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Keto For Dogs – it’s only natural

Keto for Dogs – The Natural Way to Go

keto for dogs

I’m on a mission to find out about whether keto for dogs might be beneficial for our fur babies or not. Since dogs have been evolving and living in domesticity with humans for a very long time, and the Paleo and ketogenic diet is considered a more natural and healthy option for us humans, I’m wondering whether the same would be true for our furry friends too?

Please note, I’m only a blogger, not a vet or animal expert, so read this info with an open mind and do your own research as I have done. I’ve put this together to raise awareness and possibly consider alternatives to what’s become the norm in our society.

Okay, my starting point is whether carbohydrates are essential for dogs or not. What I’ve discovered might surprise you. You see, dogs need fat and proteins for their nutritional needs, however they DO NOT need carbohydrates. they can have them, but it’s NOT ESSENTIAL for dogs.

They you might be asking why do so many of the kibble that’s available for our furry pets contain between 46 – 74% carbohydrates then?

Sadly, it’s back to the whole money making and convenience aspects of today’s world.

Keto for dogs diet is made up mostly of raw fatty animal meat, some veggies and up to 5% carbohydrates (if any at all).  A kibble will consist of low carbs. Check here for where to get some.

Dog’s Biology

Dogs stomachs are designed to digest meat. They have more protease proteins which basically means more bacteria that is specifically designed for digesting meat not carbs. The saliva in dogs also have a very low carbohydrate breaking down composition compared with humans. This means that as humans, we have a digestive enzyme in our saliva that helps digest carbohydrates into sugar, however dogs have a very low measure of this enzyme. This indicates at the biological level, dogs aren’t designed to eat high amounts of carbohydrates.

keto for dogs

How did the standard dog food become so grain filled?

  • Carbs are long lasting, perfect for being made into a longer shelf life for pet food manufacturers
  • Carbohydrates are cheaper than protein and fat sources
  • Easier to create into a kibble style of food

Did you know that to fatten up pigs farmers use grains such as corn, wheat and barley? What this tells us is that even animals get fat eating carbs. So it doesn’t make sense that our furry friends have to endure a high carb diet too. They don’t need to be fattened up, but they are getting fatter like their human counterparts.

It’s not to say that dogs can’t have carbs at all. They are able to digest carbs, but ideally, not too many.

Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet for Dogs

Along with humans getting sick and living shortened lives, so have our beloved furbabies, our best friends, our loyal buddies. Dog health has declined as the convenience of kibble increased.

Eating a ketogenic diet helps dogs with

  • improved digestion
  • longer lifespan
  • less likely to become overweight which causes many health conditions
  • healthier oral health and teeth
  • more energy
  • shiny coat

Compared with Other Animals

Dr Barry Groves has been studying high fat and protein diets for over 50 years. Below, he discussed where animals get their energy food sources including ruminants (cows, sheep, goats) and mammals. He outlines how each animal is biologically designed, each getting their energy from short chain fatty acids (SCFA).

Even herbivores who only eat plant based diets have evolved to ferment the grasses and leaves they consume which become fats. When plants are fermented in their specially designed stomachs, the foods get converted to short chain fatty acids becoming their source of energy. This equates to high fat. Very interesting! In the video included here, at the 12:50 minute mark, Dr Groves shares the eating needs of mammals, including dogs, wolves and lions. Highlighting their macronutrient requirements as being 70-80% fat, 20-30% protein and no carbs.

The Struggle is Real

Considering dog’s dietary needs, it is still in infancy stages of accepting that carbohydrates are not essential for dogs. This is not surprising, as governments worldwide are still slow to adjust to encouraging us humans to increase natural fats. Diabetes.co.uk includes following a low carb and ketogenic diet for a healthier lifestyle. This is still a work in progress at the higher levels of government however.

According to Dr Barry Groves we are genetically ill-prepared to eat carbohydrates. So as a population, we are still adjusting to dropping carbs from our diet, or even understanding that they aren’t essential. So it makes sense that we will have a tendency to struggle with adjusting our understanding and accepting this as also real for our furry friends.

What I recommend

KetoNatural Pet Food

I’ve discovered through this research that there is a company in the US who has also been doing their research. KetoNatural Pet Foods founder Daniel Scholoff also wrote the book Dogs, Dog Food and Dogma where he looks into what’s killing our fur babies and how to prevent their poor health issues. So he knows his stuff which led him to create keto foods to lower the carbohydrates in dog food and help them be at their optimum health.

Raw Wild

Here is another pet food company who also promotes the benefits of real foods over processed foods which I would also recommend for your furbaby.

RAW WILD  Through giving your furry friend raw foods, it can help their allergies go away. It is also beneficial for their teeth. It also promotes a longer healthier life. So if you want any of these for you buddy then consider looking into healthy food for them. Click here to find out more about how this food is preferred over standard high carb kibble.

