Can I feed kibble and raw dog food together?

Can I Feed Kibble and Raw Dog Food Together?

Have you ever wondered Can I feed kibble and raw dog food together? Sort of a half raw diet for dogs?

I recently had a reader email me and ask my opinion about just that.

Unfortunately, I got a notification from the mail delivery software saying that my email reply couldn’t be delivered, so I decided to turn this topic into a blog post.

It’s certainly an interesting topic, so thanks for asking the question, Jesus!

K9sOverCoffee | Reader question about raw and kibble

Can I Feed My Dog Half Raw Half Kibble? | Can I feed kibble and raw dog food together?

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From “Raw Or Die” To Open-Minded Feeding

I’ll be honest and admit that had Jesus asked me the same question two years ago, I would have given him a different reply than today.

Back then, I would have been a narrow-minded “raw or die” feeder and said something along the lines of “hell no, it has to be 100% raw”.

I have since then come to the conclusion that adding a little fresh, raw food to a dog’s regular, dry meals is better than no fresh food at all.

So by all means, go ahead and mix kibble and raw if you can’t afford raw by itself!

How To Supplement Dry Dog Food With Raw Dog Food

There are a few different options to combine raw feeding with kibble.

One approach would be to top off your dog’s dry food with a little raw dog food.

For example, add some green tripe.

It’s highly nutritious and drool worthy because it’s chock-full of digestive enzymes. 

I like the kind from Raw Paws Pet Food – get 15% OFF anything green tripe with code K9Savings:

Good to know: Add a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar to the mix of kibble and raw dog food.

That’s what Dana Scott, editor-in-chief of Dog’s Naturally Magazine, suggests for easier digestibility.

However, I will admit that green tripe is some pretty smelly stuff.

Or add some bone broth

Alternatively, add a few spoonfuls of homemade bone broth. It’ll be soothing for your dog’s stomach. It also contains organic apple cider vinegar.

Check out my bone broth recipe here

Ingredients for homemade bone broth for dogs and yourself
Getting ready to cook up a batch of homemade bone broth

Try adding a raw egg

Another option is to add a raw egg to your pup’s dry dog food. Eggs contain lots of minerals, vitamins, omega-3s and are a nutrition powerhouse.

When I fostered my pup Wally prior to adopting him myself, I immediately upgraded the cheap Costco kibble I was asked to feed him with a raw egg.

Boosting foster dog Pablo's kibble with an organic raw egg

You can add chicken eggs, duck eggs or quail eggs.

My local grocery store Harris Teeter carries chicken eggs, duck eggs, and quail eggs
Shopping eggs for raw dog food at a local grocery store (Harris Teeter in NC)

Add sardines

Or, as Steve Brown (founder of Steve’s Real Food) tells pet food blogger Rodney Habib, add some canned sardines:

Mixing Up Steve's Real Food With Green Tripe
Mixing up Steve’s Real Food with some green tripe

My pups Missy & Buzz LOVE canned sardines by the way. I share some with them several times per week.

Unfortunately, my pup Wally doesn’t do well with sardines, but he can have herring and mackerel no problem. | Missy & Buzz patiently waiting for their canned sardines
Missy & Buzz patiently waiting for their canned sardines

Feed separate meals of kibble and raw dog food for easier digestibility

You could also feed separate meals of dry and raw dog food. For example, dry for breakfast and raw for dinner, or vice versa.

Since dry and raw dog food digest at different rates, they can cause upset stomachs when fed together.

That’s why this might be a good option for dogs with sensitive stomachs. 

Feed raw dog food as meals and treat with kibble

Another way of feeding half kibble half raw would be to feed raw meals for breakfast and dinner.

You can then treat, train, or play with kibble throughout the day.

What I like to do with my pups is play nose games in the yard. I’ll throw a handful of dehydrated dog food on the grass in the backyard and let the pups sniff it out. 

I also use dehydrated food when we’re playing inside on crappy days – we especially love our stair games.

For this game, we go upstairs and then I throw a piece of dehydrated food down the stairs.

The pups run after it, come back up the stairs and we repeat this several times.

It’s a fab energy burner, a super fun game and the pups are extremely willing to work for the food reward. 

Dehydrated Dog Food from Grizzly Superfoods Works Great For Our Indoor Stair Games
Missy & Buzz with their dehydrated “treats”

We’ve been using Alaskan Wild Salmon by Grizzly Superfoods a lot lately.

I found it at an independently owned pet retail store not far from us, Naturally Unleashed in Fayetteville.

