The Evolution of a Dog's Diet

The dog is a descendent of the wolf and owners regularly ask if dogs need a lot more meat in their diet? Our Happy Dog vet, Carina Mederle, explains all. Because the dog is a descendant of the wolf, in the zoological classification system (also known as the tree of life or ‘taxonomy’) it is described as a ‘carnivore.’ However, due to the way in which the dogs eating habits have developed over the years, food scientists now describe the dog as a ‘carni-omnivore’ (meaning eating meat as well as eating opportunistically, including plants).

Can Domestic Dogs Digest Carbohydrates?

Unlike wolves, our domestic dogs have adapted to our way of life over thousands of years and have become more than capable of digesting carbohydrates. This was only proved very recently in a 2013 study. In fact, we really should not be surprised by this finding given that dogs have been at man’s side throughout his development from hunter to farmer and have therefore had plenty of time to adapt.

Is Corn Bad for Dogs?

Certain studies assume that specific substances in corn can have a negative influence on dogs that are insecure, cortisol-driven and easily stressed. On the other hand, for dogs that have high amounts of energy, a diet containing corn have been found to have calming effects. It is therefore essential to take a dog’s personality into account before ‘banning’ corn completely. Many dogs actually benefit from being fed a controlled amount of corn. In fact, canine behaviour experts are just as likely to recommend corn in the diet as to advise against it.

How to Choose the Correct Diet for You Domestic Dog?

To pick the most suitable food for each individual dog depends largely on character, personality and emotional stability of the dog. For example, an ‘excitable’ dog will often benefit from being put on a diet containing a rather moderate amount of protein (approx. 20-24%). Moreover, one should always bear in mind that a diet can support the training of the dog but not replace it! Behavioural problems cannot be solved by only changing the diet but need to be actively worked on with professional advice. Happy Dog offers the recipes which are perfectly adapted to the needs of dogs today. It provides your dog with a wide range of different animal proteins, carbohydrates and fat sources to present an accurately balanced variety. Click here to view that range. © Dr. med. vet C. Mederle
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