Contrary to popular belief, your dog is not a domestic wolf, whether from a behavioral, physiological or dietary point of view … Find out why! And you will understand how to provide your dog with what he really needs from a nutritional point of view …
From a phylogenetic and biological point of view
The first question is to know if the dog descends or not from the wolf in terms of genetic origin… The morphological traits of our domestic dogs present a diversity not found in any other domestic species. In addition, the variations within this species are more important than those existing between other canines which resemble it (jackal, wolf, coyote).
In front of such a variety, and probably also because selection for breeding played a considerable role, it seems difficult to establish a simple and unique line of descent between the wolf and the dog. For example, one could assume that Nordic dogs like the Siberian husky descend from the wolf while other smaller breeds could descend from the fox or the jackal.
If we look at the teeth of the dog and the wolf, we see that for certain morphological criteria such as the length of the upper fangs, the dog is closer to the jackal than to the wolf . Indeed, the teeth of a wolf are very different from that of a dog of comparable weight: the fangs of a wolf measure up to 4 cm and the strength of the masseter muscles of the jaw is much greater!
From an ethological or behavioral point of view
The domestication of the dog is at the origin of many differences with the wolf: the wolf’s way of life is very different from that of the dog since the wolf lives in packs while the dog lives in a family group made up of humans and possibly one or more congener (s).
Regarding the activity of the wolf in relation to the dog, the first pass of the time and energy to hunt, while the second has mostly moderate activity or reduced if the dog lives in the house.
In conclusion : Wanting to act as if the dog were a domestic wolf is ethological and phylogenetic nonsense . It is therefore absurd to want to consider your dog as a “wild” animal when it comes to his diet!
From a nutritional or dietary point of view
The domestication of the dog is at the origin of many differences with the wolf once again: indeed the number of meals per day is different since the wolf will make a large meal but not necessarily every day, while the dog’s bowl is filled once or even several times a day.
Then, the energy sources are different between the wolf and the dog; the latter has developed, in contact with humans, starch digestion capacities that do not exist in wolves.
A study was indeed interested in comparing the composition of foods between wolves and dogs. It shows a difference in terms of energy sources. Thus, while the wolf feeds on various preys which provide it with 54% protein energy, 45% lipid energy and 1% carbohydrate energy, the choice of the domestic dog – in experimental conditions – is 30 % protein, 63% lipids (fat) and 7% carbohydrates (starch). This then shows a natural attraction to lipids on the part of the dog, but too much fat is not recommended in sedentary animals which tend to be overweight.
Remember : The domestic dog is no longer a strict carnivore , unlike the cat. Indeed, his digestive system, enzymatic and especially his behavior have evolved, all these changes are written in his genes.