Digestibility of dog food
The digestive tract is able to digest and assimilate certain classic nutrients. Any non-digestible food will cause digestive disorders . Faced with a disorder of this nature, there is therefore a tendency to suspect the ingestion of an inappropriate material. But this is not always the root cause of the problem.
Digestibility is a function of several factors
- the integrity of the digestive tract: it must always be verified that no pathology of the digestive tract does not exist (ulcer, irritation...)
- the influence of the quantity of food ingested: it is up to the master to respect the doses to be administered according to the weight and the physiological stage of his dog.
- individual factors and other factors related to race: it is therefore necessary to know the specific needs of his dog
The elements indigestible
What happens when non-digestible elements are ingested? In the case of non-digestible carbohydrates, the enzymes of the small intestine are powerless to attack them; they then pass in the state in the large intestine, which succeeds in degrading them, but then ferment in the cecum.
This results in an increase of the fecal volume, with liquid stools, of sour odor and at acidic pH , and gas production. Non-digestible proteins follow the same process, they also cause an increased fecal volume and liquid, but foul-smelling, dark color and alkaline pH. Non-digestibility therefore leads to diarrhea and stools that are smelly.
Are indigestible elements:
- fibers, a plant-based substance resistant to hydrolysis (digestion) by the enzymes of the digestive tract.
- and animal weight, ie keratin and other proteins constituting feathers and coats
The influence of fibers on digestion
Soluble fibers and insoluble fibers are distinguished . Each kind is itself divided into fermentable and non-fermentable fibers. In the colon, fiber fermentations activate the transformation of nutrients into short-chain (volatile) fatty acids: acetic acid, butyric acid and propionic acid, the preferred sources of energy for colon cells.
Products that contain Beet pulp represents a good compromise between soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber changes the viscosity of food in the digestive system. The volume of food in the stomach is larger, and the gastric emptying slower in the small intestine. Soluble fiber is extremely fermentable in the colon. The fibers attract water, forming a gel. Insoluble fiber contributes to the dilution of nutrients. By increasing the volume of the stool, they stimulate the motricity of the colon. They have a negative effect on digestibility
By reducing the digestibility of food, they can cause digestive disorders, especially if the diet contains coarse fibers that can weaken the digestive mucosa. The fibers therefore have positive and negative effects. If used poorly, they can be harmful for both digestive hygiene (loose stools) and the general condition of the animal.
Low fermentability fibers reduce the frequency of defecation and the moisture content of feces: risk of constipation and / or difficult defecation. Fermentable fiber is the source of poor stool quality and gas production. Well balanced between them, the fibers maintain the intestinal flora and regularize the transit (prevention of diarrhea and constipation).
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