Canidae food is canine food. Food for members of the Canidae Family. The canidae family members are carnivores. They are meat eaters by definition. This biological family group, is made up of 36 different species, which include among others, coyotes, wolves, foxes and dogs.
So canidae food, has historically been food for dogs. I wanted to write this page to give you some simple history about how dogs and other wild canids, which are all members of the same family, namely the Canidae family, have eaten over the eons.
Millions of years have passed. Evolutionary biology can track the lineage of our present day dogs back about 50 million years. At that time, this carnivore group, split into two lines, namely caniforms and feliforms, which were basically...dogs and cats!
About 10 million years after that, the first proper canids appeared on the historical time line. They would have looked something like this...a little bit like a dog, a little bit like a cat.
The caniform family then split again into three more sub groups.
Of these three groups, only one sub family group has survived...the Caninae.
All of our present day canids including wolves, foxes, coyotes and domestic dogs belong to this family.
Understanding nutrition as it applies to dogs, is dependent on realizing and acknowledging, that all dogs evolved from the Order of Carnivora. They are meat eaters. Their powerful, canine body structure and dentition ( teeth ) along with a short digestive tract, say that they are.
Whizzing through history to the present day, we see that selective breeding has created a companion dog that appears different than his wild cousins, but is he really so different?
Would it not make sense considering the evolutionary history of the dog, to understand that actually nothing has changed. Our dogs are still canids. Canids are still meant to eat meat from the prey animals that live and share their natural environment. This canidae food is the natural dog diet as would be provided for them by Mother Nature.
Since dogs as a species evolved alongside early humans as much as 36,000 years ago, and continue to bless our lives today, it's interesting to me, that somehow we have forgotten their natural roots when it comes to food for dogs.
Humans and dogs evolved together. Both species have benefited from the partnership, including the hunting and sharing of food. Since early humans evolved as hunters and gatherers, it is quite obvious to me, that evolutionary dietary guidelines were similar and served both species. Perhaps canine food and people food was not that much different. Maybe we could think of it as the paleolithic diet for people and dogs!
Recently, while clearing up some stuff in my office, I came across an article published in the Picton Gazette from January 2014. The article published the results of a three year study asking the question...
How is the coyote population of Prince Edward County able to exist and maintain, in spite of being harvested, shot, and tracked intensely across the distribution area?
What I found interesting about this article from my all consuming interest in dog nutrition, was what the coyotes were found to be eating. Information was gathered from live animals that had been radio collared. Their waste, and the carcasses of dead coyotes were examined as well.
Since coyotes and dogs belong to the same species group, namely the Canidae family, the stomach contents found inside these wild canids represents canidae food...food our domestic dogs could consume. Obviously they would thrive. The coyotes are!
So here's my edited version of the article. Here's what was found inside the stomachs of 300 coyotes. The remains of...small rodent species such as voles and field mice, rabbits mostly in summer, beaver, porcupine, skunks, muskrats, fawns and deer mostly in winter, some rotten vegetation and apples, cats, dogs, farmed livestock both from live kills and dead stock, such as cows, goats, sheep, chicken and pigs. One dead coyote was found with six pounds of chicken in it's stomach. Wow...what a feast!
The results from this study show a wide rotation range of food, consumed from available sources within our local residential and agricultural farming area. Of course the menu would change with geographical relocation. A wilderness setting for example would provide less livestock as an available food source. This would be true throughout the world. Wherever dogs and wild dogs live, they will source their local area for food.
The point is, these coyotes are just wild dogs. They are eating everything and anything they can find, that falls within the natural dog diet categories of food that wild dogs have always eaten since the beginning of time. The Canine Ancestral Diet is alive and well today. It consists largely of the carcasses of other animals, together with a small amount of rotting and naturally fermenting vegetation and fruit. This complete and varied diet has prevented nutrient deficiencies over the eons. Thus the species of Canidae has thrived.
All of this food is raw food. Coyotes are not having cookouts and BBQ's in the back yard. Much of this food is from fresh kills, but some of it is scavenged and rotting. This makes complete sense knowing and understanding that wild canids and dogs, are scavenging carnivores, cleaners and cullers of our earthly environment. They have a job to do. They play an important and necessary part in the balance of our natural world. They remove the weak, the old and the dead, so that the living can become stronger.
So I'm not suggesting you go straight out in search of a beaver or muskrat to feed to your dog. But I am suggesting that what was good for dogs millions of years ago, is good for dogs today. I hope you can see that the progression of the canine species over millions of years, may have changed their outward appearance, but on the inside, our dogs are as wild as they've ever been.
This is good news, because we can use this knowledge to help our dogs be healthy dogs. This natural canidae food served from Mother Nature's buffet, has helped dogs survive and thrive as a species, over millions of years. It can work today too.
We can duplicate this natural canidae food at home, in a way that's reasonable for us within this era in time. It's only about learning how to do it in a way that's fairly simple. We can follow the wisdom of Mother Nature, provide good variety from foods that are available to us. Real canidae food such as meat, bones and organs, and small amounts of vegetables and fruits, prepared in a way that duplicates what wild dogs would find in nature.
It doesn't have to break the bank or send you to the loony bin. It's simple. There are many options to choose from. A good place to start is right here.