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By taxonomy definitions, dogs are carnivores but not obligate carnivores (like cats and ferrets). An omnivore would have teeth like a human---tearing/biting teeth in front, flat grinding/chewing teeth in back. Dogs don't have flat molars.

Bears and raccoons are omnivores, if you want to look at the difference between dog teeth and bear or raccoon teeth for comparative purposes.
 

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Same here Laurelin lol Meeko often carries veggies (if I give him a bigger treat) and rips/chews them up, or hides them in the bed, but he doesn't eat it lol!

Mia shreds veggies too. She will eat cooked carrots in tiny amounts but I think she doesn't really register them beyond 'food'!
 

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By taxonomy definitions, dogs are carnivores but not obligate carnivores (like cats and ferrets). An omnivore would have teeth like a human---tearing/biting teeth in front, flat grinding/chewing teeth in back. Dogs don't have flat molars.

Bears and raccoons are omnivores, if you want to look at the difference between dog teeth and bear or raccoon teeth for comparative purposes.
Pretty much, this. Dogs are anatomically carnivores but have adapted/evolved into being rather successful omnivores. But it's to my understand that while dogs can digest some plant matter doesn't mean that they require it to thrive.
 

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Domestication by people is just an possible explanation for why dogs have adapted to digest grains better than wolves, it doesn't negate the fact that the adaption occurred. Especially considering that the adaptation easily could've started before domestication, while they were just hanging around camps and scavenging off of human left-overs, but before they were actually tamed/raise by humans.

I'm just going to ignore the "chest pounding" remark, because it came from someone who doesn't want to do their own reading. I should also not have to do your research for you, especially since I provided you with the source material, but I'm a nice person and believe in the burden of proof, so here you go:
I'm not doing your homework for you. As you've said, the proof isn't there that grain feeding by humans altered their digestive systems to accomodate raw vegetables in their diet. What I asked for was evidence that they can digest raw veggies. Rather than throwing out links and demeaning people it would be more prudent to simply post the portion of the article that makes the case.

If dogs can absorb nutrition from raw veggies I will supliment them in a heartbeat. I always have them around and they're much cheaper than meat or premium kibbles. BUT when they have peas, peas come out the rear end. When they eat grass, grass comes out the rear end. I'm not a scientist but I'd like someone to explain what they got out of it besides filling up a bit more.

If you've got the evidence then post it up, I'll definitely consider it.
 

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I'm not doing your homework for you. As you've said, the proof isn't there that grain feeding by humans altered their digestive systems to accomodate raw vegetables in their diet. What I asked for was evidence that they can digest raw veggies. Rather than throwing out links and demeaning people it would be more prudent to simply post the portion of the article that makes the case.

If dogs can absorb nutrition from raw veggies I will supliment them in a heartbeat. I always have them around and they're much cheaper than meat or premium kibbles. BUT when they have peas, peas come out the rear end. When they eat grass, grass comes out the rear end. I'm not a scientist but I'd like someone to explain what they got out of it besides filling up a bit more.

If you've got the evidence then post it up, I'll definitely consider it.
She did... read the quoted info in the post.
 

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She did... read the quoted info in the post.
Well, no not really. The study says dogs have an increased ability to digest carbs. Not that they're particularly good at it or anything, just that they have more of an ability to digest them than wolves do. Also, carbs aren't the same as raw veggies, which are high in cellulose (most of 'em anyway). Animals who eat a lot of unprocessed cellulose require specialized digestive systems, like rabbits or cows. Raw whole veggies aren't the same as cooked/pureed veggies and aren't the same as cooked grains/starches.
 

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By taxonomy definitions, dogs are carnivores but not obligate carnivores (like cats and ferrets). An omnivore would have teeth like a human---tearing/biting teeth in front, flat grinding/chewing teeth in back. Dogs don't have flat molars.

Bears and raccoons are omnivores, if you want to look at the difference between dog teeth and bear or raccoon teeth for comparative purposes.
Challenge accepted.


