Are dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?

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Question: Are dogs carnivorous or omnivorous?

Answer: This seems like an oh-so-simple question which requires an oh-so-simple answer. Unfortunately, it is not that simple of an answer.

Very simply, dogs are carnivorous. Wild dogs and their cousin wolves have never EVER been found in corn fields, stripping away ears of corn, shucking them, tearing off the silk, and gnawing on those golden kernels. Likewise wild dogs and their cousin wolves do not eat oats or barely or rob grain silos or eat hay. (Although wolves have been observed to occasionally chew on wild berries, though they consume very little of the actual fruit and why they do this is not quite known).

Some might claim wild dogs or their cousin wolves consume grains and plant/vegetable matter by consuming the intestinal contents of their prey, however that is simply unsubstantiated by actual fact. Wolves and wild dogs do not consume plant matter from the stomach of their prey. IF a very small amount of plant matter was consumed, it would be partially digested and would be very different from eating fresh, whole veggies and grains like we humans consume. 

Of course domesticated dogs have been around for a long time, probably as long as humans have been around. These dogs may have adapted to eating a more omnivorous diet as their feeders (us) are omnivores and dogs traditionally were fed scraps and leftovers, to include meat, offal, organs, bones, grains and veggies and fruits.

Less simply: Dogs are not obligate carnivores. This means that they don’t have to consume all meat all the time to survive. So dogs are carnivores but they can eat some carbohydrates. Of course there is ALWAYS a difference between surviving and thriving.

That brings us to a more apt question: what SHOULD a domesticated dog eat? That is a complicated topic (at best) so I’ve broken it up into several posts.

What should a domesticated dog eat?

Dog food

Dietary Requirements of Dogs

Feeding your dog “real” food

Sweets, Snacks & Supplements! Oh My!

Links will be colored and underlined as they become active (as I post the articles!) Sorry… work in progress!

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