Is a Paleo Diet Good for Dogs?
(Portions of this blog post were provided by Dr. Jane from the Life's Abundance Blog)
Pet parents know how overwhelming it is to choose the right food for their dog. There is so much conflicting information:
Paleo diets have been in the news for human nutrition for the past few years. While there isn’t any one definition, the general idea is that if a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you (or in this case, your dog). In its most basic sense, paleo diets avoid processed foods such as cereals, pastas, and added sugars. The paleo diet limits carbohydrate sources to those occurring naturally in vegetables and fruits.
Because there is no one true ‘paleo’ definition, we can review the basic concept. Paleo diets are nutrient-dense with every ingredient chosen for a purpose. The carbohydrates chosen are those that cause less peaks and valleys in blood glucose and energy levels. A paleo food is going to be void of processed carbohydrate fillers, artificial colorings and flavorings.
According to Dr. Jane in a recent Life's Abundance blog post, "Limited ingredient diets came about due to a wave of pet parents being concerned their dogs had food allergies. The number of dogs who actually have food allergies is not as large as the number of dogs who have food allergy symptoms (there are complex reasons for this, which perhaps I’ll cover in a future post). Regardless, the idea for limited ingredient diets is to limit intake to novel proteins (meaning an unusual source that a pet has not eaten before), and novel carbohydrates, the diet is less likely to trigger a dog’s food allergy symptoms. This is how we ended up with diets like kangaroo and oats, or duck and peas. The most common food allergens in dogs are beef, chicken, lamb, wheat, corn, and egg. This correlates to the most commonly used ingredients in pet foods, which makes sense."
Dr. Jane further states, "If your canine has a true food allergy, he or she is probably going to need to undergo an elimination trial and all sorts of testing to see what is going on, and then move onto a special diet for the rest of his or her life. But if he or she has some minor symptoms of food intolerance or if you are just trying to avoid the major allergens in dog foods, it can be cost prohibitive to put your pet on a novel protein diet; many are prescription-only or are not meant for all life stages. Some diets are based on hydrolyzed soy, which is as appetizing to dogs as it sounds! It just doesn’t make sense to seek out one of these diets if you don’t have to due to medical necessity."
Even though a dog may not have food allergies, a dog parent may still want to choose to avoid the common allergy triggers by feeding high quality, novel proteins that taste delicious and support optimal health.
And it’s with these needs in mind that Life's Abundance developed the newest addition to their family of dog foods -- Pork and Venison Grain Free Recipe.
This amazing formula holds to the paleo idea of being grain-free. The carbohydrate sources are peas and lentils which are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. The protein sources are pork and venison, which are very rich, nutrient-dense protein sources that taste amazing. Canned foods are great for triggering the appetite because they have more potent appetizing smell. This new canned food is formulated to be appropriate for all life stages, from weaning puppies to geriatric seniors, even if they’re missing some teeth.