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Healthy dog food – Dogs are only a tiny bit adapted to starch

two meat loving dog food dogs

two meat loving dog food dogs Pt 3 ” The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet” paper was wrong.


This is a question of how well a domestic or companion dog’s body digest different types of foods.

That is the whole point of why raw feeders use raw meat for their dog’s main diet. Because it is bio available.

That means that the body of the dog can very efficiently extract the essential amino acids and fats that it needs from meat, where as it struggles to do so from grains and vegetables.

This is not theory, this is tested by dog food manufacturers (the ones that are doing their job properly) in feeding trials. The cheap and easy trials involved feeding a small number of dogs and seeing which ones dog look too skinny or have a dull coat (just add oil). Proper trials measure how much protein has been used by the dog’s body in the important building and energy processes that it looks after, and how much goes through unprocessed (a significantly higher amount of vegetable matter and vegetable PROTEIN is not processed).

This means that the dog’s body has to either work harder to extract what it needs (from carbohydrates), or the dog has to eat more grain just to get sufficient nutrition.

Of course the most laughable point in all of this is that grain fails ALL minimum essential amino acid levels, AND vitamin AND Mineral requirements as stated by AAFCO.

Grain (and the starches) are OK at providing energy to a dog, and second rate oil (dogs need Omega 3 from fish not plants) and grains are great for bulking up a pack of dog food (so you think its worth the price). BUT the main thing is that Grains and starch are also significantly cheaper for a dog food  manufacturer to pack into a packet than meat. BUT they sell you the dog food as if it contained meat, making massive profits, risking your dog’s health.

The question of amalyse still a pointer to dogs being carnivores

For all of the blindingly clever science and maths used in the research paper, a clue to how much a dog has evolved is the amount of amalyse that it has, and where it has it.  As the papers says: ” Whereas humans have acquired amylase activity in the saliva via an ancient duplication of the pancreatic amylase gene, dogs only express amylase in the pancreas.”

This paper does not go into detail about measure amylase. They are trying to indicate just the presence of it means a dog can eat grains. A human can also live on Junk food for several years, but it will not have the best healthy outcome. the paper brags about a ” 7.4-fold average increase in dog AMY2B copy numbers. ” but not what this technical term means to the VOLUME OF amalyse chemical, or where it is used.

EVEN if a dog secretes a lot of amalyse into its stomach to eat grain, is that particularly good for a dog? Originally a dog may have eaten grain in scraps on human food dumps, but it would not have been eating 80% grain daily. Farmers used to know better.

As you can see this kind of research paper seems to have been created for evidence that dog food manufacturers can use in their advertising, nothing about the actual practical application of the ideal food source. Dogs can also eat some chocolate without dying, though in large doses it will kill them.

This statement shows that while dogs can eat grain if forced to, they did not evolve to eat it (were carnivores) and have still not completely evolved to eat it.

Sure if we continue to feed dogs second rate food (grains and starches) for another thousand years or so, we may force their digestion to evolve (at least the amalyse amount), but that is not evolution for the benefit of the dog, that is evolution for the benefit of dog food manufacturers and maybe the owners pocket.

We have made dogs appearance change on whims, and their behaviour change (because we once used them a lot in hunting and farming) – though all these needs have diminished significantly in the last century. Most people just want a companion dog these days that don’t want walking and isnt too much trouble. I guess feeding them grain is another part of pacifying them, moulding them to our exact needs.

The whole concept of a dog like all carnivores having highly acidic stomachs (to quickly get the nutrients they need from meat) then a short intestine to quickly expel the waste. HAS NOT CHANGED. If you feed grain to a dog, even grain that has been smashed, cooked and coated with oil (ie dog food), it is still not designed to go through this system.  Grain is for cows that grind down grain, then let it stew in their gut for 4 times as long. That is how they extract nutrient from grains – the opposite is true for dogs!

Did you know that dogs get bloat on grains, but not on meat???

ALL that this “science” paper has done is show how clever the authors are, and that feeding grains to dogs may not be as dangerous as some people claim.

It does not answer what is the best food source for dogs (ie meat) or bio availability or anything else related to a dog being natural in our unnatural urban worlds. The least we can do for our companion animals, our pets, our friends is give them the food they evolved NATURALLY to eat, and continue to use most efficiently – MEAT. Do not feed your dog grain, just because a dog food company gets wealthy from it.


The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet  2013

Erik Axelsson1, Abhirami Ratnakumar1, Maja-Louise Arendt, Khurram Maqbool1, Matthew T. Webster1, Michele Perloski, Olof Liberg, Jon M. Arnemo, A˚ ke Hedhammar6 & Kerstin Lindblad-Toh

Dog Nutrition
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