From bathing your dog with a natural shampoo to maintaining their fur by using quality dog clippers, we know how much you like to care for your canine. But how much are you caring for their health internally, from within?
To get a better understanding of how you can care for your dog’s health in a more wholesome manner, we will discuss how digestive enzymes play an important role in maintaining your dog’s health.
What are Digestive Enzymes?
Enzymes are special proteins that carry out some of the most important functions in the body. A vital function carried out by them is to break down food and absorb nutrients from them. These enzymes are produced in the pancreas and get released into the smaller intestine. This is where the magic happens; enzymes break down food into small units so that the body can derive energy from these to create new cells. It would be difficult for anyone to survive without digestive enzymes.
But the food that your dog eats along with factors like its age and health can create a void in the enzyme department – this can cause nutritional deficiencies that can affect its health.
Following three digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas:
- Amylase – converts sugar into carbohydrates
- Lipase – converts fats into fatty acids and glycerol
- Protease – converts protein into amino acids
Your dog has its own supply of enzymes that its body produces, but it can also get enzymes from the food it eats. The pancreas may get strained, as it has to produce too many enzymes to help digest the food. This is where enzymes from food might help the pancreas lessen its burden.
Your dog’s body might also get stressed and produce less enzymes if it is undergoing some treatment and has to be given antibiotics, drugs etc. Giving them a sugary diet will also decrease the body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes. If your dog is getting old, its body will not help in the production of enzymes which will lead to nutritional deficiency even if you are giving it a nutrition enriched diet.
Enzyme deficiency symptoms
But how do you get to know that your dog is suffering from enzyme deficiency? Well, below we’ve mentioned some symptoms that should help you in picking up on the signs:
If your dog suffers from enzyme deficiency, then it might face digestive issues and flatulence, as the food doesn’t get digested completely. A good example we can give here is of a lactose intolerant person – they lack an enzyme called Lactase which helps digests the sugars in milk; since the person lacks that particular enzyme they suffer from diarrhoea, gas and bloating after consuming dairy products. This is the same for your dog as well in case it lacks digestive enzymes. You may also spot fat or undigested food in your dog’s stools.
If your dog suffers from enzyme deficiency which keeps occurring over a period of time, then it may be at risk of facing serious health issues later in life.
Putting enzymes in diet
The solution to your dog’s enzyme deficiency is to provide them with foods consisting large quantities of enzymes. The pet food that you feed your pooch might lack in essential enzymes, so give them food that contains natural enzymes and boosts your dog’s digestive capacity, such as:
- Fermented vegetables
- Coconut water
- Digestive enzyme supplements
- Raw dairy products
- Raw honey
Body enzymes get used up fast if your dog is suffering from an illness, has a rigorous exercise schedule or at times even due to extreme change in weather conditions. Old dogs will definitely benefit with additional enzymes, because as your dog ages, its enzyme producing ability decreases. Your pooch will suffer from other age-related illness and will lose its strength.
If a dog gets enough digestive enzymes, it’ll definitely have better immunity, fur, teeth, skin and joints, and this is obviously good for its health. Adding enzyme supplements and natural enzyme containing food to your dog’s diet will help them with their health, especially older dogs.
If you are planning to buy supplement for your dog, you may have to look for plant based enzymes, as other enzymes get easily wiped out by acids in their gut. You may have to avoid some enzymes that come enteric coated, as this coating prevents enzymes to break down in the stomach. You can also consult a veterinary doctor and ask whether you should add some pre/probiotics that will help enzymes achieve their purpose by making your dog’s gut healthy.
Now that you know how essential enzymes are to a dog’s health, make an effort to keep a close eye on its health and include enzymes in its diet.