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  #51  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DenoLo View Post
The scientific communities definition of "theory" is extremely different than the layman's definition. Theories can never be "proven". Laws and theories are also two completely different things-- theories don't become laws. In a very basic sense laws describe what happens and theories explain how/why they happen.
Which is why (to expand) gravity is both a law and a theory. There is the law that two objects are attracted to one another, and the theory as to the mechanism by which that attraction occurs.

ETA: That muddying is why I edited that earlier post -- figured it would just distract. Which it did, since I was too slow w/ the old edit.
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  #52  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:27 PM
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law, theory, fact, I don't really care. Sure my dogs can eat grains, so can I, doesn't mean we'll thrive off of them. In terms of nutrients and feeding our bodies what they need, I think they offer very little, especially by today's agri standards. All that protein and micronutrients that were once found in grains have been stripped away by modern methods. Grains to yield more starch, less "germ" and screw soil quality, we'll just use petro based fertilizers.

Beyond that, my dogs will always eat what i've fed them. Meat based, varied and if I want to toss them a pizza crust cause I don't want it, there's no study that's going to make me do it or not do it
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  #53  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:29 PM
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The study doesn't try tell you what to feed your dog in any way shape or form. Feed your dog whatever works...that's always been the rule so far as I know.
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  #54  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sassafras View Post
But at what point does adapting to a particular component of a diet change that component from sub-par to being considered part of the normal, healthy diet? At some point in the distant past eucalyptus leaves were probably the subpar food source, but try feeding a koala bear anything else.

That's obviously an extreme example, but... the point stands. I think what this study opens the door to demonstrating is that there are probably a lot more foods that are "healthy" for dogs and they really are more generalist than many people have been previously willing to consider.


What I would really, REALLY love to see someday is someone doing something similar to this but comparing different individuals to one another and trying to correlate results to those individuals' tolerance of different types of food. Hopefully it will be done in my lifetime.
Good points.

What I find interesting in this study is just the simple proof that dogs have evolved different digestive capabilities than wolves. In discussions, I've often seen people assert that dogs must have the exact same digestion as wolves, and therefore must be fed a diet that exactly mirrors that of a wolf, for optimal health. And I've just never believed that dogs hadn't had time to evolve to different digestive capabilities. They've been domesticated a long time. And I really highly doubt that in that time, the majority of dogs have been fed a diet that doesn't contain starches. Their teeth are different, why not their digestive system?

I think dogs are generalists, who can eat most things. There's a lot of variation in what is optimal, though. With my own dogs, I feed kibble. When I switched to a grain-free kibble, Tess seemed a bit better to me, so I feed grain free at this time. But Tully, who was her dam, showed no difference between grain free and grain included. So even with close relatives, there are differences in what they do well on.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:06 PM
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I think the study is important simply because it's a good start. It validates, to me, that calling dogs "obligate carnivores" isn't necessarily correct. I've seen lots of raw feeders who are just... so... "raw is the best diet for every canine!" And I have nothing against feeding a dog raw. I USED to be that way. I was very into the whole "a food must be THIS and that way" and "first five ingredient should be meat" and "NO grains". I've honestly done a 360 over the last year or so. For one, there are sooo many more important factors that go into a food than ingredients. 90% of foods out there are based solely on marketing and boy did it brainwash me.

I've just always thought about how we've changed dogs so much from wolves -- not to mention, wolves in captivity can live as long as 20 years (eating not-so-amazing kibble). Wolves in the wild live 4-5 years on average. I'm not sure feeding our pet dogs like wolves is always in their best interest.

Yes biologically I know they are essentially the same. Like said above, dogs have evolved alongside us from wolves. Selective breeding does a lot of funny things and I see no reason not to believe that some things have changed internally. Certain breeds are predisposed to such things as pancreatitis (Schanuzers, Yorkies, etc), some to other health issues. Sibes and GSDs are often known for somewhat sensitive stomachs. I also know that wolves were not being fed the way that most raw feeders feed their dog... they obviously weren't given meat from the grocery store that is most likely pumped full of grains and antibiotics anyways, but surely not as much time was being put into their meals. They weren't taken to the vet when things go wrong, they weren't sleeping indoors, or given the best possible care, or given antibiotics when infections set in, etc, etc, etc. Medical care for pets is a pretty new invention, too, but I'm certainly not going to reject it in a time of need. If our dogs were out in the wild, nature really could care less about anything living a long and healthy life... it's all about survival of the fittest and if you don't make it, oh well.

Yes, kibble is a pretty new "invention" and I'm sure most dogs lived very well without it, but I highly doubt these dogs were eating PMR or the way we feed raw today. Humans that were probably living on hardly anything themselves were surely not giving up all their good food to the dogs... they got scraps (I've heard corn mush and other grains) to whatever they could hunt themselves. I've even heard people go as far as calling kibble "death nuggets" which I find insane.

