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Low Carbs vs High Starches

Why is this important to dogs? Although humans are really efficient at digesting carbohydrates, most of the dogs are not. As dogs evolved from a common ancestor with wolves, they also evolved to digest some of the starch and sugars, but that doesn’t mean they thrive on it – there is a BIG difference between thriving and surviving.

The only carbohydrates that a dog would eat in the wild are those that are already partially digested in the stomach and gut of their prey, and some grazing on fruits and vegetation when needed. Alas most modern dog foods are highly processed and many contain very high levels of carbohydrates.

If the food fed is high in carbohydrates, the pancreas has to work very hard to produce enough juices and enzymes to break these down – leading to the problems such as IBS and pancreatitis. From a financial point of view many pet food companies use high carbohydrate levels, as they are the cheapest way of providing high energy foods. Alas, a dog simply can’t digest high amounts of carbohydrates. However, as the dog is very adaptive, many owners can feed inappropriate diets for long periods without realising the harm they are doing. Eventually the body will reach a tipping point and problems will show, but by that time it is harder to rectify!

Dogs also lack digestive enzymes like amylase in their saliva. Amylase is a specialized enzyme most herbivores and omnivores produce in their saliva. It helps begin the breakdown of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars, before they enter the stomach. Although dogs do produce amylase, the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract, in the pancreas and small intestine. This is one of the reasons why dogs find it much harder to digest carbohydrate levels than humans.

A lot of chronic diseases have been linked to poor, starch rich diets , overly cooked and processed starches and in general not enough protein in their food. To avoid this, we keep the carbohydrates very low, most in the form of fibres, and a bit of fruit sugars, which is necessary for glycogen metabolism. So, rest assured all our recipes have very low carbohydrate levels. ( 8% till now. 10% is still very low. please add that at least 4% is dietary fibre)

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