Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthy Natural Dog Food: Part 1 Humans vs. Dog

By Dr. Janice Elenbaas

I have always been interested in knowing how dogs function. Looking at how they are built and how they differ from humans helps us understand them. With this knowledge, we can also choose foods that suit their physiology to help them live long and healthy lives. For those of you that are frequent readers, you know I have a passion for healthy natural dog food. To understand the differences between humans and dogs is to understand why they need quality proteins and whole foods.??

Let’s start with the teeth and jaw. Dogs have 42 well-spaced teeth. People have 32 and our teeth are close together. The space between dogs’ teeth allows food to enter quickly. Dogs’ mouths are funnels to get food into the stomach as quickly as possible. Your dog gulping his food is his natural way of eating. He has fewer taste buds than we do, so there appears to be no need for him to savor his dinner! Our canine friends also lack the ability to grind food. Their jaws only allow up and down movement, not side to side like ours. They also do not predigest starches in the mouth like we do. We get cavities. Dogs get tarter build up, but no cavities!

It takes about 5 seconds for food to move from their mouth to the stomach. Once in the stomach, the food is stored and digestion begins. Dogs have more acid in their stomachs than people do and this allows them to break down bacteria more effectively than we can. They also have this antibacterial ability in their saliva.

The small and large intestine in the average human is approximately 36 feet long. That’s the length of a school bus! A 70 lb dog has a 6-foot long intestine therefore dogs need high quality proteins to be able to digest them quickly. People have longer digestive systems so we can handle eating raw fruits and vegetables. Give a dog a piece of whole carrot and it comes out the other end much the same way it entered!

Complex carbohydrates and vegetables should be cooked and vegetables pureed to allow predigestion. Cooking keeps the glycemic index low to help maintain even blood sugar levels. This causes less stress on the pancreas and liver and less chance of developing diabetes.
If you are like me and have your dog sleeping on the bed with you it’s not a great leap to understand that after being domesticated for thousands of years dogs, while different from humans in many ways, are similar in others. You need whole natural foods to thrive in our environment and your dog needs healthy natural dog food to do the same.

Always remember, Health comes from the inside out!?

or more information or to contact Dr. Elenbaas please visit

Dr. Elenbaas has enjoyed a long and successful career as a Chiropractor to both humans and animals. As the first woman recognized in Canada to treat animals and a founding member of the first Ontario Veterinarian Chiropractic Association Janice is passionate about animal’s health. Combining her years of nutritional study with a natural approach to health care and her lifelong love of animals Dr. Elenbass founded; a company dedicated to providing all American, all natural, "Human Grade" cooked meals for dogs.

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