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Our furry friends 30,000 years ago

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  • 3 min read

It All Began 30,000 Years Ago

In the modern age, humans choose to welcome a canine friend into their home — not just their home, but sometimes their couch and bed, too. While this is pretty much expected treatment for our furbabies today, tens of thousands of years ago that wasn’t the case. As New Scientistsays, our ancient ancestors may have accidentally domesticated their canine ancestors. And while the iconic relationship between humans and dogs has continued to grow since then, it is fun to look back across history to appreciate how far we’ve come. 

That New Science article we mentioned before claims that the canines we know and love today “split off” genetically from their wolf ancestors between 27,000 and 40,000 years ago. People put dog domestication at between 25,000 and 30,000 years, meaning the process of domestication could have led to or at least contributed to the genetic evolution of our beloved furry friends (amazing!!). Whether our domestication led to the genetic evolution of dogs, or the genetic evolution of dogs lent itself to the domestication of them, it happened. And it happened, apparently, due to meat. That’s right, ancient humans probably made friends with canines due to an excess of human food (which means dogs haven’t evolved that much). Along those same lines, the NS article says there is a possibility that hunter-gatherer humans may have taken in orphaned wolf pups and fed them human scraps, potentially because they were very cute — so humans haven’t evolved that much in 30,000 years either.  

With a surplus of meat, humans potentially discarded it close to camp. Brave, genetically diverse dogs would have come to take advantage of ancient human scraps to get a good belly full of food. Over time, they would become accustomed to humans and slowly, steadily started asking for attention and love, too. What makes this relationship so special is that no other “pet” or domesticated animal was such until after the development of agriculture, including the fancy feline who wasn’t domesticated until about 10,000 years later. The next time someone asks you “which is better: cats or dogs?” you can at least say that dogs come first. 

The way dogs have evolved since their domestication is complex and multifaceted depending on which continent, what group of people and how the dogs were used within tribes — for example, dogs used for hunting developed keener senses, dogs used for sledding developed stronger muscles around their legs and backs, and dogs used for looking at developed fluffier coats and wider, browner eyes (that last one is just a guess). Evolution like this is a very slow and unpredictable process, so our ancestors had nearly no idea what their furry friends would look like today. 

The fact that humans and dogs have stuck so closely together in 30,000 years, that they have grown, changed and developed together in all that time is pretty special. You can’t help but hold your precious pup tighter thinking about your great, great, great, great … great-to-the-power-of -1200 ancestor and their great-to-the-power-of-1200 ancestor snuggling together by a fire. 

Looking forward to the future? If you want to keep your pup happy and healthy, to ensure there’s another 1200 generations of dogs and humans together, try our Bella and Boots pet food blends. Despite the major changes that our furry friends have gone through, what’s going on inside their belly is pretty much the same as it was before they met humans and their food needs to reflect that. Our food blends keep their teeth, guts, heart and brain healthy, satisfied and bursting with life

If you want to do your part to ensure your great, great, great, great-to-the-power-of-1200 grandchild and their furry friend can live a good life together, order Bella and Boots online or in-store at Eumundi Meats. 

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