Is your pet considered to be a domesticated wolf or wild dog? The answer to this important question will prescribe the diet that you should be feeding your dog and what the appropriate diet really is. The consequences of inferior diets are dire and affects your animal’s behavior as well as general well-being, health and longevity.
Where did the canine evolve from? Some believe that our beloved Fido is a descendent from the wolf. These people believe that all canines need to eat only raw meat and raw bones. However, scientists have confirmed that our furry friend could not have descended from the wolf, as there are too many different genetic sequences for this to be possible – 26 to be exact. They propose that it is possible that our canine friends could have descended from the dingo, jackal, fox, or even a coyote. If this were the case, then the canine would have been more of a scavenger and certainly would have been less dependent on raw meat as a primary protein source.
“We shall probably never be able to ascertain their origin with certainty,” Darwin wrote in 1868.
Regardless of where they originated from, the one thing we do know for certain is that research has shown that domesticated dogs have been eating cooked food for over 15 000 years.
Adapted metabolism demands balanced diet
For thousands of years our pets have been fed table scraps and their metabolism has adapted so. Our dogs can no longer digest copious amounts of raw meat, but prefer a diet that is rich in vegetables and nutritional pulses, together with reasonable quantities of quality meat. In fact, the Chow Chow evolved to be almost vegetarian in nature, after been fed only grains and veggies by the Tibetans. Its whole physiological make-up has changed to metabolize a diet enriched with veggies and quality grains.
So, the discussion as to whether they evolved from a wolf or dingo, anyway, is of no consequence at all. The modern dog cannot be considered any more as a derivative of a wolf. This is an antiquated belief and presenting nutrition based on this ideology is incorrect. The same analogy could be made with humans aspiring to a diet that apes eat – nuts, fruits, grass, etc. As humans we certainly could not maintain ourselves on such a diet. The same is true for our pets who over thousands of years have evolved to eat a balanced home prepared diet.
One should still strive to serve a diet that is natural and free of preservatives. The cooking process must be scientific. Thus the grains should be slow cooked for a long time and one should be very careful not to over cook meat. The meat should preferably be raw or slightly seared and certainly only raw blended veggies, herbs and olive oil should be used.
The effects of heat processing in relationship to nutrition have been investigated. When meat, veggies or oils are processed protein structures in the food are altered, thus denaturing the protein and effecting its nutritional values. Mineral absorption is also disrupted and enzymes could be irreversibly denatured with loss of activity. The adding of synthetic vitamins is not effective and the vitamin will lose potency if not in its complex form. Sometimes, synthetic vitamins can even be dangerous in mega doses.
Ethical, organic nutrition is ideal
Nutrition needs to be ethical and moral and we must steer away from companies that support animal testing. Where possible organic herbs and veggies should be used, as well as free range meat. The highest quality of nourishment comes from whole natural and enzyme-active foods that are not refined, processed, cooked or laden with preservatives, especially organic foods. Meat that contains hormones, chemicals and preservatives can also have an negative impact on health.
The use of high quality pulses like a long grain brown rice, pearl barley, split peas, millet, wheat germ and oats is preferred to those that are commonly used in processed food like brewers rice (left overs from the breweries), soya meal, corn meal (mostly genetically modified), wheat and corn gluten (often acquired from China).
Cold pressed olive oil is also preferred as a high quality omega oil rather than rendered fats that the industry is known to use. Our petâ€™s sense of taste and smell is extremely advanced and so ordinarily they would not be fooled into eating inferior tasteless foods. Often, leftover cooking oils from restaurants are used in pet food, making the food more palatable. These are known as rendered fats or digestives. Our pets therefore require a balanced diet of meat protein, veggies and carbohydrates.
Judging by their loyalty, commitment, love and affection it is very evident that we are no longer dealing with a Wolf or Dingo but rather a domesticated companion and friend. We have a responsibility to protect them from harm and assure them of basic humane rights. That includes a diet that is appropriate, safe and free of dangerous preservatives.
The PH Mirical by Dr. Robert Young
Living Foods for Optimum Health by Dr. Brian Clement
Enzyme Nutrition by Dr. Edward Howell
Cape Peninsula University of Technology Protein biological value of extruded, raw and toasted by T. Ferreira
Enzyme Nutrition by Dr. Edward Howell
Cellular Nutrition by Dr. Roger Williams
Enzymatic Nutrition by Enzyme Process International.
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