It’s important enough to re-visit overweight and gain some additional insight into the problem and the solution.
The reason why there are so many overweight dogs is directly related to the high carbohydrate content in dog foods, and particularly the high glycemic rating of those carbohydrates. For instance, white potatoes and sweet potatoes that are widely used in dog food have a glycemic index that is higher than white sugar.
Eating fat chemically triggers a feeling of being satiated or full, but eating highly processed, high glycemic carbs, like processed grains and potatoes has the opposite effect, and chemically triggers the desire to eat more.
Mother Nature has designed dogs to thrive on a diet of meat and fat. These directions are encoded in the dogs Mitochondrial DNA and passed to the next generation through the females DNA only. This extraordinary step of discarding the male Mitochondrial DNA to provide extra insurance that the diet will remain basically unchanged over tens of thousands of years reveals the strong emphasis Mother Nature puts on maintaining the appropriate food source (meat and fat) to convert into energy pathways and cellular energy to maintain long term health and survival of the species.
Are there any overweight wolves?
Are there significant percentages of wolves, coyotes, jackals, or dingos in their respective packs that are overweight as a result of eating their species appropriate diet, which is predominantly animal protein and fat? Is there even one?
Nuclear DNA versus Mitochondrial DNA (They are very different from each other).
Nuclear DNA determines the size, shape, physical attributes and personality in dogs, and can be manipulated fairly easily so that over a relatively short period of time new breeds of dogs can be developed that look very different from each other, and very different from their original dog ancestors.
However, every new breed that is developed, along with every dog on the planet, have Mitochondrial DNA that is consistent and 99.8% identical to a 5,000 year old gray wolf. Changing the Nuclear DNA does NOT change the Mitochondrial DNA, which determines what the source of energy for the system should be (the diet), and then facilitates the use of that energy.
It channels the energy into enzymes and assembles individual amino acids from the digested food into specific proteins to build and repair the body and provide power to the cells. This elemental process of transforming food into energy, protein building blocks, and cellular energy transfer has remained essentially constant for many tens of thousands of years and it has not changed simply because dogs have been “domesticated”.
You may talk and play with your dog like the family member it is but when you feed it please remember that it has the nutritional needs of a 5,000 year old wolf on the inside and it will get sick if you feed it the same high glycemic carbs that are making people in this country overweight and sick.
Embedded in the Mitochondrial DNA of every wolf, coyote, jackal, dingo, and every domesticated dog, is the accumulated wisdom of Mother Nature dictating a diet that is predominantly animal protein and fat.
Do not confuse what a dog is WILLING to eat with what it SHOULD eat.
Will your dog eat a pancake with syrup on it? Probably gobble it up, but that doesn’t mean Mother Nature designed your dog to eat it and it doesn’t mean that it’s good for your dog. In fact it’s very harmful over time.
Will your dog eat a dog food with high glycemic potatoes, processed grain, or sweet potatoes in it that have been mixed with flavor enhancers to trick the dog into thinking it’s eating meat? Yes – those flavor enhancers are very convincing. In fact one of the reasons put forward for why some dogs eat poop is that the synthetic flavor enhancers pass through the system intact in the fecal matter and trick the dog into thinking the poop is a meat source.
Highly processed grains and high glycemic carbs will DEFINITELY harm your dog. Not instantly, like a highly toxic poison, but over time as they disrupt the balance and health of the gut which eventually leads to “Leaky Gut”, a condition where the gut lining becomes overly permeable and fecal matter leaks through the gut wall of the intestines into the blood stream.
“Leaky Gut” can be responsible for causing everything from allergies to hot spots and itchy skin and dozens upon dozens of other health problems including ‘Systemic Candida’, which is the result of the Candida Albicans yeast/fungus getting through the gut wall and into the blood stream
Although dogs have no dietary need for carbs, a minimal amount of carbs (as starch) are necessary to bind kibble together when making dog food in kibble form. The right kind of carbs in the right quantity will not be harmful and can even be beneficial if a percentage of them get through the small intestine intact, as the cassava starch does, and make it to the large intestine where they feed the beneficial bacteria.
If the carbohydrates are low quality, highly processed, and have a high glycemic index like most grains and potatoes used in dog food, they have a negative impact almost immediately because the high glycemic carbs are detrimental at any level.
Cassava is a low glycemic carb. used extensively as the primary carbohydrate throughout much of the equatorial regions of the world. Wherever this low glycemic carb provides over 80% of the carbs in the diet there is virtually no adult onset diabetes in the population. Compare that to the epidemic of adult onset diabetes in this country due mainly to diets full of high glycemic, processed carbs and sugar.
We’ve established the premise that dog food with high glycemic carbs and low meat and fat content is actually causing the epidemic of overweight dogs in America and that eating a “Low Fat” diet is not the solution and will only make the matter worse while making your poor dog generally miserable.
The ultimate answer to weight loss and maintaining your dogs ideal weight is nothing more than feeding your dog a food that is highly nutritious, high in animal sourced protein, and deviod of high glycemic ingredients.
Making a highly nutritious dog food in kibble form is expensive, challenging, and rarely done, but it’s not impossible and would consist of the following:
- High protein content (30% to 40%)
- Over 90% of protein is animal sourced protein
- Proteins begin as human grade quality
- Processing temperatures are kept to a minimum
- Amino acids are added to replace those lost in processing
- Symbiotic Nutrient Pairs are balanced to each other
- Whole Cell dried Algae is used as a pure source of Omega 3 rather than fish oil.
- Cassava as a Low glycemic starch binder
- Long chain PreBiotics (feed the good bacteria, not the bad)
- Encapsulated ProBiotics (deliver up to 1,000 more viable units)
- High Quality Digestive enzymes
- NO High Glycemic ingredients
- No grain, potatoes, sweet potatoes, GMO’s
- No synthetic chemical preservatives (Ethoxyquin, BHA, or GBT)
- No artificial coloring or flavoring
- No Anti-biotics
- No Hormones
Another alternative would be to try Brothers Complete Dog Food – they’ve already gone to all the trouble for you.
Richard Darlington, CO-CEO
Brothers Complete Dog Food, LLC