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Home > Dogs > What Is Kibble Dog Food? How It’s Made, Pros, Cons & FAQ

What Is Kibble Dog Food? How It’s Made, Pros, Cons & FAQ

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As a dog lover, you want to provide your pet with the best diet possible to keep them healthy and thriving. With so many different types of dog foods on the market, though, it can be difficult to determine the differences between available foods and what each type has to offer your dog nutritionally.

Kibble is simply another term used to describe dry dog food, and it consists of solid pieces that are packed with all the nutrients that your dog needs.

This article will tell you everything that you need to know about kibble and why it is such a popular choice of food for dogs among owners.

divider-paw How Is It Made?

Kibble dog food is popular in Europe, Canada, the United States, and most parts of the developed world. Some people also refer to this type of dog food as pellets, but both terms are used to describe the same thing. Kibble is made of meat, legumes, grains, vegetables, and fruits, along with vitamins and minerals. Everything is cooked and compacted together to form a uniform dry dog food that is typically a small, rounded shape.

The process of making kibble is called “extrusion,” as all the ingredients are mixed. Kibble dog food can be fed to all breeds that can handle chewing the hard texture of this type of dog food, and the kibble itself is available in different sizes, so you can pick one that suits the type of breed you have.

Dog food in a bowl
Image by: 279photoStudio, Shutterstock

divider-paw What Are the Different Types of Dog Foods?

Dry Dog Food

Dry dog food (pellets or kibble) is a dehydrated food that provides dogs with a uniform diet because it has all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients they need to stay healthy. This type of dog food is typically inexpensive and has a low moisture content of around 3%–11%. You will find that dry dog food is the most easily accessible dog food on the market, and there are many different options to choose from when it comes to the brand, flavor, color, shape, and size of the food.


Wet Dog Food

Wet or canned dog food is typically packaged in a solid tin container and has a high moisture content of 60%–78% water. Wet dog food is generally more expensive than dry dog food and is not sold in large volumes, as it has a short shelf-life once opened. It does not consist of solid compact pieces, but rather moist chunks of the food components that are soaked in moisture to keep the food from drying out.

This type of dog food usually must be refrigerated once it has been opened, whereas dry dog food can be stored for a long time in an airtight container in a dry area. Wet dog food comes in a variety of flavors and can range in color and texture.

shih tzu dog getting wet food from owner at kitchen
Image by: chaoss, Shutterstock

Where Is It Used?

Kibble dog food is primarily used as a dog food because it is affordable and easily accessible and has an endless range of options to choose from. Most dog owners choose to feed this type of food to their dogs because it is the easiest option to store and purchase in bulk.

Kibble also has the benefit of being hard, so your dog must chew the pellets thoroughly, which can help remove tartar and plaque on their teeth, thus improving their dental hygiene. Many different types of kibble dog food are suitable for certain conditions that your dog might be suffering from, such as gluten or grain intolerance, and there is kibble out there that is specifically formulated without these ingredients.

Some dog owners find that kibble helps stop their dogs from being picky eaters because all the nutrients are uniformly packed into each piece, which helps prevent picky eating habits.

Advantages of Kibble Dog Food
  • Kibble dog food is a highly digestible carbohydrate that is good for dogs because it contains a mixture of omnivorous foods. Carbs are necessary for a dog’s diet because they are omnivores. The high carb and protein content in kibble can be used for energy.
  • This type of dog food is thoroughly cooked, which enhances the digestibility of the food and kills off any potentially harmful microorganisms. Since kibble has been cooked, it also helps enhance the absorption of the carbohydrates in this food.
  • Kibble dog food is typically cheaper than wet dog food and you can purchase a larger amount in bulk in comparison to wet dog food.
  • Kibble has a hard, rough texture that can help prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth, aiding in better dental hygiene.
  • There are many different types of kibble dog food, including ones that are grain free and have different flavors, so you can pick one that suits your dog’s health condition or taste preferences. The kibble shapes themselves come in a variety of different sizes to suit all dog breeds too.
  • Kibble dog food lasts a long time, and if it is stored properly and kept in an airtight container free from moisture, it can last for months and does not need to be refrigerated.
Disadvantages of Kibble Dog Food
  • Kibble dog food has a low moisture content, so your dog is not getting a lot of water from eating this type of food. This makes it important to ensure that your dog is drinking plenty of fresh water every day to stay hydrated.
  • Since most kibble contains a lot of fillers, dogs that have certain allergies may develop skin issues, such as rashes and redness or hair loss.
  • Senior dogs that have dental problems like loose or sore teeth will struggle to eat the hard texture of kibble dog food, so it is important to speak to your veterinarian about soaking the kibble before feeding it to your dog or switching them to wet dog food.
  • Overfeeding your dog with kibble can cause bloating issues due to the kibble pieces expanding in their stomach. You can test how much the pellet expands by placing one in water and watching as it becomes mushy and increases in size. It is important to ensure that your dog is getting the right portion of dry dog food.

divider-dog paw Frequently Asked Questions

wet and dry dog food
Image by: Sharaf Maksumov, Shutterstock

Is Dry Dog Food Better Than Wet Dog Food?

Both wet and dry dog foods can be good for your dog, depending on the quality, the guaranteed nutrient analysis, and whether your dog is suffering from any health conditions that require them to be fed a special diet. If you want to feed your dog a food with a lower moisture content that is high in carbohydrates and affordable, kibble dog food will be a good option.

If you want to feed your dog a food that has higher moisture content and more flavor, wet food will be a good choice. You should always consult a veterinarian or canine nutritionist when deciding on the right dog food for your dog’s breed and medical conditions, as both wet and dry dog food have their pros and cons.


What Should You Look For When Choosing the Right Kibble for Your Dog?

It is important to choose the kibble according to your dog’s life stage (puppy, adult, or senior) along with their medical conditions. When it comes to finding the right kibble food for your dog, you should choose a brand that produces high-quality kibble that has a decent nutritional content to supply your dog with the proper nutrients, proteins, and calories according to their age, weight, and breed.

There are plenty of kibble dog foods to choose from, so take the time to consider the pros and cons of the different brands and formulas before feeding one to your dog.

Make sure you’re feeding your dog the right type of food for their lifestyle, check out our dog food calculator here:

The exact amount of calories an individual animal needs to maintain a healthy weight is variable and influenced by many factors including genetics, age, breed, and activity level. This tool is meant to be used only as a guideline for healthy individuals and does not substitute veterinary advice 

divider-paw Conclusion

Overall, kibble is a type of dry dog food that can be found online and in many different stores. There is kibble specially made for most dog breeds, this high-calorie dog food is affordable, and there are many different brands and formulas to choose from, depending on your dog’s needs. We hope that this article has helped clear up what kibble is and the pros and cons of feeding your dog this type of food.


Featured Image Credit: cottonbro, Unsplash

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