The Role Of Nutrition In Dog Health And Biohacking

Dog Nutrition

comment No Comments

By Dr Dan Beatty

Understanding Canine Nutrition: The Foundation of Dog Health

The health and well-being of our canine companions largely depend on their diet. As pet owners increasingly seek to provide the best for their dogs, understanding the basics of canine nutrition becomes paramount.

Essential Nutrients Every Dog Needs for Optimal Health:
Dogs, as carnivores, are protein-centric in their diet and should be fed biologically correct to thrive. Proteins are crucial for muscle development and repair, and amino acids from protein are essential for all body processes. Fats provide energy and aid in nutrient absorption. Carbohydrates are not essential, but can be a beneficial energy source when needed. Fiber supports a healthy digestive system and gut microbiome by promoting beneficial bacteria growth. A healthy gut flora is essential for overall health, including immune function. Vitamins and minerals are vital for various bodily functions, including bone and joint health, nervous system function, and immune system support. Ideally, feeding fresh foods, unlike ultra-processed options, is more likely to provide these nutrients in their natural, more bioavailable forms.

The Impact of Diet on Different Aspects of Dog Wellness:
The diet of a dog significantly influences its overall health. Fresh foods can improve digestive health due to their higher moisture content and natural fibers. They also tend to be lower in artificial additives and have more essential fatty acids (Omega 3s), reducing the risk of allergic reactions and improving skin and coat health. Furthermore, fresh diets have been linked to better weight management and a lower likelihood of developing obesity-related issues, a common problem with high-calorie, high carbohydrate-laden, ultra-processed foods.

Biohacking in Dogs: Tailoring Nutrition for Health and Longevity:
Biohacking, the practice of optimizing health through strategic lifestyle choices, is not just for humans. Tailoring a dog’s diet to suit its specific needs, such as body condition, activity level, and health status, can significantly enhance its well-being. Fresh, minimally processed foods allow for customization of diets to address individual health concerns, promote longevity, and improve overall quality of life. These diets, rich in natural antioxidants and free from preservatives, support a robust immune system and can help in preventing chronic diseases.

Another article about tailoring your dog’s diet – Natural Dog Food With Balanced Macros

processed dog food

The Raw Truth About Commercial Dog Foods

The trend of providing fresh food to dogs instead of ultra-processed commercial dog foods, commonly known as kibble, is more than just a passing fashion. It signifies a significant move towards better canine health. Honestly, have you ever considered that kibble is like humans eating boxed breakfast cereal with dry, desiccated ground meat powder, without the sugar and milk, for every meal? To help your dog thrive, it is important to avoid feeding them diets containing high-carbohydrates, synthetic vitamins, and low-quality ingredients that also have high amounts of advanced glycation end products. Instead, opt for protein-rich, fresh, and high-quality ingredients, like steak and eggs vs breakfast cereal.

Breaking Down the Components of Ultra-Processed Dog Foods:
Ultra-processed dog foods often contain a long list of ingredients that are far from their natural state. These include high levels of carbohydrates, often from sources like corn and wheat, which are not a natural part of a dog’s ancestral diet. The high-temperature and pressure processing used to create these foods diminishes the quality of the protein. It also destroys many of the natural nutrients, leading to the need for synthetic vitamins and minerals to be added back in. The lack of moisture in dry kibble is another concern, as it doesn’t align with the hydration needs of a carnivorous diet and makes it more difficult to digest efficiently.

How Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) in Kibble Affect Canine Aging:
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) are compounds formed when protein or fat combine with sugar in the bloodstream, and they are also produced in high amounts during the processing of dry dog food. AGEs have been linked to various age-related diseases in dogs, including diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis. The high levels of AGEs in kibble, due to the intense heating process it undergoes, may accelerate the aging process in dogs and contribute to chronic health issues.

The Health Implications of Synthetic Additives and Low-Quality Ingredients:
Many commercial dog foods also contain synthetic additives for flavor, color, and preservation, which can have adverse effects on a dog’s health. Artificial preservatives like BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are common in kibble and have been linked to various health issues, including allergies, auto-immune diseases, and cancer. Moreover, the quality of the protein sources in commercial dog foods can be questionable, with some brands using meat by-products or low-quality meats that are not fit for human consumption.

The foundation of biohacking your dog is the diet! Feeding your dog fresh food can have a multitude of benefits. Fresh diets are more biologically appropriate. They are typically richer in high-quality proteins, essential fats, and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. By choosing fresh, minimally processed foods for your dog, you are making a decision that could significantly enhance their health and longevity. Biohacking them to thrive vs just survive. Consult with a canine nutritionist or veterinarian knowledgeable in fresh food practices to tailor the diet to your dog’s individual needs.

Some studies for reference –

Early life programming by diet can play a role in risk reduction of otitis in dogs
Front. Vet. Sci., 06 November 2023
Sec. Animal Nutrition and Metabolism, Volume 10 – 2023

Standardized amino acid digestibility and nitrogen-corrected true metabolizable energy of frozen raw, freeze-dried raw, fresh, and extruded dog foods using precision-fed cecectomized and conventional rooster assays
Journal of Animal Science, Volume 101, 2023

Assessment of the content of macronutrients and microbiological safety of dry dog foods
Research in Veterinary Science, Volume 165, December 2023

Leave a Comment