Why A Species Appropriate Diet Isn't Enough Anymore
Why is a “species appropriate diet” isn’t enough for our domesticated dogs anymore…
You’ve probably heard this term “species appropriate diet” bounce around the interwebz which to most people ultimately think it means that our dogs came from wolves, so they should eat like wolves. This means raw meat, organs & bones.
To me, a "species appropriate diet" should mean a "domesticated dog appropriate diet" not that we should still be feeding our domesticated dogs like wolves, because simply put, they're not wolves.
I don’t disagree that our dogs can thrive off of this *base* but that combo in and of itself isn’t enough.
Our dogs are not wolves anymore.
Your pug is not a wolf.
Your retriever is not a wolf.
Your bulldog is not a wolf.
Our domesticated dogs…
✔️ have been eating & evolved to tolerating cooked food for quite a long time
✔️can thrive when we add more food options to their diet because they’re getting a wider variety of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants
✔️ don’t always do well on only raw meat + organs + bone because it’s too hard on their digestive system
✔️ sometimes need more fiber that this species appropriate diet because their stool is loose & strugglesome on it
The “species appropriate diet” if not done to perfection, is often lacking some vitamins & minerals including:
✨ vitamin E
✨ vitamin D
If we pay attention to these common deficiencies, there are foods we can make sure to have in our dogs diet that will fill these gaps. We can either feed very specific organs like brains, eyeballs and pork liver or we can feed more cost effective & accessible foods that don’t necessarily fall into the “species appropriate diet”. And truly, I think that is ok.
Let’s look at some options that can be added to fill these gaps with foods you already have in your kitchen.
Zinc - oysters, pumpkin seeds, cashews
Manganese - spinach, brown rice, pineapple
Iodine - edible seaweeds, kelp, eggs
Vitamin E - sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, spinach
Vitamin D - eggs, salmon, mushrooms
Omega-3 - walnuts, chia seeds, salmon, sardine, fish oil supplement
Copper - cashews, sunflower seeds, oysters
Then if this is even too much work for you, there is NO shame in supplementing with a quality multivitamin.
If you’re ready to learn about more foods in your kitchen that you can share with your dog so they can continue to thrive, check out our Fresh Foods class.