I saw this on a blog today and thought it interesting enough to share. It seems the whole "Your dog's ancestors are wolves, so feed her like a wolf" movement is moving into the mainstream thanks to heavy advertising by one or two dog food companies that I won't name.
I know there is a common sense appeal to the emotion behind that statement. Personally, I'm skeptical because I have always had trouble believing that tens of thousands of years of evolution have done nothing to our dogs' digestive systems, and I have seen feeding studies that show excellent digestion of starches.
Now here's some more evidence. Please bear in mind that almost all the dog food analysis type sites online are run by people with no more background in nutrition than myself or the average pet owner:
All I have access to is the abstract, but Patricia McConnell's blog discusses it a bit and I believe she's read the whole study.
The title is revealing: "The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet."
From the abstract, the general gist is that several genes directly involved with the digestion of starches show mutations compared to wolves. The conclusion is "that novel adaptations allowing the early ancestors of modern dogs to thrive on a diet rich in starch, relative to the carnivorous diet of wolves, constituted a crucial step in the early domestication of dogs."
I know food conversations come up a lot and I thought this might be useful to some people.
And don't forget that most dogs love to eat the feces of grazers (much as we find it disgusting). It's so universal that I'm quite sure farm dogs and probably even their wolf precursors supplemented their diets extensively with livestock poop. Yuck! But definitely another form of partially digested vegetables and grains...
I couldn't keep Luffy away from the sheep poop when I took him herding! Even in one of my videos you can see him grubbing on sheep poop after he is done herding
Mine love goat and rabbitt pellets...unfortunatly....the rabbit pellets I wish would disappear:( I just make sure they get wormed.
To me, comparing a dog's behavior to a cat's makes it pretty clear that the dog is a scavenger. Cats in the open tend to stick to edges and watch for motion (to hunt) whereas most dogs cast back and forth with noses to the ground looking for anything edible.
Mine will cross a football sized field at a run to eat a piece of plain white bread, frozen in the snow, that someone tossed out for the birds to eat. Most cats would never do such a thing.
Oh, that is so cute!
It's kind of like the "eggs are evil", no I guess eggs in moderation are good. Opposed to that study check out the following link to comments Mark Derr made regarding the finding of that study.
I feel that anyone should try to feed the best food they can given a specific dogs health and/or issues. Personal finances, culture, and what's available in a local area could limit selection. If people buy their dogs food based on what others feed they may be just trying to keep up with the Jones'. Very often I've found that the "economics" factor plays a really big part. Some friends of mine just can't see spending that much money on "DOG" food!, they'd rather go out for dinner or a movie more often! Personal choices!