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  #61  
Old 01-25-2013, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Psyfalcon View Post
Dogs can digest grains better than wolves, they should be fed more grains than wolves.

or

Dogs can digest grains better than wolves, but still to a terribly useless degree, therefore don't feed grains.
Really, those are the only two hypotheses you're getting out of this thread or that you can think of?

I think most people have been more along the lines of, "Dogs can digest grains better than wolves, it's ok/not harmful to include them as part of a healthy diet."
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  #62  
Old 01-25-2013, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by JacksonsMom View Post
I think the study is important simply because it's a good start. It validates, to me, that calling dogs "obligate carnivores" isn't necessarily correct. I've seen lots of raw feeders who are just... so... "raw is the best diet for every canine!" And I have nothing against feeding a dog raw. I USED to be that way. I was very into the whole "a food must be THIS and that way" and "first five ingredient should be meat" and "NO grains". I've honestly done a 360 over the last year or so. For one, there are sooo many more important factors that go into a food than ingredients. 90% of foods out there are based solely on marketing and boy did it brainwash me.

I've just always thought about how we've changed dogs so much from wolves -- not to mention, wolves in captivity can live as long as 20 years (eating not-so-amazing kibble). Wolves in the wild live 4-5 years on average. I'm not sure feeding our pet dogs like wolves is always in their best interest.

Yes biologically I know they are essentially the same. Like said above, dogs have evolved alongside us from wolves. Selective breeding does a lot of funny things and I see no reason not to believe that some things have changed internally. Certain breeds are predisposed to such things as pancreatitis (Schanuzers, Yorkies, etc), some to other health issues. Sibes and GSDs are often known for somewhat sensitive stomachs. I also know that wolves were not being fed the way that most raw feeders feed their dog... they obviously weren't given meat from the grocery store that is most likely pumped full of grains and antibiotics anyways, but surely not as much time was being put into their meals. They weren't taken to the vet when things go wrong, they weren't sleeping indoors, or given the best possible care, or given antibiotics when infections set in, etc, etc, etc. Medical care for pets is a pretty new invention, too, but I'm certainly not going to reject it in a time of need. If our dogs were out in the wild, nature really could care less about anything living a long and healthy life... it's all about survival of the fittest and if you don't make it, oh well.

Yes, kibble is a pretty new "invention" and I'm sure most dogs lived very well without it, but I highly doubt these dogs were eating PMR or the way we feed raw today. Humans that were probably living on hardly anything themselves were surely not giving up all their good food to the dogs... they got scraps (I've heard corn mush and other grains) to whatever they could hunt themselves. I've even heard people go as far as calling kibble "death nuggets" which I find insane.

I'm not in any way saying feeding raw is bad. I think a lot of dogs do fantastic on it and that's GREAT. I love the idea of feeding raw and I'm happy it works so great for so many dogs. But I don't get the hate on kibble (not on here). Bottom line is that all dogs are individuals, and yes certain breeds are predisposed to things that others may not be, and what one dog may thrive on another may not...

There is just way too many variables out there to say that "my dog lived a longer and healthier life eating x food" or "my dog died because of eating y food". So many other factors come into play. There are going to be raw fed dogs that die young and there are going to be kibble fed dogs that live a long time (and a healthy life at that) and vice versa. Obviously it's up to us as dog owners to decide what is best for our dogs and what works best for THEM.

I went from being all for super high protein food, no grains, etc, and I've gone to a grain inclusive food with moderate protein. There is so much fancy wording going on in a lot of these new holistic foods with not a whole lot to back up their claims.

But honestly, above all, I believe that vaccination schedules, when or if the dog is fixed, amounts of exercise, and breeding/genetics matter a whole lot more than food does anyway.
I know I'm new here, but this topic has always been of great interest to me, and I agree completely with pretty much everything you said. I believe that it really bares repeating ... Though similar, dogs are not wolves. I think the argument that we have to feed dogs exactly like an animal that doesn't generally survive past the age of 7 isn't a good one. But like you said, I have nottttthing against raw and have fed it myself!
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  #63  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:38 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
Really, those are the only two hypotheses you're getting out of this thread or that you can think of?

I think most people have been more along the lines of, "Dogs can digest grains better than wolves, it's ok/not harmful to include them as part of a healthy diet."
Well, I don't like that one, so I wasn't asking for fake money to study it

Is it harmful to feed grains to a wolf? Not unless they're allergic, or the bulk is enough that they're not eating enough meat to fuel them. I tend to (still) think its the same way with dogs. As long as its not an allergen, at worst, its a waste of money- going through untouched (there may be benefits to fiber though, either non-digested plants or feathers and fur.

It is possible that digesting starches for sugar is good- when there is no meat, but it raises side effects (either energy swings, or diabetes type things) that are better than starving, but still worse than eating an only meat diet.

