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Bronze Age dogs ate little meat and had to feed on cereals instead

dog with a carrot

Ancient dogs had to make do on a plant-rich diet

chris-mueller/Getty Images

Many early domestic dogs ate almost no meat. Dogs living around 3000 years ago in what is now Spain were instead fed cereals, such as millet, by their owners.

Although the diet may reflect the fact that meat was relatively scarce among human societies at the time, feeding dogs with cereals could have been advantageous, says Silvia Albizuri at the University of Barcelona in Spain. It may have been a way to ensure the dogs had plenty of energy for the strenuous work of herding and guarding livestock, …