A new study has found that dogs eat food from a wide range of sources including pet food, meat and other products.
Its called food selection and the findings are being published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
The study analysed data from more than 3,000 dogs from the US National Dog Food Safety Campaign.
The researchers found that between 55 and 80 percent of dog foods were derived from pet food and from human-based foods such as food stamps.
But the majority of dog food was also produced in the United States, mainly from pet foods from the food industry.
In some cases, the researchers found the ingredients were made in China and other countries, or in the US.
Dr Rachel Todt, lead author of the study and an animal behaviorist at the University of Minnesota, said the findings confirmed what had been known for a long time.
“When I first started studying the dogs, they were eating from all sorts of sources, from toys to pet food,” she said.
“Now that we have data on this, we are seeing that dog foods are the most commonly used source of dog protein.”
The findings are consistent with research by researchers in Australia and Sweden which found that dog food is the most common source of animal protein in the diets of both humans and dogs.
The researchers from the University, at the Australian National University in Canberra, analysed the diet of dogs from different breeds.
They found that most dog food contained some form of meat, such as pork, beef, chicken, turkey, ham, fish and lamb.
But some dog food also contained poultry or eggs, and it was often made from chicken or beef.
But more often than not, dog food did not contain any animal protein, which was a sign of a poor diet.
“There’s a huge range of what we can eat, from meat to fish to vegetables,” Dr Todts said.
Dr Tods said there were two main reasons for the lack of animal content in dog foods.
First, many dog breeds were selectively bred for meat.
“We have a lot of breeds that are extremely sensitive to changes in their diet, and the only way they can survive in this world is to be fed the same diet for a very long period of time,” she told RN Breakfast.
“And for a large part of our diet, dogs are fed a diet that’s not suited to their natural diet.”
But even dogs that are naturally vegetarian can eat a diet of animal products.
Dr Dermot O’Brien from the Royal Veterinary College in London said dogs needed to eat more of a balanced diet, with less animal protein and less animal fat, as a way of managing their weight.
“It’s important to remember that our dog is a carnivore, so they need a balanced, nutritious diet,” he said.
But the study found that, in dogs, meat did not appear to be the dominant source of protein.
The authors of the new study found a correlation between dog food consumption and other food, including milk and cheese, but it was not strong.
Dr O’Brian said dogs had an overall lower metabolic rate than humans and were more likely to be obese.
“The only reason why dogs are so fat is because they’re eating lots of fat and it doesn’t do them any good,” he told RN.
“In fact, they are making us fat.”
Dr Toods said it was possible dogs were eating less animal meat than people because they could not digest it.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily that they’re less fat, but they’re more susceptible to developing a metabolic disorder in terms of obesity,” she explained.
“They are also much more likely than humans to develop diabetes.”
Dr O-Brien said the reason dogs were less fat was because they were not eating enough fibre.
“For a large portion of the diet, we only get fibre in animal products, which is very low in dog food,” he added.
“If you feed them enough fibre, they won’t need to eat so much.”