If you're feeding kibble, you need to know that there are specific risks with this food.
Before I go any further, there are different quality kibbles. We won't be talking about freeze dried, but even baked kibble can have issues. What are these issues? Some are quite deadly.
1) Mold and Pathogenic Bacteria. Despite what has been written about raw and lightly cooked food, most recalls due to salmonella. e. coli, and molds have been in kibble. According to Dr. Becker, in a 2019 study, 75% of dry foods tested positive for multiple strains of mycotoxins, a fungus prevalent in grains.* Here are the main culprits: corn, wheat, barley, rye, sorghum, and also sugar beets and sugar cane. The prevalence of these poisons is one of the main reasons "grain-free" kibble came on the scene.
2) Rancid Fats. Healthy fats are critical for dogs, cats and us, but the fats added to highly processed kibble are usually useless due to the high temperatures used when processing the "food." Most of the nutrients are also killed in the process which is why many manufacturers add a "spray" of synthetic "nutrients," fats, vitamins, minerals to also add palatability. Again, Dr. Becker says that these may go rancid as soon as a week after opening.
So, just don't buy any dry food with added EFA's or fats. Add your own healthy fats in the form of sustainable harvested marine lipid oils like "Moxxor," or some organic plant oils. I don't recommend sardine, salmon, anchovy, as these are overfished. As good as krill oil is, it is wild harvested which means large ships are scooping it up in Antarctica where so many species depend on it including whales.
3) Mold Mites. This is a new one for me, but apparently "storage" or "mold mites" are very common (yuck) and are a source of red, itchy skin, ear problems and hair loss in dogs and cats.
All of these problems are acerbated by storing the kibble. If you have some you're finishing up. now that you've learned this, it's best to keep it in the freezer. If that's not possible, take it out of the bag and store in an air-tight container, that you wash frequently with hot water and soap and dry thoroughly. Store in a cool, dry place. Don't ever add new, "fresher" food to old food in the container.
If this doesn't make you want to get processed kibble off you companion's menu, I don't know what will! The good news is that there are affordable, healthful alternatives.
With Love, Your Voice of Animals,
* For more details, see Dr. Becker's article here.