The question of what to feed our dogs is as old as the domesticated dog itself. Although there is much debate of how and when domestication happened, scientists can agree it was somewhere between 17,000 and 100,000 years ago. The earliest found skull points to 17,000 years ago, but DNA findings, are now leading experts to revisit this and feel it is more likely 100,000 years ago. Earliest skulls have been found in Asia, Ukraine, Russia, and Belgium. But Asia is thought to be the birthplace of the oldest domesticated dog, being a descendant from wolves, as all domesticated dogs are.
When wolves came around to the early hunter and gatherers camps, most would stay a good distance away as they smelled man’s dinner. But a few were curious enough to enter the camp, and friendly enough to be greeted by man. These friendly wolves were kept as companions by their new human pack leaders. The tame wolves accepted their new human family as they found it was easier to be fed than to hunt. Many “friendly wolf generations” later, man started farming, and saw the need for a herding companion/working assistant. The farmers selectively bred the wolves to be herding and guardian dogs. Dogs were now on the scene and now had a new diet, the human diet.
Early mans diet consisted mostly of meat and some grains and vegetation. It was more suitable and nutritious for man being an omnivore. But since there were no commercial dog food stores, dogs ate the scraps from their human family’s meal. But what about today’s domesticated dogs? What is the best dog food brands to feed our pets? There is a reason I reference the origin of the domesticated dog being the wolf. We sometimes need a reminder that our best friend on all fours needs a very similar dog food diet to its ancient ancestors.
We bred down the temperament, size, and appearance of our domesticated dog, but its nutritional needs have not really changed. Meat should be the main portion of our dog’s diet, then fats, and then carbs (note- very little carbs, if any, are needed for the average dog especially in the form of grains). Dogs need glucose but they make glucose from the protein and fats they eat by a process called gluconeogenesis. So carbohydrates are not needed in the diet of the canine.
Your best bet is to try to mimic the raw diet that the canines for thousands of years ate. Raw feeding is best but we typically do not have the time to prepare it, the money to buy it, or the stomach to handle watching our dogs eat it. Wet food, or canned food, is more nutritious (but much more expensive), because it has more meat, more protein, less fillers, and less grains. Not all canned food is alike; make sure it is a HIGH QUALITY, trusted brand. Your next best choice of dog food is to use a dry kibble formula that uses all natural ingredients, and NO CORN, SOY, or WHEAT. These ingredients cause food allergies which cause symptoms of hair loss, hot spots, itching, excessive tearing, excessive shedding, and ear infections.