Carnivores are not vegans – sounds logical doesn’t it? Not so to some people and even a couple of Premium dog food companies that seem to want to make money versus doing what’s right for our dogs.
Our dogs are carnivores, they are not strict carnivores and can eat vegetables, however just because dogs fed plant-based diets can stay alive does not make it the best for them. An optimal biologically appropriate diet for a carnivore is to have a meat based diet. An optimal biologically appropriate diet allows the dog to thrive not just survive. It provides them with the nutrients needed for a healthy immune system and a solid base for a long healthy life.
A carnivores digestive system is not designed for efficiently digesting plant material. It does not have the appropriate enzymes in saliva to break down starch. Also the digestive system is too short in comparison to herbivores and does not contain enough of the necessary enzymes for proper breakdown of plant material. This makes it difficult to digest plant material and to be able to gain the optimal nutrients, such as amino acids. Dogs do not produce amino acids very well and so it is necessary to provide them in their diet. Essential amino acids for dogs come from high quality animal protein, such as beef, chicken, turkey, duck, fish, lamb, venison, and bison.
Another problem with feeding a vegetable/starch based diet to a dog is that it can over work their pancreas. The pancreas of a carnivore produces enzymes used to process fats and protein. When you feed plant material it produces more enzymes to try to break it down. A long term over production of enzymes overtaxes the pancreas making it more likely to malfunction. A malfunctioning pancreas can lead to pancreatitis and/or diabetes and not so surprisingly can lead to obesity.
So for those of you eating a vegan or vegetarian diet for your health, you must realize that your digestive system is that of an omnivore and is different than that of a carnivore. Your dog is a carnivore and it needs a meat based diet. Please for the health of your dog, feed it what it was biologically created to eat.