Final Words

So through my own research and noting that dogs do not need carbohydrates I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s okay to give your dog a keto based diet. Companies such as Raw Wild and KetoNatural Pet Food helps bring awareness as well as healthier options for our beloved furbabies. Lets be open to considering the support of a ketogenic based diet for dogs.

With continued research and awareness, the ketogenic diet will continue to become the norm again like it has been for millions of years.

I would love to hear your experiences with trying a keto diet with your dog. Share your ideas below.

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16 thoughts on “Keto For Dogs – it’s only natural

  1. I only know ketogenic diet is for human, so I'm surprised that it's work for dogs too. Actually I don't have any pets but my sister has two dogs, I know she is looking for some good healthy pet food, I can share this post with her and tell her that the benefit of the ketogenic diet for dogs as well as the pet food recommended by you. Thanks for sharing this helpful information.
    1. Hey, thanks for sharing your thoughts Charles. It's something that I think we as dog owners need to consider and become more aware of what dog's natural biological make up requirements are. It would be great if you could share this info with your sister. Thanks for raising awareness around keto for dogs. All the best
  2. I did not know that keto diet was good for dogs. It is a great discovery for me!

    The idea of adopting a keto diet is very good, but I am quit worried about the transition. I wonder if it is wise to see a doctor to check if my dog can do that safely or can I just buy keto food and start introducing it to her diet slowly until she is on it fully.

    That is what I did for myself when I became vegetarian, I just introduced more greens and fruits to my diet until I become fully vegetarian.

    Your article is very informative.

    Thanks

    1. Hi there, thanks for sharing your thoughts. If there's any concerns, I would always recommend seeing your vet before making changes if you're unsure about anything, or like I mentioned above, do your own research. But because dogs are meat eaters naturally and have been living with humankind for millions of years with hunting as the primary food source, it makes sense that a meat based diet would be safe. There may be some gradual transition required when making changes if they aren't used to eating meat in their diet already. All the best 

  3. Hi, interesting article. I've heard of the Keto diet, but I never thought it could apply to dogs as well! I heard that the Keto diet is very hard to follow. However, I think it may be easier for dogs to follow the diet as it's the human's responsibility to get healthy food for their pets. 

    1. Hi MaryLi, thanks for stopping by. Yeah, feeding dogs keto just made sense to me which is why I did some research on the role of carbs in their diet and mainstream kibble. I think meat is the best source for dogs while kibble is cheaper and convenient for both owners as well as manufacturers. If we can source reliable meat for our pets, especially on a regular basis, this might make it easier to incorporate a high protein diet in our dogs diet. 

  4. I'm really surprised that people would even consider Ketogenic Diet for a dog, but after reading your article it's quite amazing the benefits it can offer to both owner and pet. 

    The two main points I would say are important are the longer lifespan of the pet and the digestion - dogs frequently have problems with their stomachs (as they'll try and put anything in them!). 

    I'm wondering if there is a 'high' ticket price on this KetoNatural Pet Food, due to it's specialised format?

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Having our dogs live longer is certainly incentive for giving our pets a high protein diet. I think anything that has better quality contained in it is likely to have a higher price, but if it helps with the dogs health, it is likely to be cheaper in the long run with potentially fewer vet bills. ~kat

  5. Hi Kat! This post is very interesting.

    Now I have known that proper diet is essential to dogs as well. I have one pet dog and I found this helpful to me. I keep in mind about this article and share it with my friends who have their dog pets.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Have a great day.

    1. Hey, yes a proper diet is essential for our dogs, so I hope this helps with your pet as well as your friend's dogs. Cheers, Kat

  6. Hi Kat, that's very interesitn post. I know ketogenic diet is for human, but I'm surprised that it is also applicable to dogs. Thanks for sharing!
    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by. It make sense to me that dogs should eat meat when their biology and history is how they've survived for thousands of years :). ~kat
  7. This is great. As someone who is around dogs, it’s good to know. Any chance it’s similar for cats, or would they require differentiates to what dogs require?
    1. Hi Kaitlyn, that's a good question. My understanding is that cats too need to have high protein, as this is how their bodies are designed. Enjoy your cats ~kat
  8. My dog Louka and I have been following: Keto, Primal, Paleo, LCHF (Low carbohydrate high fat) and Ancestral style eating for a number of years now. Louka loves grass fed bones for dental and breath health. I also feed him makeral and sardines in olive oil for the essential minerals, the fat based antioxidants A, D, E, EPA and DHA the brilliant natural anti-inflammatory foods - raw grass fed beef and lamb - and he shares my cooked vegetables. He loves raw apple cores and bananas too.
    1. Hi Honor, thanks for stopping by. I love that your dog Louka has also been doing this way of eating! How very natural for you to provide him with such a thorough and nutrient dense diet. I imagine he must be in excellent health. I wish my dog Lacey would eat the apple cores we give her but she's not interested lol! Take care and all the best ~kat

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