Starch in dog food | Student led inquiry

There is debate as to whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores.  Some foods might be more appropriate than others for the digestive system of canines.  Student Morgan Morris organized a biology laboratory interactive in which he gathered multiple brands of dog food for starch testing.

Note:  This was not a laboratory-grade experiment but simply a survey of starch content utilizing potassium iodide as detection for starch in the dog food samples.  We were looking for a range of black to lighter color gradations, which we believed were visual evidence of differing levels of starch in the dog food.  The visual inspection was quite subjective with no established color scale for comparison utilized.  We performed 6 different trials. It was a loosely controlled experiment; basically a simple inquiry.

Sample #5, and to an intermittent extent, samples #6, #9 and #12, illustrated a “browner” tint as compared to the jet black results on the other samples.  Sample #5 had the most consistent color difference as compared to #6,  #9 and #12.  Approximately 5 out of 6 trials of sample #5 illustrated a markedly color difference from the jet black color of the other samples tested.

We concluded in this brief experiment, that sample #5, and possibly samples #6, #9 and #12 contained less starch.   Student Jeff Collins proposed that the browner samples may have a higher fat content, thus potentially blocking the effectiveness of the iodine starch test.  The brief discussion regarding the results were recorded in the video:  “Starch in dog food | Student led inquiry.”

dog food starch results
Sample #5, and to an intermittent extent, #6, #9 and #12, illustrated a browner tint as compared to the jet black color result on the other samples.

Your thoughts?


 

Recommended by Morgan:

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/


Dog food comparisons:  Morgan Morris, October 2019.
Dog food comparisons: Morgan Morris, October 2019.

Note:  The numbers in this list do not correlate with the numbers in the experiment we performed.  They also do not indicate order of preference.  They were just meant to showcase “likability” and nutritional aspects of the foods.

 


Added 9-26-2019

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

October 18, 2017 Barnes Disclaimer

265 Comments

  1. I learned a lot of things to look for when selecting the best dog food. The biggest thing I was surprised at was the face that dog food is commonly advertised to contain vegetables even though proteins though is more essential for dogs to obtain.

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  2. I enjoyed this experiment. I learned some information about macronutrients where it applies to canine diet that I’ll try to apply to my dogs. Thanks

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  3. So even though the iodine wasn’t absorbing into the food, it wasn’t a bad thing. It just meant that it was more dense.

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  4. My grandmother used Fromm for both dogs. The Golden Doodle and Yorkie, it does cost a pretty penny but it lasts a long time. We get ours from The Hollywood Feed store and we also get discounts because we shop there a lot. But the Golden Doodle has grown a lot he is huge and very strong.

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  5. My sister had a purebred collie and he would break out in itchy rashes when he was fed any food with grains in them. Thankfully there are so many grain free options available.

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    1. It could also be a specific protein intolerance! Definitely glad there are so many foods out here that will specifically cater to our pups.

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  6. So what dog food do you recommend for people that are on a budget? I personally can’t afford #12 so what is a MUCH cheaper alternative? ( I have always had dogs and I have fed them Old Roy for many years. … yes, the Walmart brand…My first 2 dogs lived to be 19 & 20 years old & they were mutts that I got from the pound.)

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  7. Is starch bad for dogs to eat, and what is the brand of #12s food? I feel as though it may be the best option for an animal because the food sample did not soak up the iodine as fast as the other samples did!

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    1. There are worse foods, but i wouldn’t recommend it, partly because of its high grain content, and the fact that it is owned by Nestle, a human confectionery company.

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    1. Taurine for people is actually found in many energy drinks. It blocks melatonin receptors in the human brain which tricks us into not being tired.

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    1. I strongly advise you to not give your dog any cooked bones, especially that of poultry. Birds have hollow bones, making them brittle and prone to shattering, especially after being cooked, which ruins structural integrity.

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    2. I’m not an expert but I have always been a dog lover and have always owned a dog. I love spoiling my fur babies so I always want to give them human food. Chicken bones on the other hand, as bad as I want to give it to my dogs, it has been told to me not to feed dogs chicken bones. Maybe ask an expert, but that is my thoughts on that.

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    3. No, not at all. That is something that should be strictly forbidden. They can become very brittle and easily break into sharp shards. Which can cause and do a lot of damage as it passes through the gastrointestinal tract.

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  8. I have a Great Dane & he is almost a year old. I have went through many different dog brands with him because he eats it one time & than he won’t eat anymore after that day, & I don’t know what else to try with him because his vet Kees telling me to try puppy food but he doesn’t eat. Do you have any suggestion of what kind of food will fit him best that he would actually eat?

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    1. As a large breed dog, he needs to be an Puppy food until he is 2 years old. I would recommend Fromm Classic Puppy food, which is 33 lbs of food for $35.99.

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      1. Proteins are the building blocks of the body and an absolute necessity for daily function. However, when a dog consumes too much protein in a meal it cannot all be utilized at one time, nor can it be stored for later. The body will then excrete the excess protein through the kidneys and out of the body via urine. Thus the quality of the protein actually becomes more important that than actual amount as a high quality protein is more bio available and can be better absorbed by the body.

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  9. I think some of these dog foods are altered with fats, vitamins, carbohydrates(starch) & proteins therefore the iodine absorption makes you question which brand is fat soluble or water soluble dog food or both?

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    1. I have been giving my lab mix “Call of the Wild” puppy food and she loves it. BUT she has been having a lot of problems with digesting it. Is that one on here?

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        1. It depends on your dog. Some need to change gradually while others can do it quickly. The specific meat also really depends on your dog.

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    1. I am thinking the same thing. My dog seems to be allergic to a lot of things and I’m starting to think that starch may be a cause of some of her health issues as well.

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    1. I’ve heard of people owning dogs that do not consume animal products so, it might be possible even if they need nutrients from meat if they can get it in an alternative way. I have not done any research though.

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  10. The food that I use wasn’t listed, but out of them, #12, which is called Origen Tundra, made with high protein, relatively low carbs, all from game animals.

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  11. Hi Morgan my question is, What is the difference between the quality of life between a dog with a poor diet compared to a dog with a healthy diet?

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  12. My dog won’t eat his dry dog food anymore, so we mix wet dog food in it. This is my question, is wet dog food better than dry food?

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        1. That certainly won’t add protein, but bacon by nature is low carb. The grease however is definitely a bad idea. I strongly suggest adding Salmon or Pollock oil. We sell it.

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    1. Really the other way around. Starch will affect the size and shape of your dog. High protein, high fats, and low carbs (which come from starch) is the way to go. Heavy starches cab cause weight gain as well as other conditions.

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      1. This sounds very similar to a humans diet except we need carbs for energy. An animal, like a dog, must not be able to convert so many carbs into energy due to their smaller size and the differing (weaker) immune system.

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