Do dogs really need meat in their diet? Is meat protein a biological requirement for your dog?
The debate of whether dogs are carnivores is ongoing and officially the jury is still out on this one. With limited research on long-term effects of feeding a dog a plant-based diet, providing your dog with a meat-free diet is perhaps controversial.
We do know that dogs are not strict carnivores by nature, they obtain many omnivore characteristics. Especially domesticated dogs and their genetic alterations, the digestive system has changed over time meaning that they can now consume carbohydrates and use them as energy.
Undeniable carnivore bias
This does not mean they are true omnivores either, dogs acquire an undeniable carnivore bias. Dogs have sharp cutting teeth designed to cut through meat. They have no flat grinding teeth that can process plant material. They also don’t produce amylase in their saliva which is definite for an omnivore.
Dogs have strong stomach acid to help them digest animal protein fast and their short intentional tract is much more suited to processing meat. So, we believe it’s important to give meat-based foods a priority.
A complete, balanced diet
With this in mind, it’s easier to recognise better dog foods. A dry dog food with high meat content is an ideal choice for a complete and balanced diet. The high levels of meat are a great, healthy source of protein and energy and the added nutrients gives your dog everything they need.
Ultimately, to keep your dog happy and healthy, a truly complete, balanced diet is required with attention to high levels of quality meat.