Mixing it Up: Exploring the Raw Food & Kibble Combo

November 15, 2023

Mixing it Up: Exploring the Raw Food & Kibble Combo

In the world of pet nutrition, the debate between raw food and kibble has long been a subject of interest for pet owners. While kibble has been a staple for many years, a growing number of pet owners are turning to raw food diets as an alternative, drawn to a more natural and health-promoting diet for their companions. What sets raw pet food apart is the use of unprocessed, natural ingredients, often sourced from fresh, whole foods. Unlike kibble, where ingredients undergo extensive processing and often change state during manufacturing, raw dog food ingredients are brought in frozen and remain as close to their natural state as possible throughout the preparation process. 

Raw food diets offer several advantages for pets, including improved digestion, better nutrient absorption, healthier skin and coat, healthy weight management, increased energy and reduced dental issues. On the other hand, kibble has its own highlights. Kibble is known for its convenience, as it eliminates the need for meal preparation and it is cost-effective for many, making it an accessible option for pet owners. Additionally, most kibble has an extended shelf life, ensuring that it remains readily available for an extended period making it particularly beneficial for pet owners who travel. 

raw food and kibble kittens

When it comes to mixing raw pet food with kibble, there are numerous perspectives. The good news is that you have the flexibility to combine them – and we’re here to support you on this journey. 

In an ideal world, all pets would enjoy a 100% raw food diet, but we understand that practicality comes into play. Factors like frequent travel or budget constraints might lead you to choose a combination diet. Even as little as 20% fresh food added to your pet’s diet can make a significant difference in their health and digestion. We encourage you to incorporate as much raw food as fits your lifestyle, comfort, and budget. 

It's common to have concerns about different digestion rates, but remember, just like us, pets can digest various foods at different speeds. Many dogs and cats do just fine on a diet that includes both raw and kibble, however, if your pet encounters digestive challenges there are a few ways you can help them. Supporting their digestive health by utilizing prebiotics, probiotics and/or digestive enzymes can be quite valuable. Prebiotics are non-digestive fibres that feed the beneficial gut bacteria. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help to maintain a balanced gut microbiome, enhancing nutrient absorption and digestive enzymes, and can be used as needed to help break down food components. We recommend including Adored Beast Apothecary products, a trusted name, into your pet’s wellness routine if needed. 

raw food and kibble three pets eating

For pet owners who travel, planning ahead is crucial. If your pet is on a raw diet, and you intend to feed a portion of kibble while traveling, it’s best to start the transition well in advance. Ideally, you should introduce your chosen kibble 3 - 4 weeks before your travel date. This will allow your pet’s digestive system to adapt to the new diet, reducing the likelihood of digestive upset while on the road or in a new environment. 

While the best approach for combining raw food and kibble largely depends on your individual pet, here are two feeding methods that have been successful for many: 

SEPARATE MEALS: 1 Raw Meal + 1 Kibble Meal 

raw food and kibble one of each

Offering one raw meal and one kibble meal a day works well for pets with sensitive stomachs and gastrointestinal issues. You can choose the order that suits you best, whether it's kibble in the morning and raw at night, or the other way around. What matters is providing a sufficient digestion window for your pet. 


MIXED MEALS: Half Raw + Half Kibble, in the Same Bowl 

raw food and kibble mixed meals

For pets with robust stomachs and no gastrointestinal issues, combining raw pet food and kibble in a single meal can be a feasible option. 

Ultimately, the most crucial consideration is the health and well-being of your furry family member while accommodating your unique circumstances. If you have any questions about mixing raw and kibble, please reach out. We're here to assist you in making the best choices for your pet's happiness and health.  

raw food and kibble dinner

Potential Risk Alert: Warning 

Once your pet has experienced the freshness of raw food, they might develop some rather fancy taste buds, making their old, processed kibble seem, well, a bit 'ruff' by comparison! 

Embark on a nutritional adventure with Iron Will Raw’s Canine Complete Dinners, Feline Complete Dinners and Puppylicious Dinners. Explore the product pages for more insights and remember to share your pet’s successes with us! Tag us @ironwillraw on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. 

If you have any questions or concerns, we are only a message away. 


  1. Hemida, M. B. M., et al. (2021). Puppyhood diet as a factor in the development of owner-reported allergy/atopy skin signs in adult dogs in Finland. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 

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