Our philosophy is based on research by Dr. Mark Roberts BSc (Hons), PhD. He observed that his racing huskies were out-performing other racing teams. One defining difference was the diet they were on. He was feeding his team a complete and balanced high meat diet, whereas others tended to feed commercial dry food. Being curious by nature, he wanted to know WHY. He has dedicated his life to answering this question.
What he conclusively found is that dogs instinctively select a diet high in protein and fat while having no desire for carbohydrates. The ideal macronutrient ratio he found was approximately 45% protein, 45% fat, 3% carbohydrate with the remainder coming from fibre and ash.
In all the food we produce we aim to have low levels of carbohydrates to replicate this ideal ratio. When it comes to fat, we don’t shy away from using it. We believe that a cat or a dog should be sourcing its energy from fat not carbohydrates. The key is the fat is a healthy fat.
Healthy fats are fat from free range animals or NZ King Salmon. Fish Oil and Sunflower Oil are 2 other forms of healthy fat. Fat has a negative reputation, but in fact, if it is from the right sources, it is a very beneficial long-lasting energy source. So don’t be afraid of fat if it’s from a healthy source.
Mark also found that common health issues such as pancreatitis were less likely on a high protein, high fat diet. He also found that dogs did not actually put on weight with the high fat diet. These findings are contrary to common veterinary thinking. He (and us) accepts more research is required to be conclusive, but the evidence is still strong.
Anecdotally we have found that a high meat-based diet can help with a lot of common ailments for dogs and cats such as:
These ailments can all be called inflammatory diseases. There appears to be a strong link to food and inflammation. Omega 6 fatty acids are essential, but they are also pro-inflammatory. Omega 3 fatty acids are also essential and are anti-inflammatory. It is possible to have too much of a good thing and that certainly appears to be the case for Omega 6’s. It is believed that the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to 3 is 2:1. Sadly, many dry commercial foods tend to have a ratio closer to 20:1. This is because dry food has to be high in carbohydrates in order to form the product. Carbohydrates tend to be high in Omega 6’s, hence the high ratio. If the consumption of Omega 6’s is too high, it is very likely the animal will be constantly in an inflamed state which significantly increases the risk of the above diseases. It is for this reason we strongly believe in feeding high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids.
All of our diets are high in Omega 3, and we strongly recommend including fish in a rotational feeding program.
DR MARK ROBERTS HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN COMPANION
ANIMAL NUTRITION FOR MANY YEARS, BOTH IN THE COM-
MERCIAL AND RESEARCH SECTORS.
Mark’s PhD focused on the instinctive diet selection of dogs (protein and fat based), with a minimum contribution from carbohydrate. He then examined the benefits from feeding a diet of this composition, in comparison to that of the typical high carbohydrate diet, one seen in an extruded diet. Mark’s research highlighted that those dogs fed a diet consisting of fat and protein, had health benefits over that of dogs fed a typical diet dense in carbo- hydrate content.
In addition to these studies, Mark spends time conducting research in Alaska, examining the feeding habits of wild wolves, how these impact on markers of health, and comparing this to domestic dogs, based on what they are fed. Kiwi Kitchens is proud to share his research and more with you through our ongoing series of webinars, which you can watch below.
Mark also practices what he preaches and feeds his kennel of working mid and distance racing Seppala Siberian Huskies a diet of this composition. The need for superior nutrition is even more imperative for working dogs. Mark’s intention here, is to take you on a jour- ney, witnessing the benefits from dogs consuming a protein and fat rich diet. Ultimately, both Mark and Kiwi Kitchens want to help improve how dogs and cats are fed, in turn, contributing to them living, long and happy lives!
Making sure a puppy has sufficient energy to grow however, isn’t the only factor in giving it the best nutritional start to life. A greater need for protein is also critical, with the macronutrient helping build muscle tissue and make hormones and enzymes. In addition, specific micronutrients such as iron and zinc also need to be tailored to help pups develop optimally into adult dogs.