In other to properly answer the ‘how long does it take a dog to digest food’ question, it is important that we look at how the digestive system of your adorable pet functions.
As with other animals, dogs take in food through their mouth. And this food is worked on by the enzymes in the saliva.
These enzymes help to break down starch into smaller sugar molecules. The saliva also makes the passage of the food into the esophagus easy.
From the mouth, the food moves into the esophagus where digestion starts. The food is then pushed into the stomach by the esophagus muscles.
When the food gets into the stomach, the solid food that was ingested is made more liquid.
This action is carried out by the muscles in the dog’s stomach. The acidic nature of the dog’s stomach also plays an important role.
From the stomach, the liquefied food is now taken into the small intestine where the key nutrients that are to be taken into the blood stream of a dog are removed.
From the small intestine, the key nutrients are absorbed into the dog’s blood stream while the other parts of the food are sent to the large intestine (which serves as a waste collector).
The large intestine in turn separates water from the food item (recall that it is now liquefied) and then turns it into faeces which is in turn passed out of the body.
With the breakdown of how the digestive system of a dog works, we can see that the digestion process is one that is quite long as it involves a lot of processing.
Factors That Influence Digestion Time In A Dog
From data gathered, it is established that digestion time is also dependent on
The particular breed of a dog: Some dog breeds digest food faster than other ones.
The weight of the dog: Dogs that weigh over 25kg find it easy to digest dry food than dogs that weigh 15kg and below.
The health status of a dog: Healthy dogs generally find it easier to digest food (and in shorter times) than ill dogs.
The type of food that the dog eats: This is a very important factor that should be paid attention to. It is proven that dry foods take time to get digested than canned foods.
The quantity of water the dog takes: The volume of water that the dog takes while eating also plays an important role in the determination of the digestion time. The more the water taken, the easier the digestion.
Under normal circumstances, we can say that the digestion time of dogs for dry dog foods is between 8 to 10 hours while the digestion time of dogs for wet dog foods is between 4 to 6 hours.
It is also important to add that exercise could also play a vital role when it comes to digestion in dogs.