Dog Digestive System 101: Everything You Need to Know

Your dog digestive system is composed of four main organs: the Small intestine, the Stomach, the Liver, and the Pancreas. In this article, we’ll talk about each of them and their function.

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Small intestine of dog digestive system

The small intestine is made up of three sections, the duodenum, which is approximately ten inches long, and the jejunum, which is the middle portion. It connects the small intestine to the large intestine and stores feces.

The small intestine has a unique adaptation. The intestine’s muscular walls relax and contract in rhythm to help mix and digest food. During the process, enzymes are mixed with the food.

These enzymes help break down proteins, fats, vegetables, and fibers. Mucus is also released to protect the stomach lining from the acid. This process is called chyme. Once this process has been completed, the food is ready to be passed to the small intestine.


The stomach is an integral part of the dog digestive system, breaking down food into digestible mush. Food is then drawn into the small intestine, where active digestion occurs. The stomach breaks down protein and carbohydrates, releasing water and nutrients in the process.

The gastrointestinal tract also produces gastric lipase, which breaks down fats. The result is a nutritious, digestible meal. However, dogs are not very good at chewing. To chew food, they must be given the right amount of pressure and temperature.

The digestive tract is comprised of thousands of tiny microscopic vili. The end products of digestion are carried to the liver, where they are metabolized. Fat is absorbed into lymph vessels and later transferred to the bloodstream.

The entire length of the small intestine is involved in the process of absorption. The muscular tube lining the walls of the small intestine increases the surface area available for absorption. This means that it takes eight hours for the entire digestive process to complete.

A dog’s stomach can reach extraordinary sizes to accommodate its massive eating habits, revealing how the digestive process works. Dogs’ caloric needs depend on their energy output, so the more active a dog is, the more caloric food they can digest.

Their intestines also help them digest food and store it as energy for later use. This energy is essential to their overall health. It is crucial to give exercise to your dog as part of their exercise regimen and avoid any digestive issues.


The liver in a dog digestive system is a critical organ that regulates the flow of bile in the body. A dog’s liver is capable of regenerating a large amount of functional reserve. Before clinical signs can be seen, the liver must have already suffered substantial damage.

A dog may have long-standing metabolic imbalances before the liver is compromised. Common clinical signs of liver disease include jaundice, dull mental ability, decreased appetite, and abnormal nutrient digestion.

While there is no known cure for cancer of the liver, there are several treatments that can help a dog digestive system stay healthy.

Several factors influence the balance of bacteria in the digestive system, including diet, synthetic antibiotics, and stress. Luckily, dogs have a unique digestive system that allows them to keep this balance by regulating the amount of food they eat and what they ingest.

If a dog has a healthy liver, the resulting inflammation is not as severe as in humans.

The liver in the digestive system plays an important role in the digestion of foods. The stomach of a dog is able to stretch to hold a large amount of food. Once the food is swallowed, it is digested and released into the small intestine. After a period of time, the food is liquidized into a substance known as chyme. This chme is then absorbed into the blood.


A dog’s abdominal pain may be a symptom of a condition called dog pancreatitis.

This disorder is often idiopathic, which means that the cause is unknown. Nevertheless, certain risk factors are associated with this ailment. Among them, a dog’s obesity and excessive intake of fatty foods. Other causes are high calcium levels, hypothyroidism, and blunt trauma.

Some dogs can also be affected by other illnesses that compromise the pancreas’ blood supply.

A dog’s pancreas contains manganese, which helps in the production of insulin. Additionally, pancreatic enzymes provide efficient digestion, reducing the burden on a pancreas that may be compromised by disease.

By providing enzymes, the pancreas will be able to produce insulin as it should. Another disadvantage of dog pancreas meat is aging, as dogs tend to produce less of it as they get older.

A dog’s pancreas is also susceptible to enzyme deficiency in younger dogs. However, with the right amount of pancreatic enzymes, it will be possible to make your dog’s pancreas function more efficiently.

There are two types of dog pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis occurs suddenly, while chronic pancreatitis develops over a period of time.

A dog with acute pancreatitis will show symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. In severe pancreatitis, your dog will appear to be in a praying position. A dog with chronic pancreatitis will also be depressed, and this can be fatal.


The Rectum is the third section of the digestive tract in dogs. Like the ileum, the rectum is the final part of the gastrointestinal tract. This segment is made up of the colon, cecum, and anal canal.

During digestion, food moves down the colon and then out of the body through the anal canal. Depending on its position, the Rectum can be located either on the left or the right side of the body.

The Rectum is located in the right mid-quadrant of the abdominal cavity and can protrude through the anus. A condition known as partial or complete rectal prolapse manifests when only a small portion of the rectum is prolapsed during excretion, while a persistent mass of blue or black tissue is visible after fecesing.

A complete physical exam and blood tests by a veterinarian can diagnose the cause of Rectal Prolapse.

Surgery can correct the problem in some cases. A veterinarian may perform a procedure to repair the prolapsed tissue.

Surgical repair may be necessary to remove dead tissue from the anal area, if the underlying cause is not eliminated. The surgical procedure can recur if the underlying cause of the prolapsed tissue is not properly addressed. In some cases, a dog with an involuntary “accident” may require medical attention.


The anus is the location of a small pouch on either side of the anus, located in the four and eight o’clock positions.

Sebaceous glands line the walls of the anal sac, releasing foul-smelling fluid. The secretion from the anal sac is released through a small duct inside the anus.

Both male and female dogs have anal sacs. These sacs are responsible for the production of fecal matter, a waste material that indicates the dog has eaten something.

In dogs, the anal sac is the area where feces are produced. The feces and other

 secretions emitted by these glands may accumulate within the anal sac and cause irritation or swelling. A dog that has a broad-based tail or deep anal folds is especially susceptible to infection. A bacterial infection of the anal sac can result in an abscess. Once this occurs, prompt treatment is necessary.

The anal sacs in dogs often become blocked or impacted. The secreted material within these sacs provides a favorable environment for bacterial growth and allows abscesses to form. Bacteria from the feces travel up the ducts and into the anal sacs.

Bacteria from the feces are usually flushed out through bowel movements. However, the anal sacs that are plugged can interfere with the flow of fecal matter into the stomach, making bacteria growth unavoidable.

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