Your Dog's Digestion Explained
How your dog's digestion works
Your dog’s digestive system is an impressive combination of the mouth, stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas.
A dog’s mouth is hinged, and so cannot move sideways to chew as we chew, but is designed to allow a relatively uninterrupted passage of food directly to the stomach where food, enzymes, and gastric juices mix together to become chyme, a soup-like mixture of partially digested food.
The first part of the small intestine is the duodenum which analyses the chyme and determines the amounts of protein and fat. The pancreas, aided by the liver, provides additional digestive enzymes. These enzymes ensure the efficient digestion of protein, carbohydrates and fat. Nutrients are absorbed from the small intestine into the bloodstream. The unused matter passes to the large intestine (colon) which breaks down undigested fibre, and converts it to solids before excretion.
Enzymes – the engine of digestion.
Without enzymes, food would pass through the body virtually untouched. They are the proteins which catalyze (accelerate) digestive reactions in the breakdown of food, being produced by and found in the dog’s saliva, stomach, pancreas and small intestine.
Enzymes, although they are found in virtually all plant and animal cells, are quite delicate, and can be very difficult to add to processed dog food as high temperature cooking, such as that found in canned food, destroys them. Lower quality dog kibble can be cooked at temperatures of 130 degrees Celsius which also destroys them.
It is because of this that a high quality food, such as Golden Eagle Holistic Health, is cooked at temperatures high enough to kill unwelcome bacteria, but not high enough to destroy the enzymes – a balance many find difficult to achieve.
However, this is not the only way we can help digestion.
Probiotics increase the production of enzymes, especially protease and amylase. To ensure this probiotic is not destroyed during manufacture, it is added to the outside of the kibble after it has been gently cooked. This living yoghurt-type bacteria considerably increases the digestibility of the food, so your dog eats less but gets more vital nutrients to support its health and vitality.
The probiotic thrives in the gut as it feeds on the prebiotics found in many of our foods. Use the compare buttons to see which food is best for you. The quantitiies, where stated, of pre and pro biotics will help you make an informed choice.
It is very important that a dog food includes both pre and pro biotics – but very few do.
To kick-start the digestive system, and help it to work to peak efficiency, in the early stages it may help to add supplements to the food such as a combination of prebiotics and probiotics.
The prebiotics act to stimulate the probiotics, so both are usually necessary. When any problems have settled down, and the digestive system looks as if it is working correctly, then these supplements can be discontinued as the foods on this site have these ingredients as standard and will assist in maintaining a healthy gut.
The most important influences on your dog’s digestion are the obvious ones of eating habits and diet. With so many premium and super premium foods on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best, and price is not necessarily the indicator although a really cheap food is not going to have the same ingredients as a more expensive one.
- The best of the best is a nutrigenomic food formulated to work with the DNA of the dog to promote a healthy digestion and life.
- No dog food can improve the ingredients which are used to make it.
- Those ingredients should be the same quality as us humans eat.
- They should be carefully balanced to cater for the differing needs of each part of the body.
The processing of the food in the digestive system should be helped and encouraged by the inclusion of added digestive enzymes as well as top quality pre and pro biotics.
The foods on this site are all natural, pure and wholesome. Try it for 60 days and let the results speak for themselves.