Health & Nutrition

How Do Dog’s Digest Their Food, And How Does It Impact Their Health?

Beagle with a healthy stomach

Your dog needs vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients to thrive. Feeding your dog a wholesome, balanced dog food — and the ideal amount of it — is the simplest way to ensure you are supporting their needs. But what happens between the bowl and the backyard?

Digestibility points to how much of the nutrients your dog’s body can absorb from their food. If their diet is highly digestible, that means that the food can be easily broken down and nutrients can easily be used throughout your dog's body. Otherwise, they pass the bulk of their food without receiving the intended dietary benefits.

How your dog digests food has a huge impact on whether they receive all the benefits their food contains which can then directly impact their immune function. Your dog’s digestive system contains  about 70% of your dog’s total immune system function [1], so it’s an important piece of your dog’s health and happiness.

How Do Dogs Digest Their Food?

  • Jaws & Teeth – tear, crush, and break down food
  • Saliva – contains enzymes to begin digestion
  • Stomach – mixes and liquefies food in acid
  • Gall Bladder – helps break down fats
  • Pancreas – sends enzymes to break down macronutrients like fat, protein and carbohydrates and regulate blood sugar
  • Small Intestine – absorbs nutrients into bloodstream
  • Large Intestine/Colon – regulates hydration by extracting water and electrolytes from food
dog digestion guide infographicdog digestion guide infographic

What Is Your Dog’s Stool Telling You?

Your dog’s stool can be a very visible sign of how your dog's digestive system is working, as well as a good indicator of their overall health. Learn more about what your dog’s stool is telling you here.

Great Nutrition Helps with Great Digestion

Every dog owner knows that digestion problems lead to unhappy dogs and a big mess for their humans. Our experts create dog food blends that are designed specifically to benefit your dog’s system. Tell us about their ingredient preferences and avoidances, and we can create a wholesome blend just for them.