It says "dog" on it, so it must be what I need to buy to feed my dog, right? Not necessarily...
Historically, kibble based diets for dogs developed because pet owners began to regard dogs as luxury items, and less often the working animals they started out as; they believed that dogs needed to be "civilized," and since wild dogs and wolves ate raw meat, domesticated dogs should not be so "untamed".
Biscuits for dogs did not come about as an idea for a healthy treat - they were marketed as inexpensively as possible to sell to pet owners. The pet food industry was not born of necessity for canine health; but in fact a way for entrepreneurs to cheaply manufacture a product in which there would be and inexpensive way to do do, with a very a long shelf life.
"In the late 1850s, a young electrician from Cincinnati named James Spratt went to London to sell lightning rods. When his ship arrived, crew members threw the leftover "ship's biscuits" onto the dock, where they were devoured by hordes of waiting dogs. That gave Spratt an idea. "Ship's biscuits," or hard tack, were the standard fare for sailors for centuries. Flour, water, and salt were mixed into a stiff dough, baked, and left to harden and dry. The biscuits were easily stored and had an extremely long shelf life, which was important in the days before refrigeration. And they looked a lot like today's dog biscuits. Spratt had the idea that he could make cheap, easy-to-serve biscuits and then sell them to the growing number of urban dog owners. His recipe: a baked mixture of wheat, beet root, and vegetables bound together with beef blood. When Spratt's Patent Meal Fibrine Dog Cakes came on the market in 1860, the pet food industry was born. Spratt's Dog Cakes were a hit in England, so in 1870 he took the business to New York …and began the American pet food industry."
But...what about "people food"? This term was coined by advertising in 1964 and has relatively no basis for truth whatsoever. In fact, the lobbyist division who promoted bagged-only dry food for dogs was also fear mongering table scraps at the time as dangerous. While some of this may be true (cooked turkey skin, for example in large amounts can cause pancreatitis), it was overwhelmingly blown out of proportion to include any fresh food at all. Leading pet owners to believe that they were, and still are quite unable to feed their own pets a diet of anything except processed food that is supposedly balanced for their dog. Even going far enough to specify different foods for different breeds. In the grand scheme of rationalization, science prevails and numerous studies have proven that dogs not only live longer on a diet made of more fresh food and less processed food - they're healthier for it. Not just healthier in general - they lacked the cancer rates, skin and ear infection issues, autoimmune diseases, anemia, liver and kidney malfunctions that kibble-fed dogs endured. Suspected reasoning for this lies in the fact that kibble is often comprised of inferior ingredients, carcinogens and toxins. Vitamins and minerals must be added in due to high-heat processing which makes the food shelf stable. It must contain a certain percentage of carbohydrate in order to hold together in kibble form; both difficult for your dog to digest properly (hence, the gigantic poops and gastrointestinal discomfort associated with having no beneficial bacteria and live enzymes running through the tract), and also creating an environment for molds to grow and feed on when stored in an open container, such as the bag or in a moist environment such as a basement or other high humidity zone. Additionally, heterocyclic amines have been proven to arise in meats subjected to high heat methods of processing due to the reaction between amino acids, sugars, and creatine. These same substances are also found in car exhaust and cigarette smoke. In rodent studies, these compounds fed in high amounts led to cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, leukemia and lung cancer. Other research linked these compounds to different types of cancers in addition to the ones listed above. How does a 100% kibble based, no "people food" diet sound now?