The bond between hoomans and their doggos goes back a long way. From merely being treated as hunting companions to becoming work animals to getting domesticated and becoming man’s best friend forever — dogs and human beings have been there for each other for centuries. With changes in the roles of these four-legged fur babies’ in our lives, their diet has undergone a massive evolution, as well.
From companions to pets
Ancient dogs were natural hunters who ate what they killed — raw meat, bones and organs. As human beings evolved from hunters to farmers, they employed dogs to watch over their crops and livestock. Possibly around this time, carbohydrates became a part of the dog-diet. However, meat remained their primary source of nourishment. As humans started domesticating them, the focus shifted to their food. Hunter Gaston III, in his 14th-century book Livre de Chasse, wrote, “Besides being fed bran bread, the dogs would also get some of the meat from the hunt. If a dog was sick, he would get better food, such as goat’s milk, bean broth, chopped meat, or buttered eggs.” A few other written records suggest that food for pet dogs mostly included meat, bread and milk.
The emergence of commercial dog food
Despite becoming integral to households, most dogs continued to eat from their owners’ table scraps — bone, cabbage, potatoes, onions, bread, etc. City dwellers who could afford, sometimes purchased horse meat for their pets. In 1860, American businessman James Spratt came up with the first commercialized dog food in England after spotting dogs eating biscuits thrown away by sailors. The first dog biscuit was thus formulated with a mix of wheat meals, vegetables, beetroot and beef blood. It was a huge success, and multiple such products came up, including American veterinarian A.C. Daniels’ medicated dog bread. However, despite many takers, the industry suffered from credibility and affordability issues. This trend was followed by canned wet dog food, which was mostly made from processed horsemeat. It was cheap, convenient and a huge hit among dog owners. After World War II, an excess of cereals and grains were turned into mass-produced processed dog food, which eventually came to be known as kibbles and was pushed as the ‘best dog food’. Many companies started terming kibbles as prescription diets without any clinical proof to back it up. Thus, a whole lot of wet and dry dog food started dominating the market despite having questionable ingredients and dubious manufacturing processes.
Nutrition and the paw-fect diet
Nuclear families, growing love and empathy for animals, and affordability (owing to more disposable income) led to a noticeable growth in pet ownership in the past few years. This gave rise to a thriving pet care industry, with diet being a priority section. Dog parents now happily spend a considerable amount of their time and effort in taking care of their babies’ dietary needs. Research has proved the role of a balanced diet in their growth, development, activities, and overall well-being.
An ideal diet for your fur ball would be a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Freshly prepared boiled chicken with vegetables such as pumpkins, carrots, broccoli, and green beans can make for wholesome meals. While eggs and fish in moderation offer great nutritional value, carbohydrates like rice are best avoided. Feeding things like lentils or plant-based proteins could wreak havoc on the dogs’ kidneys in the long term. It makes their kidneys work over time and could lead to renal issues by the time they turn 8-9 years old. Age, developmental stages and breeds drive doggo diets to a large extent. The proportion of each nutrient varies at each stage; climate and adaptability also play key roles. It is best to seek professional help instead of going by the “my dog is fine” mantra. For more clarity and an ideal diet plan suited for your pooch, connect with a pet nutritionist.
Fresh on plate
While cooking for your adorable babies is a great idea, balancing a home-cooked diet requires knowledge, time and effort. It is pertinent to ensure you do it correctly as directed by an expert. For a better option, you can check out the preservative-free, grain-free and gluten-free Fresh Meals by Doggie Dabbas for an easy-peasy solution. Dog Treats like Chicken Jerky, Chicken Liver, Blueberry Dog Treats, and so much more by Doggie Dabbas, packed with a whole lot of nutrition, are the perfect value addition to your pooch’s daily meal plans. Try them out and watch your goobbois coming back for more.
Fact check: Chocolate, grapes, raisins & onions are potential threats for your pooch and could be poisonous even if offered in small quantities.
So, choose right, make no compromises and watch the babies wag their tails in approval!