Brothers has earned the Dog Food Advisors Editors Choice Award for 2023 for Weight Loss

In the article, Vets Work to Declare Pet Obesity is a Disease, by Ken Niedziela published 2017.01.09 in the veterinarypracticenews.com there is a picture of an overweight dog, with the following caption below it. “Wolves 2015 study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention discovered that 54 percent of U.S. dogs were overweight or obese.” (In 2023 the rate of overweight dogs is close to 66%)

An article was posted on August 9, 2016, in psychologytoday.com titled, “A Wolf is a Dog is a Coyote is a Jackal is a Dingo” and “New genetic studies show the closeness of Canids." Mark Derr, author of “A Wolf Is a Dog Is a Coyote Is a Jackal”, makes the observation that “Dogs, wolves, and other canids are closer genetically than some populations of people and should, by rights be considered one species."

“That means the configuration that says a wolf is a dog, is a coyote, is a dingo, is the correct one.”

Why are there are NO overweight Wolves, Dingoes, Jackals, or Coyotes in their natural habitat?

The obvious difference is their food supply. One group eats a diet high in animal protein and fat and low in carbohydrates, while the domesticated dog is fed a diet low in animal protein and high in carbohydrates, - carbohydrates that are predominantly high-glycemic grains and potatoes.

Your dog looks different than a Wolf because its Nuclear DNA has been altered over many generations by selective breeding. The reason your dog needs to eat the same diet as a 10,000-year-old gray wolf is because its Mitochondrial DNA cannot be altered.

Nuclear DNA determines things like personality, size, and physical attributes in a dog, and can be altered through selective breeding to get a 10,000-year-old gray Wolf to look like a Boxer, a Beagle, or any other dog.

Mitochondrial DNA determines the food your dog should eat for optimal health. It regulates the transformation of that food into the raw materials necessary to build and repair the organism and supply nutrition and energy at the cellular level.

The Mitochondrial DNA of a 50,000-year-old gray wolf is 99.8% identical to that of the present-day domesticated dog. Your dog may not look like a gray wolf, but its nutritional needs are identical. Mother Nature has encoded what your dog should eat into its Mitochondrial DNA and that has remained stable and consistent over tens of thousands of years because it is passed on only by the female.

It’s not how long the dog has been domesticated by people that determines what food dogs are designed to thrive on. Feeding a dog cheap high-glycemic carbohydrates like grain and potatoes every day will not change the Mitochondrial DNA one bit, nor will it result in an optimally healthy dog, it's quite the opposite.

Because a dog can digest grain and potatoes does not make the high-glycemic carbohydrates a healthy alternative to animal sourced protein, as many in the dog food industry claim.

Mitochondrial DNA, is responsible for determining the optimal food, transforming it into raw materials to build and repair the body, and supply cellular energy. To read this explained in more scientific terms, check out an answer by Mecofe Meha, BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado Denver in the following quote from Quora at https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-mitochondrial-DNAfunction.

She states, “Mitochondrial DNA contains 37 genes, all of which are essential for normal mitochondrial function. Thirteen of these genes provide instructions for making enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation. The remaining genes provide instructions for making molecules called transfer RNAs (tRNAs) and ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), which are chemical cousins of DNA. These types of RNA help assemble protein building blocks (amino acids) into functioning proteins”.

Mitochondrial DNA, unlike Nuclear DNA, has remained essentially constant for thousands and thousands of years and it determines how energy is processed and what your dog should eat. Your dog may look very different than its gray wolf ancestor, but its energy needs are the same. Just like, their bodies are different, but the nutritional needs are the same.

So, how is the diet of our domesticated dogs different from the diet of wild dogs?

We feed our domesticated dog's certain things that wild dogs don’t eat which include the following:

  1. Refined Carbs from Grains (corn, rice, wheat, barley, bread, etc.)
  2. High Glycemic Carbs from baked White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
  3. Sugar in any form (Molasses, honey, corn syrup)

The dog food industry standard response for overweight dogs is to recommend a “Low Fat” dog food. If reducing fat intake is the solution, then it would be logical to conclude that eating too much fat is the problem. But if this were true then many of the Wolves, Dingoes, and Coyotes would be overweight since their diet is primarily protein and fat.

Nature designed dogs to eat fat and protein. There are no overweight Wolves, Dingos, or Coyotes and their diet is almost entirely fat and protein. The problem seems to stem from whatever is in commercial dog food that isn’t protein or fat.

What if the problem is that we’re feeding dogs food that is inappropriate for a carnivore, such as highly processed carbs, potatoes, grain, sweet potatoes, etc., and those ingredients are what is causing their body to make and store fat? Does it seem logical or reasonable to assume that all the overweight domestic dogs got that way by eating high quality, nutritionally balanced, healthy, species appropriate dog food? Probably not.

If it were just a simple matter of a dog's tendency to overeat, then why wouldn’t wild dogs gorge until they became overweight? Probably because eating fat chemically triggers a feeling of being satiated or full but eating processed or high glycemic carbs has the opposite effect and chemically triggers the desire to eat more.

Dogs are NOT designed to handle the high glycemic carbs that are so plentiful in dog foods. These carbs cause a huge spike in the dog's blood sugar levels and the dogs system reacts to the assault by releasing a flood of insulin into the blood stream. Insulin lowers the spike in blood sugar by directing the body to convert the excess sugar to fat and store it. So instead of the dog using its food for energy, it is converted into stored fat to lower the blood sugar levels to a safe level.

The idea that reducing “fat” in dog food is a healthy, or effective, way to lose weight and achieve a sustainable, appropriate weight for your dog may be an effective way to get people to buy the “Low Fat” food but it doesn’t work, and, in fact, makes the problem worse. If it is true that the highly processed, high glycemic carbs are the cause of the weight gain, then reducing the fat only increases the problem because when the fat content is lowered it is replaced with more refined or high glycemic carbs – the actual cause of the weight gain.

Dogs don’t become fat from eating fat and they don’t lose weight by eating less fat. They are equipped with the ability to transform fat directly into glucose for energy through a process known as Gluconeogenesis. This healthy process in a carnivore is shut down when they eat high glycemic carbs that boost the glucose levels in the blood and trigger a flood of insulin that aborts gluconeogenesis and directs the body to convert the extra glucose in the blood to stored fat.

Dogs get fat from eating carbs, lots of carbs, high glycemic carbs, and the LAST thing they need to do is eat a “Low Fat dog food” with reduced fat and even more high glycemic carbs.

Losing weight does not require a diet that diverges from a nutritionally balanced diet (and certainly not a diet that reduces fat). The healthy, and most effective, long term weight control and weight stabilizing solution is to simply feed your dog a nutritionally balanced food that consists of high levels of animal sourced protein and the same amount of high quality, identifiable animal sourced fat and equal calories (or less) of complex carbs with a low glycemic index like any of the Brothers Dog Food Formulas.

 Dog Food Advisor has an analysis of the percentage by calories of each food they analyze and the premium foods, like Brothers Dog Food usually have about the same amount of protein and fat calories and slightly less of carbohydrates.

When supplied with a perfectly balanced source of nutrition, like Brothers Dog Food, free of carbs from grain, white or sweet potatoes, or any form of sugar, in the appropriate quantity for the dog's ideal weight (at 1 cup per 25 lbs. body weight, up to about 75 lbs.) the dog will naturally gravitate to its ideal weight and regain a healthy level of energy.