Healthy Weight Control
Protein = Muscle & Maintenance including Growth & Energy Source
Carbohydrates = Simple Sugars and Starches, Energy Source
Meat Fats = Energy Source
Healthy weight control is very important for your dog. Unfortunately, many dogs that may appear to be healthy due to their size and weight may not be as healthy as you think. You first have to understand the basics. There are two types of body mass that you can control, the first is called Lean Body Mass (LBM) the second if Body Fat (BF). It is quite common for a dog to look healthy where in fact its BF is filling the gaps where the LBM should be. You can also have a situation where the dog looks skinny because it has minimal BF, but is extremely healthy and athletic.
Quality complete protein is the single most important element in a dogs diet. It is processed to build/repair muscle, for growth, for maintaining & repairing organs and so on. Any unused protein is simply expelled from the body in the feces and urine. Once the body has converted the protein into muscle it can then be converted into energy, although the body will need sufficient protein to replace the muscle mass that has been used. Meat/fish/poultry fat from the dogs diet is processed for energy and if not used it is then stored as fat for use at a later time. Excess fat, lack of exercise or both will result in a dog showing signs of obesity. However, if there is adequate meat/fish/poultry protein in the diet the LBM will still be healthy.
Most, if not all dog food manufacturers carefully calculate the fat content so this should not really be an issue. However, should you feed your dog table scraps this may lead to an excess of BF. Carbohydrates on the other hand are a source of energy that is very easily absorbed and this makes it very difficult to control. Quite simply if the energy is not spent the dog will gain weight. When your dog eats, the carbohydrates are absorbed first as they are the easiest energy source to convert. Unfortunately, this is where the weight control problem lies as all commercial dog food contain carbohydrates in varying degrees with some as much as 80%.
It currently is not a legal requirement to state the Carbohydrate content of a dog feed on the label, but it certainly should be.
Knowing what you are feeding your dog and what effects are caused by that food is pretty much all you need to know. Having a dog that appears overweight is the most difficult to control as you can see its Fat Mass but you can’t see its Lean Body Mass. Whereas a skinny dog is quite simple to correct. Simply by feeding your dog a quality, high meat/fish/poultry protein diet with minimal amounts of carbohydrates will stabilize your dogs weight which can then be controlled by adjusting the feed quantities and of course regular exercise.
Millies recipes have been formulated to provide the dog with ample complete proteins from a high meat/fish/poultry content and a realistic amount of carbohydrates in the form of healthy vegetables and fruits which coincidentally have a perfect range of vitamins and minerals for a healthy and active lifestyle. When comparing dog foods, remember if it only has 25% meat/fish/poultry content, most of the remaining ingredients will be carbohydrates and the actual amount of quality protein will be a fraction of what is stated on the bag as “Crude Protein”.
Senior dog’s food requirements:
During recent years many pet food manufacturers have launched “Senior” ranges for dogs of 7+ years. While this seems logical, it is somewhat irrelevant as contrary to popular belief as dogs get older their protein requirements actually increase by as much as 50%. Recent clinical studies have found that dietary protein is required to provide essential amino acids as the body is in a state of decay. The quality meat/fish/poultry protein is needed for repair and to maintain the aging tissue and bones. But unfortunately when protein intake is reduced the lean body mass is slowly reduced, which results in your dog losing weight.
Of course it is not as simple as this. Some older dogs suffer from weight gain due to calorie intake because most if not all Senior foods available are low meat-low protein-high carbohydrate foods which are probably the worst possible diets to give aging dogs. And to add insult to injury these foods tend to use plant proteins which puts undue pressure on the liver and kidneys as they are trying extremely hard to process proteins which simply cannot be processed.
To put it simply, older dogs need a higher meat/fish/poultry protein intake and a lower calorie intake. Being as Millies formulas already achieve this, in comparison with other brands that still have much higher calorie content to deliver an equal amount of meat/fish/poultry protein, a senior range seems somewhat pointless. Millies is suitable for older dogs and will be advantageous in controlling weight.
Do dogs need carbohydrates?
The answer is Yes and No. There are many theories and debates based on this and it all depends on the activity level of your dog.
In theory a dog does not need carbohydrates as it can harvest all of it nutrients and energy from meat/fish/poultry and fats. However, for those dogs that are very active/heavily worked we have found that the high meat/low carb diets are lacking in energy and can result in muscle mass reduction as they have to turn to their own muscle for energy.
Most domesticated breeds have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, with most living off cooked table scraps up until the introduction of commercially produced dog foods in the mid 1800’s. Even then it was not widely used until the 1950’s when demand increased as the convenience was more desirable.
Domesticated dogs are quite simply not Wolves, as Wolves will eat mostly meat and very little in the way of carbohydrates. They also only spend energy whilst hunting whereas domesticated dogs, especially very active and working dogs, may spend considerably more energy on a day to day basis and this constant expenditure of energy requires fuel. Should there be insufficient energy in their diet in the form of either animal fats and or carbohydrates, the dog will convert its own muscle mass into useable energy. This can result in a dog that struggles to maintain healthy weight. Whereas if there is too much carbohydrates or indeed animal fat the dog will gain excess body fat, especially if the exercise level is minimal.
So, for less active dogs a higher meat/fish/poultry content food with minimal carbohydrates is suitable and for the more active a higher quantity of quality carbohydrate is suitable.
When your dogs more active season comes to an end, it may become necessary to switch foods for the less active months. This is done to ensure that your dog does not consume foods that contain too much energy, as they may gain excessive weight because carbohydrates that are not used for energy will be turned into body fat.
Your dog does not have to be a gluten free dog to enjoy Millies Wolfheart.
Our food is suitable for all dogs. By feeding your dog Millies Wolfheart you are helping your dog towards good health and a long enjoyable life.