I'm not in any way saying feeding raw is bad. I think a lot of dogs do fantastic on it and that's GREAT. I love the idea of feeding raw and I'm happy it works so great for so many dogs. But I don't get the hate on kibble (not on here). Bottom line is that all dogs are individuals, and yes certain breeds are predisposed to things that others may not be, and what one dog may thrive on another may not...

There is just way too many variables out there to say that "my dog lived a longer and healthier life eating x food" or "my dog died because of eating y food". So many other factors come into play. There are going to be raw fed dogs that die young and there are going to be kibble fed dogs that live a long time (and a healthy life at that) and vice versa. Obviously it's up to us as dog owners to decide what is best for our dogs and what works best for THEM.

I went from being all for super high protein food, no grains, etc, and I've gone to a grain inclusive food with moderate protein. There is so much fancy wording going on in a lot of these new holistic foods with not a whole lot to back up their claims.

But honestly, above all, I believe that vaccination schedules, when or if the dog is fixed, amounts of exercise, and breeding/genetics matter a whole lot more than food does anyway.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pops2 View Post
I am not convinced. There are enough defects (like square cube LAW deficiencies and the second law of thermodynamics) that the scientific community still officially calls it a THEORY. My biggest concern is that, according to the theory, two animals of one species can gain or lose chromosomes to become a new species. The problem with this is that, throughout the animal kingdom the spontaneous gain or loss of a chromosome is almost universally a survival disadvantage. For example Corky the Down syndrome kid from the 80s TV show, wonderful human being but clearly NOT a survival advantage in a precivilization fang and claw environment. Not single breeding experiment has ever produced a new species from within a species. All new artificial species have come from crossing existing species (in higher animals) or from gene splicing in lower animals.
Further the assertion that dogs came from wolves would in fact make them wolves but current research shows only 98.6-98.8 % genetic commonality (coincidentally humans and chimps have 98.8% commonality). That is there is over 1% of genes that exist in one but not the other. Likewise dogs and coyotes have 98% commonality but wolves and coyotes only have 96% commonality. Dogs have an "elasticity" to their genes that so far hasn't been found in wolves. Oh and wolves from the ice age are on the species level genetically identical to modern greys. So yeah not at all convinced that dogs evolved from wolves. A common ancestor, MAYBE, but not FROM wolves.
I don't think any of those are defects--the theory of evolution is pretty comfortably established even with the second law of thermodynamics. :]

There's a lot more to evolution than the addition or loss of a chromosome, too--that's really not even close to the most common way things change.

Do you have any links about the relatedness of dogs and coyotes? That's fascinating.
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  #57  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DenoLo View Post
The scientific communities definition of "theory" is extremely different than the layman's definition. Theories can never be "proven". Laws and theories are also two completely different things-- theories don't become laws. In a very basic sense laws describe what happens and theories explain how/why they happen.
According to what you just posted, the definition is the same. An UNPROVEN or UNPROVABLE idea.
A law OTH is proven & can be reproven.
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  #58  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Pops2 View Post
According to what you just posted, the definition is the same. An UNPROVEN or UNPROVABLE idea.
A law OTH is proven & can be reproven.
No.

This is a pretty good explanation of the differences.

Quote:
Given my above arguments for how similar these two words are, it is nonetheless true that "law" and "theory" are different words that can or do have different connotations. So, what's the difference? Look above at the last definitions under Law and Theory. These definitions clearly differentiate the two words. Some scientists will tell you that the difference between them is that a law describes what nature does under certain conditions, and will predict what will happen as long as those conditions are met. A theory explains how nature works. Others delineate law and theory based on mathematics -- Laws are often times mathematically defined (once again, a description of how nature behaves) whereas theories are often non-mathematical. Looking at things this was helps to explain, in part, why physics and chemistry have lots of "laws" whereas biology has few laws (and more theories). In biology, it is very difficult to describe all the complexities of life with "simple" (relatively speaking!) mathematical terms.
So is this. In particular,

Quote:
Here is what each of these terms means to a scientist:

Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to describe, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. It is generally accepted to be true and universal, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They donít really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true.
The real confusion between theories, laws, and hypotheses comes from this statement from the second link, I think: " 'Unfortunately, even some scientists often use the term "theory" in a more colloquial sense, when they really mean to say "hypothesis.' "
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  #59  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:04 PM
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Now we have two hypotheses (and not theories). Anyone want to fund it?

Dogs can digest grains better than wolves, they should be fed more grains than wolves.

or

Dogs can digest grains better than wolves, but still to a terribly useless degree, therefore don't feed grains.

We've taken a bit of research into DNA, and have come up with new questions to ask based on that. Oddly, those questions usually take the form of statements before a scientist is done with the grant proposal
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  #60  
Old 01-25-2013, 03:25 PM
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I guess it's interesting, but the sample size is miniscule really. Be interesting if someone carries the research further.

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