Are Dogs Omnivores Or Carnivores?

We’ve all heard that dogs come from wolves… And that’s true! 

Even if it’s hard to imagine when I look at my giant ball of fluff napping in her natural habitat, the couch.

And wolves are carnivorous… so my dog must be carnivorous.


Well, the answer is not that simple.

As a biology student and vet technician, I’ve had the opportunity to study this subject in-depth with expert scientists and veterinarians.

The short answer is that dogs adapted to living with humans by becoming omnivores, but if you want the full explanation, keep reading.

What Are Omnivores?

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Wolves are True Carnivores

Examples of herbivores include horses and cattle. These animals have lengthy digestive tracts that can digest fibrous plant matter. [2]

True carnivores include animals that must eat meat to survive.

Their gastrointestinal systems cannot digest plants. But, they may still eat them sometimes. [3]

Modern dogs are direct descendants of wolves, a prime example of a true carnivore.

Wolf ecology research shows that they do not eat plants often. Instead, they hunt other animals as their primary food source. [4]

Since hunting success varies, wolves live a lifestyle of ‘feast and famine.’ Some days packs can gorge themselves on a large kill. But they often go for extended periods without food.