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Are dogs Carnivores or Omnivores

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by Goblin, Dec 26, 2011.


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What are dogs..

  1. Dogs are carnivores

    34 vote(s)
    63.0%
  2. Dogs are omnivores

    18 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Does it matter they thrive on anything

    2 vote(s)
    3.7%
  1. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    It's a question frequently raised as a sideline issue but I feel it's and important one when it comes to food. For years dog food companies have been telling us dogs are omnivores. A great example is PEDIGREE® Nutrition Video: Benefits of Corn - YouTube

    I disagree as I believe dogs are carnivores (not a shock that I feed raw). I have not seen anything biologically to suggest dogs are omnivores. The skull is pure carnivore as is the digestive system. Dogs Are Carnivores is one of many sites that discusses this.

    I have known a vegetarian dog who survived into their teens but their food needed to be preprocessed so nutrients could be digested. I do not agree with the idea of a vegetarian dog but that's me. I'm not going to preach.

    Just wondering where other people stand and their viewpoints
     
  2. Nellybelly

    Nellybelly PetForums VIP

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    Cats are obligate carnivores.
    Dogs... I am on the fence.
     
  3. pogo

    pogo PetForums VIP

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    Personally I believe dogs are carnivores and like above thats cats are obligate carnivores :)
     
  4. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    It is not a question of "belief" dogs are scientifically classified as carnivores.

    Even without this fact, looking at them tells us that they are.

    They have eyes facing forward, they have large canines, they have jaws that only move up and down and not side to side, they have no flat topped molars, and their alimentary canal tells us they were designed to hunt, catch, kill and eat prey.

    That is not to say that they are not "omnivorous" ie they will eat practically anything you give them.

    This does not make them "omnivores" any more than cows are carnivores or omnivores because they were fed dead poultry ground up in processed food.

    So, you can vote all you like, but opinions don't change facts. ;)
     
  5. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Cats are carnivores, they will die if not fed meat. Therefore, as dogs can survive quite happily without meat I would say they are omnivores in the same way that humans are.
    Cows and horses and sheep are herbivores - no way do they eat meat.

    Who says it is a scientific fact that dogs are carnivores :001_huh:
     
  6. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    It is a question of belief. I know of at least 2 people on these forums who believe dogs are omnivores and I am sure there are many more. I'm interested to know how common this viewpoint is. The waters are definitely muddied because dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats. You get videos such as Wolves eating berries! - YouTube which is often used as an argument towards wolves being omnivores. There's a large number of raw feeders who include vegetation into their dogs diet plan. It's not such a black and white issue but one which is fundamental when it comes to the nutrition of our dogs.

    For me, when it comes to nutrition it's an important question not for survival but the ability to thrive. This means it's an important question to be able to feed a species specific diet.
     
    #6 Goblin, Dec 26, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  7. suesdogs15

    suesdogs15 PetForums Member

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    I strongly believe they are omnivorous. I grow my own fruit and vegetables and the dogs love nothing more than to jump over the fences I have put up to keep them out, and eat all and everything they can. I have told of them eating as far up the sprouts as they can ,and one of my dogs reaches up and picks off the raspberries, blackberries, and loganberries every day. I have to cover my fruit bowl as they take the fruit as well. I can't accept these actions as solely a dog stealing as they do it often and obviously love the veg/ fruit. One of my dogs will do anything for a pear lol. It is said that is why they eat cow and horse poo , they like and enjoy vegetables :biggrin:
     
  8. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    I believe they are omnivores, but prefer meat above all else. In the wild, all animals do is survive. As pets, we want our animals to thrive, there is a difference. To survive, a dog will eat anything and be therefore a omnivore. But to thrive, it needs optinum nutrition, and for a dog, that mostly comes from meat, but it also comes from other sources, such as veg. So I would class a domestic dog as omnivore with a need for meat.
     
  9. rona

    rona Still missing my boys

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    As Muddy picks his own Blackberries and windfall apples and he is a dog. I don't feel that I can argue with him :D
     
  10. happysaz133

    happysaz133 PetForums VIP

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    Cats are carnivores, dogs are omnivores to me. In the wild, I'm sure they would have eaten berries etc if no meat were available and still survived.
     
  11. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    Who says dogs are carnivores?

    Science does, see here for just one reference from thousands available

    ADW: Canidae: Classification

    Most people are totally confused about what scientifica classifications means.

    Being classified as a carnivore does not mean you ONLY eat meat.

    Being an OBLIGATE carnivore means you cannot exist WITHOUT meat.

    So as I said in my original post, it matters not what your opinion is, science has the answer.

    Many carnivores eat vegetables and fruits, it does not mean they are not carnivores.


    Whether you BELIEVE they receive any value from these is, again, your opinion, the value of which will depend on the level of your knowledge about nutrition, diets, phytonutrients, the digestive system etc.

    Of course what the individual WANTS to classify the dog as is up to them, just as if you wish to call black white that is the prerogative of the individual, but saying so, don't make it so. ;)
     
  12. SEVEN_PETS

    SEVEN_PETS PetForums VIP

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    what is the classification of an omnivore if carnivores can also eat plant materials?
     
  13. gesic

    gesic PetForums VIP

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    Dogs are omnivores.
    Cats are carnivores however why do the catfood manufacturers insist on putting veg in cat food?? Probs coz people buy the food not cats!
     
  14. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

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    All though carnivorous by nature dogs, like most carnivores, they will eat veg. Some herbivores will eat small amounts of meat.
     
  15. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    Omnivore is not a scientific classification.

    Although there are cases of herbivores eating meat matter, as well as examples of carnivores eating plants, the classification refers to the adaptations and main food source of the species in general, so these exceptions do not make either individual animals nor the species as a whole omnivores.

    You can be omnivorous by "nature" however (although the term does not apply to any animal if you think about it as it means "eats everything") so if you say that humans are "omnivorous" by nature does this mean they eat "everything"?

    Not it does not as of course they do not eat grass, hay, or all sorts of other things they are not designed to cope with.
     
  16. alan g a

    alan g a Hello ev'ry body peeps. Stavross 'ere init.

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    It means they need both meat and veg for good health. M eat only or veg alone is not enough as they cannot break down either sufficientlly enough. Humans are different. They cn supliment their diet with vitamins and minerals, as can animals in their care.
     
  17. SixStar

    SixStar Banned

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    I believe they're omnivores - I feed BARF style raw, so alongside the meat, I feed a good quanity of fruits and veg - I do not feed any grain however. Dogs can survive and be healthy on a meat free diet, whereas cats for example can't - so I don't believe dogs are carnivores.
     
  18. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    By nature, I think dogs are carnivores. By nurture, I think we have made it possible for them to survive on an omnivorous diet. I'd love to complete a proper study with a control group.

    I personally prefer to base my dogs' diet on meat. I don't feed BARF.
     
  19. Mophie

    Mophie PetForums Senior

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    I'd say carnivore. I'm a carnivore but also eat plant matter, my dog basically eat what I eat so in my book he's also a carnivore. If need be he could scavange for plant matter if he was hungry but if there was a dead rabbit within smelling distance I know which he'd prefer.
     
  20. gesic

    gesic PetForums VIP

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    If dogs are carnivores why is their a range of vegetarian complete foods available?
     
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