Mixing raw and cooked ? The real science ?

I have read many blogs etc warning against mixing raw and cooked meats. I have not found a scientific paper on it. The thinking is that the digestion times are different and that the slower stuff would hang around and cause problems. This doesn’t seem to fit with what I have learnt about the powerful digestive process in the stomach. Has anyone come across real scientific evidence on this? I can get good quality minced lung etc. which I am tempted to use to top up kibble rather than have to add calcium supplement to. I could cook it but would rather not. This would be a few meals out of my diet programme not a 24/7 feed.

I don’t believe there’s a problem with mixing raw and cooked meats, as such. Mixing raw with kibble though could be another matter.

I am certain that kibble takes a very long time to digest, never mind the powerful stomach acids, though the only evidence I have is that of my own eyes… ever seen what a kibble-fed dog produces if it throws up 4 or 5 - even 6 - hours after it’s last meal? Swollen, undigested kibble. Every time, in my experience.

I too have heard (anecdotally) that mixing raw and kibble is not recommended due to the different transit times but tbh I haven’t looked for any scientific study or evidence to support this. I take George’s point about a dog vomiting undigested kibble some hours afterwards but maybe the reason for this could be underlying illness which prevents digestion of the food. In normal health, the transit time of the kibble would probably depend on what’s in it. For instance, those with high meat content and no grain might be digested and absorbed more efficiently than some other types. None of mine have ever vomited their cold pressed food and I am pretty sure that it passes through the digestive system quite efficiently. That’s probably why the company recommend that it can be used with raw feeding. However, I don’t know for sure.

Hi. I looked into this quite a bit too as I feed a variety. I belong to another forum where there are a lot of raw feeders some have been doing it for over 20 years and most of them say its myth and that there is no evidence to support the view that they should not be fed together.

I can only go on my own experience. Mine have been fed all kibble in the past, kibble with home cooked then had 6 months on raw which included mince/offal/heart/meat chunks/and some form of bone such as ribs or chicken carcass or necks. Since then 2 of my 3 are fed mainly kibble again but get raw mince sometimes and tripe sometimes. They also get a couple or ribs or a chicken carcass now and then. The other one is fed mainly raw but has some kibble now and then. We’ve had no problems with doing this. If anything one of my pointers used to vomit a bit more when he was on total raw - mainly bits of rib or cartilage from a pigs or ox tail.

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As Dottie says, its the presence of grains in particular, or very high levels of other carbohydrate that tend to be the issue, grain free low carb foods are able to be digested with raw, since they contain a virtually identical nutrient profile they digest ath the same rate.

grains, so the story goes, take much longer to digest than (raw) meats and this results in the meat being held in the stomach for longer allowing it to turn “rancid”.

I have never seen any scientific study conducted on dogs to prove or disprove the theory, there may be some on rats, but that’s a totally different animal, and the source of most dog feeding myths, especially those about high protein and liver/kidney trouble (the rats already had kidney disease too)

These results of these studies are the ones that the vast majority of pet foods have been developed around… rats, not dogs.

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To clarify, I’m not talking about an ill or unwell dog throwing up undigested kibble many hours later - just a dog that suffered motion sickness One of my poodles would regularly reproduce his breakfast many hours later, all it took was a short car journey. He always ate it up a second time though ;D

I think his record for regurgitating kibble was 7 1/2 hours after consumption, and it was still perfectly recognisable. He was fed Orijen, so it wasn’t grains either.

I should also have said that I only know that my experience leads me to believe that kibble is digested very slowly; I have no idea whether or not this means it is unsafe to feed raw and kibble together. I certainly can’t see any reason why it should be a problem to feed, eg raw for breakfast and kibble for supper, and I think even those who warn against mixing raw with kibble say that it’s fine to mix raw with a cold-pressed food.

I believe it does, Dottie, cold pressed is digested far more quickly than kibble.

