An evolutionary dog food diet is a diet that is based on the pre-agricultural diet on which a species evolved.
It also goes by the names natural dog food diet, native diet, pre-agricultural diet, Paleolithic diet or ancestral dog food diet.
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In 2007 I wrote an article about dog food trends, also mentioning this "back to nature" trend in commercial dog food, and now we see more dog food manufacturers developing these kinds of diets. I'll list a few below.
Is this just another marketing trick or is it really true and scientifically proven? Is pet food with "wild" ingredients healthier? Truth is… it's too soon to tell.
Before dogs were domesticated, meat was their key source of nutrition.
Marketing the concept of evolutionary dog food has gone ahead of unbiased scientific research, once again. But it all seems so logical and the idea is appealing so with that caveat I'm listing just a few popular ones.
Multinational Procter & Gamble's is believed to have conducted extensive market research to support the concept of evolutionary dog food and ancestral diets. Their daughter company Iams produces 'Eukanuba Naturally Wild' in the following flavors 'Country-Grown Turkey & Multi-Grain Formula', 'New-Zealand Venison & Potato Formula' and 'North Atlantic Salmon & Rice Formula'.
This formula contains no fillers like meat by-products and corn. Healthy carbohydrates are provided in the form of potatoes or rice. Because of the exotic proteins and lack of wheat and corn these diets may be beneficial when your dog suffers from a food allergy.
To nourish dogs as nature intended.
“A canine dinner of fresh potatoes, carrots, peas, tomatoes, avocados, blueberries, and cranberries from the market place with brown rice makes a flavorful and complete dinner”.
I think my dog would refuse to eat this. He refused everything with (recognizable) vegetables and fruits thus far. Even traditional (grain) dog biscuits are too artificial for him. This is one fussy eater!
A dog food food company by the name of Evolution Diet Pet Food Corp. produces a vegetarian dog food. Hmmm… this kind of puzzles me. Other parties in the industry claim that meat is the key source of nutrition for dogs, so how on earth can a vegetarian dog food be considered an evolutionary diet?
I don't think nature intended for dogs to become vegetarian. However, it is possible to have a healthy dog on a vegetarian diet as all required amino acids can be present in plant material and I know some dogs that love fruits and veggies.
The same is not true for cats! Dogs require 10 essential amino acids, whereas cats require 11. The extra one is taurine; an amino acid that can only be subtracted from animal tissue and not plants. So a 100% vegetarian complete cat food is impossible.
Still, it can be safe and healthy… it's just that I would not consider this food a native dog food diet. In fact, when it comes to safety this company is trying to rule out all hazards by eliminating meat completely and producing the food only in the US and Canada. In that sense the name 'Evolution' should be interpreted as a reaction to the dog food recalls and dog food scares: switch to vegetarian dog food as the NEXT step in evolution.
Now here's an example of a family-owned company, Merrick, that manufactures grain-free diets for dogs (and cats). They say this is what nature intended. And their mission statement is in fact "Comfort for the Soul".
Their 'Before Grain' meat cans come in six different flavors. These contain high-quality meat such as buffalo, beef, chicken, salmon, turkey and tripe.
Since this is 100% meat it is only to be used as supplemental feeding. Dogs cannot survive healthy on a 100% meat diet. If you want to learn about the nutritional requirements for dogs, then visit the nutritional needs pages on this website.
Merrick has a complete and balanced grainless dog food too: 'Before Grain' dry kibble. After the cooking process blue fruit is added to the kibbles. These contain high-quality meat, nutrient-dense vegetables and quality oils. Before Grain Buffalo is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages.
According to Merrick, blue fruits, such as acai (an Amazon palm berry) and blueberries, are high in beneficial antioxidants.
You can buy grain free dog food online at PetFoodDirect. Check out the specific Merrick page for the exclusive promo code.
Canidae All Natural Pet Food brings another grain-free diet formula to you. According to the company, their products contain no corn, soy, wheat, glutens, grain fractions or fillers. Again, also suitable when your dog has a specific intolerance to grains.
A company called 'Taste of the Wild' boasts 4 dry formulas with wonderful names, such as: 'Rocky Mountain Feline Formula with Roasted Venison & Smoked Salmon', 'Wetlands Canine Formula with Roasted Wild Fowl', 'High Prairie Canine Formula with Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison' and 'Pacific Stream Canine Formula with smoked Salmon'.
This food is grain-free and has no corn, soy or by-products on the ingredients list.
Buying evolutionary dog food for your pooch and learning about his (or her) health can be beneficial and it's a good habit for a responsible pet owner.
But allow me to make just a small note for once: Is your diet reflecting the way humans lived before the introduction of heated houses, modern clothing, automated stairs, cars, television etc.? A minority of people follow the cave man diet, but most people are living the life style of modern man… too much fat, too much carbs and often the wrong fats and the wrong kinds of carbs. Best and most practical would be somewhere in between.
So when learning about your dog's nutritional needs in order to have a more healthy pet, don't forget to take care of yourself as well ♥.
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The "Confidential Dog Food Report" is an e-book written by Andrew Lewis. Now for those of you who know him, you know that he doesn't think highly of commercial dog food. In fact he likes homemade dog food diets. But commercial dog food is not always bad of course.
You just need to find the best food for YOUR pet. Andrew has listed the top 9 dog food brands that are just better-than-good, which is a good starting place for you. After all homecooking can be nice on occasion, but commercial dog food is very convenient. Just find the right one!