top of page

Why dogs that eat kibble need even more of these VITAL nutrients

Like all animals, our dogs produce a whole range of enzymes internally but the most important of these are those found in the gut or digestive enzymes which have a significant impact on the health of the gut. In todays short video lets take a look at the role of enzymes especially for dogs that are on a commercial or kibble based diet and how this can negatively impact their health so stay tuned to learn more.

Digestive enzymes are proteins that are produced by various glands and organs in a dog's body, including the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, and small intestine. These enzymes play a crucial role in breaking down food into smaller, absorbable pieces that can be utilised by the body. Digestive enzymes mainly come from your dog’s pancreas. As food travels through your dog’s small intestine, the pancreas releases digestive enzymes. That’s when they break down the various food components so your dog’s body can absorb them.

Digestive enzymes are used for hundreds of different metabolic processes that occur in the body and without these to help break down nutrients, your dog would become malnourished over time which can lead to a whole range of diseases as a result. There are 3 main digestive enzymes that help in the breakdown of food- amylase for breaking down starches and carbohydrates, lipase for fat breakdown and protease to help break proteins into amino acids. In addition to these roles, enzymes help in a whole range of other ways including immune system support, reduction of inflammation, hormone balance, repair and growth of tissues and detoxification.

So if our dogs make their own enzymes, isn’t this sufficient you ask???

Well, the short answer is no. There are certainly some health conditions such as EPI that require the immediate addition of digestive enzymes but what about the average dog with no specific health problems right now?

Well every dog has their own special but limited supply of digestive enzymes and these work together with the enzymes that are naturally occurring in fresh foods that your dog eats – its basically team work. If your dog is eating a kibble diet (or even a fully cooked diet) Kibble and other processed foods lack digestive enzymes and this is due to the fact that all these types of products are heat treated which destroys these vital digestive enzymes. This also tends to occurs with a cooked diet too as the cooking of the foods depletes the enzyme levels.

So if your dog has been on a long term diet of kibble or other processed foods, they will be deficient in these life giving enzymes. This is going to place more stress on your dogs body because they can only call on their own enzyme reserves to assist in digestion- this means producing all the necessary enzymes at every meal your dog eats which can quickly start to use those reserves up. This not only places stress on the digestive system as a whole but can lead to stress, imbalance and dysfunction throughout the rest of the body over time. So the older your dog gets the more stress their body is placed under as those enzymes levels have essentially run out, and the quicker they age. In fact it has been found that a lack of enzymes can actually cause organs like the brain to shrink!!

Not only does the wrong type of foods deplete enzyme levels but other factors such as fluoride in water, medications, chemicals and vaccines along with simply aging can deplete the level of enzymes further. Natural wholefoods contain their own levels of enzymes which can help take this burden off your dogs pancreas and their digestive system in general but this is only your dog is eating these fresh foods.

Some of the signs your dog might have low enzyme levels include constipation, diarrhoea, smelly wind, acid reflux and belching, undigested food in the stools , tummy rumbles and bloating. This especially affects senior dogs and this can even occur when your senior dog is on a raw diet although it is much less apparent. Without these important enzymes your dog will age more quickly and many health issues can potentially start to become a problem.

So if your dog has been on a kibble or cooked diet long term, what should you do? Ideally the best way to support your dog especially as they age is to transition them onto a more natural raw diet that is enzyme rich – being raw all the enzymes are kept in tact. And if this is not possible, you can at least start adding a wholefood supplement such as a super greens powder that will help add in some enzymes naturally. In addition, start adding in a digestive enzyme supplement that contains those 3 enzymes we mentioned earlier, amylase, protease and lipase along with bromelain, papain, cellulase and invertase. You will also want to add in a good quality probiotic as this will help the enzymes work more efficiently in the gut. These can be added in daily into your dogs food. And if you are looking to transition to a raw diet, both enzymes and probiotics can help this transition particularly if your dog is a senior.

Keeping your dogs enzyme levels optimal will not only support their gut health but help their teeth and gums, joint health, skin and coat and general immune and hormone balance so it makes sense to add this into the diet along with avoiding those kibble based diets as much as possible.

86 views0 comments


bottom of page