Who decided that corn should be a predominant part of a dog’s diet? Do they like it? Yes, it is sweet and filling but is it what their ancestors ate? Probably not, and if they did, it would have been an infrequent occurrence where their prey had ingested it before being killed.
So why is there so much corn in most commercial dog food?
And what about sugar in dog treats? Many popular dog treats contain high amounts of sugar to make the less then top quality ingredients palatable. How do companies get away with this? Who reads the ingredients on a box of dog biscuits?
Most dog food and dog treats contain 30 to 70% carbohydrates, far more then our four-legged friends require. This predominance of carb-loaded dog food has led directly, and indirectly to a myriad of health concerns in all types of companion animals.
What does Low Carb mean in Dog Food
There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex.
Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly by the liver and give the body that surge of quick energy that we associate with a ‘sugar high’ and are foods such as table sugar, white pasta and bread, corn, barley, white rice, etc.
Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down and release sustainable energy over several hours and include foods such as legumes, potatoes, split peas, whole grain breads and pastas, and brown rice.
Whether a carbohydrate is simple or complex is often dependent on the amount of fiber it contains. The higher the fiber, the longer it takes to break down and vice versa. High fiber dog food provides slow release, long lasting energy without the ‘rush’ or spikes in insulin of simple carbohydrates.
Some of the Benefits of Low Carb Dog Food
Wolves and wild dogs eat the entire prey animal, starting with the viscera and organs before eating the meat, skin, bones, and so on if left alone with the carcass long enough. Because prey animals generally thrive off of various grasses and other ‘greens’, the wild canis ingests these complex carbohydrates as part of their regular diet.
Although the lifespan of wolves and wild dogs is less then the average pampered house pooch, health conditions such as diabetes, Iiritable bowel syndrome, and food allergies are virtually non-existent. Why? Because where would a wolf find foods high on theglycemic index such as corn, barley, white rice, or white flour?
The slow release of energy from complex carbohydrates provides sustainable energy without the spikes in blood sugar that triggers the release of insulin in a healthy mammal. These constant highs and lows of sugar levels cause the pancreas to work overtime producing insulin, often leading to diabetes, a condition where the pancreas can no longer produce it in sufficient amounts, or at all. By feeding a low carb dog food that focuses on complex carbohydrates from the start, you are almost guaranteeing your dog a long, diabetes free life.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) along with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease, and colitis are all aggravated by simple carbohydrates. Because bacteria and yeast feed off of sugar, simple carbs promote an overgrowth and imbalance and can impair the ability to function of enzymes that live on the intestinal cell surface, hindering digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Because undigested carbohydrates remain in the digestive tract, bacteria and yeast have even more ‘food’, allowing for an even greater overgrowth problem and the cycle continues. Feeding a low carb dog food can prevent these bacteria and yeast from developing.
Food allergies and the process of antibody response in the intestinal tract are largely unknown. However, along with beef, corn and wheat are the most common food allergies, it is safe to say that feeding a low carb dog food would help prevent an exposure allergy to these foods.
Where to Find a Low Carb Dog Food
Read ingredients and do your research, there are pet food companies that offer a low carb alternative to the usual high, simple carbohydrate dog food. Foods high in protein and offer carbohydrates in the form of vegetables are the best choice for your pet.
Want your dog to live a long healthy life? A low carb diet may be the answer to your pet’s ailments!