If a dog is a carnivore, is it necessary to feed it with meat?
The dog is not a wolf
A dog is undoubtedly a predator, and meat should be present in its diet. However, it is not able to provide all its needs. Even the wild ancestors of pets – wolves – strive to diversify their diet as much as possible, eating not only the flesh of their victims, but also their insides, which contain, in particular, semi-digested herbs, that is, fiber. Also, wolves eat some plants and other organic matter, in which they see benefits for themselves.
If a dog, at the whim of the owner, is forced to eat only meat, this can mean one thing: it is guaranteed to receive less or, on the contrary, receives in excess some or even most of the 40 essential components that should be in the pet’s diet.
Meat contains too little calcium and much more phosphorus than the dog needs.
The right ingredients
In addition, it is important to note that meat of different origins differ markedly in their characteristics. Beef has more protein than pork, but less fat than chicken. The kidneys give the animal more calcium than the heart or liver. The sodium level in them is twice as high as in other organs. But in terms of the content of copper and vitamin A, the liver has no competitors.
But not only this is important. An important role in providing the animal with good nutrition is played by such an indicator as the digestibility of food. Of the total protein contained in beef, the dog extracts only 75%, but from the same weight of industrial feed – more than 90%.
That is, meat cannot be the only dish in the pet’s diet. Otherwise, it can be detrimental to his health.
A dog living at home cannot independently, like a wolf, regulate its diet. She cannot tell her owner about her needs – he can understand them only by external signs. And some of them indicate problems: weight loss can be caused by an excess of vitamin A, lameness can be caused by a lack of calcium, fatigue can be caused by sodium deficiency.
In order for the pet not to experience health problems, it must be fed with the food intended for it, namely industrial feed. They contain both digestion-stabilizing fiber, and a properly composed vitamin complex, and, of course, animal protein.
For example, for an adult dog, you can choose such diets as Chappi meat abundance with vegetables and herbs, Pedigree for adult dogs of all breeds with beef, Darling canned dogs with meat and liver, Hill’s Science Plan Canine Adult with turkey. Wet foods are listed here that saturate the animal’s body with moisture and prevent obesity, but experts recommend combining them with dry foods that are good for digestion and care for the pet’s oral cavity.
In addition to these brands, dog food is also available under the brands Royal Canin, Eukanuba, Cesar, Purina Pro Plan, Acana, Happy dog, etc.