Carbohydrates as Energy Sources in Dog Foods
In addition to proteins and fats, carbohydrates are among the three essential elements of the diet. This applies at least to human nutrition. With our favorites, the situation is a little different. This is why there are ongoing discussions and mistakes regarding the right diet. Again, and again dogs suffer from the fact that their humans transfer their dietary habits to the four-legged. But what does the carbohydrate matter look like?
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Types of Carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates, as their name implies, consist of carbon and constituents of the water. According to their chemical structure, they are divided into three broad groups:
- Monosaccharides consist of a sugar component. They include glucose, fructose, and lactose.
- Disaccharides consist of two sugar components. These include lactose, sucrose, and maltose.
- Polysaccharides consist of many sugar components. Glycogen, vegetable and animal starches, crude fiber and dietary fibers are polysaccharides.
How Are Carbohydrates Digested by the Dog?
In humans, the digestion of carbohydrates begins with chewing and spitting. The dog looks different. If the dog receives carbohydrates, the digestion begins only in the small intestine. Multiple sugars, i.e. polysaccharides, are divided into monosaccharides in the small intestine so that the body can absorb them.
Carbohydrate-containing foods should, therefore, be prepared or crushed before being fed. Thus, the nutrients and active ingredients can be used for the animal. Rarely, if the dog is ill, a pre-fermentation may occur in the stomach. If more carbohydrates are fed than can be utilized, the organism stores them in the liver and the muscles. If necessary, these substances are released and rapidly released.
Health Benefits of Carbohydrates
The ancestors of the dogs, the wolves, eat a whole better. This always contains carbohydrates, mainly in the stomach. Carbohydrates are contained in cereals, but also in many fruits and vegetable varieties. They deliver about as much energy as protein.
Carbohydrate table, 100 grams each food
- Rice about 70 grams carbohydrate
- Quinoa about 62 grams carbohydrates
- Amaranth about 55 grams carbohydrate
- Sweet potatoes about 26 grams carbohydrates
- Potatoes about 16 grams carbohydrates
- Peas about 11 grams carbohydrate
However, a carbohydrate-rich diet in the dog is not only superfluous but can even make the animal sick.
Carbohydrates are Cause of Overweight
The consequences are diseases which we also know about us humans. If a dog is eating too many carbohydrates, the body converts these sugar ingredients into fat. There are grease deposits. As a result, it becomes swelling or overweight.
Typical for an excess of carbohydrates are gastrointestinal disorders and dental problems. The digestive tract of the dog is not optimally designed for the digestion of these substances. That your dog has a problem with the digestion of carbohydrates, you notice quickly by digestive problems such as diarrhea. Unlike a surplus, a deficiency of carbohydrates has little effect on the dog.
The dog organism can gain energy from fats and protein. If necessary, he can convert proteins into glucose. In this metabolic process, however, slag substances produced, which the dog must again excrete. This puts a strain on his health. From this, it follows that carbohydrates are necessary to a certain extent. An overdose, however, can be very harmful.
Caution in Finished Feed
If you feed your dog with pre-fodder, you should always check some carbohydrates. Unfortunately, in many ready-to-eat foods, a high carbohydrate content, often consisting of cereals. This is especially the case with many dry fodder varieties. It is completely independent whether these are cheap or expensive providers. Therefore, pay attention to the declaration and order of the ingredients. The further ahead the grain is listed, the more of it contained in the finished feed.
Now, grain is not harmful to your dog. However, wheat, corn, maize, and co. Can easily trigger allergies, which can show in digestion problems, skin discomfort or even behavioral problems. Therefore, you should prefer high-quality fodder varieties that do not need these grain cultivars.
Good alternatives are rice, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes or the old pseudo-cereals like quinoa or amaranth.Of course, these foods contain different amounts of carbohydrates. But we do not want to torture our dogs with a low carb diet.
Yes, carbohydrates are very much important and healthy for dogs. Always remember that small treats and, above all, dog biscuits usually contain many carbohydrates from cereals. Try to make homemade biscuits, cheese pieces or other treats without carbohydrates. This is healthier for your dog and is just as good for him.