All right you dog lovers! As promised, here is the next installment of feeding your pet with food best suited for them. It really is the Paleo diet for dogs.
I was going to post the videos from Dr. James Coghlan’s website, the Paleo diet for Dogs, but in doing research for this article I came across some information that is contradictory to what he believes is the correct diet. He mentions that wolves, ancestors of dogs, would have eaten the stomach contents along with the internal organs. I’ve discovered that this is not true. In fact wolves will eat almost everything butthe stomach contents. Maybe if the animal was small like a rabbit or squirrel, the stomach contents would have been consumed. What this means is that dogs do not need vegetables and are real carnivores.
Wolves from Norway. Photo by soldatnytt
L. David Mech’s 2003 book Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Mech (and the others who contributed to this book) is considered the world’s leading wolf biologist, and this book is a compilation of 350 collective years of research, experiments, and careful field observations. These quotes are taken from chapter 4, The Wolf as a Carnivore.
“Wolves usually tear into the body cavity of large prey and…consume the larger internal organs, such as lungs, heart, and liver. The large rumen [, which is one of the main stomach chambers in large ruminant herbivores,]…is usually punctured during removal and its contents spilled. The vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves, but the stomach lining and intestinal wall are consumed, and their contents further strewn about the kill site.” (pg.123, emphasis added)
“To grow and maintain their own bodies, wolves need to ingest all the major parts of their herbivorous prey, except the plants in the digestive system.” (pg.124, emphasis added). Go here to read the full article…
I am familiar with L. David Mech and his work. He really is the world authority on wolves and their behavior.
This quote was from the Kerwood Wildlife Education Center. The site is no longer up but they had a lot of great information on wolves.
“The wolf’s diet consists mostly of muscle meat and fatty tissue from various animals. Heart, lung, liver, and other internal organs are eaten. Bones are crushed to get at the marrow, and bone fragments are eaten as well. Even hair and skin are sometimes consumed. The only part consistently ignored is the stomach and its contents. Although some vegetable matter is taken separately, particularly berries, Canis lupus doesn’t seem to digest them very well.”
Dog faces from Woofstock, 2011. Photo by Ryan
Since dogs are basically domesticated wolves, what should they be fed for optimal health? According to Kevin of Raw Fed Dogs, just give your dog a piece of meat, maybe with some organ meat on the side, not ground up. You dog needs to chew it. Visit his recipe pages and you will see what I mean.
For more information visit Rawfed.com. The site also has pages of myths regarding dogs and their health. There is also a group on Yahoo devoted to raw fed pets.
Well, this certainly did not turn out the way I expected. I might update the article on cats if I find that the information was incorrect. If it was, my apologies. In the mean time once you’ve done your research you can start to feed your dog the Paleo diet for dogs.