Vegetables

Plant cells are different from animal cells. Plant cell walls are thicker and tougher to open. The carnivore digestive tract is not designed to glean nutrition from plants. The carnivore digestive system is short compared to ours and vegetable matter just goes out the back end without being used.

The human gut is long and designed to ferment plant foods. This fermentation and length of time gives plant cell walls a chance to break down and release the nutrition inside. A good system for omnivores. Our carnivore friends (dogs, cats, and sharks) have a short gut designed to break down raw meat. The cell walls of raw meat are more delicate than plant cells and release their nutrition quickly. Perfect for carnivores.

The carnivore short gut also allows the quick exit of any pathogens that might be on the raw meat so the animal doesn’t get sick. We could also get nutrition from raw animal meat, but that long gut of ours may harbour bad bacteria or intestinal parasites long enough to make us ill. Sushi and steak tar tar are different because the meat is handled very carefully to avoid bacteria and worms.

So, should you feed your dog fruit and vegetables? In short, no. But I realize that some dogs love their veggies and some plant matter isn’t going to be harmful. It just goes out the other end. Your dog will get a little nutrition from the veggies, but they can’t get at the nutrients easily. Dogs and cats aren’t vegetarians; they eat vegetarians.

Freezing or steaming the vegetables may help break down the cell walls, but why are you fighting against your carnivore’s natural needs? We are so ingrained with the idea that we should eat our veggies, that we carry it over to our pets. This is about love and love is good. But our dogs and cats are very different on the inside than we are and the best way to love them with food is to honour them as the carnivores that they are.

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Comments (4)

Why put veggies in your raw food blends then? Like you said, a few veggies wouldn’t hurt, but if you are feeding your dog the Turkey Veggie blend or a Butcher Block even, they are getting a pretty substantial amount of vegetable matter daily.

Thank you for your question Hannah!

The reason why we include vegetables in some of our products (being 3 out of 4 of our Butcher Block Blends and our specific protein and veggie blends) is that we strive to provide a balanced “prey diet”. Because we use only muscle meat for our protein your dog does not get the stomach of the omnivore in their food. To say they don’t get the nutrients from the partially digested vegetation that their prey would normally eat. We grind and freeze the vegetables we put in our blends to simulate a partial digestion.

The Butcher Blocks are only 15% Seasonal Vegetables, as this blend is usually being fed on a day to day basis. The specific protein and vegetable blends are higher, 30%, as they are meant to be used with other blends to combine into a balanced diet.

I hope this answers your questions! Thank you for your inquiry.

So dogs should be eating vegetables? Your answer and blog post seem to contradict each other.

“So, should you feed your dog fruit and vegetables? In short, no. But I realize that some dogs love their veggies and some plant matter isn’t going to be harmful. It just goes out the other end. Your dog will get a little nutrition from the veggies, but they can’t get at the nutrients easily. Dogs and cats aren’t vegetarians; they eat vegetarians.

Freezing or steaming the vegetables may help break down the cell walls, but why are you fighting against your carnivore’s natural needs?”

Wouldn’t feeding tripe satisfy my dog’s needs for a “prey diet” then?. And would 15% vegetables be the correct ratio of veggies to meat based on this “prey diet” (15% of a herbivore is stomach content???). If we are trying to mimic a herbivore’s stomach contents wouldn’t that mean that there would also be grass, foliage, and maybe even grains to add, not just veggies we humans like to eat?

“This is about love and love is good” but are adding vegetables important because they are beneficial nutritionally (which would contradict your blog post) or because they are a cheap filler – because I can guarantee you wouldn’t be finding a carefully selected blend of seasonal veggies that humans find consumable in the stomach of any wild herbivore (at 15% of their body weight to boot!)

Buddies Natural Pet Food

Thank you, Hannah, for your attentiveness to this matter.

“So dogs should be eating vegetables?”
Yes and no. If your dog can tolerate fruit, then as a treat fruit is great. Anti-oxidant fruit is even better, such as cranberries, blueberries, etc. Buddies does not put fruit in the foods however, as it has a higher sugar count. For vegetable, it is considered a carbohydrate and we do include it in some of our blends. It is agreed that if your dog is active, and looking to burn more energy, adding vegetables is important. That being said, it is dependent on your personal home environment as to how much and what choice of fruit or vegetable you choose to feed, or if you feed it at all. Because of this, Buddies has several options to choose from, yes, some of them with vegetables included. The idea of feeding fruits and vegetables is to increase carbs, and being able to work it off. It may not be a good fit for dogs that cannot burn the extra calories off.

Steaming vegetables satisfies some pancreatic and digestive issues, it does not achieve the goal of acid or enzyme to break down the food, again, it aids in the addition to carbohydrates. With regards to the freezing, it is true that when the vegetables are frozen they will increase with a higher sugar content slightly. Because of this, if it is an ongoing concern with weight or sugar intake it’s important not to feed vegetable or fruits. We have many blends available to satisfy those needs.

We choose to add vegetables as an additional carbohydrate factor, it’s not used as a filler. There can be additional fillers such as rice, or potatoes if the consumer needs to focus on a filler.

“Wouldn’t feeding tripe satisfy my dog’s needs for a “prey diet” then?”
It would, and there are people who only feed their dog tripe, and agree it’s a whole food. However it is not a consumer driven product. Some dog and cat owners find the smell of tripe to be offensive and prefer to feed the vegetables with supplements. Buddies has a variety of products, as we cater to the prey diet, and to the consumer that is looking for a meat and vegetable blend. Not everybody agrees that the prey diet is for them.

Thank you for your information, it’s not a perfect science. I’m Mindy and I founded Buddies. My dog Copper eats lamb, lamb tripe, turkey necks and sardines. He’s never been interested in veggies. Whereas another employee has a dog, Zira, and she loves her veggies! She drools and whines anytime there is any vegetable prep going on in her house in hopes to get a few pieces! It’s not a perfect science trying to figure out what our pet pals are interested in eating, Buddies will do our best to provide a well-balanced selection of product, with or without veggies. The good news is the consumer is going after a prey, raw diet, and we have come so far to help our furry friends, we have to keep the knowledge, confidence, and information moving in a forward direction. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if kibble was not an option? I am thankful for people like you that are educated and care to promote a healthy happy stable diet. Thank you for your feedback.

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