Insufficient B-group vitamins would negatively affect your dog’s health, considering they are water-soluble. Your dog’s body cannot store them, so they must be supplemented daily through diet.
The final kibble content (dough) then passes through a shaping die and knife, where the pieces are chopped into uniform sizes.
The baking phase involves drying kibble in an oven to lower its moisture content. Dogs have evolved to consume a water-rich diet, meaning you must provide your dog with adequate water if you are feeding it kibble.
The baked kibble passes through a machine that sprays on a coating. The coating phase is a flavor enhancer. More fats may also be added during this phase. These fats are susceptible to oxidation; therefore, preservatives are added to prevent rancidity from developing.
How Do You Fill the Gaps in Kibble Diet? 4 Methods to Boost the Nutritional Value for Your Pawkid’s Diet with Kibbles
Now that we know what a bag of kibbles gives our dogs, what can you do to improve its nutritional content? If you feed your pup kibble daily, remember that supplementation can help fill in the gaps where this processed food falls short. If you are unsure how or where to start, every kibble-fed dog can benefit from these four supplements.
1. Adding milk
Milk and other dairy products are highly regarded because they are rich in calcium, zinc, protein, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin D, and other nutrients. Occasionally, a few tablespoons of goat’s milk or cow’s milk on your pup’s kibble can be a great reward for your dog. Try Cosi Lactose-Free Pet’s Milk 33oz for regular milk consumption in pets. Cosi is an excellent complement to dry pet food.
2. Adding supplements
Supplementation is key in supporting your dog’s health and well-being. Every dog consuming kibble can benefit from supplementation since several nutrients are missing from the processed, shelf-stable dry kibble. Below are some supplements to boost your dogs’ nutrition if they eat kibble.
· Kala Health Vitalmix Full Spectrum Nutrition Supplement. Kala Health Vitamix is not an ordinary multivitamin since it contains many additional nutrients, such as fish protein, whey, and whole eggs to supply proteins. It’s also formulated with adequate minerals and amino acids for optimal nutrition. · PetAg Esbilac Powder for Dogs 12oz. Fortified with vitamins and minerals, Esbilac is a complete diet for puppies that need supplemental feeding. It contains prebiotics and probiotics and is highly palatable.
3. Adding toppers
Toppers are added to the top layer of pet food. They may include cuts from a delicious meal or a blend of fruits, vegetables, and meat. Toppers are beneficial because they give your dog’s kibble an extra boost of moisture or nutrition. An excellent topper should be tasty to entice picky eaters. Consider the following toppers for best results:
4. Mixing with Wet Food
Mixing wet food and kibble can be beneficial since it brings balance to your dog’s diet, offering a complete diet that covers a wider range of nutrients.
It’s generally recommended that you mix two-thirds dry kibble to one-third wet food, though you can still choose your dry to wet food ratio. Here are some of the wet food you should probably give a try:
Therefore, if you want to provide the best nutrition for your pup, you need to boost the kibble with milk and toppers. Mixing wet food to dry food also adds up hydration benefits on top of nutritions.
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