Bear


Raccoon


Dog

Hmm... Not sure I see your point :)

You'll be interested to know that I have cleaned a raccoon skull and they have the same jaw setup as dogs, ie their jaw only moves up and down. I've also seen this in action with real raccoons eating fruit. It would appear that bears have the same thing, from the photo above. (the raccoon skull in the photo is missing its zygomatic bone which is where the hinge lies, but the teeth are there and definitely similar to the dog's.)
 

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You gotta have a picture of the inside of their mouths open. Bears have molars like humans', dogs don't have any flat surfaces. You can kinda see it from the side but it's easier if you look at the open mouth. I'll see if I can find a pic. . .

Well, dang, I can't figure out how to make the pictures show up like that unless they're my pictures (which they aren't). But I Googled images of a bear skull (just typed in "bear skull" and clicked on "images") and there are a lot with their mouths open showing the flat molars.
 

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Dogs are bred to be dogs but I do not believe their basic anatomy has evolved. If you bred humans to be very short, very blond and very heavy boned, they would still be human and have the same system. Microevolution can happen fairly quickly but macroevolution is a different matter.
I used to buy into this whole belief. Now, I just... don't.

Dogs are obviously not wolves, and yes they only differ from the DNA structure of a wolf by 0.8%... That may not seem like much, but there is only a 1.2% difference in DNA separates us from the chimpanzee as well.

Dogs are one of the most manipulated species on the planet. We humans have MADE dogs be who they are today. AND dogs were literally brought up on scraps (including corn mush, and waste - you really think dogs were eating all the peoples good meat?) And lots of breeds have many issues that are special to their breed. For example, Schanuzers are very prone to pancreatitis. They often need a low-ish fat diet throughout their life. German Shepherds and Yorkies are both known for somewhat sensitive stomachs. And I know a lot of dogs who do terrible on raw food. So obviously there's not "one perfect food" for domesticated canines and what works for one may not work for the other. If they were all so similar to wolves, wouldn't they all do great on the same thing?
 

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Now that's an interesting thought. Do some wolves only eat rabbits because venison gives them a tummyache? Is that why some wolves prey on sheep instead of natural prey? LOL. Now I want to ask someone who runs a wolf sanctuary if all the wolves do well on the same thing. . .
 

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You gotta have a picture of the inside of their mouths open. Bears have molars like humans', dogs don't have any flat surfaces. You can kinda see it from the side but it's easier if you look at the open mouth. I'll see if I can find a pic. . .

Well, dang, I can't figure out how to make the pictures show up like that unless they're my pictures (which they aren't). But I Googled images of a bear skull (just typed in "bear skull" and clicked on "images") and there are a lot with their mouths open showing the flat molars.
Here ya go. :3


Open Bear Mouth, notice the pointy front ones and the flatter back ones.


Exposed Raccoon Mouth, check that out!
 

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LOL, that's the exact bear skull I was looking at! I think it's because I'm mobile. . .or maybe I just don't know how to post pics :p.
 

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A few excerpts:


http://primalpooch.com/the-great-debate-do-dogs-need-fruits-and-vegetables/

In fact, many argue that a change in diet fueled the domestication from wolf to dog. They believed this occurred when wolves had a reduced need to hunt and began hanging around the permanent settlements of man, scavenging for food.

In contrast, the intestines of an omnivore or herbivore are longer to accommodate the fermentation times required when digesting carbohydrates. In a carnivore, plant matter is expelled quickly, before it can be fully digested and the vitamins and minerals can be absorbed because of their short digestive tract. This is EXACTLY why many BARF feeders puree their fruits and veggies before serving them to their dogs.

To support the theory that wolves and domesticated dogs require plant matter, many people claim that wolves eat the partially digested stomach contents of their herbivorous prey, and therefore, do need plant matter for optimal health. In my opinion, it’s just a claim to help support the current industry’s practices of feeding carbohydrates.

