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New book has a quibble with kibble

Richard Patton thinks we’re killing our dogs — not with kindness, but with carbohydrates.

Dogs, as good as they are at adapting to most things, are poorly adapted to cope with the constant diet of soluble carbohydrates — i.e. kibble — that many pet owners provide, he maintains in his new book.

In “Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack: The Paradox of Pet Nutrition,” Patton points out that pet owners, believing they are providing the best nutrition, are robbing their pets of health and longevity by failing to restrict their animals’ intake of carbohydrates.

Fat, he believes, is not the evil monster we once thought it to be — either for animals or humans — and most animals will benefit from a diet more in line with what their predecessors ate when they lived in the wild.

For millions of years, dogs and their predecessors managed to survive and adapt to a life without carbohydrates.  Then, 10,000 or so years ago, once domesticated, man took over their feeding. And man’s choice for dogs — a diet heavy on grains –was based in part on ease, cost, misunderstanding and misinformation.

“Not only is the modern day dry diet higher in soluble carbohydrate than anything animals ever ate throughout evolution, but also the animal’s biological machinery was perfected to eek out a survival in a world of near constant lack of soluble carbohydrate. This exquisite, designer perfect biological machinery is at a loss to deal very effectively with constant, excess soluble carbohydrate.”

In other words, by feeding our animals a steady diet of kibble, we’re flying in the face of billions of years of evolution. It’s akin, he writes, to taking an animal who spent four billion years evolving to be able to see in the darkness and thrusting him into the sunlight.

Patton’s book is an academic work — this isn’t dog food for dummies — but it’s one that covers all the bases when it comes to nutrition, including how diet can affect a pet’s behavior.

For anyone interested or concerned about animal nutrition, it’s worth digesting.


Comment from TOS
Time December 29, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I believe Richard Patton is correct. When we got our puppy (now a senior citizen in dog years), I read the books by Billinghurst and Schultze on dog nutrition, and they were very convincing. So for most of her life, our dog’s primary food has been raw chicken wings, supplemented with protein-rich canned food and commercial raw food. She’s never had a weight problem or health problem, her vet says she’s a “perfect specimen of a dog”, she’s never needed a teeth cleaning, and her coat always feels clean and soft. I know it’s a really controversial among dog lovers, but our results have been an unqualified success.

Comment from Anonymous
Time December 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm

It looks like a doge we know and love

Comment from Dana
Time January 7, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Raw food is the only thing we feed our dogs. They have been on it since 9 weeks of age and I can also confirm they are the basic picture of optimal health; beautiful, glossy fur, white teeth without buildup, and never any weight issues. Dr. Patton helped formulate K-9 Kraving dog food. Check out our website http://www.alphadogspecialties.com to buy.