The truth is that there is a derogatory thought towards carbohydrates and more especially when it comes to feeding our pets. In general, we look for healthy, balanced foods that provide our dog with the necessary amount of protein, as well as just enough saturated fat and sugar. However, carbohydrates must also be part of their eating routine within the recommended limits since they are the nutrient that helps them generate energy. For this reason, in this article, we explain what their function is in the body of the furry, in what foods they are concentrated, and what daily amounts are the most indicated.
WHAT ARE CARBOHYDRATES?
The carbohydrates, also known as carbohydrates, are one of the most important nutrients for the body of dogs, as are molecules that consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, and that enable energy. Carbohydrates have a plant origin and are transformed into glucose by the digestive system during digestion. They are then taken to all the cells of the body that need it to fulfill their functions, while the surplus is reserved in the liver and in the muscles for when it is needed. It is a source of energy that is consumed faster than that provided by fats and proteins and for this reason, they are very important in the diet of dogs.
However, it is essential to make a distinction between the two groups of carbohydrates that exist. On the one hand, there are the simple carbohydrates, which are the ones that are digested more quickly, and on the other, there are the complex carbohydrates, which the canine metabolism takes longer to absorb. It is important to appreciate that, based on this explanation, complex carbohydrates can make our dog fat if it tends to obesity on a regular basis, as well as being worse digested by its gastrointestinal system.
CARBOHYDRATES IN DOG FOOD
From the most remote origins, dogs have always been carnivorous animals, but in reality, they ingested carbohydrates every time they fed on the stomach or guts of their prey, where remains of seeds were found. Also, when humans began to domesticate dogs, they included carbohydrates in their eating routine. They were given seeds in the form of bread or porridge and little by little their metabolism adapted to the changes, in such a way that currently carbohydrates represent amounts of between 30 and 70% of the diet of our furry animals.
It is also necessary to know that at present, most of the feed and meals prepared for dogs are based on high levels of carbohydrates since dogs have a much faster metabolism than that of humans. Therefore, it is best that during their digestion they absorb simple carbohydrates or shorter chains of glucose. As we will see below, these molecules are found in fruits and vegetables that are undoubtedly another source of nutrients for our dogs.
HEALTHY DOG FOOD WITH CARBOHYDRATES
As we already know, carbohydrates are very necessary nutrients in the diet of dogs and they occupy a high percentage of its composition. Although most of the feed made for them contain the specific recommended amount of carbohydrates, below we list what foods with these biomolecules you can give your dog as a complement to their food, always in moderate amounts:
- Fruits, vegetables, vegetables, tubers, and legumes: in reality, most vegetables are complex carbohydrates and they are not entirely recommended in dogs due to their complex digestion, such as apple, pumpkin, pineapple, mango, potato or the carrot. However, in small quantities, they will not pose any problem for your pet.
- Cereals: This includes corn, wheat, and rice, which are composed of starch. They are also complex carbohydrates and should be fed to the animal once they have been heating treated. It is for this reason that many dog foods include up to 60% bowls of cereal in their composition, although the recommended is 25% or 30%. This is so because the cheapest brands seek the maximum benefit, so taking into account this fact it is important to monitor the composition of the feed you give your dog so as not to harm its health.
- Dairy: the carbohydrate they provide is lactose and although milk is not indicated in dogs entering adulthood due to the development of possible intolerances, you can give yogurt or natural and non-fat dairy derivatives to your furry as a compliment.
- Meats: although they are a source of protein, meat is also made up of carbohydrates located especially in the muscles and liver of animals. Meat is classified within the group of complex carbohydrates.
PROBLEMS IN DOGS DUE TO EXCESS CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE
As already indicated above, the carbohydrate intake by dogs should be around 30%, this being always an amount lower than the daily protein level. It is important not to exceed the recommended amounts of carbohydrates in your dog’s eating routine to prevent him from developing health problems, as it must also be borne in mind that carbohydrates should not be based on the main consumption of your pet.