Grains are prevalent- they are the least expensive food ingredient, far less costly than animal protein. Grains help in binding the kibble together; think of them as a form of glue. Glue is good if you’re trying to make something stick, but it’s not something I advise feeding to your pets.
These high carbohydrate diets negatively impact our dogs and cats. Carnivores cannot maintain long term production of the quantity of amylase enzyme necessary to properly digest and utilize the carbohydrates. This contributes to some of the negative effects.
From Susan Wynn, DVM, on the canine diet: “Dogs evolved from Canis lupis – the wolf. Wolves eat caribou or the like, but if they are forced, they will eat smaller game (rarely). They have been observed to graze on grass, eat berries, etc, but only when they need to. This is our lesson in canine nutrition – they are omnivores who do well with fresh meat, the vegetation they get in a caribou stomach (which is mostly green, unless the beast is eating from baited fields), and a smattering of other stuff if they are hungry.”
Issues with Cats
Cats lack an enzyme called salivary amylase; further evidence that they are NOT designed to digest carbs. They have only 5% of the pancreatic amylase activity and 10% of intestinal amylase activity of dogs.
Cats lack the liver enzyme glucokinase. This is used to breakdown sugar ( glucose) . Glucose becomes markedy elevated after a large carbohydrate meal- but cats lack the ability to rapidly break it down.
This has implications for the increased incidence of diabetes in cats. By flooding your cat’s blood with glucose they can’t break down, we are likely overwhelming the Pancreas- and ultimately seeing a decrease in Insulin production, and subsequent Diabetes.
P.S. So what should you do?
Feed less grain, and ideally none to your cats.
Add in canned food, and try feeding some homemade diets.
If you are feeding homemade, I also suggest adding in my supplement.
The supplement is grain free, and both the dog and cat supplements are getting some wonderful positive results.
See what they can do for your dog or cat here: