Is ketogenic diet ideal for dogs? In the human diet industry, keto is one of the most-searched, health-related words on the Internet. This protein-based diet is believed to be favoured by many fitness experts as well as celebrities, including Katy Perry and Jennifer Lopez. However, can we say the same for our furry friends? If so, what is the best ketogenic dog food?
What is a ketogenic diet?
The use of ketogenic diet started as part of the therapy with children suffering from epilepsy in the 1920s. In the past, a decrease of epileptic seizures was found in people with extreme hunger. However, starvation is not an ideal treatment for kids. This trail of thought led to the creation of a diet, ketosis, which is quite similar to the process.
With ketosis, instead of glucose from dietary carbohydrate, the body uses fat as a source of energy. According to KetoPet Sanctuary, a ketogenic diet is a high-fat, protein-sufficient, low-carbohydrate diet designed to lower blood glucose and induce ketosis. With the increase of dietary fat and reduced non-fibrous carbohydrates, the body will naturally find fats as its primary source of energy. Canines using fats for fuel instead of glucose have ketone bodies distributed all over the body. This process is called ketosis.
What is a ketogenic diet for dogs?
A ketogenic diet is one that has nutritional value closely similar to the ancestral diet of wild canines and wolves. It is rich in fat with moderate content of protein and low carbohydrate content, which results in a metabolism directed into burning fats instead of carbohydrates for fuel.
Further, the ketogenic diet for dogs is heavily supported and currently investigated by the KetoPet Sanctuary. The KetoPet Sanctuary is a non-profit organisation that rescues and gives chances to dogs that have been sentenced to be euthanised because of cancer. Although not a cure, but the nutritional approach of keto has benefited dogs with cancer. In addition, dogs suffering from obesity and diabetes have improved health outcomes when put on a keto diet.
The standard diet uses dietary carbohydrate as the consistent fuel in the body. When there is an excess amount of blood sugar not expended over time, it may soon be converted into fats as a storage mechanism. As most pets and people do not always experience fasting, the accumulated body fats may lead to obesity. This is just one of the instances where the carbohydrate-based diet has its own lapses.
Ketogenic diet feeding
The ketogenic feeding involves raw diet. Why go raw? It contains less to no carbohydrate, is not highly processed, and does not have any preservatives. The raw feeding should follow a calorie content of 69 per cent from dietary fat.
As for the ketogenic diet for dogs with cancer, it is sterner with 82 per cent of caloric intake from fats. A regular monitoring of the canine’s body composition, blood glucose level, and blood ketones is a necessary measure. The blood and weight help discern if there is a need for any adjustments in the diet.
Here is the basic keto diet table for calculations of the ideal percentage of protein, carbs, and fats for your pooch:
Any transition in the diet should be done gradually. Even for dogs diagnosed with cancer or epilepsy, they should be introduced with option 1 keto diet. If there are no negative reactions to the diet after 1–2 weeks, dogs suffering from health issues may gradually switch to other options.
Dogs with cancer can follow the diet in option 2. As for dogs with seizures, option 3 is best recommended. Dogs with weight issues should also be monitored. Once they have reached the desired body goal, calories can be gradually increased so as to prevent a progress of weight loss.
Serve high-quality fresh protein in adequate amount:
Dietary fats also manifest in:
- Coconut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Fish oil
- Olive oil
Dogs may also eat the following vegetables low in carbohydrate content:
What else do you feed your dog in a ketogenic diet? Let other pet owners know in the comment section below! Read more of our pet nutrition blog posts.
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