There are more and more households in the world that decide to integrate a dog into their lives and precisely for this reason, we are also increasingly aware of the importance that a good diet can have for our dog, of how recommendable it can be to provide him with the best I think, but what we often overlook is what happens in our dog’s stomach after eating. Have you ever wondered how long our inseparable furry friend can take to digest?
If you are one of those who think that dogs have the same digestive process as humans, we are sorry to tell you that this statement is not correct and that, in fact, the digestion of dogs in duration and process is very different from ours. Precisely for this reason, it is important to take this difference into account, to make an approximation of the ideal digestion time or to establish an exercise and food intake routine according to your needs.
What are the phases of digestion in dogs?
The digestion process in dogs is made up of different stages that go from when the food enters the dog’s mouth, to the elimination of canine feces. But in between there is a long and complex process of digestion.
To begin with, digestion begins at the very moment that the food reaches the dog’s mouth thanks to chewing and salivation. The food will then travel down the esophagus to the stomach , where the solid food will be dissolved by the secreted acid, resulting in a substance known as chyme.
This substance will then travel to the small intestine, where upon entering it, the final stage of digestion will begin with the corresponding separation of nutrients and their absorption .
But even so, within the small intestine the route of the food will be divided into three phases. In the first, the chyme is treated with enzymes and hormones from the liver and pancreas, which are responsible for reducing the acid level of the chyme. Then it will be ready to extract and absorb the rest of the nutrients into the bloodstream.
In the final part of the small intestine, the remaining nutrients are absorbed, and then the remaining waste that is present in the small intestine is passed to the large intestine, where the bacterial fermentation of the fiber and the absorption of electrolytes and water will take place, to subsequent elimination in the form of feces.
What factors can influence digestion time in dogs?
This is a digestive process that is not simple at all and in which a large number of the animal’s organs are involved, in addition to the fact that certain times are necessary in each of the digestive stages depending on the type of food, the quantity and quality of it . All this added to other factors that can also influence the amount of time necessary for proper digestion and transformation of the food into the final product:
The quality and quantity of food
Not all types of food are digested in the same way. In the case of wet food, it is much faster to digest than dry food . On the other hand, the amount of food we provide will also vary by increasing or decreasing the hours required for digestion.
the size of the dog
The size of the animal will also influence its digestion times, since large or medium-sized dogs usually need more digestion time than smaller ones.
Age is another factor that can influence the duration of digestion time, since, for example, older dogs tend to have a slower metabolism than younger dogs or puppies.
Good or bad hydration
Water is an essential element for all digestive processes to be carried out correctly, so you will always have to make sure that they are well hydrated and that they always have a bowl of fresh water nearby.
Hours of exercise and daily activity
A dog that has several hours a day of exercise or that we provide a minimum of daily activity, will always have a much healthier body than a sedentary dog. In the case of sedentary dogs , their digestion time is usually longer.
How long does it take for a dog to digest?
The reality is that there is no specific time for the duration of digestion, since this will vary depending on the different factors that we have mentioned previously, in addition to the time necessary in each stage of digestion to break down the food. What is clear is that the digestion of dogs is much slower than that of humans or that of other animals, since in the case of consuming dry food , it can remain in the stomach between 8 and 12 hours of digestion before passing to the small intestine or between 4 and 6 hours in the case of wet food.
All this added to the last digestive stage and the many factors that can influence the time our furry needs to digest food, it could even reach 12 hours , one of the most common periods for digestion among dogs.
When is it necessary to wait to walk or exercise with your dog?
A digestion time that may vary, but that we will have to take into account when making a certain effort or activity with our dog, especially to avoid digestive problems or even stomach torsion. This is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to walk your dog right after eating or exercising with him, as his stomach will still be full at that time.
To avoid possible digestive problems, the recommended waiting time after eating is a minimum of two hours, although this may vary depending on all the factors mentioned above.