When it comes to the stomach contents, the answer is – well, it depends. If a wolf was to catch something small, similar to the size of a squirrel, they’ll most likely eat it whole. So, yes, in this circumstance the stomach and it’s contents would be consumed.

What about the rest of the time, when a wolf catches much larger prey? According to leading wolf researcher David L. Mech who is a senior scientist with the Biological Resource Division and U.S. Geological Survey, wolves do not eat stomach contents. Mech has been studying wolves and their prey since 1958, and is quoted saying, “the vegetation in the intestinal tract is of no interest to the wolves” in his book Wolves:Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation.

What about all the scientific studies suggesting that dogs are capable of handling starchy carbohydrates? There are many studies out there that attempt to prove dogs can digest grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, their findings are just one small piece to the puzzle, not concrete evidence that dogs can handle this type of diet without negative health effects down the line.

We’re aware that dogs and wolves, though still sharing an almost identical genetic blueprint, do in fact, have differences. But what we need to remember, is just because dogs are surviving on a new food – a food that was not biologically appropriate or natural to them – doesn’t mean they are thriving on this new type of food. Too much emphasis is put on whether or not an animal can survive on something, not if it’s optimal for good health.

This is a tough question to answer, which is why it’s so hard for people to come to an accurate conclusion. Fruits and vegetables are not inherently bad and don’t cause your dog great harm. Fruits and veggies are not poisons. If your dog consumes them, you won’t see any immediate, negative reaction. The problem lies in that it is the wrong kind of food for them to eat.

We can garner that dogs were designed to eat meat by comparing their anatomy and physiology to their carnivorous relatives.

If you were to study other carnivores in the wild (lions, tigers, wolves, etc.). You’ll notice they too only eat meat. No other carnivore in a natural setting has a need for plant matter. If no other carnivore in the animal kingdom needs grains, fruits, or vegetables to be in optimal condition, then why do our dogs? Dogs come equipped with essentially the same anatomy and physiology as their wolf counterparts (remember they differ genetically by 0.2%) which should prove that just as their carnivorous relatives, our dog’s were NOT meant to eat grains, fruits or vegetables.
 

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Not a scientific study, but a single datum point:
1. Shep has been eating a couple of raw carrots with each meal for about 10 years. I assume they are crunchy chew toys.
2. I do believe that he gets very little nutrition from the carrots. Carrots in result in carrots out, as well as an interesting golden color :)
3. However, I also believe that his stomach bacteria changed to accommodate the carrots, if just some of the sugars.
4. I suggest the sugars (and maybe starches?), because he can get fat if I double the number of carrots. And, no, I've never read that effect anywhere, but I've reproduced it 3 or 4 times.
5. I believe that most raw vegetables won't help Shep, but I believe that he can digest steamed broccoli and steamed green beans, and I think he can digest apples .... but I've never done a chemical analysis.

Someone mentioned the sensitive stomachs of some breeds. I believe that a few of us will attest to the iron stomachs of Labs! :)
 

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Willowy: I see what you mean. However I am going to back out of this now regardless because what I feed my dog doesn't affect anyone else, and what everyone feeds their dogs doesn't affect me, so it's a silly topic to argue about, honestly, and it's been pretty well exhausted on this forum.
 

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This post was brought to my attention today because my assistant saw it on Facebook last week. It has been interesting reading all the recent commentary. There are several points that may be helpful:

Megan2010 makes the statement that she was feeding a "very balanced diet". While I am advocate of homemade and raw diets, one of the obvious advantages of most commercial diets is the minimum AAFCO nutrient content in those 'balanced' foods. Though they are not optimum, they do eliminate many possible deficiencies. Regardless, nutrition always needs to be considered with any disease process. Dogs are as biochemically diverse as they are different in appearance - just as people are. So, while generalizations can be made about diet, ultimately we are feeding individuals and we need to determine what works best for each individual.

