Pet Care, Pet Food

Why We Stopped Feeding Kibbles to Our Dog

Why We Stopped Feeding Kibbles to Our Dog Shira

We were feeding kibbles but realised it was not the most healthy. Find out why we stopped feeding kibbles to our young dog and switched to fresh dog food.

When we first fostered and adopted our dog, we were also feeding our dogs kibbles! But we changed our dog’s diet to a healthier, human-grade version soon after, because we want our dog to live longer and stay healthy. 😊

Why did we stop feeding kibbles?

Kibbles are still the most widely fed food for both dogs and cats today. Most dog owners think about kibbles first when it comes to food for their dogs. Most pet parents already have the perception that dry food are the “best choice” for our furry animals. Even before Pawmeal began, the co-founders were happily feeding our dog kibbles! We continued feeding kibbles until one day, we decided that our dog’s diet needed a change. Here’s the story with our dog, Shira! 🤗

The initial months of fostering – Why we gave kibbles to our dog

We (Jiaying and Shay) started off as fosterers at Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) Singapore. 😊 We were fostering several dogs, one at a time. Until one of us got to take care of Shira. We fell in love at once with Shira (which we now call her Rara), who is a small Singapore Special who is timid and shy.

While fostering Rara, we fed her kibbles, as we had to abide by the broad dietary restrictions as fosterers. This was because Rara was technically still a puppy who was searching for her forever home. We were told that unless there are health restrictions, we should still give kibble as a ‘default food’ because it is easier for SOSD, or the next fosterer or prospective new pet owner to continue with kibbles as compared to some other dog food. After all, it is only right to have the eventual dog owner to decide what kind of diet their dogs will be on, right?

We continued to feed kibbles for around 6 months during Rara’s foster stay with us. 😊 We also shopped the pet stores and tried to select better quality dry dog food for Rara too. We trieed quite a few brands, like Taste of the Wild, Wellness, Acana and Pro Nature. Like many companion animal owners, we were also searching high and low for the best dry dog food in Singapore.

Shay, Jiaying and Shira the Singapore Special
Shay, Jiaying and Shira the Singapore Special

From pet fosterers to dog adopters

Finally, we decided on the option to adopt Rara ourselves. This was after much discussion with Jiaying’s parents, who finally relented and also beginning to take a liking to Rara (they were not dog lovers at first, and we are staying with our respective parents – no choice!). We are so grateful to have Rara as our pet. 🥰🧡

As Rara is rather mild and small sized as compared to many Singapore Specials, all of us felt that it will be a good fit for us (as we could not make do with a very barky dog or an aggressive one). It felt a little strange at that time, because when we were fostering Rara, we knew that she would just be temporarily staying with us, and we had a responsibility to take good care of her and make sure she gets used to staying with humans in a home setting. We expected her to only stay with us for a brief period of time and be able to move to a good family. And then we will go on to foster another puppy and so on.

Suddenly, Rara became our pet, and will be with us permanently! It was very emotional because by that time we already grew on Rara getting used to having her around the house. We would not be able to bear seeing her leave for another adopter. At the same time, we also knew that the sense of responsibility that we have will now extend throughout Rara’s whole life. We are now in charge of for not just Rara’s short term well-being, but her whole life too!

Discoveries about kibble issues and dog food

At that time, we were actually already doing research on what kind of food is healthier for our Rara and for every pet out there. Would it be dry dog food (kibble) or canned dog food, which many pet owners feed? We found that it was probably not the healthiest. And we also learned about some scary facts. Here are some key facts that we discovered:

  • By feeding highly processed pet food, our furry friends’ life span actually gets shortened by up to 32 months (as compared to canines eating human-grade cooked food).
  • Another horrible truth is that 1 in 4 dogs contract cancer at some point in their lives, with diet the principal attributing factor. (link to research articles!).
  • Given the prices of kibbles, meat content in kibbles are usually very low, in order to cover for the costs borne by the pet food manufacturers. In order to improve the nutrient supplement dog kibbles
  • By processing the ingredients and making into kibbles, these pet food manufacturers uses an extrusion that uses extreme high heat. This destroys the natural nutrients in the ingredients, and manufacturers add in synthetic nutrients to supplement the kibbles, making their nutrient levels okay again.

