The Digestive System

None of the dog's digestion takes place in the mouth, as it does in human beings. It starts in his stomach. But the main process of digestion occurs in the dog's small intestine.

The dog's digestive apparatus consists of the mouth (merely a passageway for food), esophagus, stomach, pylorus, small intestine, large intestine and the rectum. The liver and pancreas are also involved in the digestive process.

Very often, the dog's manner of eating surprises and startles a new dog owner. The dog is not what you would call a dainty eater. He bolts or wolfs his food, swallowing whole chunks or masses. This bolting down of food is a hangover from the wild state, the days when the dog's ancestors had to eat their food fast or else have it taken away. It was purely a question of the wild dog getting his food "while the getting was good."

As a prevention against acute indigestion, Nature has supplied the dog's stomach with strong juices. He also has a good reverse action and can regurgitate food that may be too large. The stomach juices are capable of dissolving large chunks of food and bones. By the time the food reaches the small intestine, the juices have broken it down to a state where it can be easily processed and assimilated.

At one time it was believed that the dog's digestive system could not handle starches. Dog owners were cautioned not to feed dogs starchy food in any form. Today, we know that this is not true, that dogs can tolerate starch in their diet. Dogs having a disease or malfunctioning of the pancreas, however, have difficulty in utilizing starch and must be put on a special diet. It was also a common belief that fat should not be fed to dogs. This, too, has been disproved. The no-starch, no-fat dictum forced dogs into being strictly protein eaters. As a result, many dogs were suffering from malnutrition.

Pamper Your Dog

Pamper Your Dog

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