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Thread: Ancestral dog diet? page

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    Miscellangela's Avatar
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    Ancestral dog diet?

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    I know that many of you feed your dogs a raw diet, and you guys gave me some great info on the last thread about this. But i've been wondering (and i realize this is extremely nitpicky, but i'm curious) if there's anything in choosing the meat you feed your dog by their bred-for purpose?

    I realize they all come from wolves, but the breeds have become extremely specialized over time. Would retrievers do better on mostly water fowl? Would terriers thrive on mostly vermin? Would my beagle be her beagliest if i fed her lots of rabbit?

    Again, i realize i'm overthinking things here - it's more curiosity than anything else.

    Thoughts?

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    Scott F's Avatar
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    If you just feed your dog meat it won't get the nutrition it needs. Unlike cats, which are obligate carnivores, canines are not strict obligate carnivores. Coyotes (and foxes) for example also eat wild fruits. What Do Wolves Eat - Diet "Wolves are carnivores (meat eaters) but they will eat other foods as well. Their diet ranges from big game, such as elk and moose, to earthworms, berries and grasshoppers."

    Grasshoppers are carriers of tapeworms so don't feed that to you dog.

    A lot of dog food has corn added. Dog owner who buy dog food with this filler are wasting money since the corn passes right through. My dog likes hard deer corn. He got into some and it gave him diarrhea.....in the garage.

    I buy dog food from Tractor Supply. The brand is Taste of the Wild Taste Of The Wild at Tractor Supply
    It ain't cheep but there's no fillers so it seems to take him a long time to eat a bag.
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    I work with dogs and have done a fair bit of research into diet (not an expert but I know more than is good for me )
    Yes, I do think certain breeds do better with particular food sources.
    For instance, Newfoundlands (bred to work on the fishing boats) do better on a diet higher in fish.
    My mastiff seems to do really well on higher amounts of wild game (Venison, rabbit, pheasant etc).. not that he dosent do well on any raw but he does seem to be just that lil bit sleeker looking with higher game ratio. (versus just feeding turkey/lamb/beef etc)
    Ive also found that since ive started adding higher amounts of oily fish to my dogs diet (couldn't source before) That my mastiff no longer needs the glucostamine supplement I was giving him before to help with stiffness/joints (hes 8 years old which for a mastiff is getting up there)
    If I feed my dogs chicken (emergency situation only.. supplier issues) My German shepherd starts itching.. probably more to do with what the chickens are fed though than actually being chickens.

    I also think that the farther back the breed originates, the more likely that feeding based on what the breed was bred for will have a positive effect.
    (breeds that have only been around for 50-100 years probably wouldn't be as effected although if you took the breeds they originate from into consideration.....?)
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    That's interesting, Dino. I guess it's true about the age of the breed - someone with a labradoodle/shipoo mix is on their own!

    I wonder about older breeds that were bred for companionship. For instance, the shih tzu or pekingese. They wren't bred to hunt, but to sit at the emperor's side. Would they have basically eaten table scraps? Or maybe like you said, look at whatever breeds they came from.

    For some reason, this topic fascinates me. I'm gonna have to find a rabbit supplier...

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    I also think that the farther back the breed originates, the more likely that feeding based on what the breed was bred for will have a positive effect.
    my dog's breed is about 1100 yrs old. he knows what venison and goose are instinctively and will not eat raw pork. even raw wild hogs. in terms of his interest in the live animals, he prefers deer and birds. he will actually creep thru a field of 500 odd bouncing sheep after the water fowl in the corner lol i try to source as much venison as i can for him but realistically he ends up with mainly grass fed mutton bones, sheep or lamb organs, raw chicken legs with the skin. he is in very good condition and is healthy and shiny and a tad energetic.

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    What kind of dog do you have?

    I used to have a chow chow, another ancient breed. They were used as guard dogs (then later as food!), and i have no idea what they were fed, but i know she did poorly on beef.

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    Wild wolves will eat vegetable matter sometimes, but AFAIK it's generally a backup food to their preferred food, which is animals. I'm sure like most animals they'll also occasionally ingest particular plants instinctively for medicinal reasons (as purgatives or dewormers, etc.). I don't think plant food is in any way essential to a dog's health as long as they are getting a good variety of animal food that approximates a whole-prey diet (including skin, bones, organs, etc.).

    That said they're obviously capable of handling such things as berries and tubers, so if you want to provide them, why not?

    EDIT: Wikipedia seems to differ somewhat, claiming that wolves willingly seek out some fruits and plants, such as apples and melons. So perhaps plants are not so much of a "backup" for them as much as they are an occasionally-preferred food.
    Last edited by Uncephalized; 09-25-2012 at 04:32 PM.
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    Omg i love vizslas! Especially when they're puppies and their feet are too big for their bodies. So cute!

    This whole train of thought is so cool to me. I was a vet tech for 15 years, and i knew next to nothing about nutrition because they wanted us to push the science diet crap. Good thing i didn't know then what i know now, or i would have argued with my bosses even more than i did!

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    my dog loves green tripe. he will eat it while it is frozen and shake the whole time as it is so cold. he will also eat cow dung and sheep dung and horse dung at times. i have heard that the reason for this is it is predigested vegetable matter which is why. i dont encourage him lol. he ignores apples but i know of several labradors who love them.

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