Home made dog treats – Why people feed veggies to dogs
The aafco standards (American dog food standards) that your dog food must reach before being labelled as dog food only has MINIMUM levels of amino acids (protein), vitamins and minerals, Plus Omega 6. It PURPOSELY does not tell you how to reach those standards.
Many American dog food manufacturers use loopholes in feeding trial rules to get their product over the finishing line with a bare minimum of meat in the product. This is usually below 30% and as low as 15%.
The problem for dogs is that while on paper they reach the minimum levels for the essential amino acids (those parts of protein that can’t be made in the dogs body) – they don’t address the bio availability of the amino acids (how easily the dog can use the nutrients.
Dogs evolved from wolves and it might be a few thousand more years before their bodies become truly omnivore. Just because a dog doesn’t die from eating 80% grain, doesn’t mean that its not bad for a dog !
Why human owners feed home made dog treats – carrots, beans etc
Mostly because they feed their dogs dog food full of grains, and then see vets on TV feeding dogs vegetables, or read it on websites.
You can feed your dog as much vegetables as you like, and they are usually low in fat and low in protein so the dog doesn’t get fat. The REAL number one benefit is that they add fibre and bulk to their stools. But if you are feeding your dog pellets or wet food, there is always sufficient fibre in that. I think that some people think that because veggies are healthy for them they ought to be for their dogs. But their dogs essentially have been and most likely always will be mainly carnivores with a TOLERANCE for vegetables.
Dogs love the crunch of carrots and the sweetness of the carbs in the veggies, but for the average dog that has been allowed to have bones before, there is NO contest between meat based dog treats and vegetables.
There are very few instances in the wild, of wild dogs digging up vegetables or eating large doses of vegetable matter. They are a hunter first and scavenger second. They will eat small amounts of grass if they are sick, and berries if they are desperate, but its not the major component of their food. They hunt for a living, the run in a pack and chase down their meat prey.
So while feeding dogs vegetables as an extra doesn’t damage them, it doesn’t add any real bioavailable nutrition to the dogs if it is fed at the expense of meat based food and dog treats.
If you want to keep your dogs weight down, then feed them less grain pellets and TVP (Textured vegetable protein) Soy made to look like meat, wet dog food, and INSTEAD feed them more meat based treats that are either a supplement or low fat additive.