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!
Can I Feed My Dog Half Raw Half Kibble?
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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.
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.
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.
You can add chicken eggs, duck eggs or quail eggs.
Or, as Steve Brown (founder of Steve’s Real Food) tells pet food blogger Rodney Habib, add some canned sardines:
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.
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.
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.
I would suggest not to feed kibbles that come with the artificial preservatives:
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.
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:
- Dr. Harvey’s
- Grandma Lucy’s
- Stella & Chewy’s
- Grizzly Superfoods (Update 2023: it’s often out of stock these days, so I’m not adding an Amazon link)
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.
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!
- Bone Broth Recipe for You and Your Dog
- 5 Established Raw Feeders Offer Advice for Beginners
- Merrick Kibble with Freeze-Dried Raw Bites – A Review
- Transitioning from Kibble to Raw Dog Food – Wally’s First Year With Me
- Your Dog Doesn’t Want to Eat Raw Dog Food? Try These 9 Easy Hacks!