Is It Ok to Mix Raw and Dry Food?

Once you go raw, is there no going back to kibble? There are plenty of myths surrounding the feeding of raw and dry dog food, but the fact is that mixing them does no harm. That’s as long as you’re feeding a high-quality kibble and not dry food containing large amounts of fillers.

Digestion Issues

Raw food purists used to insist that the carbohydrates and starches found in dry dog food increased pH levels in the stomach. According to that argument, higher pH levels made it harder for the animal to digest the proteins in raw meats.

The fact is that pH levels in the canine stomach vary considerably based on numerous triggers. The pH level in dry dog foods is low, so consumption isn’t going to affect overall digestion. Dogs actually digest kibble faster than most raw foods, so the “kibble takes longer to digest” claim promoted by some raw food advocates is also false.

Keep in mind that every type of food eaten digests at a different rate. That’s just how the digestive process works.

Reasons to Mix Raw and Dry Dog Food

There are plenty of good reasons to mix raw and dry dog food. Initially, you should mix your dog’s kibble – or canned food – when transitioning to a raw food diet. Just switching from commercial to raw meals without that interim period invites gastrointestinal upset.

Raw food is more expensive than dry food. Some dog owners may want to feed raw only but find it isn’t in their budget. Mixing some kibble into the raw diet stretches your dog food dollars.   

Dry and Raw Dog Food Ratios

How much of your dog’s diet should consist of raw food and how much of kibble? It all depends on your pet. Your veterinarian will recommend the proper ratio based on your dog’s condition, age, size, activity level, and other factors.

A 50-50 mix is fine for some animals. For others, the raw portion should provide the bulk of the dog’s diet.

Raw and Dry Feeding Methods

Dog owners can literally mix raw and dry food together and serve it to their pets or feed the food at different times.

For instance, you may opt to give your dog kibble as his morning meal if you’re rushing to get to work or prepare kids for school. In the evening, if you have more time, serve the raw diet. It can take longer to get your dog’s meal ready if you have to chop raw vegetables and fruits first. It all depends on your schedule.

The Bottom Line

There’s a long history to the mixing of raw and dry food in the canine diet. While a raw diet offers many health benefits, to some pet owners it has become dog feeding dogma. Discuss the best dietary options for your pet with your vet. The animal care experts at TriStar Vet design and manufacture vet kennels, veterinary exam tables, and other innovative products for your vet clinic that are ergonomic, ultra-durable, and affordable.