Keto for Dogs – The Natural Way to Go
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.