The fact that a dog can survive without meat (i.e. on a vegetarian diet) can lead to confusion. This species is still incredibly well-adapted to catch prey, kill prey, eat prey and digest prey. The instinctive behaviours of the species reflect this ability and adaptation and, in my opinion, reveal the true nature of the animal. The binocular vision likewise fits in with this adaptation.
This is not an animal that has evolved to sneak up unawares on a blade of grass and consume it.
A dog’s skull has a shape that permits incredible jaw power, necessary for catching and holding prey and for breaking into a carcase, consuming bone etc. A dog’s jaw does not move from side to side in a chewing action (necessary for the proper assimilation of vegetable material) and the teeth are adapted for a scissor action. The saliva does not contain amylase, an enzyme that digests starch. The dog’s stomach is incredibly acid, enabling proper digestion of meat and protecting against harmful bacteria. The dog’s intestine is short, compared to herbivores.
There is divergence of opinion whether a dog requires vegetable material (in partially-processed form) to have a properly balanced diet. In support of this is that a dog is instinctively driven to pick and eat fruit and to pick and break open nuts. Many dogs will readily dig up and consume roots. Dogs also avidly consume herbivore dung. In addition, if a dog consumes the digestive system of its prey, it is able to derive its necessary fibre, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics and probiotics from that source.
A dog is not an omnivore. A dog is a facultative carnivore. In my opinion, the dog is a card-carrying carnivore with an ability to live off other materials and to survive without meat. However, surviving is not necessarily a position of optimal health.
About Christopher Day
Christopher Day is a Holistic vet, Homeopathic vet, Acupuncture vet, Herbal vet, Chiropractic vet – 40+ yrs of experience in the field – all species welcomed, incl. horses, dogs, cats and farm animals. Also he has written vatious books on the health on pets.
Find out more by visiting www.alternativevet.org