Sorry, I apologize to the OP, this will be the last time I sidetrack this thread unless someone later has a specific nutritional or veterinary question.
Originally Posted by CBBaron
The quote you provided only mentioned vegetable food sources as minor sources of nutrition and animal protein and fat as the primary source of nutrition. Sounds like a carnivore that enjoys sweets (fruit) when available.
That is the problem with quoting out of a giant veterinary tome, or trying to paraphrase a field where extensive research has been been preformed; you can't quite get all the info into one post without your fingers falling off and/or exceeding the 10,000 character limit.
The definition of omnivore is "having a diet that consists of both plant and animal matter", (paraphrased out of Dorlands Medical Dictionary 30th ed.) but can be expanded to, "a creature that is both able and willing to ingest, digest, and metabolize both plant and animal materials as part of their normal diet." To keep from having to quote from the multitude of reliable, peer-reviewed sources out there, I will stick to quoting from "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition," but will post further sources if you so wish. If you do not wish to stick to the admittedly dry and boring scientific literature, I am sure a goggle search will come up with similar information, but will also abound with misconstrued ideals on pet nutrition which are backed up only on "feeling" and not on "fact."
You mention plant matter as "treats," and "minor sources of nutrition." Further reading in "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition" mentions that not only do wild canids readily ingest plant material in various forms when prey is plentiful, but when animal prey is scarce they can subsist solely on plant material until their next kill. Research into the nutritional requirements of dogs that compared diets between those fed a balanced animal diet and those fed a balanced vegetable diet showed no difference between the groups. These studies and observations show that dogs are willing to ingest, digest, and are physiologically able to metabolize plant and animal material, giving them the title of omnivore.
I'm sure you enjoy candy at times, but you don't expect to eat candy for a meal. I think with dogs, vegetable sources of food should be treated the same way and not the primary source of nutrition as it is in most "dog food".
Yes, I do enjoy candy, and no it is not my primary source of nutrition (usually)
However I also do not eat meat for every meal, and the majority of my dietary intake is from plant material (pastas, bread, beans, rice, etc.), does this make me a herbivore? Of course not! Just because a vegetarian eats no meat products, does that make them a herbivore? No! Because as a human, we are able to ingest, digest, and metabolize both plant and animal materials.
Yes sir, you are also correct that many dog food diets contain a good amount of plant material (corn, rice, potato, etc.), and this is for a multitude of reasons:
-Caloric density: Starches from plant material is much more caloricly dense than meat products. this way you do not have to feed your dog 20lbs of dog food a day.
-Ability to utilize plant material: Addressed above.
-ability to store: I do not know about you, but last time I tried to keep a bag of buffalo guts around.....
-Expense: Yes, economics do take a part, as they take a part in everything else in our lives.
If you are still convinced that your pet should subsist on a majority animal product diet, there are some very good resources out there, but I urge you to PLEASE talk to your vet about formulating a well balanced diet to optimize your pets health, or find a good, credible, certified veterinary nutritionist to help develop a diet. For the majority of us that do not have the time or money to cook and prepare for ourselves, let alone our pets, any brand name (not store brand) dog food out there has been tested to be balanced for your pets nutrition.
If you have further specific questions about your pet, please consult your vet.