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Brown W. Have human dietary trends influenced the recent evolution of the domestic dog?. 2010.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/8939
Have human dietary trends influenced the recent evolution of the domestic dog?
Both canine and human ancestors hunted and scavenged food to survive. Early domesticated dogs scavenged food scraps from early man. Their diets were therefore influenced by human diets. Both man and dog share an innate taste preference for fats and sugars; a factor that has probably contributed to the parallel dietary trends and health patterns in these two species. Modern human and canine diets have a greater reliance on processed grains, and are generally: • Nutrient and calorie rich • Highly palatable • Low in Ω-3 The current obesity epidemic in both species lends support to the findings that eating patterns of pet dogs often reflect that of their human owners. (Kienzle, 1998) Thanks to advances in nutritional science, nutritional deficiencies are no longer a real concern for dog and human populations in modern societies. Increased education should help pet owners to choose healthy foods and life styles for themselves and their companions. Further research should enable dietary trends in the future to address the current health issues shared by dog and man.