The financial and convenience considerations

So why are the pawrents still feeding such commercial food to their dogs and cats? After asking around and interviewing pet owners, we could only arrive at 3 chief reasons: cost, convenience and the perception that kibbles are okay for their dogs. Undeniably, kibble is still the most affordable pet food today. It is able to be retailing at cheaper prices because pet food manufacturers are using more carbohydrates and fewer meats, while at the same time doing huge amounts of productions in big factories. Pet owners who feed kibbles also are able to buy in bulk to enjoy greater savings, as their shelf lives are usually much longer. As it is dry food, it is easy for pawrents to feed too. Dog taking a long time to eat? No problem, kibbles will not spoil and turn sour in the bowl for days and weeks.

While speaking to a number of dog parents, one of the responses was that they thought kibbles are THE best and most convenient food for pets. This is partly because kibbles are mainly the only food choice retailing in major pet stores, as well as in many veterinary clinics.

Smelly poop and balding concerns

We had a few problems in the early days when Rara became our family. We were wondering: Why is our dog’s poop so smelly and soft? And why is our pup’s forehead having a balding spot? Was it a scar? The balding patch had been around since we first met Rara, and it remained hairless even after we tried switching various kibble brands and applied pet ointment.

We decided to give a different diet a try to see if it can improve these two issues. The results were really encouraging – hair grew back, bald spot was no more, and Rara’s poop became much smaller and almost without any foul smell! We were feeding fresh food, as in cooked food for our dog. 😊

Deciding on a diet for our dog

After witnessing positive effects on our dog for ourselves, it further reinforces upon us that diet is the most important factor to our dog’s well-being. Most importantly of all, after it is scientifically proven that dry dog food provides less than ideal health benefits and longevity to pets, we wanted to provide a diet that is more nutritious. After all, we are what we eat, and the same goes for our dog, right?

This spurred us on to research and study deeper into fresh food for dogs. Over the next 9 months, we approached many vets, vet schools and pet nutritionists, including a few board-certified pet nutritionist from the US who are experts in fresh dog food. Our dog’s meal went through multiple iterations, and all this while we monitored for any positive change in Rara’s poop, skin and coat. We did stumble into a few obstacles though – some vets would not respond to our queries, while there was also no way for us to commit to ‘organic’ raw meat all the time, given the extremely high costs and relative inaccessibility to such ingredients.

We were determined to arrive at an optimal ingredient proportion and balance so that we could make healthy fresh food for our pup. And it was great to be able to cook for your pet! Although it may be a little more costly than dry dog food, fresh cooked food is way healthier, and also provide a good level of convenience if we keep in vacuumed packs in the freezer (This does not compromise its freshness at all!).

Shira the Singapore Special looking at a bowl of fresh food
Shira the Singapore Special looking at a bowl of fresh food

So what are we feeding our dog today?

Fast forward to today, we are feeding our dog Pawmeal (The fresh dog food that we have researched, experimented and cooked so many times now have a brand name! 😜). And we are enjoying feeding her too, seeing her eat with happiness every meal time. What makes us feel at ease is that we know exactly what we are feeding our pup, and that there are no nasty feed-grade ingredients. Pawmeal is also now available island wide in Singapore to all pawrents who want to give a healthier fresh food option to their pets. And we are very grateful to be able to share our fruits of labour with all the dogs out there, providing better nutrition and simply more proteins than other dog diets out there! Nothing makes us happier to see our canine friends enjoying their Pawmeal diets more than ever.

So this is why we stopped feeding kibbles to our dog, and switched to fresh food since she was a puppy.

Try giving Pawmeal fresh dog food to your dog today. 😊 Every week, we prepare new batches of Pawmeal cooked dog food, right here in Singapore, by our own dedicated kitchen crew. 


About Pawmeal Team

We love our pets (Skippy and Rara) and want to share our experiences and stories with you. Together, we took a pet nutrition specialist course to understand our pets' diets better. We also make fresh, gently cooked food that can let your pet become healthier, happier and live longer. Our cooked food helps keep picky dogs excited and interested longer than other foods.

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