Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Feed Your Pet Dry Kibble – More Naturally

Nature’s Logic founder Scott Freeman, took a moment to answer a common concern about feeding dry kibble. After 14 years in the pet food industry he has taken hundreds of calls from customers concerned about their pets digestive upset.

Dry kibble food is here to stay, but I am totally convinced that it is far from the natural diet of our pets and is the cause of many of their digestive issues. Because of this, I believe kibble feeding needs some tweaking in order to help our pets better digest it for a healthier outcome.

I am confident, over 90% of the digestive issues, in cats and dogs, which include gas, soft stool, diarrhea, and diagnosis of irritable bowel, whether a correct diagnosis or not, is caused by the overfeeding of kibble. I derive this conclusion from the number of these issues which have gone away when the caller follows my simple advice of feeding less and adding moisture.

Dry Pet Food is a Concentrate

If you drank an entire glass of concentrated juice, might you get digestive upset? If you continued to drink a glass twice a day for months, it might even turn into some real bowel issues.
However, if you drink reconstituted orange juice made from concentrate every day, and even twice a day, you would not have any digestive issues, and you might even be healthier for doing it.

Feeding Less may be Better

Now consider dry kibble, it is easy to feed too much, it seems so light and so little in that cup, and your dog or cat could not possibly be satisfied with eating so little food in weight. But remember that dried kibble is only dry to make it convenient and shelf stable for a long time; remember it’s concentrated. The natural food of a carnivore would be very high in moisture, around 70% or more, because no water has been removed from their prey diet when they eat it in the wild.

My recommendation is to always feed less, perhaps 1/3 less than the bag instructions and always add water. Also, I recommend to never free-feed and make sure meals are at least 8 hours apart so at each meal your pet’s stomach is empty. Another thing to remember is to decrease regular meal amounts if you have given treats. Treats are calories and should be counted towards the entire daily caloric need.

Adding Moisture

As you cut back on kibble I strongly recommend adding water to the dish, the added weight of the water mixed with the kibble will give more satisfaction to the pet. This will also help your pet digest their food better and the dried concentrated food will be partially rehydrated to cause less digestive issues. The more water your pet will accept in the food; the better.

The Math on Adding Water to Kibble

When considering reconstituting dry kibble maybe it will help if we do the math on Nature's Logic Canine Kibble.

A cup of kibble weighs about 3.8 ounces. In the bag, it is generally around 5% moisture. A normal prey diet would be close to 75% moisture. So to put it in perspective, if it was reconstituted back to its normal fresh state with all its natural moisture in the meat, fruits and veggies it is created from, a cup would now weigh 14.44 ounces. A 26.4–pound bag of Nature’s Logic Canine kibble with all the natural moisture replaced would now weigh 100 pounds reconstituted. One other way to look at it is that feeding 1 cup of dried, Nature’s Logic kibble is like feeding over 1 – 13.2 oz can of Nature’s Logic canned diet. That is a lot of food, and I venture to say that most people don’t really realize how much is in a cup of dried food; especially high quality diets like Nature’s Logic.

In conclusion, if your dog or cat suffers from digestive upset the first thing I recommend you do is to cut back on the amount of dry food (in some cases way back) and to add water or an unsalted beef or chicken broth. Give it a try for a week or two. See what a difference it makes. Hopefully, this will save you a trip to the vet when all you needed to do was add water and feed less.


  1. I am always helping friends with feeding issues. If they feed kibble I have them do this test.. put the amount you feed into a large bowl. Add 4 times the amount of water as the food. Watch what happens over the next hour or so. Amazing how large that kibble food becomes. Also imagine you dog having to produce enough water to digest. Last I always tell them to touch the kibble.. is it still hard in the middle even after the water? FYI.. Natures logic food becomes soft after adding water within minutes. It is much easier to digest. I know from my own experience.

  2. Awesome post, I love what you said about not doing it with a specific purpose/goal in mind but to continue on forever.

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  3. I always add water. One thing I noted about the Nature's Logic is that it does NOT really swell up like a lot of other foods into gelatinous peices but actually breaks down (dissolves). Very highly digestible. I feed twice a day smaller meals and keep them lean.

  4. I also noticed how rapidly it dissolves. One highly touted competitor did not dissolve after sitting for over 12 HOURS in water. No wonder my dog vomited it up! I then tried vinegar saying "maybe it needs acid" {this was an experiment-did not feed that one to the dog} Same thing yet the NL breaks right apart and digests very nicely.

  5. I have been told that giving my dogs moist food will rot their teeth. I was giving kibble with a topper of canned. I was told chewing the kibble helps keep their teeth free of tartar.....please reply. Thank you

    1. Linda, Thank you for your question.

      At least half of all dogs are obese and about the same percentage have dental gum disease. This is caused by over feeding and the feeding of kibble, especially kibble that is high in carbohydrates.

      Kibble does not clean teeth and never has. Kibble that is high in carbs creates the perfect condition in the mouth to grow plaque causing bacteria which can lead to dental gum disease. It is incorrect thinking that a rough kibble is cleaning teeth because most dogs swallow whole their entire meal with no chewing at all.

      For the best dental health, dogs should be fed high meat or poultry content diets with little or no grain or starchy ingredients. With less starch in the diet and more meat or poultry content, a more proper ph results in the mouth which doesn't contribute to the flourishing of plaque causing bacteria.

      High meat and low carb content dry kibble, canned food, as well as a raw diet can accomplish this and result in good dental health for a dog. Also, raw meaty bones can also help contribute to good dental health.

      Nature's Logic diets are all high in meat and poultry content and are low in carbs. All forms of Nature's Logic diets, kibble, canned and raw frozen, and help contribute to good dental health in dogs.

  6. One way I've found to effectively rehydrate kibble is to put it in blender or food processor for a few seconds to pulverize it. I use a small "Magic Bullet" type blender and it's very convenient - each dog actually has his/her own cup with lines marked on the side with a felt pen denoting 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 & one cup levels as appropriate. Water or broth added to the pulverized kibble absorbs very quickly, much more than if it is left in kibble-shape. Simply pour pulverized kibble into the dish, add water, wait a few moments and stir. I much prefer feeding kibble (when I have to) well hydrated this way. A cup of pulverized kibble absorbs an equal amount of water quite quickly.