Intestinal Malabsorption in Dogs: Is My Dog Absorbing Nutrients Appropriately?

Apr 12, 2021

Intestinal malabsorption in dogs.

Sounds like a Harry Potter spell, doesn’t it?

It’s not, though. It’s basically when, for whatever reason, your dog isn’t absorbing enough nutrients from his food. And there’s nothing basic about that at all because nutrient absorption in dogs is SO important to their overall immunity and health. After all, food is fuel, and if your dog’s nutrient absorption isn’t optimal? You’ll see it manifest in lots of different ways.

What is nutrient absorption in dogs?

Canine nutrient absorption is just what it sounds like–it’s the absorption of nutrients from the food you give your dog. Every dog food is made to supply your dog with the appropriate vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and nutrients.

But more often than not, your dog isn’t absorbing all the nutrients he should and he’s suffering from the effects of nutritional malabsorption. That’s the fancy way of saying they’re just not absorbing the nutrients from the food you feed and that means they’re not fueling their bodies appropriately. Intestinal malabsorption is the lack of nutrient absorption in dogs based on some chronic issue with their small intestine and how it’s preventing proper nutrient absorption.

What can cause lack of nutrients in dogs?

When your dog isn’t getting all the nutrients from his food that he’s supposed to get, there are several reasons this could be. Most all deal with your dog’s gut health, and whether or not his gut is in poor shape. When your dog’s gut is not healthy, he’ll suffer from an overgrowth of bacteria that line his intestinal walls. This will absolutely prevent his intestines from absorbing the nutrients from his food, and fueling his body.

Sometimes, this will start even with the food you give your dog. Even the best and most expensive foods are often highly processed. Many of the nutrients may be harder to absorb as a result and this means your dog doesn’t get all that you think he’s getting from that expensive foods. If your dog’s gut is unhealthy, they may have diarrhea, preventing them from getting maximum nutrition from their food because it just runs through their digestive system too quickly.

An unhealthy dog gut also means that your dog may not create enough digestive enzymes on his own to help break the food you give him down more for optimal absorption.

Other times, poor canine nutrient absorption can happen because their intestinal lining is inflamed. Whether it’s a food sensitivity or allergic reaction or even an infection or internal trauma–if there is inflammation in your dog’s intestinal lining, they’ll not absorb nutrients appropriately.

In some instances, lack of nutrients in dogs can be more chronic and therefore, impacting, and can result in canine intestinal malabsorption.

What can cause intestinal malabsorption in dogs?

If your dog’s small intestine is preventing the proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from his food, that’s intestinal malabsorption. It can be caused by chronic conditions like exocrine pancreatic insufficiency or inflammatory bowel disease. It can be because of atrophy of your dog’s idiopathic villi in their small intestines. Villi are impossible to see with the human eye, and they are the absorption surface of your dog’s bowel–little hairlike structures that bring the food into the wall. If they’re doing poorly, canine nutritional absorption is also suffering.


If your dog suffers from chronic canine leaky gut (canine dysbiosis), their small intestine can be overridden with non-beneficial bacteria preventing proper absorption. Fungus or parasites can also cause intestinal malabsorption as can shortened bowels (bowel portions removed due to illness or damage) and cancer. If your dog’s gut is not healthy, for whatever reason, they’re not going to be getting all the nutrients they need.

How do I know if my dog absorbs nutrients?

If your dog suffers from an unhealthy gut, he’s not absorbing nutrients properly. That’ll show itself in a hoard of different symptoms. Some include:

  • Weight loss (though constant eating)
  • Flatulence (usually pretty gross-smelling too)
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain/rumbling tummy
  • Super-smelly poop
  • Lethargic
  • Eating unusual things

Any of these symptoms might be a great indicator that your dog is not getting all the nutrients he needs from the food you give him and you’ll want to be sure to supplement appropriately.

How can I help my dog absorb nutrients?

When it comes to dog absorbing nutrients issues, the good news is that you can usually do something about it pretty easily. Giving your dog a supplement that improves their gut health is the number one step. A supplement like Bernie’s Perfect Poop  will have what your dog needs to bring his gut health back to balance and improve his nutrient absorption. The high-quality fiber Miscanthus grass will help your dog’s food move through the digestive tract at the right speed for the best absorption, and the pre- and probiotics in Perfect Poop will help restore the balance in your dog’s gut. This will help reduce inflammation in the intestinal lining, help prevent leaky gut symptoms and mostly? Help your dog’s intestinal wall absorb nutrition from his food. The digestive enzymes in Perfect Poop  also immediately start breaking the food down to the small pieces it needs to be for maximum intestinal lining and the combination comes in an easy-to-give flake that your dog thinks tastes like the best treats ever.

They don’t have a clue that you’re helping make his gut the healthiest it can be, and that means they’ll have the best canine nutrient absorption they can have.

It’s okay–you don’t have to tell them that part!

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Notes From a Dog With Impeccable Absorption

Hi friends! It’s me, Bernie.

Yep, those may be big words for a doggo, but I’ve got smart pawrents who worry about making sure I get all the nutrition I am supposed to get from my food. They know that when your dog doesn’t absorb nutrients properly, they can be at risk for a lot of health problems, and nobody wants that!

That’s how Perfect Poop came to be, really. It’s all about your dog absorbing every last nutrient he’s supposed to from his dog food to have the best health–and you can tell if your dog is by how perfect his poop is. Nice shape, color, consistency and regularity? Well, that’s PERFECT!

Anything else? His gut health is probably out of balance and his health may be too.

You don’t have to worry, though! If your dog doesn’t have the perfect poop, he can just by adding Bernie’s Perfect Poop! My pawrents combined a premium fiber with pre- and probiotics and digestive enzymes to make sure every bit of nutrition I needed was absorbed appropriately from my food. That means the stuff that comes out of my butt really is just the waste, and my pawrents know I got all the good stuff inside my body!

Best? It helps keep my gut health in check, and that means I’m healthier every day.

I know you want that for your dog too, so go ahead and give Perfect Poop a shot. Your dogs will love the taste, and you’ll love knowing you’re giving them the best!

Would I lie to you?

Wishing your dog the healthiest gut and perfectest poop ever,
Bernie F.

Illustration of Bernie sitting and smiling.

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