Do not throw food to the wind!
There are more than 50 trillion cells in the dog’s body. Every cell in the body needs nutrition, most of the nutrients must be supplied to the body from the outside. These are oxygen, water, proteins and amino acids (essential), fats, vitamins, other organic substances, and minerals. If oxygen is supplied to the cells during respiration, then the rest of the animal must receive food that enters through the digestive tract. After absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, nutrients are delivered directly to the cell or liver to create reserves and further transport through the cardiovascular system.
Water, mineral salts, and some vitamins pass easily enough into the bloodstream through the intestinal walls. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are more difficult to digest. With the help of digestive enzymes of the body, they are split into simpler ones that can penetrate through the transport channels of the intestinal wall. Enzymes “work” both inside and outside of every cell in the body. So digestive enzymes enter the stomach or intestinal lumen, where they act on the food lump. As a result, the food is subjected to both physical and chemical changes, the components acquire properties that are embedded in the body, lose their original alien essence. Most nutrients (broken down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) are resynthesized and become the building material for this body. All digestive processes are strictly sequential, long delay at each stage leads to pathologies. A healthy digestive tract can be compared to a fancy bioconveyor.
The digestive tract of dogs is short and designed for high meat consumption. The volume of the stomach of a large dog can reach 2.0-2.5 l. in the stomach, the food is stored for several hours, where it is exposed to enzymes of gastric juice. The secretion of gastric juice, as well as the balance of intestinal enzymes, depends on the chemical composition of food. Therefore, a sharp change in diet is unacceptable. Due to the reduction of the stomach, the food moves into the intestine in small portions. The average length of a dog’s intestines is 4.5 meters, which is 5-6 times the length of the body, and food is processed almost twice as fast as in humans. The average time of passage of food through the digestive tract is 15-24 hours (in humans, this figure is 30-50 hours).
In this regard, to ensure better digestion and reduce hunger, the dog needs a fractional diet-2-3 times a day at the same time.
The digestibility of nutrients in dogs is different. The meat is half digested after 2 hours, and after 12 hours it is 100% digested. Rice is digested by 30% in 2 hours, and 100% in 8 hours.
When overfed, the rate of passage of food through the digestive tract increases, and a large amount of undigested food is excreted in the feces. There is a situation in which not only the pet’s health suffers, but also the owner’s wallet.
The nutritional needs of a dog living in a city apartment and a dog living in a country house differ significantly. The difference in energy consumption may vary by 20-30% depending on motor activity and ambient temperature. Much depends on the individual characteristics of the animal, on the physiological state (growth, old age, pregnancy and lactation, chronic diseases).
On the food jar, the manufacturer indicates the average amount of food recommended for an animal of a certain weight. The actual needs of the pet can be a little more or a little less. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor the General condition of the pet and its fatness. So if your four-legged friend spends the whole summer frolicking on the dacha and gets the perfect shape, then in the limited space of a cramped city apartment, he quickly loses the necessary conditions and can develop obesity. In the blood, insulin increases, the newly received glucose is sent to the liver, where it is deposited in the form of glycogen, while the body increases the synthesis of adipose tissue.
As a result, the animal is hungry, despite the fact that it receives a sufficient amount of energy. With a small excess weight of the pet, you can arrange 1-2 fasting days for it (but not hungry ones!) per week. If the shape of the dog began to resemble a barrel, you need to consult a doctor and prescribe a special diet food. In some cases, the animal needs medication.