For many people, dogs are much more than just family pets. They can quite literally be your best friend. Making sure your dog is healthy and happy is a constant concern for most owners. However, it can be difficult to diagnose the health of your pet when they’re experiencing non-visible discomfort or pain. After all, your pets can’t talk to you.
Making sure your dog receives the necessary nutrients for healthy body functions will help to ensure their well-being and comfort.
Are digestive enzymes for dogs necessary?
Digestive enzymes aren’t a requirement for dogs, but they will certainly improve your pet’s overall health by supporting joint, digestive and immune system performance. There are four main types of enzymes that are beneficial for dogs, each supporting hundreds of different functions:
- Lipase – breaks down fats into fatty acids and alcohols, including glycerol
- Protease – breaks down proteins and peptides
- Amylase – Converts glycogen and starch into simple sugars and is mostly found in pancreatic fluid and saliva
- Cellulase – breaks down fiber, most commonly cellulose
Processed dog food and your pet’s enzymes:
Most types of processed dog foods contain a variety of elements that destroy enzymes, including preservatives, artificial colorings, herbicides, additives, flavor enhancers and heat. Because of this, many dogs have less-than-optimal levels of enzymes which places an unnatural strain on the body to produce higher-than-normal levels of enzymes.
When dogs ingest food, the pancreas must work harder to produce enough enzymes to begin the digestion process. Some foods contain enzymes that naturally begin to initiate the digestion process, but the processed foods without enzymes require the pancreas to secrete enzymes.
One of the biggest benefits of giving your dog digestive enzymes is that it relieves the burden placed on the pancreas to synthesis enzymes. In addition, food that is consumed with digestive enzyme supplements can usually begin the digestion process earlier, leading to more efficient absorption of nutrients.
Benefits of digestive enzymes for dogs
Digestive enzymes come in two forms:
- Those found in digestive organs
- Those found in food
Since most processed canine foods destroy enzymes in the body, supplementing digestive enzymes into your dog’s diets is essential to maintaining their health. The list of wellness benefits provided by digestive enzymes for dogs is extensive.
9 major benefits of digestive enzymes:
- Supports immune system functions
- Improves the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals
- Promotes healthy cell growth
- Removes toxins from the body
- Promotes healthy body weight
- Promotes gum and tooth health
- Improves joint comfort and range of motion
- Provides an increase in energy with better nutrient utilization
- Maintains normal levels of cholesterol
In addition to these main benefits, digestive enzymes also reduce constipation, bloating, heartburn, gas and the chances of skin irritations.
Knowing when your dog needs digestive enzymes
Many breeds of canines are prone to health issues. For example, a large number of small breeds are diagnosed with pancreatitis while larger breeds commonly suffer from joint problems.
If you’ve observed any of the following problems in your dog, digestive enzymes will benefit their health and provide a level of relief from their symptoms:
- Dental Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Weight Loss
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)
- Bad breath
- Undigested food in stools
Your dog’s body most likely will not be able to supply enough digestive enzymes to effectively breakdown processed dog food. It’s important to supply them with enough enzymes to aid in the digestive process and make sure their body efficiently absorbs nutrients. A healthy dog is a happy dog and we all want our best friends to live long, happy lives.