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How Your Pup Digests It's Food

Updated: Sep 21, 2020

Most pet owners who opt to put their pup on a raw dog food diet are doing so to improve their digestive system. The key to enhancing your dog’s immune system is to ensure they’re receiving the right amount of nutrients daily. Knowing how your dog digests its food can help you make a more informed decision regarding the best raw dog food to introduce into their diet.

How Does a Dog Digest its Food?

As food enters your dog’s mouth, it travels through the body, absorbing all available nutrients while waste is eliminated through faeces. Simply put, a dog’s digestive system is a tunnel that runs through the mouth, with food being broken down during various stages before being excreted through the anus. Here are the major players within a dog’s digestive system.

  1. The Mouth

Where digestion begins, dogs tear food into smaller pieces, breaking down enzymes with their saliva.

  1. The Stomach

Once swallowed, food travels down the oesophagus and into the stomach, where acids break the food down even further.

  1. The Intestines

Once in the small intestine, the body absorbs most of its nutrients from food here. Bile from the gallbladder enters the small intestine, binding to food to neutralise any remaining stomach acid. Then, enzymes from the pancreas speed up chemical reactions that help digest and absorb food.

After being absorbed into the blood, nutrients from food are metabolised in the liver. By this time, most of the useful compounds in the food would have already been absorbed before reaching the large intestine, where waste forms to stool.

What is Digestibility?

To measure food quality is to understand digestibility. Digestibility is a method by which owners can determine how many nutrients a dog can absorb from their meal. Highly digestible foods allow your dog to absorb more nutrients from any measured volume of food. Foods that boast lower digestibility, on the other hand, are simply excreted through the faeces. A more digestible food will allow more nutrients to be absorbed within the body whereas your dog will have to consume a greater amount of food if put on a less digestible diet.

The Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Highly Digestible Food

Important for the long and short-term well-being of your dog, highly digestible food can improve the quality and volume of stool your dog produces. Not to mention, your pup will likely become less flatulent! Generally, dogs consuming highly digestible food will produce less waste and create firmer stool.

In the long run, a dog’s digestive system will become healthier and prevent gut-related conditions such as colitis. Your dog will also develop healthier fur and skin and even boast better breath if on raw dog food.

What dictates a certain food’s digestibility is the protein it contains and how the food is manufactured.


If you’ve been thinking about shifting your dog over to a raw food diet, don’t hesitate any longer! At Roxy’s Raw Food, we stock only the best quality raw food and natural treats for dogs in Telford and the UK. To achieve all the benefits of a highly digestible diet, shop with us today!

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