I tried the experiment recommended by (I think) Gentle when I first tried a cold pressed food - drop a few pieces of kibble (I used Acana grain free) into one glass of water and a few pieces of cold pressed into another. The kibble very slowly swells and remains whole, the cold pressed disintegrates, almost dissolves really. I guess the result of that is that as soon as the food is mixed with water from a drink, never mind the stomach acids, inside the dog then s/he is effectively digesting something a bit like a nutrient rich soup.

I did the same experiment George and was impressed how well the Gentle broke up. I seem to remember adding a little vinegar to mimic stomach acid.

I have fed Gentle mixed with the nature diet without any problems but since the nature diet is cooked that doesn’t help answer the question. I also give a kong full of softened then frozen gentle straight after a raw breakfast without any problems, Not sure if that counts.

It is difficult to to give an informed opinion without a scientific background.

It is very impressive, isn’t it? In fact I’m impressed by cold pressed foods, full stop. If ever I had to give up feeding raw I’m pretty sure that’s the way I’d go.

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I am quite impressed by cold pressed food too. I tend to separate by feedtimes, kibble for one meal and generally raw for the other. I use a calcium supplement if the raw doesn’t contain bone as I get lovely big ox hearts. The meat is locally reared and mainly down here in Cornwall grass reared, the abbatoir is about a mile from my butcher. My only wish would be for green tripe but butchers are no longer allowed to deal with it. I keep a foot in the kibble camp as my foster dogs might go to a non raw feeder plus if I am away my elderly mother in law has to feed five dogs. I shall probably cook the mince if I have to feed ordinary kibble. I just get a little tired cutting through some of the anti arguments to get to evidence based ideas. This forum is brilliant.

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I have been following this thread with interest as it’s a claim that seems to be cropping up more and more - that dry food should never be fed alongside raw or even wet foods. Like all of you, though, I’ve never seen any evidence of mixing food types being detrimental and, in fact, have always found a combination of good dry with good wet/raw to go down extremely well with most dogs. It might also be worth noting that we humans combine foods with different digestion rates in just about every meal but nobody is suggesting that that is dangerous. Until some actual evidence appears, I would suggest disregarding this and, as always, feeding for the individual dog.


This issue of mixing dry and raw food is similar to the notion of transitioning dogs gradually to new types of food. Most pet food companies give instructions to gradually introduce their food over a period of several days. It may be sensible advice to those who have dogs with sensitive digestion but tbh I’ve usually been able to give my lot new types of food with little bother and I have not always transitioned them. It reinforces the notion that a dog’s digestive tract is a sensitive thing and must be treated with great care. I’ve not found this to be the case, especially when I have had a litter of pups - the mother has had all kinds of different but good quality food because they need it when feeding. Can’t remember it causing any problems. Maybe I have just been lucky.



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I agree with Dottie about the strange notion that dogs have an overly sensitive digestive tract. I’m certain that some dogs do have sensitive stomachs for whatever reason as do people, but whenever I find myself worrying over the effect a particular food might have on Coco my sprocker, I remind myself that she regularly manages to find stashes of cat poop in the garden which she munches down with relish… :o

Actually I really feel that David is right in that different diets suit different dogs. I feed Coco kibble in the morning and natures menu raw and tinned (alternating randomly not together) in the evening. The kibble I currently use is Barking Heads, I tried Applaws which is a really good food but made her stools really runny and grainy and this was over several months. I’m thinking of alternating the Barking Heads with Aatu which I’m hoping doesn’t have the same effect as Applaws…

soft stools on a food like Applaws, Aatu, eden and other high meat, high protein foods is generally a sign of slight overfeeding, the excess protein, instead of being absorbed and stored as fat like carbs could be, is simply expelled, the feeding guides are sometimes a little generous and simply cutting back by about 10% (sometimes a little more) is all that is required to firm things up.

It could also be a sign of intolerance to one of the ingredients, for example when the food contains 40% chicken compared to the 4% in some cheaper brands you will notice more of an effect

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