How does a dog digestive system function?
Although the dog digestive system is complex, we’ll break it down as easy as possible. Dog digestion is a process that begins in the mouth with mastication and lubrication, where the food is mechanically broken down by the teeth and mixed with saliva, which contains enzymes that start the process of breaking down carbohydrates. While you’ve probably seen some dogs swallowing kibble whole, they’re usually pulling their food to the back of their mouth where their molars chew the food into easy-to-swallow-sized pieces.
With the help of the saliva, the food then passes down the esophagus and into the stomach, where it is mixed with gastric juices that further break down the food. According to Wellness, the stomach is an extremely acidic environment, which is necessary for the breakdown of large pieces of meat and bones. Inside a dog’s stomach, there are three main dog digestive enzymes responsible for the breakdown of food: pepsinogen, trypsin and chymotrypsin.
From the stomach, the partially digested food moves into the small intestine, where it is mixed with bile from the liver and dog digestive enzymes from the pancreas. The small intestine is made up of three parts where the majority of the nutrients from food are absorbed into the bloodstream. First is the duodenum, which helps to alkalize the stomach acids. Second is the ilium which serves to absorb nutrients and remove waste and lastly is the jejunum which helps with further nutrient and water absorption.
The remaining undigested food particles then move into the large intestine, where water is absorbed, and the waste products are formed into feces. At the end of the dog digestion process, there’s only one thing left to do: grab the poop bags!