What you might not know about your dog's digestionGuy Blaskey 09 September 2016
All dogs are different, just like all human are different, and different dogs do better on different diets. To help your dog be as happy and healthy as they can possibly be it is good to understand the basics of how their digestion works.
Why we eat
The process of living is basically a lot of individual chemical reactions. The chemicals come in to our bodies in the form of food. Digesting is essentially breaking down the food into it's component parts, so that the body can use what it needs and excrete the waste. For example when you eat a piece of salmon the body breaks this down and sends the omega 3 around the body, with some being used for joint function, some for heart function, some for skin and coat/hair etc.
Why digestive enzymes are important
The digestive enzymes are what breaks down the food into it's component parts. If this doesn't happen efficiently then you can end up wasting the beneficial nutrients that you are eating. The best way to ensure effective working of the digestive system is to manage the levels of good bacteria. This is why at Pooch & Mutt we suggest that all dogs either have a digestive supplement for dogs added to their food, or they have a dog food that contains probiotics and prebiotics.
Why skin and coat are important
Your dog's body uses the same nutrients for different things. As mentioned above Omega 3 is used for brain function and joint function as well as skin and coat. Similar is true for many other nutrients. The body is also efficient and clever, it knows that a brain is more important to survival than joints, and that joints are more important to survival than coat, so the body allocates the nutrients to the parts of the body that need it most. This is why skin and coat are important. If the skin and coat are not in good condition you know that the body is not getting enough of the right nutrients. If the skin and coat are in good condition this is a good sign that your dog is getting enough of the right nutrients, as it has enough left over to allocate some to the skin and coat.
Why feed grain-free
The best thing to feed your dog is the best food that you can afford, that your dog looks good on, behaves well on and is generally happy with. At Pooch & Mutt we recommend that your dog is fed on a grain-free dog food. Whilst there are arguments both ways on whether or not dogs can digest grain, what we know for sure is that most dogs do not do well on a diet high in grains such as wheat. The foods that do contain grain tend to contain a high level of grain, so it is best t stick to grain-free dog food.
What can improve digestion
There are certain natural ingredients that can help a dog's digestion; Adding a fibre source like psyllium will both help to firm up stool and clear out the digestive system. Charcoal works to absorb gasses in the digestive system, so reduces bloating and flatulence. Parsley is a natural digestive aid that has been used for centuries. There are also certain things that are easier to digest than others, for example fish is easier to digest than meat, so fish is a better protein source than meat for animals with digestive issues. Probiotics and prebiotics, as mentioned above can improve digestive efficiency. To make feeding easier Pooch & Mutt created Health & Digestion Grain-Free dog food, which uses fish as it's protein source, and has probiotics, prebiotics, charcoal, parsley and psyllium added to it.