Well, This is what i keep seeing on many ” Raw Feeding” Social Media Groups online, there are so many dog owners out there that will fight tooth and nail for their opinion that dogs are Obligate Carnivores, but that would be incorrect, if that was the case a LARGE chunk of the “Pet Food Industry” Dry Foods couldn’t be fed as their primary ingredient is Cereals (Wheat/ Derivatives of).
Now i won’t go as far as to say our dog’s are Omnivorous, like some Veterinarians advocate, as i really don’t believe they are, research has shown that dogs NEED Animal Proteins in order to THRIVE, not merely survive. Dog’s are Facultative Carnivores, which means their primary diet is of Animal Proteins but they can select certain Vegetation when times are hard, Berries, Grass etc..
Wolves have even been seen to eat the contents of their Preys Stomach, some just empty the stomach by shaking it around like a rag doll though (Paraphrasing “L David Mechs” Studies, David’s studies have also contributed to the National Research Council*NRC*- Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats)
The reason why allot don’t believe dogs should eat Vegetables is because they don’t have the amylase to break down the cellulose walls and take nutrients from them, to an extent that is correct, dogs don’t have Buccal Amylase in their saliva that an Omnivore does BUT do produce this in their pancreas hence their ability to “digest” starch, So in order to help them take Nutrients from Vegetables, We have to Chop and Lightly Steam them or purify (Liquidise) them, That is doing stage one digestion for them, Vegetables given Raw and be a great source of Fiber.
Personally i only feed Cruciferous Vegetables, as they are low on the GI (Glycemic Index) scale and usually don’t spark a reaction with a dog that has yeast issues.
Here’s a list of those Vegetables;
- Broccoli sprouts
- Brussels sprouts
- Green cabbage
- Red cabbage
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Bok choy
- Swiss chard
Cruciferous Vegetables do contain “Goitrogens” which can block the bodies use of Iodine therefore COULD effect the Thyroid BUT the dog would have to consume allot more then 10% of the meal which is the maximum i would suggest, unless you feed a Dry Food diet in which case 1/4 of the meal should be Fresh Vegetables, this even reduces blood sugar levels by 40% on average for dogs fed Dry Foods.
I also add in members of the Amaranthaceae Family which are Spinach and Quinoa.
There are many that feed a broad range of Vegetables/Grains but that’s all i feed personally, I also wont feed ANY Starchy Vegetables such as Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes/Rice etc… This is because i have a dog that suffers tremendously with a Yeast Issue.
I also mix in certain Fruit/Seed/Nut Oils, Olive Oil, Flax Oil, Coconut Oil, Rapeseed Oil, Hemp Oil these can help balance Essential Fatty Acids and improve nutrients within Vegetables, for example: Kale and Olive Oil can increase the Bio-Availabilty of Vitamin K.
If you want to know how to add Vegetables into your Dogs diet, Please contact me!
Michael K A Bennett
Canine+ Nutrition and Welfare Fanatic.