Improving your dog’s digestion is a palpable way of reciprocating their love and guaranteeing their overall health and wellness. That being said, it’s something that takes a bit of time and research to carry out effectively.
If you’ve ever wondered how to improve dog digestion for your furry companion, we’ve got you covered.
Why Improve Your Dog’s Digestion?
How your dog absorbs food determines how efficiently they’ll produce energy. That means improving your dog’s digestion means more play time, more walks, happier days in the sun, and calmer nights with restful, healthy sleep.
Let’s take a closer look at the anatomic components that make up your dog’s digestive tract.
What Makes Up Your Dog’s Digestive Cycle?
According to Vet Med, there are 8 components involved in a dog’s digestive cycle.
- Mouth and Teeth – the first stage of digestion, where food is broken down.
- The Esophagus – the pathway connecting the mouth to the stomach.
- The Stomach – where partially digested food is stored and broken down.
- The Small Intestine – the initial portion of the intestinal tract, for digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- The Large Intestine – the terminal portion of the intestinal tract, coursing between the small intestine and anus for absorption of water and nutrients.
- The Pancreas – produces the enzymes that digest food, breaking down fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
- The Liver – produces bile and substances released into the bloodstream, metabolising carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
- The Colon – where food waste becomes fecal matter and is stored until bowel release.
Understanding the different anatomic elements of your dog’s digestion cycle is the first step in improving their gut health. But how do you improve dog digestion, exactly?
How to Improve Dog Digestion
A few things you can do to improve your dog’s digestion:
- Exercise Routine – A dog’s digestive systems can store large quantities of food for long periods of time, slowly turning that food into energy depending on their physical output. The more exercise, or more energy a dog uses, the faster their digestive cycle will take the food in their stomach and turn it into caloric energy. Be sure that their caloric intake and energy expended are in balance.
- High-Protein, Low-Fat Diet – Dogs are naturally carnivorous. However, because gut bacteria can help your dog digest food, what your dog eats effects which bacteria are present in the gut. In a study published by the American Society for Microbiology, dogs who were fed a high-protein, low-fat diet vastly improved their digestion.
- Raw Foods – Raw meat can directly affect a dog’s digestive system. The natural enzymes in raw meat can supplement those in the dog’s body, helping them break down and digest the food. Many veterinarians will advise you to try and supplement raw foods if your dog is having digestion issues.
- Prebiotics and Fermented Foods – Prebiotics and fermented foods contain high concentrations of microbes. These entities help the stomach to produce the good bacteria in the gut needed for a healthy digestive system. Yet, the best method is to (typically) ensure that your dog ingests a prebiotic in some form of daily supplement.
- Dog Vitamins and Supplements – Dog vitamins and supplements give you control of your dog’s daily nutrient intake (and makes it super easy to track!). Take the Vetericyn All-In complete supplement for instance, that utilizes age-specific complexes and delivers the ingredients in the most optimal and healthy way possible.
Symptoms of Indigestion
It’s paramount that you understand the symptoms of canine indigestion, being that you’ll be able to act accordingly. Remember that, sometimes, symptoms are indicative of a bigger problem. Thus, should your dog exhibit any of these warning signs, it’s wise that you take them to a veterinarian for a professional evaluation.
Some key symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Low Energy
- White Gums
- Adverse Breathing
Consistent vomiting and diarrhea are usually the biggest cause of concern. Again, should the symptoms persist, we advise that you consult your veterinarian for advice on an effective treatment for canine indigestion.
Always Consult with Your Veterinarian
Being that stomach health and a dog’s digestive system can be fragile, no matter what the problem is, it’s paramount that you receive professional advice. A veterinarian will not only ensure that your dog isn’t facing any serious ailment, they’ll also help you improve their digestion (through home remedies, supplements, or medicine).
A great way to improve your dog’s digestive health is by providing him with daily digestion supplements. Canine digestive aids benefit a dog’s body in a number of different ways. Not only do they promote good bacteria, they also help to prevent digestive problems as well. Adding a daily dog digestive aid to his pet food will keep the GI tract moving, will add a variety of nutrients into his diet, and will support your pup’s overall gut health.
Support your dog’s digestive health at feeding time by adding the powerful dog digestive aids found in our ALL-IN life-stage supplement today.
- Vet Med. Digestive System of the Dog.
- Easy Anatomy. Anatomy of the Canine Digestive System. https://easy-anatomy.com/canine-digestive-system/
- PHYS.ORG. Study Shows How a Dog’s Diet Shapes its Gut Microbiome. https://phys.org/news/2017-01-dog-diet-gut-microbiome.html
Dr. Melinda J. Mayfield-Davis, DVM, WCHP-AH, brings over 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine. She is the Technical Services Veterinarian with Innovacyn, Inc., parent company of Vetericyn Animal Wellness. She received her DVM from Oklahoma State University and now resides in Southeast Kansas with her husband, two children, four dogs, and six horses. Prior to working with Innovacyn, Dr. Mayfield owned and operated the Animal Care Center in Columbus, KS.