Lots of work to be done!

I'll have to look at it, I wonder how many genes bear or human has for breaking down starches.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:47 PM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
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Originally Posted by rudysgal View Post
I think the argument that we have to feed dogs exactly like an animal that doesn't generally survive past the age of 7 isn't a good one. But like you said, I have nottttthing against raw and have fed it myself!

Really???? Do you think there might be just a bit more to the average life span for a wild wolf than just their diet?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:49 PM
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Really???? Do you think there might be just more to the average life span for a wild wolf than just their diet?
This. That's a pretty ridiculous argument. Disease, starvation, injury, traps/shot, larger predators....and we're just going to say it's obvious we should feed dogs grains because wolves don't eat them and they die within 5 years.

Yeah. Okay.
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  #66  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Psyfalcon View Post

Is it harmful to feed grains to a wolf? Not unless they're allergic, or the bulk is enough that they're not eating enough meat to fuel them. I tend to (still) think its the same way with dogs. As long as its not an allergen, at worst, its a waste of money- going through untouched (there may be benefits to fiber though, either non-digested plants or feathers and fur.
But are potatoes, tapioca, lentils, and beans any better than barley, rice or oatmeal? I don't really see how they're particularly any more 'useful'. Believe me, I used to be very pro-grain-free (and I'm still not against it, at all) but the whole thing about grains being a waste, or whatever, I feel like they are just as equal as the starches used in grain free dog foods. Some dogs will obviously do better on one vs. the other, or some won't. But I don't think grain free is superior for most canines.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by release the hounds View Post
Really???? Do you think there might be just a bit more to the average life span for a wild wolf than just their diet?

Quote:

This. That's a pretty ridiculous argument. Disease, starvation, injury, traps/shot, larger predators....and we're just going to say it's obvious we should feed dogs grains because wolves don't eat them and they die within 5 years.

Yeah. Okay.
Of course there is! I don't think anyone is saying "OMG DOGS NEED GRAINS!!!" But I just don't think potatoes, etc, is in any way superior to them.

But overall, I think the article is more talking about was that since dogs could digest starch better than wolves, it made them better scavengers, and that's why they became domesticated?? Right?? Or am I reading it wrong?

I just think it's very interesting is all, and a step forward towards real science regarding a canines diet.
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  #68  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:07 PM
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But are potatoes, tapioca, lentils, and beans any better than barley, rice or oatmeal? I don't really see how they're particularly any more 'useful'.
Most of it has to do with the glycemic index of those grains as well, not to mention how they are processed and how badly most are chemically altered these days. It is a bit of a waste of money, considering what they are getting out of it.

As far as the glycemic index goes, here's an idea.

Lentils 5GL per 150g serving
White potato 33GL per 150g serving
Sweet Potato 22GL per 150g serving

As opposed to:
Oatmeal 13GL per 250g serving
Barley 12GL per 150g serving
White Rice 43GL per 150g serving
Brown Rice 16GL per 150g per serving

Potatoes have less of a GI than white rice. Lentils have less of a GI than Brown rice. Oatmeal and Barley are the runners up for the lowest GI, but most dogs can't have them anyway because of the many gut issues that are associated with them.

So there is certainly a trend there. If you are going for "I want to feed my dog starch because of the sugar content" sure, go for White Potatoes and White Rice. But if you actually want to be realistic about it, it would be far cheaper, and less of a waste of money and time to just feed them straight white sugar.

Either way, both groups (grains vs starches) are in kibble mostly as binders and to hold everything together. It cheapens the dog food process by giving more calories and/or lbs per dollar.

Is it wrong? Of course not. And obviously, as this study also shows, they can digest it and get some sugar out of it to a degree. But I don't think it's really all that useful to them, other than to stave off starvation in lean times.
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  #69  
Old 01-25-2013, 10:13 PM
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Just for the record I feed vegetables for the added/varied vitamins, fiber and nutrients I believe it adds to my dogs diet.

I could just be reading wrong but it seems like they are getting reduced to just sugar. I took that study to mean to me that because they can easier digest it they can possibly derive greater benefits from it. Or at least opens the door to lead to that.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:18 PM
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Just for the record I feed vegetables for the added/varied vitamins, fiber and nutrients I believe it adds to my dogs diet.

I could just be reading wrong but it seems like they are getting reduced to just sugar. Where as I took that study to mean to me that because they can easier digest it they can possibly derive greater benefits from it. Or at least opens the door to lead to that.
Amylase and Maltase breakdown starch into sugar, yes. And that was all they apparently found during this study.

So the theory that they still aren't getting many vitamins or nutrients out of it stands. Fiber might still, just because of the bulk of the foods, but they don't seem to have found any other proteins or enzymes that suggest dogs are getting any real nutrition out of starches.
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