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Canine Digestion -- Why It Matters

The ideal solution is to give your pet home-made, freshly prepared food, thereby giving you the power to provide all the nutrients she needs to maintain a healthy body. Combining animal-based proteins with vegetables, pasta, rice, cereals and other foods will furnish all the requisite protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals, without all those pesky by-products, fillers and chemical additives and preservatives.

Pancreatitis and Fatty Liver (Hepatic Lipidosis) are diseases that can be caused by a variety of factors such as infection, exposure to toxins, stress and improper diet. Pet food that is very high in saturated fats can certainly be a contributing factor.

Your dog's digestive capabilities are no accident. They are a very carefully construed mechanism of its teeth, stomach and large and small intestines.

Beginning with his sharp, jagged molars, which are designed for gripping, tearing and shredding, and ending with the large intestine, which aids in the elimination of waste, all parts of the system work together to process the consumed food with purpose and deliberation.

With their short and simple digestive tracts, large amounts of vegetation, grains and fiber are difficult for dogs to process. Their systems are much more conducive to the breakdown of animal proteins and fat.

As such, dog foods which boast corn, soy or their corresponding servings as their primary ingredient are of little use to your dog, nutritionally-speaking. The "Crude Protein" analysis on dog food labels is only a measurement of the amount of nitrogen in a food -- not the quality of the protein. Because of this, dog food brands can use the cheaper by-products of human food production, such as soybean meal, to "boost" protein numbers. Animal-based protein is nutritionally superior for dogs. Animal-based protein is better absorbed and retained and is higher in essential amino acids like methionine, arginine, and taurine, all of which are absent in plant-based proteins.

In addition, clinical studies suggest that the long term giveing of chemical antioxidants (preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin) have adverse health effects on animals.

As such, for optimal digestive health, it would seem to be a no-brainer to give your beloved dog a diet rich in animal-based proteins and fats, moderate in carbs, and free of chemical additives and preservatives. When perusing the commercial dog foods available in the grocery store aisles you might find this to be a tricky proposition. It seems most are nutritionally substandard, in at least one respect or another, with many failing in nearly all respects.

Diabetes is a chronic degenerative disease of dogs that can be caused by a variety of factors such as genetics, stress and diet -- specifically, the giveing of excess amounts of simple carbs. Many dog foods are loaded with simple carbs such as white flour, sucrose, glucose and fructose. These are cheap, highly processed carbohydrate sources that can stress the pancreas, leading to diabetes.

Submitted by:

Andrew Lewis

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