What’s Wrong With Grain Free Kibble?

Dr. Karen Becker is a renown veterinarian who has a reputation for her proactive approach to animal nutrition.  She is passionate about educating pet parents and does so through videos, articles and books.  In her latest video on Mercola.com she covers the topic of the increasingly popular grain free kibbles.  Take a look: 

Video: What’s Wrong With the Newest Grain-Free Craze?


Cheryl Ray

9 years ago

Love Karen Becker’s Videos. Thanks.


9 years ago

Great video and very informative on the benefits of great, quality foods for pet owners. Thank you Dr. Becker. Great details on raw, grain free, and dry food. Moisture with foods.


9 years ago

Interesting video. I am not anti-raw food; I would feed it to my dog more regularly if it weren’t so expensive. Just wanted to say that even though dry kibble has around 10% moisture content, a dog should be fine on a kibble only diet, assuming that he or she has free access to water.

“Water needs can be met by a combination of water consumed voluntarily (free water), water as a component of food (combined water), or water produced endogenously during the metabolism of energy-containing nutrients (metabolic water)…The amount of water derived directly from food depends on the type of food. Dry dog food is generally 8 to 10 percent moisture, while canned food often exceeds 75 percent moisture. Therefore, an animal consuming 212g DM [(dry matter)] per day would receive only about 212 mL of water from dry food, but 636 mL from canned food. The latter amount, combined with the contribution of water from normal metabolism, could meet the dog’s minimal daily need for water. Thus, provided no other extenuating circumstances exist, a dog eating only canned food may not voluntarily consume free water.” (Subcommittee on Dog and Cat Nutrition…)

Works Cited
Subcommittee on Dog and Cat Nutrition, Committee on Animal Nutrition, and
National Research Council. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. 2006. Print.


9 years ago


Thanks for your comment. Raw food is a very expensive diet to feed and many Steve’s customers feed kibble and add in a little raw when they can afford it. We appreciate the excerpt, that is great information to have.


9 years ago

Granted, I only deal with cats, but raw isn’t all that expensive – especially when compared to feeding the amount of prescription food that has been prescribed my cats. While I don’t feed whole prey, I do balance it out to have plenty of organs and bone and not just muscle. I totally agree that cats don’t drink enough water – I saw that with the oldest cat I have (had no idea before that). After going feeding raw, my middle cat lost a lot of her allergic symptoms, too – she’s apparently allergic to many of the preservatives used in both kibble and canned food, even the high-quality stuff. So, to feed the Rx canned I was given costs me roughly $6/lb. Feeding raw that I make from human-grade meats, organs, and bones generally costs me $2-4, depending on whether I get conventional or inexpensive organic meats. Beef is not in that range (and the middle cat can’t have it anyways!), but chicken, turkey, and pork often are. On canned, all three of mine drink regularly; on raw, they drink, but less often. That says to me that either they aren’t getting enough liquid from even canned, or that there’s salts (of some time) in the canned that cause them to be thirstier.


9 years ago

You buy a meat grinder. You make the food yourself. Just like you would for yourself if you can’t afford the pre-made raw stuff. It’s labor intensive, but once you’ve done it a few times, pretty easy. You make a lot and freeze. The 5lb. chubs are great because all of the meat, bone, and organ meats are there and ground already and you just add supplements, which aren’t that many for dogs, and most importantly taurine for cats. One of my cats had been diagnosed with lymphoma and we were told that putting him down was basically the only option. I took him off kibble, transitioned him through wet canned food, and now he’s on homemade raw. 7 months after he was supposed to have died, he’s still alive, on no medications, and getting better and stronger every day! It’s a much abbreviated story but absolutely true. At the very least, get your animals off of kibble and onto a wet canned food with raw food supplementation. Your not going to remove the desire to drink water if you feed your dog a wet canned/raw food diet. My dogs still drink water, but they’re healthier getting the majority of the moisture in their diet from their diet. Could you imagine someone asking you to survive off of “nutritionally balanced” potato chips and water? Your kidneys would be a wreck. Animals need moisture from their food. It’s common sense, which is why I don’t trust those so-called animal nutritional scientists from the AAHA. They’re scientists and they don’t know that?

