Can Dogs Live On Kibble Alone? (4 Benefits & How To Switch)

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Written by: Celestine Gomez
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Kibble, also known as dry dog food, has been produced commercially long before the introduction of wet dog foods. With different types of dog food in the market today, many dog people now have reasons to deem one type of dog food superior to others.

People often compare dogs to their wolf ancestors when trying to figure out whether dry dog food is best for them. But the truth is that dogs have evolved in many ways to become omnivores, although they belong to the Order Carnivora. Now, is it possible for dogs to live off kibble?

Yes, dogs can thrive on just kibble and it is a healthy and safe option for them provided that you avoid cheap, low-quality products. Dry dog food is packed with all the essential nutrients for your pooch in a balanced proportion. Consider your dog’s health, age, activity level, and allergies when choosing the best dog food for him.

While kibble-based diets are sufficient for your dog’s nutrition, there’s every chance that your dog may prefer wet food to kibble because he knows what food tastes and smells better. You can make your dog’s kibble more palatable by adding different varieties of foods like chicken, beef, carrots, apple, peanut butter, salmon, eggs, blueberries, popcorn, and more.

Benefits Of Dry Dog Food

Some important benefits of dry dog foods to consider includes, but no limited to:

1. Contains All Nutritional Needs Of Your Dog

Kibble is specially formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of your dog. It contains a source of protein, grains, starch, vitamin, and mineral-rich vegetables and fruits. Hence, you don’t need to supplement kibble with wet dog food, raw diets, or healthy treats to achieve balanced nutrition.

You are unlikely to encounter problems finding dog food best suited for your dog. For example, you can find grain-free dog food for dogs who suffer from allergies but dogs with high activity levels will need more carbs for a greater energy boost. However, you have to make sure that the kibble is high-quality and exceeds AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition in dogs.

2. Improves Your Dog’s Dental Health

Besides maintaining good oral hygiene in your dog through regular brushing, the teeth cleaning action of kibble is effective in removing plaques and preventing their calcification. Unlike wet dog foods, there is a lower risk of kibble sticking to your dog’s teeth to cause dental plaque.

While the texture of the kibble plays an important part in teeth cleaning, cleaning action is not special to kibble. It is the chewing process that produces this effect, and the same can be achieved with dog chew toys or some other solid objects.

In contrast, dry dog food is not recommended for dogs with broken teeth or any painful dental problem. If you should feed kibble to such a dog, make sure to dissolve it with water or chicken broth.

3. Easier To Serve and Store

The reason why I prefer to use kibble for my furry friend is the convenience it provides. Since you don’t need to cut, cook or dehydrate kibble-based diets before serving, it’s a huge time saver. All you need to do is measure the amount of dog food appropriate for your dog’s age, size, activity level, and health status, and serve it to your dog in a clean food bowl.

You can choose to store your kibble in its original bag or transfer it to a clean airtight container to prevent contamination. Due to the fat content of kibble, preservatives are added to prolong their shelf life and prevent them from going rancid quickly.

4. Has A Lower Price Tag

Apart from being less time-consuming, dry dog food is also a relatively cheaper option to go for but this doesn’t make it less healthy for your pooch.

Make sure the quality of the dog food is not tampered with. Take note of the various ingredients in the kibble and stay away from dog food with bad ingredients like corn syrup, food dye, BHA, BHT, propylene glycol, rendered fat, and melamine.

Also Read: Dog Eats Only Human Food But Not Dog Food (5 Common Reasons & What To Do)

Do Dogs Get Tired of Eating Kibble Every Day?

Dogs are different from their human counterparts in that they do not need different varieties of food. They may prefer wet dog food and other food with irresistible taste and smell but dogs don’t necessarily need more than just kibble.

That said, dogs are smart and sometimes may refuse to eat their kibble if they trust that you’ll eventually show up with some yum-yum goodies. But once good eating habits are appropriated in your dog’s, they are less likely to nose up at their kibble.

