Why I Don’t Judge People Who Feed Kibble
3 October, 2017
By Kimberly Gauthier, Keep the Tail Wagging
The other day, a follower of mine sent me a message she received from a stranger on social media. He chose cruel words to express to her his disappointment that she was feeding her dog kibble.
These people are strangers.
After nearly five years of raw feeding, I will admit that I think feeding a biologically appropriate diet is the key to raising a happy, healthy dog. Am I biased? Yep, I sure am. I have had nothing but a positive experience with my dogs on a raw diet. I’ve been able to address all of their health needs through diet and nutrition and it’s made me want to go door to door preaching the benefits of raw for dogs.
But I don’t because that’s a lot of doors and I think a new episode of Real Housewives is on TV tonight.
Plus, I have a blog and I metaphorically go door to door every time I write a blog post, start a discussion in my raw feeding group, and when I promote my new book – A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs.
Why Raw is Better than Kibble for My Dogs
I switched to raw because of Rodrigo’s health issues which included:
- Environmental allergies
- Food intolerance
- Skin rashes
- Itchy skin and paws
- Chronic ear infections
- Chronic loose stool and diarrhea
- Obesity (although I didn’t think he was fat at the time)
- Joint issues
- Behavior issues
My poor dog was a hot mess and his veterinarian at the time couldn’t help him and switching from one kibble brand to the next wasn’t helping him either. Within two weeks on a raw diet, Rodrigo’s health issues were quietly going away.
Raw is better than kibble because Rodrigo’s vet predicted that he’d live a short life. Today, Rodrigo is 7-½ years old and thriving.
Why I Don’t Judge Others for Feeding Kibble
I’ll admit that I used to judge others, but that went away pretty quickly. I was happily feeding my dogs a premade raw diet from a local company and they were healthy and happy. I was on top of the world quietly raining judgment on others. And then our family grew to four dogs and commercial raw became too expensive.
I was faced with trying to figure out a raw food diet – sourcing, ingredients, budget, and storage. And it wasn’t easy. There were many times that I longed for the ease of pouring a cup of dry dog food into a dish and calling it good. During this time, I also began to learn why people weren’t feeding raw.
- Budget: although we’re told that raw dog food is less expensive than kibble, this isn’t the case for some people for a variety of reasons.
- Sourcing: when you’re new to raw, it can be difficult to figure out where to buy the ingredients. I am fortunate to have a raw food co-op in my area and that find inspired me to create a co-op page to help others.
- Storage: I’m able to afford raw feeding for four big dogs because I buy in bulk and I have two 21cf freezers to store their food. Not everyone has space for additional freezers or can afford them. I had to learn to haggle and was able to get a good deal from an appliance outlet store.
- Knowledge: for many people, raw feeding is a new concept and their still learning. There is a tremendous amount of information and misinformation on the Internet and it can quickly become confusing and overwhelming.
I learned to help people who are interested in feeding raw instead of judging them; and for those who aren’t ready to make that step, I give them ideas on how to make kibble healthier.
Be Kind To Each Other
The pet lover world is filled with passionate people who love their animals. Combine that passion with social media where we quickly forget that our “tone” can come across as cruel and you can understand why we have so much drama.
When it comes to raising awareness of raw feeding for dogs, I’ve learned not to give unsolicited advice, not to assume that I know someone’s motivations, and to always remember that I’m not an expert. This allows me to share my experiences without coming across too strongly and potentially turning someone off of improving their dog’s nutrition.
Mostly, I’ve learned not to judge people who feed kibble because I don’t know their story. It’s better to ask why someone has chosen the food they feed their pet and then ask them if they would be interested in learning about raw feeding. If they say “no thanks,” then I move on. I’m happy to say that most people say “yes.”
Kimberly Gauthier is a dog nutrition blogger and author who shares her experience feeding a raw food diet to her four dogs on the blog Keep the Tail Wagging®. Kimberly has also recently published the book A Novice’s Guide to Raw Feeding for dogs to help other dog lovers learn more about feeding a species appropriate diet. Kimberly and her boyfriend are raising two sets of littermates in the Pacific Northwest where they enjoy a property with plenty of room to run and explore.
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