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Dog vs. Wolf; Nutritional Needs



In the Beginning

Most of us can accept that the furry, domesticated canine sleeping quietly on our feet right now is a descendant of the ancient wolf. The wolf is a carnivore, and back in the day when these furious beasts roamed the plains they hunted down and devoured free grazing ungulates (hoofed mammals) such as deer, moose and wild boar i.e. herbivores.



After the mammal was brought down by the wolf pack, the family unit would hold back and allow the alpha male and female to feed on the choicest parts of the animal before the rest of the family ate. The choicest parts to be eaten were always the organ meat; the liver, heart, lungs, brain, stomach and esophagus because they contain the most protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants needed to maintain a healthy diet. Therefore their daily fare was meat, and any vegetables they consumed were usually in the gut of the animals they were eating.



Over the millennia, through human domestication, dogs have evolved into omnivores so that they are now able to complement their diet with fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and some grains that humans eat, says Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medical Center.


What is the Minimum Amount of Protein a Dog Needs Daily?

As a general guideline the average adult dog requires a minimum of 18-27 percent crude protein per day. The Association of American Feed Control Officials requires adult dog food to contain a minimum of 18 percent crude protein on a dry matter basis (meaning what’s left after all of the moisture is extracted from dog food). Growing puppies and nursing mothers require a minimum of 22.5-30 percent of crude protein a day, however older dogs, or those with kidney disorders require less (see your veterinarian about any questions you may have).



Real Meat Protein

However, all dog foods are not equal and only the high end kibble has protein from a real meat source rather than beef or chicken “meal” and protein from legumes (peas). So be sure to check the ingredients in your dog’s kibble to ensure your pup is getting the minimum amount of meat protein for a healthy diet. Of course you can’t beat fresh protein, or protein from a one ingredient dog treat, both of which can be used to supplement your dog’s daily diet.


Single Ingredient Dog Treats

The good news is that single ingredient dog treats will provide additional variety to your dog’s diet and ensure she is getting all of her nutritional needs from different sources, including beef liver, heart, esophagus, beef lung and sweet potato. The additional benefits of one ingredient dog treats is that they contain all the vitamins and minerals of organ meat but none of the fillers found in regular treats. Furthermore, because they are a high value dog treat your pup needs only a little to be stimulated for training (or receiving a love snack). Therefore they are an ideal way to maintain an energetic lifestyle and reduce weight, which prevents stress on your pups joints and heart and will therefore contribute to a longer, healthier life.


Purina (dog food) states “Based on our research, feeding an overweight dog a diet with higher amounts of protein can help burn fat and calories, helping to facilitate weight loss. You may also notice that, when feeding your dog a reduced-calorie food, feeding one that is high in protein may help your dog feel satisfied longer”.




Over the winter months we will be looking into the nutritional benefits of all of our one ingredient dog treats, and offering them at an introductory price and half sized bags so that your dog has the opportunity to try them and let you, and us, know what they think of them.


Please let us know what you think of our blog and any questions you may have about one ingredient dog treats and nutrition.

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