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Old 02-15-2014, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
cwf
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Default Protein Levels and a Biologically Appropriate Diet

I've been giving some thought to protein levels and how popular protein levels in kibbles compare to a true biologically appropriate diet.


First, I do believe that feeding a species specific, biologically appropriate diet is important. For domestic dog breeds, in my opinion, that means a diet that is high in meat and other animal protein sources, such as eggs and perhaps fish.


Second, I do believe that domestic dogs have adapted to eat grains in moderation. Domestic dogs are not wolves. That said, I believe those grains should be in whole form, not processed, and ideally be low glycemic grain choices.

So, my question/consideration is this: in the wild, a canid would most likely never consume a meal of 28% protein, and certainly not on a daily basis. Fresh meat, i.e. meat not in dry meal form as found in kibble, has a high water content which buffers the protein percentage down a lot.

Do our dogs actually *need* such high protein levels? Do our dogs need to consume concentrated protein meals, e.g. chicken meal, lamb meal, etc.

I think not. I think dogs need a meat and animal product dominant diet, but not a super high protein diet...or at least, not protein levels as we often see on some high-end kibble bags. I think fresh meat, fresh animal products like eggs, fresh vegetation and whole grains are more important than concentrated protein because of the enzymes, the "living aspect" of fresh foods. It's why fresh basil tastes so much better to us than dried basil---fresh is alive and vibrant.

Whether one is feeding raw, or homecooked, I honestly think that the protein/fat/whole grain/vegetable carb ratios, in the form of fresh vital foods, are more important.

If it was necessary to feed a 28-30% protein level on a daily basis AND maintain the caloric requirements for weight management, raw and homecooked feeders would go broke...and, I question how healthy it is for our canids to consume so much concentrated protein.

I'm interested in a discussion on these points, and I value everyone's input and ideas. Thanks, all!
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forget percentages & look at the total protein content. Otherwise you're comparing dry kibble to wet meat which isn't a valid comparison.

Add water to kibble & voila, there's an instant reduction in the percentage of protein. Add as much water as you want to reach whatever number you're comfortable with. Do you see why simply comparing percentages doesn't yield good information in this case?
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Second, I do believe that domestic dogs have adapted to eat grains in moderation.
How?

Seriously, how have dogs changed to process grains? Their teeth have not changed shape - still pointed. Flat teeth are necessary to grind the grains in order to break down the cellulose.

Their jaws have not changed. They still only move up and down. Side to side jaw movement is necessary to grind foods like grains.
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Old 02-15-2014, 11:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Second, I do believe that domestic dogs have adapted to eat grains in moderation. Domestic dogs are not wolves.
Why do you *think* this? Biologically, how are dogs any different than wolves? Is there any science behind your belief?
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Studies show that dog domestication of dogs has been very recent, you will hear numbers anywhere from 33,000 or 14,000 and 16,000 years ago. That is a very short amount of time for evolution to occur. I doubt any dog has evolved to or adapted to grains yet. They might be able to tolerate them I guess...
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Why do you *think* this? Biologically, how are dogs any different than wolves? Is there any science behind your belief?

LucyDog, yes, there is. I *think* this because studies have shown that domesticated dogs have developed a capacity to digest grains and to acquire nutrition from that process, which was lacking in the wild canids (e.g. wolves). A google search should bring up studies for you to peruse.

That said, I am not saying that I *think* dogs should be fed grain-intensive foods. I am merely saying that I am not offended by certain whole grains, in small portions, as part of a dog's diet.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Studies show that dog domestication of dogs has been very recent, you will hear numbers anywhere from 33,000 or 14,000 and 16,000 years ago. That is a very short amount of time for evolution to occur. I doubt any dog has evolved to or adapted to grains yet. They might be able to tolerate them I guess...

GreenCo, there are studies showing that the domestic dog has indeed developed the capacity to derive nutritional value from certain grains.

Interesting that people on this forum singled out that one point I made, and not the bulk of my post. I realize any warm feelings toward grains will awaken the forum feeding police firing squad and put those warriors into attack mode. I am not afraid.

I certainly hope my statement isn't being misconstrued to read that I encourage a grain heavy diet. I do not. However, I am also not so anti-grain that I consider any grain inclusion to be pure evil. I don't like corn, of course, but I'm fine with a small amount of clean brown rice, quinoa, steel cut oats or other low glycemic grains. I am not particularly enamored with foods touted as "grain-free" that are instead filled with pea waste and legume by-products. Quality matters to me, and a grain-free food that replaced low-glycemic grains with pea refuse isn't my idea of a better option.

Anyhoo...I researched last night and found the answer to my question regarding protein levels, i.e. dry matter versus wet matter comparisons...and in the process of research, of course I came up with other, new questions. I'll post those questions under a new, more appropriate heading.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Forget percentages & look at the total protein content. Otherwise you're comparing dry kibble to wet meat which isn't a valid comparison.

Add water to kibble & voila, there's an instant reduction in the percentage of protein. Add as much water as you want to reach whatever number you're comfortable with. Do you see why simply comparing percentages doesn't yield good information in this case?
Yes, thanks RubyTuesday...after researching the topic online last evening I did figure that out...and gave myself a thwack on the head for beng so dense! I now have more questions, to be posted in a new thread. Thanks again for your reply, Ruby.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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LucyDog, yes, there is. I *think* this because studies have shown that domesticated dogs have developed a capacity to digest grains and to acquire nutrition from that process, which was lacking in the wild canids (e.g. wolves). A google search should bring up studies for you to peruse.

That said, I am not saying that I *think* dogs should be fed grain-intensive foods. I am merely saying that I am not offended by certain whole grains, in small portions, as part of a dog's diet.
Post one. I'm talking an actual scientific case study with conclusive evidence. Not an article of someone's opinion from a google search. Something that proves dogs require nutrition from grains that they're not getting from meat.

Dog's can and do digest grains/carbs. I don't think anyone is arguing that, but it's not needed as part of their diet. It's there as a cheaper alternative to meat to fill kibble and make it all stick together to form those little bite size pieces. It's not needed.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Post one. I'm talking an actual scientific case study with conclusive evidence. Not an article of someone's opinion from a google search. Something that proves dogs require nutrition from grains that they're not getting from meat.

Dog's can and do digest grains/carbs. I don't think anyone is arguing that, but it's not needed as part of their diet. It's there as a cheaper alternative to meat to fill kibble and make it all stick together to form those little bite size pieces. It's not needed.
YES LucyDog....go do the work. Search on google for the STUDY.
I didn't say it was an article based on someone's opinion, now did I? Nope.

Moreover, DO NOT put words in my mouth. I did not say dogs require nutrition from grains that they are not getting from meat. I never suggested, insinuated nor stated that position, in any degree. What I did state is that dogs can derive nutrition from certain grains, and as you agreed, dogs can and do digest certain grains. I do not think grains are optimal, and I clearly stated that I do not aprove of a grain-based diet. I do not think grains are needed, and again, I never stated such. Then again, I don't think pea by-products are optimal or necessary, either.

The PITA about initiating discussions on this site is that people interject and hammer home concepts that are not in dispute, preaching, while missing the posed question. That's called hi-jacking a thread, I think.

End of conversation, from me, on this topic. I'm now interested in caloric requirements, hence my other thread.
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