Over the years, ketogenic diets (AKA keto diets) have become more and more popular in humans, not just for weight loss, but to treat and potentially reduce the risk of a variety of different diseases. Did you know dogs can be put on keto diets for the same reasons, too?
Keto dieting has hit the mainstream markets, with increased research around what it is and what it does. But actually, ketogenic diets for humans have been around since ancient Greek times! This diet treatment plan also popped up in the 1920s and 30s as an anti-seizure treatment, with a come-back in the 90s.
But What is a Keto Diet and How Does it Work?
Keto is a moderate protein diet that is very low in carbohydrates and high in fats, which makes the body burn fat for fuel rather than carbs. In order to produce energy, the body’s cells use one or the other, and if your pup’s diet is mostly made up of carbs (like kibble), it will convert those carbs to glucose or glycogen.
And if your pup’s diet provides more fat than carbs, his body will convert those fats into ketones, a fatty acid that produces energy.
The Scientific Scoop on Keto for Fido
As is always the case, we at Homescape Pets value scientific research over anecdotal evidence, especially when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your pets. Luckily, because of its mainstream popularity, the research around ketogenic dieting has expanded over recent decades to provide us with the details on what it treats.
For starters, keto diets have been found to help with drug-resistant epilepsy in dogs, and are now being studied for its effect on other diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. A discovery made by Otto Warburg purported that most cancer cells can’t use fat for energy due to a different fermentation process. And since another study has found that cancer is a metabolic disease that can’t derive energy from glucose or glutamine, that means a keto diet may show a significant slow-down in tumor growth.
Recently, we’ve spent long hours doing deep-dives into the case studies over at KetoPet Sanctuary, an amazing resource for parents of dogs with cancer or other illnesses that can benefit from a keto diet.
Other Benefits of a Keto Diet for Dogs
One study published in 2015 has found that of the 21 epileptic dogs that were put on a keto diet, 7 demonstrated a 50% reduction in the frequency of their diets, and 3 of them even achieved freedom from seizures completely!
But even for healthy dogs, a keto diet may prove beneficial for the following reasons:
- Better and healthier fat burning
- Improvements to liver health
- Increased energy
- Balanced blood sugar
- Lower risk of other chronic diseases
- Healthier and balanced appetite
Some even argue that keto diets are more in alignment with your dog’s natural desires and nutritional needs, as the diets of wild and predatory animals consist of only 3-5% carbohydrates. If you’re ready to give it a go with your pup, you should first and foremost consult your veterinarian, who will know best about what’s right for your dog.
If your veterinarian gives you and your pooch the green light, you should check out The Bones & Co. Pet Foods, which offers deliciously raw and ketogenic foods and treats! If you'd like to know more about The Bones & Co keto meals, reach out to the company directly or to Rachel Fusaro. She's an incredible source of information through her Instagram page and her YouTube vlogs.
But guess who else has jumped on the keto bandwagon? That’s right, your friends at Homescape Pets! We’re passionate about our all-natural supplements, but we wanted to expand our horizons and provide different delicious ways to treat your pets’ tastebuds and their health.
If you haven’t already heard, we’re gearing up to release Homescape Pets Simply Natural Chews, air-dried, all meat, and raw… which means, they’re keto-friendly! Your keto dieting pup will love our duck feet and beef or lamb trachea chews. We’re so excited to offer nutrient-rich and all-natural chews to make your pets happy and keep them healthy.
Be sure to follow us @HomescapePets for updates on the chew release, and let us know when you become one of the first customers to try our new Homescape Pets Simply Natural Chews! And in the meantime, try Companion's Best Day, our CBD supplement formulated to support a holistic and happy lifestyle for your pets.