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Carbohydrates in a Dog's Diet

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Carbohydrates in Dog Food Carbohydrates are nutrients that derive from plants. They include starches, cereals, sugars, and plant fibre. Protein used in dog foods is obtained from wheat, corn and soya. If the ingredients listed on packs of kibble dog food state 'dietary fibre', it is usually obtained from these sources, and is necessary to keep intestinal cells healthy.

An excellent meal, full of carbohydrates and fibre, can be obtained from a dish of porridge (oatmeal) made with milk, honey and wheat germ. This is still the staple diet of many working farm dogs. On a thriving farm, these ingredients were always in good supply. The farmer’s wife would make up a big pan of porridge, to feed the busy Collies in days of old.

We all love to treat our dogs and especially the new puppy. However commercial dog treats can be fattening, and cause tooth decay. Raw vegetables such as carrots, celery, or apples, provide a healthy treat without the calories. Any changes in a dog's diet may cause loose stools so always introduce carbohydrates in moderation. Some breeds, especially German Shepherds, cannot tolerate wheat.

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The benefits of carbohydrates are that they provide energy, help maintain correct glucose levels in the body, and they enhance the flavour of foods. Try making a healthy veggie stew by cooking a mixture of vegetables together, then adding a good spoonful of this to the dog’s normal dinner. Instead of giving your puppy a synthetic bone to chew on, offer him a raw carrot. Not only will it keep him busy but it will also provide him with a healthy alternative treat.

Really it is trial and error as to what the dog will eat. Be sure to try him with a variety of vegetables. Dogs love to crunch on a piece of apple and some enjoy a more exotic taste like melon, or sweet potato. Dry dog food usually contains between 30% and 60% of carbohydrate. Canned food usually has around 30%. An average pet dog will benefit from a diet containing 30 – 40% of carbohydrates.

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