Do dogs have the same nutritional needs as their ancestors, wolfs?

Dogs are considered the direct descendants of wolfs but the two species cannot be compared: over millennia, dogs have been tamed by humans and have adapted to living with them.

Unlike wolfs, who are predators and have always mainly eaten meat and carcasses (therefore their bodies produce small amounts of amylase, an enzyme used to digest the starches contained in cereals), over the centuries dogs’ genes have changed as part of the natural evolution of the species and adapted to the new style of life they have been offered by humans.

There is no scientific evidence that proves that cereals should not be part of dogs’ diets. On the other hand, a study carried out by the University of Uppsala, Sweden, on 12 wolfs and 60 dogs of different breeds, after having analysed their whole genome, showed that the genomes of the two species are very different and that dogs, compared to wolfs, have developed a greater number of genomes dedicated to synthesising amylase (dogs: between 4 and 30 copies; wolfs: 2 copies). Therefore, dogs are perfectly able to assimilate cereals.