How Long Does it Take a Dog to Digest Food?

by | Nov 17, 2021

When it comes to good dog gut health, it’s important to know how long it takes for a dog to properly digest dog food. Why’s that? Well, nutrient absorption is KEY for your dog’s immunity and overall health, and the best nutrient absorption happens when the canine digestive system is working efficiently and effectively!

Continue reading to find out the answer to the “how long does it take a dog to digest food” question!

Your dog’s immune system and digestive system are linked

Science continues to show the connection between a dog’s digestive health and his overall health. [1] [2] [3] There’s a lot to be said when we say, “We are what we eat,” and that goes for dogs too. Dog owners know that feeding their pets the best dog food is Some breeds take crucial for them to have fuel to run and play, but the wet food and dry food you feed your doggy won’t effectively fuel him if his digestive system isn’t healthy and functioning. The right food intake and supplements keep his digestive health in check, and that’s key to his overall health and vitality.

What happens if your dog’s digestive system isn’t healthy?

If your pet’s digestive intestinal tract isn’t healthy, you’ll probably know it pretty quickly. Their stool will likely smell and be pretty disgusting. They may suffer from diarrhea or constipation. They may suffer from bloating or vomiting or even struggle with the symptoms of Leaky Gut. How do you make sure your pet’s digestive system is healthy and the digestive cycle is functioning well? Well, the first step is making sure he digests foods appropriately and at the right speed for maximum nutrient absorption.

What happens when my dog digests food?

How does a dog break down food? And even more, how long does dog digestion take? The answers to that all depend on your pup’s gut health. How can you tell if a doggy’s gut is healthy?

Well, if you’re dealing with issues like acid reflux, allergies, or even coprophagia (eating poop), your pup’s gut may not be working normally. So how does a dog’s digestive system work?

First, when your dog eats, food enters his mouth. They *chew* and break the food down into smaller pieces to begin the digestion process. (Fun fact: dogs can’t chew from side to side, and really, they don’t do much *chewing* at all. They do more *ripping* apart of the food.) As food is broken down, it’s swallowed and then travels down the esophagus to get into the stomach (where partially digested food is stored). In the dog’s stomach, stomach acid works to continue breaking the chewed food down so that it’ll be absorbable when it gets to the small and large intestines. When the chewed food gets into your dog’s intestines, that’s where absorption starts.

The small intestine is where most of the absorption begins. Your pet’s gallbladder creates bile and adds it to the chewed food mix to balance the acidity of any remaining stomach acid. His pancreas secretes enzymes that continue to break and separate the food to the smallest parts it can be so that it can be fully digested and absorbed. Chemical reactions inside the small and large intestines then allow the essential nutrients to be absorbed by the walls of your pet’s intestines. This is how the absorbable nutrients get into your pup’s blood system and then can be carried throughout his body to be used for fuel and function.

Whatever can’t be absorbed or broken down or doesn’t have any nutritional value gets pushed through your pet’s large intestines. Here, any water or food that can be absorbed is, and whatever can’t be is…. you guessed it! Poop! This is why your dog’s stool (or fecal matter) looks like it does (or should). It’s taken quite a trip through the twists and turns of your dog’s digestive tract system and is stored in his rectum. When there’s enough poop hanging out in your dog’s rectum to trigger the urge to poop, he’ll poop. That’s how he gets rid of waste, and how long it takes him to go through this digestive process tells about his gut health.

How long does it take for a dog to digest food?

Generally speaking, if your pet’s gut is healthy, it should take about 6-10 hours for him to digest food properly. For small dogs and puppies, it might take less time (around 4 hours or so) compared to larger, adult dogs. (Another fun fact: dogs generally digest their food three times as fast as humans!) Be careful if your dog throws up undigested digested food though as it won’t be absorbing any nutrients.

But that’s if his gut is healthy. Other significant factors may affect a dog’s digestion time –puppies and adult dogs often have different dog poop cycles.

Some dog breeds take longer (or less) time because of their size and the size of their intestines. Some dogs have health conditions that may make their poop cycles longer or shorter. But the biggest factor that affects how long it takes a dog to digest food is his gut health.

Eating highly digestible food (a food that is more absorbed by your pet’s body, typically measured in percentages for digestibility) will help because you’re already starting with a propensity for digestion. And premium supplements like Bernie’s Perfect Poop help your dog’s food digest at the perfect speed for maximum absorption. Enhanced food digestibility prevents digestive problems in dogs. Check out these tips if your doggy needs a detox to flush his system.

How does Bernie’s Perfect Poop help a dog digest food?

Bernie’s Perfect Poop helps your doggy digest his food at just the perfect speed for maximum absorption. When you give your puppy Perfect Poop, it does this by adding premium fiber, pre- and probiotics, and digestive enzymes to every bite.

Fiber is key to ensuring that food doesn’t go through your dog’s digestive system too fast or too slow. It makes sure that there’s enough water in the digesting food to move through efficiently (and can help eliminate improper digestion, which may lead to constipation and diarrhea). Pre- and probiotics help your doggy’s gut thrive with beneficial bacteria. When your pet’s gut is thriving, there’s less likely he’ll suffer from Leaky Gut because the flourishing microbiome is the optimal environment for maximum nutrient absorption.

Bernie’s Perfect Poop also has the perfect combination of digestive enzymes that help your dog’s food gets broken down for premium absorption. Think of them as super boosters to the enzymes your dog begins producing as he starts the dog’s digestive process–they help break the food down so nutrients can be more easily absorbed.

And all of this adds to your dog’s overall health! If your dog’s digestive system isn’t healthy, though, there could be problems with your pet’s health. If it takes your dog too long to digest food, he can suffer from constipation and abdominal issues. If your dog’s food gets digested too quickly, he may miss out on optimal nutrient absorption because the food passes too quickly through the gastrointestinal tract. He may also deal with acid reflux. Much like Goldilocks with all of Baby Bear’s things, Bernie’s Perfect Poop helps optimize your dog’s digestion process every time!

[1] The Role of the Canine Gut Microbiome and Metabolome in Health and Gastrointestinal Disease

[2] Oral Administration of Compound Probiotics Improved Canine Feed Intake, Weight Gain, Immunity and Intestinal Microbiota

[3] Role of gut microbiota in dog and cat’s health and diseases

Bernie’s Thoughts on Digestion and Pooping

Hi Folks!
It’s me, Bernie!

So you want to know how long it should take for a dog to digest food?

Good question, and one my pawrents can easily answer if you’re using Bernie’s Perfect Poop!

It takes as long as it needs.

That sounds like a weird answer, but it’s because Bernie’s Perfect Poop works uniquely within each dog’s gut to make sure they get all the nutrition from the food we eat that we should.

That’s right! Bernie’s Perfect Poop helps us dogs digest our food at just the right speed–not too fast, not too slow.

And that means we get the best nutrition to fuel us and help us be our healthiest and happiest.No need to watch the clock; just watch your dog’s poop and see how perfect it is!

Wishing Your Dog The Best Poops Ever,
Bernie F.
Chief Dog Officer

Illustration of Bernie sitting and smiling.

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