Whenever I use the dehydrated food in between breakfast and dinner, I feed a few ounces less of the pups’ daily raw dog food allowance.

I do that to avoid packing on extra pounds.

A Word On Which Kibble To Feed Along With Raw

There are a gazillion different brands of dry dog food out there.

Of course it’s up to everyone’s personal preference and budgets to choose the right one for their pups. 

Raw food and kibble diet for dogs

I would suggest not to feed kibbles that come with the artificial preservatives:

  • BHA
  • BHT
  • TBHQ
  • Ethoxyquin

Also, don’t feed the ones with artificial colors like reds, blues, yellows, & caramel color.

All of them can cause neurological or cancerous issues.

You’ll typically find them in the cheap brands on grocery store shelves and large retail stores like Walmart and Costco.

Independently owned pet retail stores typically carry a healthier selection of dry food.

If you can afford to, I’d opt for dehydrated or freeze-dried dog food instead of kibble.

Starting Foster dog Pablo's transition from kibble to dehydrated food from THK
Dehydrated beef recipe from The Honest Kitchen

That’s because its ingredient list tends to be shorter.

You also shouldn’t find harmful synthetic components or cheap fillers like corn and soy on the ingredient list.

I personally have fed:

Can I Feed My Dog Half Raw Half Kibble: Bottom Line

Even if you can’t afford to feed your pups raw dog food exclusively, you can still add nutritional boosters.

For example, adding raw food to kibble once a day or even just a few times per week. 

Raw dog food can definitely get pricey when you’re the proud owner of several large dogs.

Tip: You’ll save the most money on raw dog food when you make your own.

Learn how to by clicking here.

Raw dog food starter guide

A little raw or fresh food can make a difference, so give it a shot!

Canned sardines or organic eggs will do wonders for a dull, itchy coat. 

Thanks for your question, Jesus!

Leave your comments or questions in the comment section below this blog post!

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Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.






4 responses to “Can I Feed Kibble and Raw Dog Food Together?”

  1. Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets Avatar
    Jan K, Wag N Woof Pets

    I appreciate your open-mindedness on the subject! I now top our dry kibble (that has none of those nasty ingredients you listed), with fresh foods as much as I can. The one raw thing we do is the egg – organic from our own chickens! We also add the canned sardines, organic pumpkin puree (made from our own pumpkins until we run out), and some cooked veggies. I’ll often just make extra when cooking veggies for the humans. The dogs love it, and I really have to say the raw egg might be one thing that excites them the most. So much so that Luke has started stealing them right off the kitchen counter! LOL
    Oh, I’m glad you mentioned the ACV too. I have read of so many benefits to that but keep forgetting. We even give it to our chickens when I think of it!

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I’m totally jealous of your very own, organic egg production – just read your post about Luke stealing the eggs, haha! He knows what’s good for him 😉 All of your food toppers sound delicious and are super nutritious.

  2. Lindsay Stordahl Avatar
    Lindsay Stordahl

    I think it depends on the dog and some just do better with variety and mixing cooked and raw than others.

    My dogs have gotten sick for a few days when I’ve switched them from 100% raw back to 100% kibble for a weekend. I mean, like, I had some serious messes to clean up! The reason I fed kibble for a few days was due to traveling or convenience. Lesson learned.

    However, they’ve both done fine with mixing raw/kibble for meals or even feeding a single meal of one or the other here and there. I think so much depends on the dog. I’ve heard many example of people mixing the two regularly or feeding one meal dry, one meal raw every day and the dogs handle it just fine.

    Another example … we stayed with family on their ranch over Christmas and every day the ranch dogs would eat all sorts of kitchen scraps thrown out into the garden meant for the family’s chickens! The dogs would pick out what they wanted first and leave the rest for the chickens. I’m talking raw meat, cooked and raw bones, cooked and raw veggie scraps, compost food, you name it. This is after eating their kibble meals. The dogs never get sick and it just reminds me that we overthink things sometimes. Dogs are pretty hardy and good at scavenging.

    Another thing I would add is if your dog does get an upset tummy, don’t panic. Usually they are OK after a day or two of fasting. Make sure they have plenty of water, and then slowly re-introduce the food you plan to stick with.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      I couldn’t agree more – we do tend to overthink things. The ranch dogs you mentioned are living proof of it. I suppose it’s all a matter of what a dog’s digestive system gets used to.

      Also great advice regarding the upset tummy. Fasting gives the digestive system an opportunity to recalibrate itself, so to speak.

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