How Kibble Is Made – Part Two

Judge rules against prescription dog food companies

Rewards 12.5 Million judgement

Our last blog was about rendering plants. This is the first step in the process of making dog kibble. Rendered raw materials are cooked at high temperatures (between 280 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit) for 60 minutes. This is performed in an attempt to destroy existing bacteria and viruses, but it does nothing to eliminate mold, pesticides, and other toxins.

The cooking of kibble at high heat for extended periods of time damages amino acids in proteins and leads to the formation of heterocyclic amines. Cooking starches the same way creates acrylamides. Both of these by-products can lead to cancer, inflammation, kidney damage, and neurodegenerative diseases. Dogs fed dry kibble are exposed to these toxins on a daily basis. Healthy foods should be gently cooked for as little time as possible. They should have a high moisture content for ease of digestion.

Rendering is just the first stage of heavy processing that makes dry kibble. The end result doesn’t resemble anything close to real food.

Most dog foods are made by the extrusion method, which was originally created to make breakfast cereal. That puffed up product should look familiar if you eat Cheerios or any crunchy breakfast cereal.

At the manufacturing plant the ingredients go through several stages:

dry-dog-food-300x2341. A hammer mill grinds each ingredient into a uniform size.

2. Dry and wet ingredients are mixed along with hot water and steam. This is called pre-conditioning. This is the first time the plant starts to cook the material. Remember that many of the raw materials from the rendering plant have already been subjected to high heat and pressure.

3. The dough is then fed into the extrusion machine. The walls of the tubes are heated to high temperatures and high pressure as the dough passes through. It is squeezed out the other end and cut into shapes.  As the dough hits the air and the pressure is released, it puffs up. The kibble is hot and soft at this point.

4. Next is the enrobing process. The hot kibble is dried and sprayed with synthetic vitamins, minerals, and flavor enhancers. The flavor enhancers are typically rendered liquid fats or powders.

5. The kibble is dried again, weighed, and bagged.

Because dried dog food has a 10 to 12 month shelf life, preservatives are needed to prevent mold, bacterial growth, rancidity, and oxidation. They appear on the bag as BHT, BHA, sucrose, sorbic acid, potassium, and calcium sorbates. Never store kibble in an open bag or in a moist environment like a basement, as this is a surefire way to grow mold and for the food to turn rancid. Mold and toxins in kibble can cause anemia, cancer, as well as liver and kidney damage. Even grain free kibble formulas can become contaminated.

After this series of processes, Kibble has become a commercial product that is virtually lifeless. It has been cooked at high temperatures, subjected to pressurized steam, dried, and ‘fortified’ with synthetic vitamins and minerals. This fortification is needed since the proteins have been denatured, vitamins and minerals have been destroyed, enzymes have been made inactive, and all the micro flora needed for digestion have been killed. That does not even begin to address the questionable quality of the raw ingredients used in the first place.

go-past-the-whole-foodsI often ask people what they would think if their medical doctor told them to by-pass all fresh fruits and vegetables in the grocery store and go to the ‘People Chow’ aisle. Imagine having to select one heavily processed ‘chow’ to eat every day for the rest of your life. It seems absurd, yet this is what we do to our dogs.

There is a healthy, growing trend of people seeking to avoid processed foods for themselves and their families. Kibble can never provide the same nutritional value as real food. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are not absorbed the same as those found in whole foods, where the synergy of naturally occurring phyonutrients and phytochemicals aid in the absorption process.

Please use common sense when selecting your dog food. Resist marketing and embrace Mother Nature. Dry kibble is convenient but not a healthy long-term choice for your dog.

The use of Presciption dog food is one of my pet peeves and shows that the
phrase “Marketing over Mother Nature’ holds true.
If you are a dog owner, you may have heard about the class action suit
against prescription dog foods. Hills, Science Diet, Royal Canin and Purina
are some of the brands that are accused of misleading consumers and
veterinarians about the benefits and ingredients of their products. The
lawsuit claims that:

  • these companies charge premium prices for prescription dog foods that are not significantly different from regular dog foods. In fact, they are made in the same facilities, using the same suppliers as low-quality grocery store brands like Alpo and Beneful.
  • they do not have any scientific evidence to support their claims of treating or preventing various health conditions in dogs. They are not made in facilities that follow traditional drug manufacturing protocols.
  • that these companies have violated consumer protection laws and engaged in false advertising.

The class action suit was filed in 2019 by a group of dog owners who purchased prescription dog foods from these brands for their pets. They are seeking refunds, damages and an injunction to stop the companies from selling prescription dog foods without proper authorization and
. The suit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Prescription dog foods are supposed to be specially formulated to address specific health issues in dogs, such as kidney disease, diabetes, allergies, obesity and more. However, according to the lawsuit, these products are not
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other agency,
 and they do not require a prescription from a veterinarian to be sold.

The lawsuit claims that these companies have exploited this loophole to market their products as prescription dog foods, even though they are not approved or tested by any authority.

This suit also accuses these companies of using low-quality ingredients and fillers in their prescription dog foods, such as corn, wheat, soy, by-products and artificial colors and flavors. These ingredients may not only be ineffective for treating or preventing health conditions in dogs, but they may also cause adverse reactions and allergies in some dogs. The lawsuit cites several examples of dogs that suffered from health problems after
consuming prescription dog foods from these brands, such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, skin infections, kidney failure and death.

The lawsuit seeks to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive and unlawful practices, and to provide compensation and relief to the dog owners who have been harmed by them. It also aims to protect the public interest and the welfare of dogs by ensuring that prescription dog foods are properly regulated and labeled, and that consumers and veterinarians are informed about their benefits and risks.

Please be aware that the FDA does not review or verify the health claims on any veterinary diet.

Take a close look at the ingredient list and ask your vet for evidence that the foods in the prescription diet are any better than most regular diets. Also please keep in mind that while your vet has the best intentions, they get little or no nutrition training and often what little training they do get comes from the very companies that are named in these lawsuits. 

Ultra processed foods made with poor quality ingredients are not what your dog needs if they are suffering from an illness. Give your dog a fighting chance with fresh, quality foods for a long and healthy life. 

This lawsuit was settled in July of 2021. Hills Pet Food paid $12.5 million to participants.

Is it any wonder that here at Lucky Dog Cuisine we believe wholeheartedly “Fresh is Better”
The food we send your dog is the exact same food we feed our own beloved pack. 


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