There’s been a lot of media attention recently over the idea that we (and our dogs) should eat what our ancestors had evolved to eat – that is meat and vegetables – not sugar and cooked starch. Many humans are opting for palaeolithic diets and many dog lovers believe raw meat is the best option for their dogs. They point to evidence of dogs’ teeth not having been designed for grinding down seeds. However, a dog has pancreatic amylase to specifically digest starch and like most animals, dogs rely on glucose as an energy source. Like many mammals, when a puppy starts it’s life, it consumes milk sugar, lactose, which is metabolised like starch to form glucose in their body. Our brains need glucose to function properly.
High quality starch from a cereal such as maize isn’t all bad – when it’s cooked the starch can form a crunchy inter-knitted biscuit which is easily digested and tasty for dogs.
Domesticated dogs have evolved over hundreds of years – perhaps through having scraps of human food – to have selected genes which use starch more efficiently than wild dogs. Raw food fans will argue that diabetes is more common these days, but the most common form of diabetes in dogs, is type one – which appears to have a viral cause leading to the pancreas being unable to produce insulin, rather than type two diabetes, which is age-related and has links to diet.
The advantages of including cooked starch in dog food include: longevity – it can be stored for long periods of time and doesn’t spread disease or bacteria for example Salmonella, E Coli etc; storage – it is a concentrated food so takes up less space and cooked starches are better digested by dogs than uncooked cereals.
Salters Dog Food ingredients are hand chosen and sourced from food fit for human consumption which are veterinary formulated, hypo-allergenic and are as healthy and nutritionally balanced as possible. We use cooked ground maize, but our number one collective ingredient in all of our foods is chicken – except for Salters Senior, which deliberately contains lower protein.