Yuck, don’t give her that!

This is exactly what my friend said when I gave Kira egg shells to clean out (it’s also what I think quite often when I’m buying Kira food). And it made me think whether I’m right in my thinking of dog diets or whether I have a few things wrong. The other day I was looking at different dog food brands and saw a ‘Vegan Dog Food’. Now straight away to me this is wrong, dogs are carnivores, they are decended from wolves and should eat meat…but most dog food had potato or veg of some kind in it so they’re omnivores like us…Now I’m confused. So I decided to do some research, hello google!

  1. Are dogs omnivores or carnivores? From what I can find dogs are omnivores but they have an “undeniable carnivorous bias“. They have a digestive system of a carnivore – pointy teeth, short digestive track and though they produce amylase (apparently needed for plant digestion) it’s released by the pancreas not in the saliva like herbivores. So though they can have an omnivorous diet they’d probably be better off with a carnivorous one instead. So personally, at no point am I going to be swapping Kira’s diet for a meat free vegan diet.
  2. How much protein should a dog eat? Now if you’d asked me before I started looking into this I’d have said as much as possible. But my dog trained said that she shouldn’t have more than about 20%. Which is much lower than I was expecting. “A general rule is that dogs require 2 grams of high quality animal protein per kilogram of body weight per day.” That’s approximately 10 – 18% but larger dogs should be more with up to 25% and puppies need a high protein diet around 22- 28%.
  3. Dried, wet or Raw? Which is best? We mainly feed Kira dried food (only feeding wet when she’s ill or raw as a treat), it’s easier to store and manage, and it tends to be more affordable but is it best. From what I’ve found “any good quality complete food, whether dry, wet or raw will provide everything a dog needs in its diet”. But there are disadvantages to all options. Some dried foods are mainly fillers and have added sugars etc which are not good for dogs or necessary. Wet food can cause an increase is tooth tartar and it also has a short shelf life. Whilst the recipes for raw can sometimes be unbalanced and there is an increased risk of harmful bacteria being present. Either way I think as long as you choose the best available dog food in your budget with the right ingredients you’ll be doing the best for your dog.

Hope this helps and that you learnt as much for my explorations of google (I have tried to link all the sites I read) as I have.

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