Don’t be scared away by the word ‘keto’. We promise, if you read through this entire article and do your research, you can easily manage this unique ‘keto world’ for your dog. When done properly, the keto diet can have many health benefits such as preventing disease, reducing inflammation, and boosting brain function. I know, it’s crazy to believe that a small change in a diet can have such a positive effect.
There’s a lot to learn, and we hope this article helps guide you in the right direction.
What is ‘Keto’?
The word keto is short for ketogenic. Similar to the diet for us humans, it’s a low carb diet that’s high in healthy fats and contains moderate protein.
Wild dogs and wolves are used to going long periods of time between meals, so they gorge themselves when they have fresh prey, and fast in between hunts. They’re able to fast because their natural diet contains a very low amount of carbohydrates and high fats. Yes, carbs are great for energy – just not for sustainable long-term energy. When a dog’s body is forced to rely on fats for energy, it turns fat molecules into ketones, which are then turned into energy.
We have been using the keto diet for over 100 years in treating people with seizures. Not only has this been proven to help with epilepsy, but it has also has been shown to help with cognitive functions and diabetes.
Cancer cells rely on carbs for energy. If we can remove the carbs that feed the cancer cells, we can slow tumor growth and even prevent them.
Feeding a keto diet to your dog helps to regulate excess insulin, which helps to prevent the rise in blood sugar and inflammation in the body. Some chronic diseases such as arthritis and diabetes are directly related to high amounts of inflammation.
When a dog has high amounts of carbs and sugar it can cause insulin resistance. When that happens, it can damage the communication between brain cells. So, it would then negatively affect memory and cognitive functions.
Switching up the Diet
Now that you’re ready to switch over, there are a few guidelines to abide by. The first one is to consult an Animal Nutritionist or Veterinarian before making the change. Also, check out the resources we recommend at the end of this article.
The second guideline would be the percentage of fat, protein, and carbs you put into your dog’s diet. If you’re doing this as a lifestyle switch, you can follow these recommendations: 80% fat, 15% protein and 5% carbohydrates. For a dog who has an illness that can benefit from the change in diet we recommend: 86% fat, 12% protein and 2% carbohydrates.
Keto Friendly Ingredients
There are many great ingredients to add to your dog’s food to up the percentage of fat. We recommend:
- Raw Goat Milk by Primal or Answers Pet Food
- Raw Goat Cheese Treats for dogs and cats by Answers Pet Food
- Fish Oil (check out the article Your Dog and Cat Need Fish Oil to learn of the benefits of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids)
- Organic Coconut Oil
As we previously mentioned, you should consult your Veterinarian or an Animal Nutritionist prior to making major changes to your dog’s diet. You also should be knowledgeable on the subject. To do that we recommend you check out our list of resources.
Websites and Books
KetoPet – They have a FREE eBook, along with tools to create a keto diet for your dog.
Healthy Pets – We always love reading article by Dr. Becker and this one is no different!
Pointing the Bone at Cancer – A book by Dr. Ian Billinghurst
Creating healthy treats to better round out a dog’s diet is our passion. So please, if you have any questions stop by the store at 4947 Tamiami Trail N. Naples, FL 34103 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.