The Wild Dog ancestor of today's companion

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DOG HEALTH

A day in the life of the wild dog, the ancestor of today's house pet or working dog

Let's pretend we're looking in on an average day of a wild dog, the ancestor of today's dogs.

    The wild dog wakes up to the dawn, after spending the night in a rough nest in the cold .

    It might be raining, snowing or a bright clear day.  Today's dog would stretch, get up, walk over to his dog food bowl and either bang it around or whine because he wants food.

    How let's look at this dog's ancestor, the wild dog.  Quite another story This wild dog  wakes up to any kind of weather,  looks around for the kill he made the day before to find it gone.  Some animal made off with it during the night.  So he gets up and begins his day hunting for food and that means exercise and lots of it.

    If he's strong enough and big enough he may be able to pull down a small dear.  In a pack of wild dogs, this is easily done.  I have watched a pack of wild dogs in Mexico run down and kill rabbits.  They were big German Shepherd mixes, short haired medium dogs and little dogs.

So you might think this dog would kill the animal, and go right for the nice tenderloin, right?  Wrong!

    The first thing the dog in the wild eats is the organ meats and intestines.  This included the liver, heart stomach and spleen.  The dog doesn't know it but he is eating the most enriched parts of the deer.  These organ meats contain nutrients not stored in the bones and muscles.  These organs also contain grains and fruits and berries that only herbivores eat. Nutrition for the life of your dog is crucial for your pets well being

    Also wild dogs routinely consume grasses, berries, roots and other vegetable matter. The gastrointestinal physiology of dogs is fully capable of digesting and absorbing plant protein sources as well as meat protein sources.

    Many nutritional veterinarians have told horror stores of desperately sick pets raised by well meaning owners who were determined to raise their pets on a strictly meat diet.

    The next thing the wild dog would eat would be the bones, fat and muscles to round out a meal consisting of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

I just heard on the TV that humans can eat insects for their nutritional value.  Bear Grylls does it all the time, much to my disgust.

    Dogs have known about this for ages and the dog in the wild would catch himself a bug, grasshopper for a snack packed full of valuable protein and vitamin B12.  If you've ever watched those extreme nature programs, the survivalists are always popping bugs into their mouths for quick energy.  I think I'll leave that to my Cairn terrier who loves to hunt and eat the unlucky fly who ventures into the house.  She's quite good at it and will "kill the bug"  on command!

    Click here to read about the optimal diet for dogs

German-Shepherd

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Portrait of Collie by Ron Krewjewski