Q: Is My Dog a Carnivore?
A: No. Your dog is NOT a carnivore.
We’ve all seen our dogs drool over the smell of bacon or sit up and beg at the sunday BBQ, even young children know that dogs like to chew on bones, but are dogs carnivores or omnivores? What many people do not know is that, as important as it is for dogs to eat meat, it is equally vital for dogs to eat plant-based foods for a balanced diet.
Though dogs evolved from their carnivorous ancestors over 15,000 years ago, domestic dogs are actually closer to omnivores, meaning they eat food that originates from animals as well as plant matter. Healthy dog and cat diets are very different. Even though dogs can survive on a meat based diet, they are also capable of eating plant-based foods unlike cats who are obligate carnivores and are unable to digest plant material at all.
Why We Should Consider Dogs Omnivorous?
Dogs exhibit several physical and behavioural factors that can be considered omnivorous qualities. While the dog’s body is optimised for eating meat, it has enzymes like amylase (though not salivary amylase like humans) which allow it to digest carbohydrate-based foods.
Dogs are able to break down and digest the carbohydrates they eat, which is a quality that is not seen in true carnivores.
Dogs also have molars with flat surfaces which allow them to grind meat-covered bones as well as plant-based foods. The presence of these flat molars allows dogs to enjoy a diet with both meat and carbohydrates.
The size of a dog’s small intestine is similar to that of other omnivores. The small intestine is longer than that of the average carnivore and it is not quite as long as the small intestine of the average herbivore. This is another physical factor that suggests dogs are omnivorous.
A Balanced Diet for Your Omnivorous Dog
Dogs need a diet that combines food from animal and plant sources. It is important that dogs eat food from a variety of meat sources.
Muscle meat, animal meat without bones, is a great way for your dog to receive the protein he or she needs.
Offal, the organ meats of an animal, provides essential nutrients and vitamins that manufactured dog food is not able to give to your dog.
Liver is a great source of key nutrients like protein, iron, riboflavin, and folate.
Meat from the kidney and heart are rich in iron and zinc among other nutrients.
Raw bones are a major source of calcium and phosphorus, and these should be a part of your dog’s diet as well.
While meat is a vital nutritional requirement in your dog’s diet, it is not enough to keep your dog healthy.
If you want to make sure that your dog is receiving all of the vitamins and nutrients he or she needs to be healthy and strong, you should make sure to add vegetables to your dog’s diet.
Your Dog Is Not a Wolf
Sorry to tell you this, but your dog is not a wolf. Yes. There is some evidence of evolution through domestication, but we are talking >15,000 years ago here. Things have certainly changed.
If you are a prey model raw feeder, check out our blogs:
Hungry Like A Wolf
What is AAFCO And Why Should I Care?
Vegan Dog Food - An Overview of the importance, not reliance on vegetables alone.
Vegetables Provide Key Nutrients and Vitamins!
Vegetables are a good source of lipids, fats, carbohydrates and fiber.
These nutrients help your dog to stay strong and they also help fight off diseases.
Vegetables are the only source of phytonutrients, which are anti-viral nutrients that help strengthen the immune system, protect against diseases and support eye and heart health. They also boost enzyme and antioxidant levels, which helps fight degeneration.
Vegetables are high in soluble fibre, which helps dogs pass waste. There are many important vitamins that vegetables provide to dogs, including vitamin B, E, A and K.
Without vegetables, your dog will not receive the natural nourishment it needs to live a long, healthy life.
Vegetables Provide Hydration
Many dogs suffer from dehydration which can lead to serious health conditions.
Raw vegetables give dogs water, helping to prevent dehydration and health issues like bladder stones.
Water aids digestion and helps regulate body temperature.
When dogs are water-deficient, they are at risk for organ damage and other health problems.
For more information on the vegetables that we use here at Rawmate. Check out our Vegan Dog Food blog article.
Vegetables Provide Omega-3’s
Your dog needs Omega-3s to fight inflammation and support his or her central nervous system, breathing and digestion.
Omega-3s cannot be produced naturally within an animal’s body, so it is crucial for you to include these fatty acids in your dog’s diet.
Plant-based Omega-3s provide your dogs naturally with the essential fatty acids they need to stay healthy.
If you want to ensure your dog is receiving proper nutrition, make sure his or her diet is comprised of both meat and vegetables!
Learn more about why the Rawmate diet is perfect for your furry friend by checking out our article on Raw Dog Food Pet Dinners
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