Do dogs need carbohydrates in their diet?

Are carbohydrates healthy for the dog or do grains etc. harm them? Should the four-legged friend prefer to eat "low carb"? Questions that are always hotly debated among dog owners. "Do I steal such a delicious cookie?" Dogs can also taste carbohydrates, but they shouldn't get too much - Shutterstock / Africa Studio

Dogs are not pure carnivores, but should still eat protein and fat. However, according to widespread expert opinion, carbohydrates are also suitable for the stomach of the dog - at least if the animal consumes them in moderation. Find out to what extent the energy suppliers should be on the menu and to what extent they can even benefit the dog.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are named according to their components: carbon and water ("hýdor" means "water" in ancient Greek). The energy suppliers can be roughly divided into several types:

● simple carbohydrates (simple sugars) like glucose, too glucose called, or fructose (fructose).
● double carbohydrates (double sugar) such as lactose (lactose), table sugar or maltose (Malzzucker).
● multiple carbohydrates (three to nine sugar molecules) such as stachyose and verbascose, which, above all in legumes occurrence.
● complex carbohydrates (multiple sugars) such as Strength and roughage.

In principle, simple carbohydrates can be absorbed and used directly by the dog's body as an energy source. However, he usually does not need this immediately available energy. If dogs take in too much energy that they do not consume, they gradually build up energy reserves in the form of fat deposits - they become fat. Sugar is also bad for your teeth.

Multiple and complex carbohydrates can be useful for the dog. However, you should definitely chop the food well before feeding, so that the dog can utilize and digest the nutrients it contains.

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Low carb is not necessarily healthy for the dog

Since carbohydrates have been demonized in many human diets, many dog ​​owners are considering "low carb" nutrition for their fur noses. This is completely unnecessary, because carbohydrates are generally not harmful to the dog. In fact, the four-legged friends have genetically adapted to the extent that they can use carbohydrates as an energy source - just like we humans.

Are there good and bad carbohydrates for the dog?

On the other hand, a small amount of carbohydrates is sufficient for the dog. This is usually covered by regular dog food. In general, all carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the dog and therefore good - as long as they are not consumed excessively. Because: A disproportionate consumption of carbohydrates, similar to that of mistresses and mistresses, can lead to overfat, indigestion and dental problems.

You should not feed your dog pure sugar and lots of grain, as they provide too much energy at once, which he cannot burn so quickly. This means that sweets, bread, cakes and cookies are basically taboo for dogs. Raw fruit - for example a grated apple in a light meal - is allowed in small quantities. Otherwise, vegetables in moderation for the four-legged friends are usually well tolerated and provide him with additional vitamins.

Positive effect of carbohydrates in dog nutrition

Some types of carbohydrates, on the other hand, can even have a positive effect on the psyche of the four-legged friends. The American psychologist Dr. In a study, Holly C. Miller and her team found that dogs that were adequately supplied with carbohydrates were able to concentrate much better during impulse control and were more stress-resistant. A small proportion of chopped fruit and vegetables in the food is therefore not harmful to the dog, but beneficial, the research team noted.

Conclusion: carbohydrates as a useful additive in dog nutrition

Ultimately, there is no exact information on how rich the dog food should be in carbohydrates. It is therefore best to watch your dog and pay attention to the digestive problems and weight of the animal. What is certain is that carbohydrates should not form the basis of dog nutrition. Even if the animals are omnivores, meat should make up the majority of their bowl, followed by fish and animal products. If in doubt, you should consult a veterinarian.