Dogs and Carbohydrates

There are so many different opinions on grain-free diets for dogs and it can be rather confusing. Some veterinarians say that complex carbohydrates are good, others say they are bad. What is the deal?

THE TRUTH IS:

Dogs DO NOT NEED carbs at all in their diet because they can get the same nutrients found in carbs from meat and fat!

Let’s break it down even further:

From a digestive system standpoint, dogs are considered omnivores, which means they can eat just about anything; plant or animal. We all know the dog was evolved and domesticated from the wolf, who are considered strict meat-eaters. Honestly, our dog’s digestive system is not drastically different from the meat-loving wolves, so why are grains usually the number one ingredient in most commercial dog foods? That’s an easy answer: grains are cheap. They cost exponentially less than meat and create a binding agent for kibble. Most dogs can digest these grains and live their lives in fairly good health, however, the increase rise in cancer rates and obesity are believed to be caused by grains in their diet. Several studies have been done to try to figure out if dogs could process grains and the results were pretty shocking. Grains in a dog’s diet can lead to poor gut health, decreased immune function, and chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to some very sick puppies.

Although dogs don’t necessarily need carbohydrates in their meals, some fruits and vegetables have been found to have multiple health benefits. Fruits and vegetables contain essential and accessible vitamins and minerals that dogs require in their diet.  Adding digestible fruits and vegetables can create a balanced diet, especially if you cook for your dog!

Dogs can efficiently digest certain carbohydrates found in their diet, which is why they are considered omnivores. However, more research has led to scientists believing complex carbohydrates, like grains, lead to damaging inflammation in the gut. The constant inflammation can lead to overall ill health and has been linked to the rising cancer rates. Dogs can greatly benefit from a grain-free diet, and be healthier for it!