A dog is a wolf: What to feed your Corgis
Updated: Jan 7, 2022
The wolf is an ancestor to every dog breed. I would argue they are not just ancestors, but very close family, since 99% of the domestic canine genetic makeup is exactly like that of a wolf. They may look different on the outside, but they are the same on the inside. Canine teeth, gut and digestive physiology strongly support the idea that they are intended to subsist and thrive off live prey, fermented carrion, and scraps they forage for.
Dogs have hinged, powerful jaws along with canines and triangular shaped carnassial teeth for ripping and tearing flesh and crushing bones. While they might snack on the occasional wild berry, they don't have the typical molars for the grinding of plant material or a four-chamber stomach for the slow digestion and fermentation of complex carbs.
They also have a large stomach, a short digestive tract and very small cecum, perfect for consuming large amounts of high protein food in a short time period and for fast digestion and rapid absorption of nutrients. So why do 90% of dog owners feed their carnivore companions a dry kibble diet consisting of at least 60% carbs, very little moisture and minimal, low quality protein, mostly from plants?
To make a long story short: kibble was introduced in response to the high cost of meat during the Great Depression and was heavily promoted at the end of WWII when it gained popularity for its convenience, ease of distribution and low cost. So basically we give it to our dogs, not because it's good for them, but because it's convenient and cheap. And it's true, your dog will survive eating a kibble diet, but will they thrive? No, they will not.
Chronic degenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, allergies, kidney, pancreatic and liver disease are all rampant within our pet populations and cancer rates continue to skyrocket. A study conducted in Stockholm showed that young animals fed a cooked, processed diet, like kibble, initially appeared healthy, but once they reached maturity, they began to rapidly age and develop degenerative disease symptoms. The control group that was raised on a raw, uncooked diet did not age as fast and showed no degenerative disease symptoms but remained healthy. There are many other studies that show the same type of results.
Not only is kibble not a good nutritional source for dogs, but it is full of toxins. These include aflatoxins, heterocyclic amines, acrylamides, and most recently discovered, polybrominated diphenyl ethers. I'm not a chemistry major, but I know that all of these toxins are considered carcinogens and it's why I call these foods "Cancer Kibble," and I don't feed then to my pets.
Commercial kibbles not only harbor harmful toxins, they are also stripped of much of their nutrient value, becoming a "dead" food product. Some well-meaning pet owners go to the expense of buying "high quality" "grain free" kibbles that claim to be all natural and even organic, but buyer beware. Even though these expensive commercial kibbles contain high quality ingredients with no preservatives, fillers or additives, they are still going through a cooking process which ultimately nullifies much of the nutritional value these quality ingredients would have contributed.
These expensive kibbles are left with proteins that have been denatured, enzymes that are rendered inactive, and any natural, beneficial microflora (good bacteria) are no longer viable. These components are all extremely important and provide a synergistic effect for the complete digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients from the food.
So, why not just add nutrients back in with synthetic fortification? Many manufacturers do this to meet AAFCO standards in order to call their food "complete and balanced." However, studies show that these synthetic vitamins can actually cause more harm than good in our pets, because the body cannot completely utilize them and instead it will process them as a foreign substance, causing more stress to the liver and kidneys.
A raw, species appropriate diet is the best defense we can give our pets to thrive and maximize their opportunity for a long, healthy life. As caretakers of these amazing companion animals who unconditionally enhance our lives, it's not only fair, but it's our responsibility.
So why not just go out and trap a rabbit, catch some fish, or shoot some foul and toss it skin and all to the dogs? Well, some people do just that. Or they have a source for wild animals and give them to their pets skin, bones and all. If I had a safe and reliable source of this type of wild-caught game, I would do the same.
So what do we feed our Corgis? Answers Pet Food (not a sponsor), a nutrient-dense line of fermented raw wholefoods specifically formulated by a nutritional scientist to find the most species-appropriate diet for pets of all ages. They use whole cuts of organic and pasture-raised meat, organs and bone, and other superfoods to give your pets optimal nourishment.
We use the raw chicken, beef, duck or pork nibbles (small patty-shapes that are quick frozen) and we add fermented goats milk each meal. In addition to being complete nutrition, the food is so well absorbed that our Corgis have usually one small bowel movement per day that has next to no odor. And they very rarely experience loose stools or stomach upset. They are also free of skin problems and allergy symptoms.
There are other raw food canine diets on the market. We purchase ours at Fifi and Fidos (not a sponsor) in San Antonio. The owner of the store is not a pet nutritionist, but she is very knowledgeable and helpful. Being advised by a pet nutritionist, one not associated with a commercial dog food company, would be ideal, but they are few and far between. If you have one in your town, make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to discuss the best choice for your dogs and your budget. We spend about $350/month to feed our Corgis. A substantial investment that we are happy to make because we want our lovely Corggos to live their best lives.