What are health problems related to a dog eating an excess of carbohydrates in his food?
Eating too many carbohydrates will cause health issues for your dog. Due to poor dog nutrition, many pets are battling an overweight and obesity problem. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention estimates that 53 percent of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese, resulting in chronic illnesses, astronomical vet bills and a possible reduction of life by as much as 2.5 years.
Dogs are carnivores and have evolved over time to thrive on diets that are meat and protein-based to maintain the essential dog nutrition they need.
A high carbohydrate diet can cause:
• Dental problems: Dogs’ teeth have been adapted for the sharp grabbing of food rather than grinding and crushing against grain. In addition, dogs lack the enzyme amylase which breaks down carbohydrates, resulting in food sticking to the dog’s teeth and gums.
• Decreased metabolism: Dogs’ digestive tracts are short and designed for quickly digesting animal protein and fat, but not carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates like those found in grains and starches are very difficult to digest and absorb and therefore provide very little energy and few essential dog vitamins.
• Digestion problems: If you ever watched a dog eat, you know that she eats in large mouthfuls. Often large bits of grain can pass slowly through the intestines undigested. When this happens, your dog is not able to absorb the necessary nutrients their bodies require.
• Improper mineral absorption: Grains and starches contain substances called phytates, which can prevent the absorption of key dog vitamins and minerals like, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and iodine. These dog vitamins and minerals then must be provided by a dog supplement.
• Kidney problems: Because grains are gradually digested, they may also tax the kidneys, which can result in kidney problems and other dog health risks.