Dog food is food specifically formulated and intended for consumption by dogs and other related canines. Like all carnivores, dogs have sharp, pointed teeth, and have short gastrointestinal tracts better suited for the consumption of meat. In spite of this natural carnivorous design, dogs have still managed to adapt over thousands of years to survive on the meat and non-meat scraps and leftovers of human existence and thrive on a variety of foods.
Some dog food products differentiate themselves as grain- or carbohydrate-free to offer the consumer an alternative, claiming carbohydrates in pet foods to be fillers with little or no nutritional value. Carbohydrates in dog food contribute to approximately 3.5 cals of energy per gram, the same as protein per the modified Atwater method of calculating metabolizable energy. The grain-free diets have created a trend toward avoiding commercial pet food. However, a recent study published in Nature suggests that domestic dogs are able to metabolize carbohydrates.
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