History of Kibble- Cultural Canine

The first commercial dog food – the biscuit – is actually a re-purposed food, originally created for sailors as a non-perishable source of calories on long voyages.

To counter the problem of scurvy- sailors were not consuming enough essential vitamins – the flour, water and salt recipe for hardtack biscuits was supplemented with fats, meat, oatmeal and vegetables.. The nutritious biscuits quickly caught on as a favourite treat of shipyard pups.

It wasn't until the 1960's though that businessman James Spratt patent his particular recipe for the dog biscuit.

Kibble was never created to be a health food, it was created as a business idea to make money - it was targeted at wealthy English families, even back then its ingredients were low quality by-products of human processing.

The ‘The Association of American Feed Control Officials' (AAFCO) Whilst this group does not regulate the kibble industry, they do put in place guidelines for the minimum and maximum nutrients dogs need, if a kibble company wants to use the term ‘complete & balanced’ they have to meet AAFCO’s guidelines on this matter. 

Because kibbles are highly processed which degrades many of the nutrients, kibble companies have to add vitamins and minerals at the end to ensure they meet AAFCO’s complete and balanced guidelines, these mixes can contain synthetic vitamin and minerals. To date, there are no studies that show that dogs can actually uptake these vitamins and minerals effectively so whilst a food may be called ‘complete and balanced’, there is no guarantee that once it enters the dogs body that it is still complete and balanced.

Kibble isn’t lining the shelves of supermarkets and drug stores because it’s the only thing your dog can eat, it is there because it is convenient, profitable, and makes good use of animal products that would otherwise go to waste. But there is another story.. In the 21st century dog owners are starting to wondering how much cow is actually in a “beefy” can of dog food.

If you are interested in adding more whole, fresh foods to your dogs diet, check out this blog post.


if you are interested in working 1:1 for a custom meal plan tailored to your dog, contact Cultural Canine for more information.