Are Starches Bad for Dogs?

by Eleanor McKenzie Google
    A wolf can't tolerate starch, but a domestic dog can.

    A wolf can't tolerate starch, but a domestic dog can.

    Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    It appears likely that your pooch's wolf ancestors only tolerated a carniverous diet and didn't have the digestive enzymes needed to handle starch. Scientific studies in Sweden show that, during his evolution from wolf to domestic pet, the dog developed genes that allowed him to digest starch. Humans show similar genetic developments based on increased carb consumption. A shared diet appears to have played a role in bonding man and dog.

    The short answer is that starches are not bad for dogs as long as they don't form the majority of the dog's diet. Excessive carbohydrate intake can cause digestive problems and weight gain. Kibble dog food contains some starch, which most dogs tolerate well. You can also give your pooch potatoes and rice. He may even like some pasta occasionally. These starchy foods provide fiber as well as energy. An adult dog only needs protein to form 18 percent of his daily diet. The rest is fiber, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals.

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    • Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.

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