Over the past several decades, low-carb diets for humans have gone in and out of style. Aside from being too strict for many people to maintain, the important fact is that humans need carbs to survive a healthy lifetime. Dogs, however, are totally different and do not need carbohydrates at all.
Corn, wheat, potatoes, barley, and rice might sound nutritious and healthy as common ingredients in dog food, but they’re actually unnecessary. Why indeed are carbohydrates the main or common ingredient listed on the side of cans, pouches, and packages in most commercial dog food found in Triangle pet supply and grocery stores? The professional staff at Paws in the City in Cary wants puppy and dog owners to know what the dog food companies often will share with pet owners.
Here are four factors to consider when assessing the nutritional value of dog food:
- Carbohydrates do serve a purpose (but they’re not the only option): To be fair, while there is no minimum carbohydrate requirement for dogs, there is a minimum glucose requirement. Glucose is essential for the functioning of critical organs like the brain, and carbs are converted into glucose for this purpose. However, carnivore’s digestive systems (dogs included) are built to obtain glucose from proteins and fats, not carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates are inexpensive: While high quality proteins and fats are best way for dog food to provide the necessary glucose, carbs are a less expensive way to achieve similar results. By increasing the amount of carbs, dog food manufacturers can maintain protein levels (albeit lower quality ones) while decreasing the amounts of pricier fats and higher quality proteins. This lowers costs for both producers and consumers.
- Carbohydrates have a long shelf life: Unfortunately, cost is again the main concern. The long shelf life of budget kibble mean lower costs and added convenience for dog food manufacturers, pet supply stores, grocery chains, and consumers (everyone shares the blame for this one!).
Unless a pet owner plans to implement a raw food diet, chances are there will be some level of carbohydrates in whatever brand of dog food they choose. Although they are not inherently bad, they are unnecessary. Like human food, there are high quality carbs (think whole grains) and low quality carbs (like high fructose corn syrup). The most important thing is for pet owners to be aware, be educated and know the difference, and that’s where Paws in the City in Cary NC can help.
Need help understanding the complex ingredient list on your favorite dog food? Stop in to Paws in the City in Cary to see how our selection of natural, organic, and holistic pet foods compares!
This blog post about pet care and nutrition is brought to you by Paws in the City, located in Tryon Village, Cary North Carolina. We are your locally owned small business that offers holistic and natural foods and treats for your cat and dog. Sign up for our Loyalty/ Rewards Program and feel free to contact us at any time.
1105 Tryon Village Drive
Cary NC, 27518
919 851 5853
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Photo: Tiverylucky, freedigitalphotos.net