Nose to tail the canine digestive system is probably one of the most underappreciated aspects of canine health! The digestive system involves the ingestion of food, the breakdown of that food into usable nutrients, correctly using/absorbing those nutrients, and the excretion of any indigestible or waste products – it is an extremely dynamic process. What we feed our dogs can have impacts from healthy teeth and gums on one end to anal glands on the other. When introducing your dog to a new diet study how what you put in one end comes out the other. Stools that are too loose or too firm, diarrhea or constipation, are a few symptoms that your dog is struggling to properly digest their food and may benefit from a different formula or some quality supplements. You can also judge a food based on your dog's outward appearance – is their coat shiny and dander free? Are they itchy? Are their eyes clear and bright? We spend so much time worrying about what we put into our own bodies, we should make the same consideration for our furry friends!
It is important to note that a lot can go wrong with the digestive process beyond picking a food that helps our pup thrive. Make sure the first part of your dog’s digestive system is in working order – healthy teeth and gums allow your dog to begin the first step of food break down and periodontal disease is extremely common for all dog’s over the age of 4. You should be aware of illnesses like bloat as they can be deadly – unless you know what signs to look for and take preventative measures. Use the links below for a more thorough look at the canine digestive system and associated illnesses. These links are by no means comprehensive but should provide a leaping off point for your own research!