EPA doses have been shown to be safe and efficacious at a dose as high as 180 mg EPA/4.55 kg (Double-blinded Crossover Study with Marine Oil Supplementation Containing High-dose Eicosapentaenoic Acid for the Treatment of Canine Pruritic Skin Disease
Veterinary Dermatology Volume 5, Issue 3, pages 99–104, September 1994). At 80 kg body weight, and assuming these are typical 1000mg fish oil capsules containing possibly 300 mg EPA per capsule, the dose used in the cited study would be 10.5 capsules per day. Some of the posted comments suggest that 8 capsules would be excessive. From these calculations, that dose would be expected to be a safe dose for a dog of that size.

According to Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4th Edition, "For foods containing fish oils, AAFCO recommends an addition (i.e., above the minimum level) of 10 IU vitamin E/g fish oil/kg of food." This additional vitamin E should be added in addition to an adequate amount already present in the diet. If the diet was previously deficient in vitamin E, then additional PUFA would make the situation worse. Good quality oils such as Pure Encapsulations or Nordic Naturals will have the necessary additional vitamin E to avoid inducing a deficiency state in an adequately balanced diet.

All the discussion about diet composition is interesting - everyone has an opinion. When it comes to vitamin E, I have had this same conversation with several clients recently who claimed that dogs are strict carnivores and fruits/vegetables/plans substances have no place in the carnivore diet. My observations suggest that dogs are opportunistic feeders and will eat a variety of substances including fruits and vegetables when they are available and depending on their level of hunger. The other important thing to note about vitamin E is that it is essential and is only synthesized by plants. The best sources are vegetable oils, seed oils, grains, and some green plant leaves. "Animal tissues tend to be low in vitamin E with the highest levels occurring in fatty tissues." (Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 4th Ed.) So, I think that there may be a legitimate need for supplemental oils, seeds, vegetables, etc. in a dog's diet.

Lastly, the distinction between 'natural' (d-) and synthetic (d,l) 'vitamin E' is of little practical consequence because these are both single-constituent chemical supplements taken out of context of their natural form and balance. Vitamin E consists of eight closely related compounds - 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. Real vitamin E contains all eight compounds and is best found in food and food concentrates. Most supplemental forms of vitamin E, are simply one fraction of the total vitamin E complex. This unbalanced intake of a single portion of the vitamin E complex is what leads to the seemingly paradoxical results of some recent nutritional studies. Several have shown, instead of benefits of alpha-tocopherol supplementation, an increase in death rates of humans taking >400 IU alpha-tocopherol/day. Unbalanced, unnatural supplementation can yield unpredictable results.
 

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Well, no not really. The study says dogs have an increased ability to digest carbs. Not that they're particularly good at it or anything, just that they have more of an ability to digest them than wolves do. Also, carbs aren't the same as raw veggies, which are high in cellulose (most of 'em anyway). Animals who eat a lot of unprocessed cellulose require specialized digestive systems, like rabbits or cows. Raw whole veggies aren't the same as cooked/pureed veggies and aren't the same as cooked grains/starches.
I'm confused where I said dogs are "good" at digesting carbs? Actually, I didn't comment at all on "goodness" of a dog's ability to digest carbs, other than they are better at digesting carbs than wolves (which is completely supported by the study). And I never referred to veggies (raw or cooked) at all. So.... could you please explain to me where I didn't "do my own homework"?

If you were to study other carnivores in the wild (lions, tigers, wolves, etc.). You’ll notice they too only eat meat. No other carnivore in a natural setting has a need for plant matter. If no other carnivore in the animal kingdom needs grains, fruits, or vegetables to be in optimal condition, then why do our dogs? Dogs come equipped with essentially the same anatomy and physiology as their wolf counterparts (remember they differ genetically by 0.2%) which should prove that just as their carnivorous relatives, our dog’s were NOT meant to eat grains, fruits or vegetables.
My big problem with this is that it implies that animals were "designed" for a specific function and are therefore not able to adapt to changing conditions (including available food sources).
 
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