Facts about kibble
Kibble is what comes to mind when you think of 'typical' dog food. It's what
comes inside that giant bag and can sit on a shelf for months (sometimes even
years) at a time.
Understanding a bit about how kibble is made is helpful in assessing whether
or not it is something you want your dog to be eating. To produce kibble, a
mixture of carbs, plant or animal protein, and fats of various quality (and
unspecified sources) are mixed into a paste. An extrusion process uses a
machine to force these ingredients together and process them into nuggets to
create the shape that we associate with kibble. After these nuggets are made,
an animal fat is typically sprayed on the kibble to increase palatability.
This results in processed pieces of food that are very calorically dense.
This predisposes animals to obesity, as overfeeding even a tiny bit can greatly
throw off the caloric content in a meal. Plus, as we understand from our own
food, the artificial preservatives and fillers needed to keep these foods
'safe' without refrigeration are far from healthy.
The question then shouldn't be, can dogs survive on kibble? The real
question is, do we want them surviving on a product driven by convenience? Or
do we want them to thrive on real foods just as we would choose to eat?