Saturday, 2 January 2016

Do dogs need carbohydrates?

Do dogs need carbohydrates? The short answer is no, they do not. The NRC states “the fact that dogs and cats do not require carbohydrates in the diets is usually immaterial because the nutrient content of most commercial foods includes at least a moderate level of this nutrient.” It's the equivalent of saying that humans do not require tree bark in their diet, however if it is prepared properly and fortified you could survive with a portion of your diet consisting of tree bark. We don't want our dogs to just survive off what they eat, we want them to thrive!

Dogs are carnivores, there is plenty of proof that they are descendants and very close relatives to wolves. Everything about them makes them a carnivore, designed to thrive off the nutrients provided by consuming animal fats, protein, bones and organs. Vegetable and plant matter need time to sit and ferment in the digestive system in order for their nutrients to be absorbed. Dogs have a very short digestive tract which food passes quickly through, this does not allow the proper digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. (Compare a dog's GI tract at 2 feet to a omnivore at 20 to 40 feet, or a herbivore at about 100 feet). They also do not produce the necessary amount of amylase to begin the break down of carbohydrate in the saliva which places great burden on the pancreas to produce large amounts amylase to break down carbohydrates. There is a reason feeding carbohydrates results in large, smelly stools. Listen to what your dog's body is telling you!

Lets start using some common sense when we feed our animals and utilize the system that they have, rather than fighting it by finding ways to feed them foods they were never designed to eat. 

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