Raw vs kibble: what should I feed my dog?

Trying to figure out what to feed Big G was like an episode of Goldilocks and the 3 shits.

We tried raw food. Everyone raves about it. And it sounds right to go pure caveman because, well, they are carnivores, right? NGL, he couldn’t get enough of it.

The way he licked his chops was a big clue that he agreed with the choice. However, when the black, sketchy looking ectoplasm made its way through his system, it was clear that his body didn’t. And let me tell you, if that was as painful to pass as it was for me to breathe in, then he definitely wasn’t having a good time. 

Black dog poo usually means their gastrointestinal system has been exposed to toxins. Something a rather terrifying brush with the vet after he got food poisoning confirmed to be true.

So, we switched to wet food. Gloriously stinky wet food. This time, we went to the other end of the Dulux colour chart spectrum and our black bundles of joy turned gold. But not a nice necklace kind of gold. The more super hot, runny, korma kind of gold. Usually, a runny poo like that is down to a food intolerance. So still, no luck.

When I switched him to kibble, both his guts and my nose were happy. I needed something without any nasties so his food allergies didn’t flare up. But I also needed it to still be packed full of nutrients to keep my boy happy, healthy, and thriving. And of course, something that got the tail wag of approval. And that’s how Swagwags was born. 

So raw vs kibble: which comes out on top? Does this mean that we’re the best for everyone and that you should rush out to buy our dry kibble?

Raw vs kibble: the conundrum

Definitely not. What works for my dog isn’t going to work for all dogs. They have different physiologies and really the answer to what you should feed your dog is really down to what’s best for them. 

Which takes us onto nutrition. We won’t have those perfect chocolate-y Play-Doh poos (think Tootsie Rolls) if our dogs aren’t getting what they need in their diet. We know this. Yet most of us don’t really know what our pups are eating. Or even what they need to be eating. So let’s look at nutrition properly.

Nutrition is unique to your dog. A pup’s needs are different to an older dog, and a Chihuahua will have different needs than a monster 120kg St. Bernard. But no matter the breed or age, the key to those dream poos and a happy pooch relies on six important nutrients. 

These are: 

  • Vitamins
  • Palatants 
  • Minerals
  • Fats
  • Proteins
  • Carbohydrates 

These are essential. 

I probably don’t need to explain why vitamins are important because you likely remember your mum nagging you to eat your fruit and veg because of them. The same applies. They’re as important for our dogs as they are for you and me.

Palatants make their food irresistible. Without it, they’d probably turn their nose up at their amazing nutritious bowl of food and strop for the rest of the day. Not that they don’t sometimes do that anyway, even with their favourite foods.

Again, you probably know the importance of minerals. They contribute to maintaining healthy bones, muscles, cells, nerve function, and more.

Fat gives our babies the energy to do zoomies all day and absorb those important fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. 

I’m sure you’re familiar with protein. It’s the building blocks of our dog’s bodies. It helps with forming new cells, building muscle tissue, and so much more.

Carbohydrates relate back to energy. Carbs help them keep warm, but also stop them from getting too chunky. Though you don’t want too many of them.

Finding your balance

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “complete and balanced dog food”. What that means is the food has the right amount of those six nutrients in every meal. This food has everything they need. They can literally live off it.

It doesn’t matter which type of food you give your dog as long as they’re healthy, happy, and gifting you the Tootsie Roll poo of your dreams. If they already love kibble, we’ve got a handy guide for why our kibble is a good choice for your pooch.

If your dog is already on wet or raw food, or you’re expecting a puppy, it’s worth understanding what the benefits of each are so that you can make a decision based on your dog. A lot of our customers find a mixture of both works for them. Others use one or the other. There’s no hard and fast rule.

So the raw vs kibble fight result? It’s a tie. There’s no definitive research to say all dogs should eat raw, or all dogs should eat kibble. To make that decision, it’s first worth considering your dog’s gut health, allergies, and reactions when they eat. Excessive licking, scratching, or head shaking suggests there might be an issue there. If their poo is a big mystery for you and you want help understanding it, you can read more about it here. Beyond that, make sure to look at the different options and come to the right choice for your pooch.

Dog food doesn’t have to be confusing. Swagwags delivers healthy, nutritious food straight to your door. Perfectly balancing all six essential nutrients with irresistible taste, both you and your pup will be hooked. Check out our range of kibble here.

If you’re ever concerned about potential allergies, take one of our sensitivity tests. It’s non-invasive and takes 5 minutes to do – a small price for perfect pup health!