With picky dog breeds, it’s preferable to mix their kibbles with chicken, raw eggs, bone broth, vegetables, and healthy treats all in moderate amounts.

Choosing The Best Dry Kibble For Your Dog

As dogs may not be able to tell what food is suitable for them, it’s your responsibility as a dog parent to make that decision. There is no single best kibble for all dogs but you can find one that’s tailored for your Fido based on various factors which include;

Age & Size: Dogs have different nutritional requirements at different stages of their life. Hence, food for adult dogs may not be suited for young pups. The same applies to small and large dog breeds.

Health: If your dog must be healthy and strong, his diet should contain all essential nutrients in the right proportion.

Presence of Food Allergies: Dogs can be allergic to a certain dog food ingredient like chicken, and grain. If your dog has a poultry allergy you can choose kibbles with other protein sources like lamb, pork, or fish. Grain-free kibbles exist for dogs with grain allergies.

Activity Level: Energetic and hardworking dogs often have higher calorie requirements than their calm, couch-surfing counterparts.

A great way to check for the contents of your dog food is by reading the label. The main ingredients are usually listed first, hence, ensure this includes a meat-based diet. As mentioned earlier, go for high-quality dog food that exceeds the AAFCO guidelines for complete and balanced nutrition.

It’s important to choose your dry dog food from a reputable brand because the label doesn’t provide information (at least not so reliable) on the product quality. Asking other dog owners will also point you in the right direction.

Do Dogs Live Longer If They Only Eat Kibble?

It has not been scientifically proven whether kibble can extend the lifespan of canines. But with a lot of cheap, low-grade, dry dog food in supermarkets containing harmful preservatives and fillers instead of high-quality ingredients, the odds are not your dog’s favor.

Provided you get high-quality kibble for your pooch, they will live long and healthy lives. Of course, you have to ensure that you give them the best care and never neglect regular vet checkups.

Also Read: Help! My Dog Has Diarrhea At Night Only (8 Reasons Explained)

How To Prevent Or Break Picky Eating Habits in Dogs

Dog owners often complain of their canines turning their noses up at a bowl of dry kibble. The reason for such behavior can range from dental issues, stomach upset, and other underlying health issues to picky eating habits. But we are going to focus on how you can deal with picky eating habits.

Remember, dogs don’t need varieties and can live healthily eating only kibble so if your dog refuses to eat kibble chances are that you have always fed your dog whatever he likes, hence, he’ll prefer human food or treats to his kibble. Pickiness may be common with your dog’s breed.

Whatever the case may be, it’s always important to instill good feeding habits in your dog through proper training and feeding routines. It’s also okay to mix his kibble with wet dog food, fruits, veggies, and healthy treats. You can gradually reduce the amount of non-kibble diet in his food till he starts to eat the food once again.

Switching To Dry Dog Food

As mentioned earlier, there are several benefits of feeding your pooch a kibble-based diet as opposed to wet dog food including convenience, lower cost, improved dental health, easy storage, and longer shelf life.

Switching your dog to dry food should not be a quick process. This is because your dog’s digestive system has not adjusted to dry dog food, hence, he can suffer from gastrointestinal upset if a full transition is carried out immediately.

You can start the switching process by replacing a little amount (say ¼) of his wet food with dry food. Then continue reducing the amount of wet food slowly until your transition is completed.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Eat Kibble Alone?

A kibble-only diet for dogs is enough to provide them with all important nutrients. Not only is kibble a healthy diet option for your dog, but it can also provide dental health benefits to them. Always make sure that the kibble you are getting is of high quality and your pooch will be ever thankful.

As a dog parent, it’s important to take the necessary measures to see that your four-legged friend lives a long, healthy life. If you are quite unsure whether a kibble-based diet will be best for your dog or notice any unusual behavior in your dog, it’s always advisable to consult your veterinarian.

In conclusion, It’s okay to feed your dog dry food only if it’s suitable for you and your pooch.

I hope I left no stone unturned in answering your questions. Thanks for stopping by.

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Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.