Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dogs & Humans Co-Evolved. Did their Diets Evolve Also?

Dogs and Humans Co-Evolving | LiveScience

"The study shows that dogs split from gray wolves about 32,000 years ago, and that since then, domestic dogs' brains and digestive organs have evolved in ways very similar to the brains and organs of humans.

The findings suggest a more ancient origin for dog domestication than previously suggested. They also hint that a common environment drove both dog and human evolution for thousands of years."

          Read the full article, it is very interesting particularly about the changes in brains and organs. It has been shown that man originally couldn't tolerate cow milk but over time a good percentage of the population now can. Over generations the human diet has changed and adapted. Dogs evolved along side man feeding off human handouts, so it would only make sense that a dog's gut and diet evolved to eat and tolerate human foods.

          Back in the 90's I came across a fascinating book by William D. Cusick titled Canine Nutrition & Choosing The Best Food For Your Breed of Dog. (Follow this link to find a free copy of this out-of-print book & more.) Basically what the book talks about is looking back to where each breed of dog developed to find what their ancestors were being fed. I'm not a scientist, nutritionist, or a veterinarian but I am not totally convinced that all dogs should be eating raw meats. (Raw bones on the other hand I understand the reasoning for giving it that way as raw bones don't brake into sharp gut puncturing projections.) That is not to say that I don't believe that some dogs, say like street dogs around the world that for generations have been raised on raw meats, couldn't continue to benefit from a such a raw meat diet. Humans came from apes but we have evolved and have clear differences, even our diets have evolved separately. This also goes for our canine friends. Dogs (may have) came from wolves but they have evolved with clear differences and so to did their diets. Just something to think about.

          Do your own research and come to your own conclusions before you go about changing your dog's food. Consult your Veterinarian if you wish but remember much like people doctors many only have a "basic" knowledge of nutrition. (This is why there are dietitians who specialize in nutrition.) When beginning to learn about canine nutrition it can be quite the daunting task. I must admit that years ago I begin looking into this subject (back before I had internet access), but I after a while I gave up. I did learn a lot about ingredients on bags of dog food means but other then that information was lacking in my opinion. Just recently I have thought I would give this another try and I hope you also will considering reading up on this subject.


  1. Interesting article, Barlee, and something I haven't thought about before.