How does a Dog’s Digestive System Works?


A dog’s digestive system is a highly specialized anatomical structure. To gain an understanding of how it operates and what it requires it helps if you understand how it compares to the other types of digestive systems in the animal kingdom.


Herbivores (plant eaters) have the longest digestive tract in the mammalian kingdom. Some of them like, cows have multiple stomachs that are used to break down and ferment various plant materials. True herbivores have the ability to digest plant and vegetable cellulose and can rely on plants for complete nutrition. They have flat blunt teeth, which they use to grind cellulose and grain. Their jaws have the ability to move sideways and grind their food. Of course dogs don’t fall in this category and their digestive organs were never designed to assimilate or catabolise plant based materials.


Omnivores (plant and meat eaters) have one stomach and their intestines are shorter than the cow but longer than the dog. They have the ability to digest vegetation but they have enough enzymes and acid in their gut to digest animal protein as well. Their ability to break down cellulose is limited and they need both vegetation and animal protein for complete nutrition. Omnivores have a combination of sharp teeth used for tearing and ripping flesh and flat molars used for grinding grains and plants.


Carnivores (meat eaters) like the dog has the shortest digestive system in the kingdom of mammals. Their jaws are hinged and contain sharp jagged blade like molars, which allows them to swallow large chunks of meat and gorge themselves. This ability enables dogs to consume a great deal of food and then rest until the next kill. Dogs are direct decedents of the wolf and they require meat protein to stay healthy and vibrant. Dogs do not have the ability to digest or assimilate cellulose and have no real need or craving for grain or vegetable based food.

The dog is a carnivore with a digestive system and process designed to break down and assimilate protein, bones, and fat. Their stomachs have a much higher level of hydrochloric acid to digest and assimilate meat protein.

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