Humans vs. Dogs: Part 1 – How are they different?

Judge rules against prescription dog food companies

Rewards 12.5 Million judgement

We all love our dogs and want the best for them! They are such an important part of our family. Just like children, their diets need special attention.

Let’s take a look at how dogs are built and how they are different from us.  With this knowledge, we can choose foods that suit their physiology and help them to live long and healthy lives.  To understand the differences between humans and dogs is to understand why they need quality proteins and a variety of whole, natural foods. But feeding our furry family is not mysterious.

Let’s start with the teeth and jaw.  Dogs have 42 well-spaced teeth.  People have 32 and our teeth are closer together.  The space between dogs’ teeth allows food to enter quickly.  Dogs’ mouths are funnels to get food into the stomach as quickly as possible.  Your dog gulping his food is his natural way of eating – he has fewer taste buds than we do, so there appears to be no need for him to savor his dinner! Our canine friends also lack the ability to grind food.  Their jaws only allow up and down movement.  They can’t slide side to side like humans can.  They also do not predigest starches in the mouth like we do.  We get cavities. Dogs get tarter build up, but no cavities! 

It takes about 5 seconds for food to move from a dog’s mouth to the stomach.  Once in the stomach, the food is stored and digestion begins.  Dogs have more acid in their stomachs than people do and this allows them to break down bacteria more effectively.  They also have this antibacterial ability in their saliva.

The small and large intestine in the average human is approximately 36 feet long.  That’s the length of a school bus!  A 70 lb dog has a 6-foot long intestine therefore dogs need high quality proteins to be able to digest them quickly.  People have longer digestive systems so we can handle eating raw fruits and vegetables.  Give a dog a piece of whole carrot and it comes out the other end much the same way it entered!

 Complex carbohydrates and vegetables should be cooked and vegetables pureed to allow predigestion. Cooking keeps the glycemic index low to help maintain even blood sugar levels.  This causes less stress on the pancreas and liver.

If you are like me and have your dog sleeping on the bed with you it’s not a great leap to understand that after being domesticated for thousands of years dogs, while different from humans in many ways, are similar in others. You need a variety of whole natural foods to thrive in our environment and your dog needs a variety of quality foods too! 

Dr. Janice Elenbaas

Always remember, Health comes from the inside out!

Dr. Janice Elenbaas DC has had a long and successful career as a Chiropractor to both humans and animals. As the first woman recognized to adjust animals in Canada and a founding member of the first Ontario Veterinarian Chiropractic Association she is passionate about our animals’ health. With four years of nutritional studies coupled with a natural approach to health care and a lifelong love of animals it was only natural that Dr. Elenbaas founded Lucky Dog Cuisine Inc., a company dedicated to providing All American, all natural, human grade, cooked meals for dogs.

The use of Presciption dog food is one of my pet peeves and shows that the
phrase “Marketing over Mother Nature’ holds true.
If you are a dog owner, you may have heard about the class action suit
against prescription dog foods. Hills, Science Diet, Royal Canin and Purina
are some of the brands that are accused of misleading consumers and
veterinarians about the benefits and ingredients of their products. The
lawsuit claims that:

  • these companies charge premium prices for prescription dog foods that are not significantly different from regular dog foods. In fact, they are made in the same facilities, using the same suppliers as low-quality grocery store brands like Alpo and Beneful.
  • they do not have any scientific evidence to support their claims of treating or preventing various health conditions in dogs. They are not made in facilities that follow traditional drug manufacturing protocols.
  • that these companies have violated consumer protection laws and engaged in false advertising.

The class action suit was filed in 2019 by a group of dog owners who purchased prescription dog foods from these brands for their pets. They are seeking refunds, damages and an injunction to stop the companies from selling prescription dog foods without proper authorization and
. The suit is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Prescription dog foods are supposed to be specially formulated to address specific health issues in dogs, such as kidney disease, diabetes, allergies, obesity and more. However, according to the lawsuit, these products are not
regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other agency,
 and they do not require a prescription from a veterinarian to be sold.

The lawsuit claims that these companies have exploited this loophole to market their products as prescription dog foods, even though they are not approved or tested by any authority.

This suit also accuses these companies of using low-quality ingredients and fillers in their prescription dog foods, such as corn, wheat, soy, by-products and artificial colors and flavors. These ingredients may not only be ineffective for treating or preventing health conditions in dogs, but they may also cause adverse reactions and allergies in some dogs. The lawsuit cites several examples of dogs that suffered from health problems after
consuming prescription dog foods from these brands, such as vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, skin infections, kidney failure and death.

The lawsuit seeks to hold these companies accountable for their deceptive and unlawful practices, and to provide compensation and relief to the dog owners who have been harmed by them. It also aims to protect the public interest and the welfare of dogs by ensuring that prescription dog foods are properly regulated and labeled, and that consumers and veterinarians are informed about their benefits and risks.

Please be aware that the FDA does not review or verify the health claims on any veterinary diet.

Take a close look at the ingredient list and ask your vet for evidence that the foods in the prescription diet are any better than most regular diets. Also please keep in mind that while your vet has the best intentions, they get little or no nutrition training and often what little training they do get comes from the very companies that are named in these lawsuits. 

Ultra processed foods made with poor quality ingredients are not what your dog needs if they are suffering from an illness. Give your dog a fighting chance with fresh, quality foods for a long and healthy life. 

This lawsuit was settled in July of 2021. Hills Pet Food paid $12.5 million to participants.

Is it any wonder that here at Lucky Dog Cuisine we believe wholeheartedly “Fresh is Better”
The food we send your dog is the exact same food we feed our own beloved pack. 


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