Are There Hidden Carbohydrates in my Dogs Diet?

As Raw Feeders our goal is provide a “species appropriate” diet for our dogs.  Dogs are carnivores so their diet should consist of meat and bones (organs included).  We have discussed in previous Blogs that a dogs digestive system does not support the ingestion of carbohydrates and they do not have the required enzymes to allow them to break down the carbohydrates and absorb any nutrients from them.

So, a species appropriate diet would consist of Raw Meaty Bone, Organ and Muscle Meat along with the appropriate supplements.  What happens when we feed our dogs something that their system is not designed to digest?  Well, first off they WILL eat it because they are conditioned to eat what we feed them as we are their source of food.  In the wild they depend on themselves for their food supply but once we domesticated the dogs we also became their primary source for food.  So, they will eat something that their system is not equipped to handle and this will result in one or more of the following: gas, bloat, bad breath, flare up of the ears, runny eye discharge, lose stools and many others.

Why does this happen?  Well, our dogs systems are naturally designed with a high level of acid so they can break down, dissolve and digest the raw meaty bones, muscle meat and organ.  Carbohydrates require a lower acidic level to break down so the carbohydrates ferment and rot in their stomach and digestive track.  This creates a “rotten” pile of stuff they have to pass through their systems causing the symptoms mentioned above.

The most common thing people think of when we are talking carbohydrates is kibble or grains.  While this is a large source of the carbohydrates in dogs diets there are others.  Some “Grain Free” kibbles/treats use Pea Starch or other products as a replacement for grains however these items are still carbohydrates.  Some other examples of carbohydrates that are frequently overlooked and get “hidden” in our dogs diets are the following: fruits and vegetables.  Look up the carbohydrate content of fruits and vegetables and you will see why these create the problems for our dogs digestive systems that they do.  They cannot be broken down properly nor digested properly and they contain zero nutritional value because of the inability to break them down and they also cause varying degrees of gastric upset.

We have talked about the reasons that fruits and vegetables cannot be digested by dogs due to their lack of the enzyme needed to do so but here is another reason to avoid feeding them to your dog – they contain high levels of carbohydrates and we all know that carbohydrates are not good for our dogs.

Another source of potentially “hidden” carbohydrates are the supplements you use.  Read the label and look for “fillers” that are simple or complex carbohydrates.  Instead of benefitting your dog you may be causing some gastric upset caused by their supplements.

Remember, this applies to their treats, supplements and their food!  READ LABELS if feeding prepackaged items.  The best solution is to feed whole food and treats.  This means a single protein treat.  For examples of these look at the Treat or Chew Sections of my website.

For dogs digestive systems to function at their optimal level they need to be fed a species appropriate diet – raw meat, bones and organs.

Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged.  I can be reached at

Mama Schrof