Digestive enzymes for dogs? Those are even things? Heck, you may be asking what a digestive enzyme for humans is. No worries; you wouldn’t be alone. But more research continues to support the benefits of digestive enzymes for dogs (and their hoomans) so read on to see why you should give your dog digestive enzymes every day!
What is a digestive enzyme?
Digestion—it’s what most people think happens in the stomach after each meal, and they’re not wrong. But digestion actually starts with chewing. For some dogs who like to wolf their food down, it may just start with the act of inhaling their food. Either way, it’s not just what happens in your stomach. Chewing (and swallowing) tell your dog’s body to release digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes break food down into smaller building blocks (amino acids and such) so that the nutrients from the food can be better absorbed by your dog’s body. There are three main types: lipases to help digest fats, amylases to help digest carbohydrates and proteases to help digest proteins. Digestive enzymes mainly come from your dog’s pancreas. As food travels through your dog’s small intestine, the pancreas releases digestive enzymes. That’s when they break down the various food components so your dog’s body can absorb them.
Your dog’s body automatically creates digestive enzymes (unless there is an underlying issue) so you may be asking, “Why do I need to give my dog digestive enzymes with each meal if he makes them on his own?”
That’s a great question, and the answer is in their gut.
What do dog digestive enzymes have to do with gut health?
In a few words? Everything.
Researchers in the early 20th century discovered that over time, our bodies become deficient in enzymes. What would make you enzyme deficient? Ironically, it’s our food–rather, how we cook it. Research suggested that how food is cooked can lead to a depletion of digestive enzymes and that’s in humans and animals. This causes shorter life spans.
Research also suggests that lowered stress resistance and disease can lead to fewer digestive enzymes in us and our dogs and this means that our nutrient absorption is not as it should be. In fact, researcher Dr. Edward Howell found that as we deplete enzyme resources because we eat overly cooked food, we shorten our lives.
This goes for our dogs too. Think about the food that most pet parents feed their dogs. It’s kibble that’s been processed and cooked at temperatures anywhere between 118°F to 129°F (48°C to 54°C). Dr. Howell’s research found that cooking foods at this temperature for even as few as three minutes means that basically every digestive enzyme is destroyed. Most traditional kibble (yes, even that fancy-schmancy food that screams, “Natural and healthy!” has likely been cooked to a point that there are no digestive enzymes and no benefit to your dog’s digestion.
In fact, in a 2013 paper about dog digestive enzymes, Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM said that digestive enzymes are beneficial for any pet that’s eating a heat-processed food for that very reason. Dr. Hofve believes that since most dogs are eating highly processed kibble diets, they can benefit from digestive enzyme supplements with each meal.
Even if your dog eats ‘wet’ food (generally canned), they’re getting a highly processed and heat-cooked food that’s sterile. Raw feeders don’t have to deal with the high heat process, but the fact is that if you are feeding your dog raw to better match evolutionary diet, you can’t forget that dog ancestors also ate they guts of the prey they consumed. Unless you’re feeding your dog prey guts with his raw food–he could still benefit from digestive enzymes.
Add in that vaccines, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals, aging and even fluoridated water may affect your dog’s ability to produce digestive enzymes.
And none of that bodes well for your dog’s optimal nutrition absorption.
How do dog digestive enzymes help my dog?
When your dog takes his first bite (or gulp) of food, his food is still in decent-sized chunks. It could take a half-a day for food to be digested, but the stomach acid and natural enzymes in your dog’s stomach are the big part of that process. Supplemental digestive enzymes mean your dog has what he needs to break food down efficiently for absorption and his digestive system doesn’t have to go into overdrive to create enzymes to battle the heat-process or other issues that affect dog digestive enzyme deficiency.
Digestive enzymes allow the food to be broken down as it needs to so that there is maximum nutrient absorption and their microbiome is healthy and functional for overall immune health.
What do the dog digestive enzymes in Bernie’s Perfect Poop do?
Bernie’s Perfect Poop has a unique blend of dog digestive enzymes that help break down the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in your dog’s diet. They start the digestion process with the first bite and this is what helps ensure maximum nutrient absorption. The efficiently-broken down food you fed your dog gets to go through the digestive tract easier and more efficiently. Doing so, his microbiome gets fed, as does every cell in his body. You can read more about how long it takes your dog to digest food.
More, cellulase and hemicellulase are not biologically occurring products of your dog’s digestive system, but they’re key for breaking grains and plants from his diet down. They break cellulose into glucose molecules (to help better regulate blood sugar) and they allow zinc, selenium and linoleic acid to come apart from the fiber in food and increase nutrient absorption. In effect, the dog digestive enzymes in Bernie’s Perfect Poop help ensure each meal your dog eats is one that fuels his body efficiently and as he needs to be his healthiest.
When you give your dog Bernie’s Perfect Poop, you’re giving him high-quality dog digestive enzymes. When you give with every meal, you’re helping his digestive system work as efficiently as it can to boost his immune system and keep his life as long and happy as it should be. Dog digestive enzymes should be given with every meal since they’re consumed with every meal, and it’s as easy as sprinkling some delicious Bernie’s Perfect Poop over your dog’s food each time you feed him!