Let me preface this blog post by saying that I’m a raw feeder with 3+ years of fresh food experience, and that I’m no big fan of kibble, period. I simply don’t believe that highly processed dog food is nutritious, just as much as I don’t believe that our human diet should consist of mainly processed foods.
That being said – sure, dogs can survive on kibble, but they certainly don’t t h r i v e on it, and the latter is what I’ve become passionate about.
So now you may wonder why I even bothered putting this post together considering that I don’t believe in feeding kibble in the first place? Well, I currently have 2 little K9 guests staying at my house while their Mommy is deployed for a while (let’s all thank her for her service!), and Lila & Rocky happen to be eating Merrick Lil Plates Grain Free Chicken+Sweet Potato Recipe With Raw Bites Dry Dog Food.
What’s In Merrick’s Lil’ Plates Grain-Free Bites + Freeze-Dried Raw
As the name suggests, this particular food is a grain-free kibble infused with freeze-dried, raw meat. Lila & Rocky are on the chicken, sweet potatoes + peas recipe, but it’s also available in a poultry-free texas beef + sweet potato recipe.
How Much Freeze-Dried Raw Meat Is In This Line Of Food?
I’d say there’s about 10% of freeze-dried raw meat in this line of Merrick’s food. I went ahead and scooped out 1 cup of the food, and then picked out the pieces of freeze-dried chicken. I counted 18.
The Freeze-Dried Raw Meat Is The Best Part In This Food Recipe…The Pups Agree!
I’ve had several weeks of observing Lila & Rocky eat this food, and they both pick out the freeze-dried chicken before eating the kibble. Smart pups – they know what’s best! The video below shows Lila doing exactly that!
Good For Introducing Healthier Food
I think that this line of food is a good option for introducing kibble-fed dogs to a healthier food. I would suggest feeding it during the transitioning phase towards a line of food that consists completely of freeze-dried cuts of meat. Merrick carries one line of freeze-dried food that’s called Back Country Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Mixer. (available in chicken, beef, & salmon).
In my personal opinion, it’s a healthier food than the kibble + freeze-dried raw option I mention in this blog post, and these are its ingredients (for the chicken option):
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Liver, Dried Potatoes, Potato Protein, Chicken Broth, Gelatin, Dried Kelp, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Potassium Chloride, Apples, Carrots, Blueberries, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Chloride, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride
As you can see, I highlighted a few of the ingredients in red. It’s because I don’t love seeing the potato, gelatin, & salt addition, simply because dogs have no need for starch in their diet, gelatin typically contains additives like sugar and colors, and added salt is typically only a flavor enhancer.
As I’ve said before when I offered my thoughts on FreshPet Select(click to read), I do like the general direction the pet food industry seems to be headed in, although I personally wouldn’t feed Merrick’s grain-free kibble + freeze-dried raw to my own dogs.
But like I said, more and more pet food companies are beginning to introduce healthier food options besides their typical dry dog food lines, and I think that deserves mentioning.
Leave your comments or questions below in the comment section!