Dogs are Carnivores
One of the easiest ways to tell a carnivorous mammal
is by the teeth and jaw structure. Carnivores also have other general
characteristics such as claws for ripping, tearing and gripping, forward
facing eyes to afford binocular vision and depth perception for hunting,
and a short, harsh digestive tract made for breaking up proteins and
nutrients in flesh and bone without harbouring parasites or bacterium in
the gut long enough to proliferate. Omnivores may also have some of
these physical characteristics, yet generally lack the short digestive
tract of carnivores and the extent of their specialized teeth.
Dogs have carnivorous teeth...
When you look closely at a dogs teeth , you will notice that they come
together in a scissors like action, indication of a raw food diet. Dogs,
like their wild dog predecessors, wolves, have fangs for grabbing and
puncturing, incisors for nibbling, premolars for tearing, and molars for
crushing bone. Unlike herbivores which only have molars that are used
for grinding food and mashing grasses, leaves and other vegetable
matter, canine teeth are more for slashing, cutting and tearing. This
means their primary food is fresh raw meat.
In fact until about 60 years ago, they survived quite nicely on their
own foraging to supplement table scraps from their owners. Of course that was when
the world was mostly an agricultural economy. As humans became more
citified, and commercialism grew, so did convenience fast food for dogs. First it was
canned meats and then later dry foods emerged as complete meals, easy to
store and easy to prepare. And for years we have been told not to feed
our pets table scraps because they contain too much fat. Canines need
the fat and the meat (raw is best) to attain optimum health and fitness,
and build robust immune systems.
Characteristics of a carnivore:
Sharp canines made to puncture, rip and tear
large pieces of meat, which are minimized to nonexistent in most
Jaws that only move up and down in crushing and
cutting motions, as opposed to laterally (side to side) which is
needed for chewing and grinding plant matter.
Molars that are jagged, pointed, thinner and more
spaced than the molars of a herbivore which are in tight rows and
have a flatter plain on which to grind.
Small incisors for cutting, tearing meat in
detail and shearing fur, hair, wool or feathers off of the skin as
opposed to the noticeably larger incisors of the herbivore for
cutting off plant matter.
A highly elastic stomach designed to hold large
quantities of meat, bone, organs, and hide.
Strong stomach acids designed for digesting large
lumps of meat and pieces of raw bone. The extremely acidic
environment in the gut is also a good bacteria colonization
A short, harsh digestive tract designed for
breaking up proteins and nutrients in flesh and bone without
harbouring parasites or giving bacteria time to colonize.
in the early years we noticed that many of our newly rescued stray dogs at
struggled with their interest levels when fed
a kibble diet, despite having been starved, as they had never
encountered such food before, yet their interest levels quickly transformed once switched to raw
food, and this led us to promote rawfeeding to all of our adopters.