By Christina Burns
We all know when we eat a large meal filled with carbohydrates how we fill afterwards – the food coma, ready-for –a-nap feeing! Well our pets, specifically dogs, get that same feeling! Often times I think us humans forget that animals in the wild do not sit around and eat bread baked or refined – they are mostly hunters and live off flesh and plant materials. Studies have shown that 80% of dog owners have the misconception that nutrition for dogs and humans are similar – when in reality they are different.
Therefore, it is important when choosing a diet for your best friend that you understand how the ingredients of the food will affect their behaviors and digestion. Although many parts of a dog’s digestive system are similar to ours, their functions are slightly different. Dogs are equipped with 42 teeth that were designed for tearing meat apart. They also have salivary glands that do not produce any amylase enzyme – this allows starches to stick to teeth causing plaque and tartar. As a carnivore, protein is the most important nutrient for your dog. Their entire digestive system was built to digest proteins not the fiber and carbohydrates found as the primary ingredient in most commercial dog foods. It is important that you read the food labels carefully to ensure a proper mix of high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, omega 3, and even a mixture of fruits and vegetable to balance the meal.
I personally balance out my dogs’ feeding routine with a variety of items to ensure the proper mix of nutrients and ensure that my pet is at optimal health. For my dogs kibble selection, I like Canine Caviar’s Wild Ocean Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet food as it offers a protein source that is high in omega 3, is easily absorbed, has the highest digestibly on the market between 91-93%, and does not contain sweet potato which can often times be linked to UTI’s in dogs. As I have written about previously offers an alkaline-based diet. As always, it is best to speak with your veterinarian when considering a food for your pets, however, I would recommend doing your own research as well, so you are well informed.