Dogs are not far removed from their wild ancestors. They share 99% of their mitochondrial DNA with the wolf. Some people argue that domestication has changed their physiology enough that they are now not made to eat the same diet as that of the wolf.
Evolutionary changes in species take hundreds of thousands of years, if not longer. Studies of remains found in caves throughout the world have shown that the oldest traces of dogs were approximately 30,000 years ago. Even with the studies of those remains it is not known exactly what part the dog played in the interaction with humans. Were they companions? Were they simply scavengers? Or were they used as a food source themselves? One thing we do know is that upon examination of the domestic dog today, science has concluded that the domestic dog’s nutritional needs are the same as that of the wolf. A high meat protein, low carbohydrate diet is the ideal diet for most dogs. By feeding a diet that more closely resembles a dog’s natural diet you will notice many improvements in your dog such as, less shedding, shinier coat, cleaner teeth, less “doggie” smell and best of all, less poop!
I advise people to feed the best food you can afford. By spending more on your dog’s food, you will have a much healthier dog. You will also lessen the chances of your dog developing some of the diet related health issues such as, skin conditions, hot spots & obesity to name a few.
All inclusive frozen raw meat diets make it very easy to feed your dog the best nutritionally packed meal as possible. Grain free dehydrated and grain free kibbled diets are also great choices. For small dogs, grain free dehydrated or grain free canned foods are affordable and convenient.
If you are going to choose a dry kibble or canned diet be sure to read the ingredients list. The first couple of ingredients on the list should be meat. Wheat, Corn & Soy should be avoided. No high quality dog food contains these grains. Artificial colors, flavors & preservatives should also be avoided. In the pet food market you truly do get what you pay for. Meat is much more expensive than grain, so a higher meat protein dog food will cost more than a poor quality grain based food. But remember, the higher the quality food, the healthier your dog is going to be!
The same rules apply to the treats you give to your dog. Read the ingredients. Avoid any brightly colored treats. Avoid any treats that look like Play-Doh! These treats are FILLED with chemicals that contribute to poor health. Choose meat based treats whenever possible. You can also use frozen or fresh vegetables and fruits such as: Green beans, broccoli florets, Asparagus spears, baby carrots, peas, blueberries, raspberries, all make great all natural healthy treats. Meat that is cut into little cubes, frozen individually on a cookie sheet and stored in a bag in the freezer also make great treats. Dogs love them!! Just make sure to size them appropriately for your dog.
This is a list of some of the ingredients to AVOID when shopping for food and treats: meat & bone meal, sugar, chicken by products or meal, sorbitol, corn syrup, poultry by products or meal, meat by products or meal, beef & bone meal, peanut hulls soybean mill run, wheat middlings, bha or, wheat, hydrochloric acid, ethoxyquin, ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal chicken liver digest corn meal, wheat gluten, soy flour, wheat flour soybean meal, animal fat, animal digest, corn, beef tallow, propylene glycol, ground wheat, and soy.
So remember, don’t let the front of the package fool you! Turn it around and read the back. Your dog can’t shop for himself so he is relying on you to choose a diet that is going to keep him happy and healthy for years to come! Happy Shopping!