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I am new around here, but I have read quite a few threads about what is an appropriate diet for a dog. There seems to be a large contigent of people here who believe that dogs should be fed raw meat and only raw meat. I was wondering what you might think about this theory...

There is a large amount of research that shows that humans have been able to evolve and adapt the way that we have because of dietary changes. Our brains were able to grow larger and function on a much higher level than other mammals because we branched out from the primates and started eating more nutritious foods. In some ways this has been to our disadvantage...read: the global obesity epidemic, but we have improved our health significantly due to diet changes...even in the last 100 years.

I have been thinking about whether it would be a good idea to try to mix in nutrients that are not available in a meat-only diet. I am not talking about feeding my dog corn and twinkies, more along the lines of green and yellow veggies, etc. along with the meat. I am thinking the healthier my dog's organs and brains are, the better. Maybe I am completely off base, just sort of thinking aloud here.

So what do you all think of this? Not trying to stir the pot, just sharing some thoughts and looking for your insight as I try to make the best dietary choices for my dog. I thought this might make for some interesting discussion. :biggrin:
 

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In some ways this has been to our disadvantage...read: the global obesity epidemic, but we have improved our health significantly due to diet changes...even in the last 100 years.
Thats probably a true statement only because we have learned what is good for us and what is not. The overall diet hasn't changed in millions of years. We still and always have eaten meat, fruits, veggies, nuts, and berries. Pretty much everything.

I have been thinking about whether it would be a good idea to try to mix in nutrients that are not available in a meat-only diet.
We don't feed meat-only diets and never have. We feed meat, bones, and organs (whole animals). There really isn't any nutrients available that isn't contained in those items. Wolves/dogs have thrived for millions of years on this diet. It is the things that nature designed their bodies to eat and digest.

I am not talking about feeding my dog corn and twinkies, more along the lines of green and yellow veggies, etc. along with the meat.
What nutrients are you looking for in those veggies that aren't in meat, bones, or organs? To save you the trouble of looking, there aren't any. The only thing you have in those things that aren't in animal parts is carbs which carnivores have no need for. They use animal fat for the same purposes that we (omnivores) use carbs for.

I am thinking the healthier my dog's organs and brains are, the better. Maybe I am completely off base, just sort of thinking aloud here.
Your thinking is good, your method of getting there isn't so good. :smile: You have to remember that dogs are carnivores. Designed by nature to eat prey animals. Omnivores and herbivores have designs built into their bodies to help them digest plant matter that carnivores don't have.

So what do you all think of this? Not trying to stir the pot, just sharing some thoughts and looking for your insight as I try to make the best dietary choices for my dog.
Stirring the pot is good. As you said, it makes for interesting discussions. Welcome aboard and stir away. :biggrin:
 

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I don't think that you can attribute diet as the only, or one of the leading causes, for our evolutionary advancement. I think that the predcessors of Homo sapiens (us, people, humans) ate whatever was edible at the time, in survival terms. That just so happened to be pretty much anything under the sun. But I do not think that is the reason why we are where we are today.

I think that there are many, many reasons why humans are far more advanced than any other species. But here are the main reasons IMO

Brain size: Our brains are one of the biggest by comparison to the size of our bodies than any other animal. They are also highly advanced, capable of reasoning, language, problem solving, etc. Our brains are about twice the size of our closest relatives, gorillas and chimps. Neanderthals actually had larger brains than us, but went extinct ~40K years ago...so its not all about size, its how you use it :wink:

Social structure: Even thousands of years ago, our ancestors worked as a community to further along our species and helped with survival. The fact that we evolved to be able to speak and form language made it possible to communicate danger, where to find food, etc. Granted we are not the only social species that form communities, but we are able to communicate through spoken language. Yes, body language can sometimes speak louder than words, but I do not think we would be where we are today if we did not have the capability of speaking to each other.

General morphology: If you look back at our predecessors, you will see that our morphology has not changed much. Thinking back to my Genetics and Evolution classes, my professors liked to say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Which 100% applies to our morphology. It just so happens that our original morphology was very much in tune with our environment, and didn't need to change much (evolve) to be better adapted to it and our needs. Long, flexible arms, dextrous hands/fingers, opposable thumbs for gripping, strong legs and back, big eyes, etc made us highly adapted to our environment. Species go extinct when they are not highly adapted to their environments and have a problem succeeding in survival (think of the saber tooth cat...).

I think it is even more interesting that we are the only extant species left from the genus Homo which has to say something right? :biggrin:

With all this said, I do not think that your reasoning is correct. You cannot apply a theory or idea to two completely different species.

In evolutionary terms, if it were better for a wolf to eat an omnivorous diet (meat, bones, organs, fruits, veggies, nuts, berries...a diet similar to a human) it would have. But their physiological needs are different from ours, and so therefore it would be disadvantagous, evolutionarily speaking, for them to do so (this is proven through evolution and what we see wild dogs and wolves eating today). They need differing amounts of nutrients and minerals, which they get from their own diet that they evolved to eat, exclusively whole animal carcasses.
 
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