Echo Gwynn

8 years ago

Can someone tell me a couple of simple raw food recipes to make for my 5 cats and 1 dog? Does anyone know of good supplements for dogs and cats to mix with raw food?

Bonnie Landess

8 years ago

Some responses are say (Jessie in particular) that dogs should be fine on kibble. I don’t think they heard or believe the part about dogs and cats NOT drinking enough water to make up the 70% needed to metabolize the dry food. I know my dog doesn’t drink enough water. Sounds to me like those “scientific researchers” may be working for the kibble manufactures and $$ is the bottom line for those people.


8 years ago

I have always added water to dry kibble, approx. 1 cup to 1 and 1half cups of kibble .I have had Rottweilers for over twenty years, which is a breed subject to bloat and eating a large amount of dry kibble , followed by a large amount of water is a good way to induce it, I also fed twice a day, which doesn’t overload the digestion, plus using water or a liquid with kibble will release acids such as ascorbic and citric as a gas before they bloat the stomach.ever notice the bubbles that form around kibble when water is added, bet the ingredients list either ascorbic or citric acid.


8 years ago

Listened to Steves on local Maine Radio. Read the material and responses, and I’m adding my experience with a stray that stayed with me for 23 years. On her last year, she was throwing up store food. By chance I happened on raw sirloin tips. She kept them down and lasted another year before being put to sleep.


8 years ago

That is great to hear. It is amazing what a raw diet can do for even very sick dogs. Thanks for sharing.

Pamela Gardner

8 years ago

I have 8 rescue and foster dogs. I try to feed a combination of cooked food and kibble. I have 8 dogs now and finding it more and more difficult to afford organic chicken for them. Do you have any suggestions. Thanks so much.

Jeanie Davis

6 years ago

How about adding water to grain free kibble (I use Merrick, 38% protein)

Steve's Real Food

6 years ago

You could try to add water but some dogs may not like the texture. Also keep in mind that any kibble will lack the enzymes that are destroyed during the cooking process.

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  • My dogs LOVE their new food!! I used to feed them dry kibble and they would leave their food in the bowls for 2 days before they would eat. Now they wake me up in the morning ready to eat. They also have so much more energy, they act like they are puppies again. The customer service is awesome! Too bad all companies don't have this kind of service. I will continue to buy Steve's Real Food for my dogs.

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    Kelley Dillon
  • CONVENIENT, RELIABLE, DOGS LOVE THE FOOD I switched my dogs to a raw diet about 2 months ago. My older dog was panting a lot and he had a potato sized growth on his shoulder. The growth is now the size of an egg and his excessive panting has stopped. My younger dog was overweight despite the fact that she was very active and on a strict low calorie diet. She has slimmed down quite a bit.

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    Trish C
  • We were skeptical of feeding raw. Finally we decided to take the plunge. The first surprise was, my dogs loved it. And the goat milk yogurt is a complete hit! They all love it. We had one small issue with the shipping and after one email everything was taken care of. But now that it's been several months we have noticed many other things. None of my dogs chew on their feet anymore. None of my dogs have itchy flaky skin anymore. And they are all pretty and shiny with tons of energy.

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    Denise Moitoza
  • My dog was a picky eater and overweight. After 4 months of eating this raw diet he is almost at his recommended weight. I no longer have to coax him to eat by doctoring up his kibble. He eats the food as is and empties his bowl right away.

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    Carrie Thompson
  • I wanted to give a shout out to Tara at the corporate office. She really went above and beyond! I had several questions about switching my dog over to raw food and the transition that's involved. She met with me in person and took the time to listen and gave me some great suggestions/feedback to my questions. She shared what her own dog went through and how raw dog food helped. Tara made me feel comfortable and was so kind and thoughtful to take the time out of her busy day to be so helpful. My dog is LOVING the food and has been transitioning very smoothly. Thanks so much for being so awesome, Tara. It meant a lot to me and because of the experience I had and the kindness you showed to me, I will continue to be a grateful customer and will recommend Steve's to all my fellow dog moms and dads.

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