Dogs Eating Carbs

A reader recently sent me a link to an article written about “Why Dogs Can Eat Carbs” and asked my opinion on it.

As the mom to Paleo dog children (OK, make that singular; even though it’s nearly been two months since we lost Graham, I still find it hard to say we have one dog, not two!)  I just had to have a look.

Apparently a study was published in Nature Magazine, The genomic signature of dog domestication reveals adaptation to a starch-rich diet, which identified 3.8 million genetic variants, used them to identify 36 genomic regions that appeared related to dog domestication. Many of these gene regions appear to be associated with the behavioral changes needed to domesticate wolves. Ten of the genes turned out to have roles in starch digestion; three of these genes promote digestion.”

It goes on further to state that dogs “thrive on a diet rich in starch, relative to the carnivorous diet of wolves.”

OK. I get it.  Modern dogs have become adapted to eat more carbohydrate than their ancestors.   But (and this is a big, old but), think about this.  What kind of carbs are we talking about?   Some vegetables and fruit?  Roughage? (I can vouch for Daisy and tell you that she certainly enjoys some grass now and then.. that’s grass in our garden, not smoking weed, people).  Those all make sense.

But no amount of science is going to convince me that there is any rationale for feeding corn, rice and wheat to our dogs, any more than there is a reason for us to be eating that junk.

It’s bad enough to see unhealthy people making poor choices in terms of what to put into their bodies, but to see a dog being fed scraps of leftover pasta, cake, cookies… as though they were a garbage bin… is just unacceptable.

It’s no different from the silly argument that our bodies have evolved to be able to digest modern day foods that our paleo ancestors did not have access to.   If they  had, we would not be in the throes of an obesity-diabetes-auto immune-hypertension-high cholesterol-migraine headache-leaky-gut-epidemic.

Keep it clean, simple and Paleo and just see how healthy your dog gets.  Do it now rather than waiting until they’re fat with dull coats, poor energy and cancer and you’re in a frenzied, dire attempt to try and fix what could have been prevented.