The dog has been an inseparable “friend of man for many thousands of years. The relationship with man seems to have begun when primitive men adopted orphaned wolf cubs. Initially wolves were welcomed into the first human communities because they inspired tenderness. Subsequently primitive men were conquered by the intelligence and sociability of these beautiful animals. In fact they were herd animals like humans and adapted well to coexistence and collaboration with our ancestors. Wild wolves are carnivores but those “domesticated” have slowly, over the generations, adapted to a more varied diet that did not include only meat. In fact, meat was a very precious product because it was difficult to find, therefore not much was given to domesticated wolves that slowly evolved becoming dogs Obviously the wolf ate only meat because it was obtained from the expeditions hunts carried out with the pack.
dog play with carrot
DOMESTICATION AND NEW FOOD HABITS
The dog, on the other hand, lived in contact with humans in the first human communities consisting mainly of hunters, breeders or farmers. Man has selected the wolf by enhancing the most useful characteristics for coexistence with our ancestors. Crosses between wolves were carried out by choosing the most intelligent and most docile subjects. The selective pressure produced notable changes in this species from the point of view of the physical and character aspect but also from the metabolic point of view. The invention of agriculture produced enormous benefits for primitive men. In fact it was possible to produce much higher quantities of food than in the past. This abundance of food allowed many men to be able to live in confined spaces (a few square kilometers of cultivated land could feed thousands of individuals while the same thing was not possible with hunting). Concentrating thousands of individuals in confined spaces allowed the birth of cities and therefore of covility. After centuries of coexistence with humans, the dog has evolved by feeding on typical foods of our diet such as cereals and legumes. A good combination of them can provide the dog with all the nutrients he needs. This thing, however, cannot be based on improvisation but must be the result of a collaboration with a veterinarian nutritionist. The reason for the need for an expert opinion lies in the fact that the dog can be considered a cross between a carnivore. and an omnivore.
CEREALS WITH A LOT OF MODERATION
An excess of grains can be harmful as is an excessively protein diet. In fact, using only meat as an energy source as well as a protein source for plastic purposes can cause serious damage to health. Such damage consists of an excessive accumulation of antibiotics in the dog’s body due to the presence of these substances in the organism of farm animals. Even too many cereals in the dog’s diet can be harmful in fact the dog’s metabolic system has not forgotten that it was a carnivore in the past. As a result, his pancreas and islet cells of Langherans in particular are not very efficient at responding to glucose spikes with rapid insulin production. My experience as a veterinarian nutritionist has taught me that it is not at all healthy to overdo the cereals in the dog’s diet. There is a risk of causing obesity, diabetes, inflammatory states, intestinal problems.
Man is an omnivore and therefore can, very carefully, use a vegetarian diet that is based on cereals, legumes, fruit, vegetables, fruit, olive oil, dairy products, eggs. It has been shown that using such a diet produces great benefits not only from an ethical point of view but also for health because there are consistent reductions in the level of cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure.
CALCULATION OF FOOD REQUIREMENTS When formulating a diet for any animal, it is always necessary to start by calculating its metabolic energy requirement and knowing its protein requirement. The protein content of the food to be administered to a dog must be 18% for an adult dog and 22% for a growing dog. This value of the protein content is one of the fundamental elements to consider in the formulation of a diet. The other very important value is the energy content which can be calculated using a simple formula. The metabolic weight of the dog must be calculated first, The following formula is applied using a calculator: dog weight raised to 0.75. So we multiply by 133 if we are dealing with a moderately active dog. We multiply by 100 if the dog we are examining is not very active and by 160 if the dog is hyperactive. We must also evaluate the ability of the dog to ingest. If we know that he eats 400 grams of food a day, we must prepare a 400 gram ration with a suitable energy and protein content.
PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF RATIONING
To make this concept clearer, I want to present a practical case of rationing a vegetarian preparation for our dog. Let’s suppose we want to prepare a vegetarian ration for a medium-sized dog (25 kilograms) on average active who has cholesterol problems and therefore the vet advised us to reduce the amount of meat in the ration. With the help of a calculator we raise 25 to 0.75 and obtain the value of 11.2 kg which represents the metabolic weight of the dog. Now, if we are evaluating a moderately active dog, we multiply this value which is called metabolic weight by 133. The result obtained will be the amount of calories needed by our dog to live in good health, then we multiply 11.2 (metabolic weight) for 133 and we get the value of 1489 kilocalories. At this point we have to prepare a ration of 400 grams containing an energy quantity equal to 1489 kilocalories and a protein percentage of 18%. If we want to prepare a complete meal that allows a dog to enjoy good health, we must introduce the right amount of protein in these 400 grams of food containing about 1500 kilocalories (we talked about 18%).
A vegetarian food must not contain meat but can use eggs and milk as sources of high biological value proteins, branched chain amino acids, mineral salts and B vitamins. These vitamins are essential for a correct regulation of the metabolism, for a good functioning of the system. nervous system and vitamin B12 is essential for the process of erythropoiesis (production of red blood cells). We use rice, soy, carrots, fennel, chard, milk, an egg, olive oil as basic ingredients. 150 grams of rice contain 530 kilocalories and 10 grams of protein, 150 gr. of organic and non-GMO soybeans contain 480 kilocalories and 53 grams of protein. 150 grams of mixed vegetables (carrots, spinach, broccoli) contain about 50 kilocalories and 5 grams of protein, 100 grams of lactose-free milk (we use this type of milk to avoid intestinal problems) contains 80 kilocalories and 3.5 grams of protein, A hard-boiled egg (the egg must be cooked to eliminate anti-nutritional factors such as avidin) contains about 100 kilocalories and 6 grams of protein. Finally, 30 grams of olive oil contain about 260 kilocalories. By adding these ingredients we get a meal with an energy content of 1520 kilocalories and a protein of 78 grams, therefore in a portion of 400 grams we will have a protein content of about 19% and an energy content of 380 kilocalories for one hectogram. This content is great for providing your dog with good health while not using meat. I must also say that the vegetables that make up this recipe are also a good source of vitamin C which promotes the absorption of the iron contained in soy.
doc. Massimiliano Mangafà