Are Dogs Omnivores?


Quick Answer

Many scientists consider dogs omnivores rather than carnivores, but there is considerable debate. Dogs often eat fruits and vegetables, and even wolves eat some plant matter in the wild. Domesticated dogs are carnivores in one sense; however, they belong to the scientific grouping called Carnivora.

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Full Answer

Domesticated dogs adapt to surviving on foods that are not found in the wild, such as highly processed, grain-based kibble. Scientists, who agree that a dog's natural diet is flesh-based, still debate over the importance of plant matter in a dog's diet.

Scientists who consider dogs to be omnivores weigh dogs' dietary needs and habits in captivity against anatomical evidence pointing to their clearly carnivorous origins. Scientists who consider dogs to be carnivores point to their anatomy, hunting instincts and wild, wolf-like behavior as evidence that they are carnivores that merely adjust to eating less flesh, as a consequence of life in captivity.

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